Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works

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Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works
Pennsylvania, United States
IPA - Imperial
Ranked #2,355
Ranked #19,789
3.82 | pDev: 14.14%
Apr 30, 2021
Nov 07, 2009
Very Good
Notes: Hop’solutely is a premium, flagship offering from Fegley’s Brew Works. This triple IPA has become a craft beer fan favorite. The addition of brettanomyces is the logical evolution of this brew. Brewmaster Beau Baden commented about Brett Hop’solutely, “We are excited to have this beer finally available after aging for nearly 4 months. This beer is fermented with 100% wild yeast (Brettanomyces). the wild yeast gives this beer a dryer flavor, light fruitiness and an effervescent finish. This beer weighs in at 11.5% ABV just like our regular version.”

We used Brett (brettanomyces – a wild yeast) to ferment Hop’solutely instead of regular brewer’s yeast, which typically ferments our beer. Brett yeast takes approximately 3 to 4 months to ferment Hop’solutely rather than 14 or so days with typical brewer’s yeast.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
3.95 by magine from Pennsylvania on Apr 30, 2021
3.81 by Jut025 from Pennsylvania on Jun 22, 2020
4.21 by hoppyhoppy from Pennsylvania on Jun 19, 2020
Photo of JohnniEMc
3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75
by JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

It is ambitious to try to pack this much alcohol into a beer and not sacrifice what beer lovers like. I appreciate that the triple India Pale Ale designation serves as an alert to what this is. Not without malt and hop qualities, they get overwhelmed by the booze.

May 16, 2020
3.51 by OCnogimmicks from Tennessee on Feb 23, 2020
4.13 by cp45 from New Jersey on Dec 21, 2019
4.09 by jkermitj from Mississippi on Aug 30, 2019
Photo of ipaForever22
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by ipaForever22 from New Jersey

What happened to my Hop'solutely? I used to love this IPA, a complex beer with subtlety and depth, not unlike DogFish Head 90 minute. I've been drinking Hop'solutely for years. Recently bought a six pack (from Fegley's restaurant in Bethlehem) and was very disappointed. The new batch has a sharp bite, too much fizz, and totally lacks the depth and complexity that I expected. Just to check, I compared this bottle with a bottle from last year's batch: even the color is different! Last year's brew was an amber-caramel color. This one is yellow. (I would upload the photo I took of the two side by side but I don't see how to do this in a review, but the comparison is shocking.) An A-B comparison between these two vintages left us astonished and saddened. Please bring back the old recipe, it was worth 4.6 in my opinion.

Jul 19, 2019
3.83 by curlybird from Pennsylvania on May 13, 2019
4.25 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania on Apr 04, 2019
Photo of haines710
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
by haines710 from Delaware

I’ve never had a Triple IPA so I had to give this a shot when I saw a bottle at the supermarket. No date in the bottle. Poured into a pint glass. Didn’t get much citrus scent. Mostly clove and bitter. Taste was the same. Not a favorite. Bitter and boozy. Glad I’m drinking this late night. I won’t be looking for more

Sep 30, 2018
Photo of EMV
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by EMV from Pennsylvania

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Slightly cloudy golden pour. 2 fingers of fluffy white head. Solid ring of lacing.

S: Strong citrus and alcohol... sweet, malty, and mild pine.

T.F : Strong and malty... rich grains and sweet malts/alcohol. Bitter hops, citrus forward with milder pine and herb/spice. Sticky on the tongue... medium bodied and oily. Well balanced.. ABV not overly hidden.

O: A solid triple IPA. Boozy but flavorful and fairly balanced for what it is. Not one I'd want a lot of, but a nice big change of pace IPA.

Sep 17, 2018
4.65 by scurfie from Pennsylvania on Sep 02, 2018
3.55 by TomT2 from Maryland on Aug 25, 2018
Photo of rudiecantfail
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Hazy golden orange color. Thick yellowish/white head that faded quickly and left tremendous lacing.

S---Sweet & malty. More malts than hops, not that hops are missing. Grapefruit & a touch of orange.

T---Alcohol is noticeable. Mildly bitter. Fruity--grapefruit & maybe apricot. Very well balanced between hops & malt.

F---Noticeable alcohol. Juicier than expected for ABV. Mild carbonation.

O---A very nice, high octane IPA. Will definitely pick up more if I see it.

Aug 20, 2018
3.81 by Thomash-houston from Pennsylvania on Jul 12, 2018
3.84 by Dave1999 from North Carolina on May 12, 2018
4.74 by NotSaussure from Maryland on Mar 28, 2018
3.88 by reebtaerG from Maryland on Feb 13, 2018
Photo of jimpyle48
3.29/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
by jimpyle48 from Virginia

Sampled from bottle

Dec 25, 2017
3.45 by Dougwillhike from New Jersey on Dec 01, 2017
3.55 by WillieThreebiers from Connecticut on Nov 11, 2017
Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by JJKBeerLvr from Pennsylvania

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into pint glass in November 2017. Packaged date of 6/12/2017 on the bottle, and drank less than 1 week after purchase.

