Steelgaarden Lounge

Steelgaarden LoungeSteelgaarden Lounge
Steelgaarden LoungeSteelgaarden Lounge
Bar, Eatery

569 Main St
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 18018-5810
United States

(610) 882-1300 | map

View: Place Reviews | Events
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 24 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Knapp85
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Have hung out here several times for different reasons. Some nights it's to watch friends do karaoke, other nights its just to sit back on the comfy furniture and sip a brew. The place is usually dimmed when it comes to lighting. The vibe of the place is usually pretty chill. The bar tenders are very attentive to the customer never had to wait more than 5 minutes for even several drinks to be ordered and made. The bar area is kind of small but there is plenty of other seats around to relax in. The place is a little pricey which I think keeps the crowd to a good capacity. Overall it's nice there and you can get a wide selection of beers.

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Photo of cooch69
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This bar/lounge is a nice place to kickback and drink a few. It is very cozy with a few diferent atmospheres for your own personal comfort. There's a bar which also includes a bunch of high tables and a big lounge with a couple pool tables and a lot of leather sofas, chairs and candle lit nooks.
The beer selection is for the most part the some on draft as it is in the other bar with the exeption of around 75 bottled Belgian beers covering most styles.
The food is the same as the restaurant as well. I has their food before but not in this section. It is all good though.
A nice place to relax for a few hours, however it was mostly self service in here and the lines were pretty long due to the staffing.
But definetly recomended for fans of American beer and Belgian beer alike.

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Photo of haazer
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Recently stopped in here after musikfest in Bethlehem saturday night. I had been in here once before and had their excellent oatmeal stout and wit they have on tap. The place is very dimly lit. Small tables set up around the place with candle lighting, as well as lounge seats and couches. Very comfortable and laid back. Pool tables, and two different bar area's. Everything is well kept and clean. Definitely an upscale vibe. I came this particular night because I heard about their selection of Belgians. I was impressed. New to the amazing beer scene I got to try the incredible Rochefort 10, as well as the Orval Trappist Beer they have. I felt like a fat kid in a candy store with their menu, but due to funds(and beer already consumed) I had to settle for only trying those 2. I did however get to purchase a St. Bernardus Abt 12, and a Delirium that was supposedly the last one they had in stock. Will try those on my birthday around the corner! The guy who was serving me these nectars was also nice enough to refer me to another place in Bethlehem called Abe's six pack and deli that offers single bottles at cheaper prices!! Cant wait to theck that one out too. All in all a pretty sweet place.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This is in the downstairs area of the Bethlehem Brewworks. Whenever I go to the brewworks, I usually hang out in this part of the establishment because I enjoy their selection of Belgian beers. I like this place because it's small, cozy, and has a little bit of a NYC flair to it (in my own opinion). I can always find one or two beers on the menu I want to try. For this particular area, there's not a ton of Begian beer places and I think it would be worth checking out. My only gripe is, depending on what day and time you're there, parking could be a little difficult to find as that part of downtown Bethlehem can be pretty popular.

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Photo of bernardus
4.16/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

This place is in the basement of the Bethlehem Brew Works and we headed down after dinner above. The atmosphere is totally different than that of Brew Works with a laid back atmosphere and very dark. There were a few pool tables down there, very limited seating at the bar, and besides a few couches here and there, it was mostly standing room only.

It took a while to order from the bar but once we did I went with a De Dolle Oerbier which I've been meaning to try for a while. It did not disappoint and was kind of a cross between a Belgian Strong Dark and a Flemish Red....really great beer.

The selection beyond the Oerbier was stellar as they had around 70 or so Belgians with a few American style Belgians like Ommegang. We only stayed for one unfortunately but the prices were a bit high, which I guess is to be expected of a Belgian beer bar. Still, the list was impressive, and I'd definitely come back.

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Photo of Durge
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Dark and trendy, downstairs from the mother Bethlehem Beer Works brewpub. Candles burning on an assortment of intriguing conversation tables and loungey seating arrangements. The bar itself is fairly small and features all the Beer Works brews from upstairs along with an impressive assortment of exclusively Belgian styled brews, a whole booklet full. Not being a real Belgian connoisseur I was a bit disappointed but the bartender was helpful and friendly enough to keep me there for a couple decent bottled offerings (having already sampled the upstairs stuff). The place is permeated with a discoteque feel, a fairly contemporary mix of fairly loud music, but you can talk over it easily. There are a couple of pool tables. Not very crowded on a Tuesday night but not dead. Definitely a trendy feel, mostly a hangout for the hip youth of Bethlehem but it grew on me after initial repulsion. If you dig Belgians this is pretty impressive but I was surprised it was all bottles, nothing on tap but the home brews from "upstairs". Still, hard to complain given the overall assortment, good to see.