Appearance: Deep gold body with thick light-tan head. Beer is cloudy as typical of an American IPA. Head is thick, and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Aroma filled with a strong hops aroma, and includes grapefruit, pepper, other citrus, and pine smells.

Taste: There is a noticeable bitter hops flavor, as expected from an American Double-IPA. There is good bite from the hops along with other flavors like citrus, and the hops bitterness is not overpowering. This is not as bitter as some other American IPAs, and there is a little sweetness. The aftertaste provides a variety of flavors over time. Not overly bitter or hoppy, and has a nice balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Strong alcohol, which matches the 11.5% posted.

This is a smooth medium-to-full-bodied beer, that is complex and enjoyable to drink. It is one of my favorite IPAs, and is very well balanced. The aftertaste is really enjoyable. I will definitely buy this again.

February 3, 2018 update:
Compared Hop Explosion to the brewery's Hop'solutely IPA. The Hop Explosion had a much larger head and more lacing. Both have citrus and pine aromas, but Hop Explosion has more sweetness, while the Hop'solutely has more bitter aroma. Both has good IPA bitterness with citrus flavors, but the Hop'solutely is more intense. The mouthfeel of the Hop'solutely is heavier and stronger. Overall I prefer Hop'solutely over Hop Explosion, but both are good, and Hop Explosion is a good daily drinker.

Nov 05, 2017
4.13 by rjd722 from Maryland on Oct 15, 2017
Photo of therica
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by therica from Maryland

I got a 64oz growler of this at Castle Liquor, Williamsport MD and immediately poured 6 ounces into a pint glass half an hour later at home.

A= Lovely golden clear color. Adequate white active head with plentiful lacing.
S= Nice malts, some hints of fruit. Not as much hoppy nose as one soon finds in the Taste.
T = Very bitter on the front of the tongue, then rather sweet on the back of the tongue. Somewhat dissonant for me but still an adventurous IPA. Someone suggested pineapple. Yes maybe I sense that, and or tart apple. Definitely some hints of fruit.
F= Not liking the dissonance of the nearly cloying sweet versus strong bitter although it's almost like a magic trick, bitter on the front of the tongue and sweet on the rear.
O= I'd drink this again but it doesn't make my list of favorites.

Sep 11, 2017
3.75 by 2ellas from New Hampshire on Jul 01, 2017
3.63 by ChipMurray from Pennsylvania on Jun 30, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by Lone_Freighter from Vermont

This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was a nice hazy orange color with a moderate white quarter finger head. The head faded within about twenty seconds and left some light stringy lacing. The smell started off with a ton of citrus with a nice light dosing of pine and tropical fruit. The taste was basically the same but added a nice light sweet bready maltiness. On the palate, this one sat just a tad above medium on the body with a more of a sipping quality to it. Once again, I didn’t really find this too sessionable, and that was probably due to the fact that this one was just too high in ABV. Overall, for the most part this was a nice DIPA (er uhmmm...Triple IPA perhaps) as the alcohol isn’t noticed that much. I’d have this again.

Jun 08, 2017
Photo of StoutElk_92
4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

12 oz. bottled on 03/16/17

Pours clear amber orange with a dense creamy white foam head with good retention. Smells like mango nectar, papaya, melons, pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine, peach, slightly boozy toasted bready caramel malts, some toffee, with floral earthy herbal grass and dank resinous pine sap. Tastes like boozy toasted bready caramel malts, some toffee, mango nectar, papaya, melon, pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine, peaches, with bitter floral earthy herbal grass and dank resinous pine sap. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy and slick with moderate carbonation. Overall a nice and boozy triple IPA.

May 27, 2017
4.45 by Zaktcc from Maryland on Mar 11, 2017
3.84 by Timtac from New Jersey on Feb 11, 2017
4.8 by ogman from Pennsylvania on Jan 22, 2017
Photo of ithacabaron
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by ithacabaron from California

Picked a single up before I realized it was 11.5 percent ABV. Yikes. Well, let's see what's in store.

Pours with a bright, zesty Tang-like glow. Small bubbles gather up into a slim head that soon dissipates into film and lacing. Celebratory, and promising.

Aroma blooms out with a major aroma of underripe mangoes and candied orange peel. Mellow and blanketing. Bit of a jolly rancher glycerine thing going on as well. Rich and tropical.

Taste is surprisingly bitter and focused; after the pillow-like tradewinds on the nose, I expected a similarly diffuse flavor. Pinecones and cloves on the finish. No juice, no sugar. Incidentally, while you'd never think this was a session beer, the booze is fairly well balanced. A few sips in, however, you feel it.

Mouthfeel is nicely done. Not too flabby, not too sharp. Again, unexpected, and demonstrating skill with how much is going on here.

Overall, a surprising, mildly flawed, and unexpected delight! Drink it fresh; this is not a beer that's built to age. Will I be buying another? Probably not. But worth a try on your end.

Dec 24, 2016
Photo of Sorcerer
4.85/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by Sorcerer from England

Let me tell you about this beer.
11.5 ABV

It's really really Good.

Been on a tear tasting a lot of East Coast IPL IPA and DIPA on a temporary visit to New England. Bravely picked up a 4-pack.

Poured into a frosty chilled pint glass.

Little or no foam. Really practically no head at all. No lacing. Nada. Not a clue as to what is going on. No legs.

First scent upon opening the 12oz bottle eagerly inhaling the nose spoke of bananas, pineapple, birch sap, maple syrup.

I am not worried about the lack of foam. The smell is hella promising!

A little caution is required. It's a triple IPA. I had to select Double Imperial IPA style on Beer Advocate to rate the beer because there is no Triple category.

Having to settle on just one beer for the night, this one ought to do the job.

The first sip is heavenly. All the scents of the fragrant aroma materialize. The strength of the brew is reminiscent of a top shelf margarita. There is a sweetness that is not the malty kind. It strongly reminds me of the sherry soaked sponge cake at the bottom of the trifle.

The bitterness is very high.

Low carbonation warning. The bubbles are small and few. Still a pleasant fizz, but I know that at the pace I will drink this, it will go flat...and it did.

For this style, I am impressed!

The alcohol is really masked by the fruity hop shellac.

Drank this one as a dessert. It's delicious.

Not sure how a second one of these would sit. That would be something a clown might do!

The finish is peaty like single malt scotch.

Oct 07, 2016
4.28 by Millersbrewers from Wisconsin on Sep 04, 2016
Photo of Sabtos
2.81/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75
by Sabtos from Ohio

Gold amber with practically no head, just a hint of its having been present with a slight film on top.

Garlic aroma hits me first, then pine and grapefruit.

Taste is surprisingly sweet, like cherry medicine. I can't get over that so that's where I'll leave it.

Jun 25, 2016
3.5 by mikr from New Jersey on Jun 18, 2016
4.19 by IDABEERGUY from Idaho on Jun 13, 2016
Photo of threeviews
4.59/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by threeviews from Florida

Poured from a 12oz bottle with no freshness date (shame), into a 13oz Libbey 3807 Belgian Beer Glass. I purchased the bottles at the brewery/restaurant, so I know they were relatively fresh:

A - Absolutely clear burnt orange/copper color with only a wisp of a white, creamy head which dissipated in mere seconds...certainly signature of a high ABV beer.

S - Boom! I've had this on multiple occasions (purchased at bottle shops), but these bottles are the most aromatic I have ever experienced. Sticky, pine resin, mint, overripe citrus (orange, grapefruit), stone fruit (apricot, peach) and caramel sweetness are all represented. Unless they are lying, the 11.5% ABV is completely hidden, making this one dangerous beer.

T - Juicy citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit) and mint pounce first followed by a malty sweetness and then the aforementioned pine lassoing it together. Hoptimum (Sierra Nevada) comes immediately to mind. The high alpha hops used (Apollo, Simcoe, Chinook, Cascade) match perfectly with the hefty malt backbone without the beer ever coming close to becoming cloying. 11.5% ABV? Nope...like the aroma, the flavor has no alcohol presence.

M - A big beer indeed...Full-minus body with a palate coating piney resinous finish. The ever-so-slight warmth from the alcohol can be detected, but exquisitely masked for such a substantial beer. Again, hop bill achieves a perfect balance between bitter and sweet.

O - In this new era of hop varieties and brewing strategies, Hop'solutely would be considered by many to be a classic, West-Coast interpretation of the Imperial IPA style. However, its ability to harness hop, malt and alcohol makes this one memorable brew which affords much of its charm. If you enjoy big, burly West Coast DIPA's in the vein of Hoptimum (Sierra Nevada) then you are guaranteed to like Hop'solutely. Unfortunately, you best get it on draught at Allentown Brew Works or purchase bottles from the source because you never know how long they have sat on the shelf. One more thing...the value. $10, 4Pack for an 11.5% ABV (year-round) hop monster is hard to beat and historically speaking, one of the first to label it as a "Triple India Pale Ale."

Batch bottled 27 December 2016 (exactly 3 months from packaging and the date of this update), the aroma, flavor continue unabated. I certainly wouldn't want to keep this much longer, but the profile of this beer speaks clearly 90+ days after packaging...a detriment to many IPA/DIPA/TIPA's on the market. If you enjoy beers like RuinTen (Stone), Seeking Alpha (Captain Lawrence) and Hi-Res (Sixpoint), you might want to seek this out...and Hop'solutely is year-round to boot!

Jun 06, 2016
4.1 by micropale from Pennsylvania on Jun 06, 2016
Hop'solutely from Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 637 ratings