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Photo of DaveHS
3.78/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

It's not the same since they switched brewers. I have fond memories of the peach lambic. It was so earthy and yeasty. Very complex and subtle. The new beers are mostly cloying strong ales. Triple bocks, super sugary Belgian style quads, etc.
So give a few of the lower ABV brew works beers a try, and move on to the beer list. Its easily one of the best in the area. I have found some gems here, including most of the Oak Aged De Dolle series from a few years ago, and lots of interesting Christmas/limited release ales.
The food is served upstairs, and has never been anything other than adequate.
The crowd is my main complaint. Popped-collar, fake tan yuppies make up the majority. And they crowd the pool tables. And the bad techno music playing constantly doesn't help. But its a small price to pay for a beer list this good.

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Photo of mymrnngjckt
3.48/5  rDev -17.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Visited this place several times so I thought I would finaly give it a review. Located below the BBW. A very, very dark place. It igves it a nice big city feel. A small bar with couches, two large tables and two pool tables. The beer I consumed was fresh. The draft selection was the same as the upstairs BBW with one additional tap, Hoegaarden. The bottle selection was great and included primarily Belgian beers. The service was good and the staff was eager to look in the back for any thing on the list that wasn't in the cooler.

All-in-all, I enjoy the Steelgaarden more than the upstaris BBW.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I'm sure the BrewWorks above has some great micros of their own, but I can't manage to spend any time up there when I know how many bottles of delicious Belgian varieties are at the Steelgarden downstairs.

My favorite thing to do is arrive early, grab one of the couches, and sink into the dark atmosphere. The key here is to go on an "off" night. Don't go on a Friday or Saturday evening if beer appreciation is your main motivation (HINT: they will bring the beers up to you if you're eating in the restaurant upstairs. They don't advertise it, but if you ask they'll gladly do it). It's a packed, college-y meat-market there on weekend nights, WAY too much cigarette smoke. I can't even taste the beer when the room is swimming in smoke. But if you go on, say, Thursday afternoon, you'll face a daunting selection of Belgian and Belgian-style bottles, always served in an average size goblet. Would be nice if they served in the beer's/brewery's accompanying glass, but that's asking a whole lot. They even let the customer pour, which is super cool. Staff is only as friendly as they need to be (in my 6 trips there), but they know their stock for the most part. Found great stuff like Urthel Quadrupel and Biere Du Corsaire, which I've never seen on the shelves in my home area of VA/NC. Beers are always fresh and the temperatures are acceptable. Last time I was there (July '05) there was even a homebrew store across the way!

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

After my second visit to the Bethlehem Brew Works, it seemed a good time to head downstairs and try out the Steelgaarden Lounge. Listed separately on BA it seems because whilst it has the same owners, it has different opening hours and the beers downstairs are not all available upstairs.

In line with the Bethlehem Brew Works décor, the interior of the darkened Steelgaarden is industrial in its flavor, yet it has a more relaxed, almost night club type feel. Down the stairs from the BBW, the original bar is to your left, and this is where I took a seat with my drinking partner for the evening Ericaweizen. A tour of the establishment on the way to the pissers revealed a rather cool laid back interior, a pair of Pool Tables and lots of comfy chairs & sofa’s, darkened corners and alcoves to while away the early hours of the morning. It seems that recently the Steelgaarden has invaded a nearby store and expanded, a second small bar and an extra Pool Table has appeared in what used to be a Pet Food store allegedly. The dimly lit interior makes it very easy to relax, the changing light colors and often funky music adds a night-club feel yet it is never in your face, more reticent in its character.

The Steelgaarden opens at 4pm every day and closes around 2am, and I think, on reflection, I would love to head down here for a brew rather that the Bethlehem Brew Works itself after work. It was rather late, maybe midnight, by the time we got in here, yet we managed with perfect timing to get a pair of Stools at the original smallish bar that seats around 8 or so. Service was pretty decent, the wait staff were kept busy, but we soon had a Beer List and it was a no-brainer to opt for two Goblets of the Abbaye Des Rocs Triple Imperiale….oh my was that f**king good!!!

The beer list is nothing short of impressive, especially given the surroundings and lack of competition nearby, as well as the rather decidedly “non-beer-bar” feel to the Steelgaarden; it is one that demands a tip of the hat.

Several draft beers from upstairs are pumped down to the bar, but Belgian draft brews also included the excellent Abbaye Des Roc Triple Imperials as well as Hoegaarden, plus a couple of others which I forget, but I’m sure Delirium Tremens was listed. The Beer List is all about Belgium; a stunningly varied and interesting selection including many favorites. Trappistes from Achel, Chimay, La Trappe, Orval, Rochefort (including the rarely seen 6°), Westmalle and Westvleteren (when available). Other stand out breweries include Fantôme, Maredsous, Corsendonk, Kerkom, St.Bernardus, Binchoise, Bon-Secours, Val-Dieu, Urthel, De Dolle, Tripel Karmeliet, Abbaye Des Rocs, Deliriums, Achouffe, Silly, Dupont, Caracole…and so on. The list of lambics is particularly outstanding; Cantillon, Hanssens, Girardin and Lindemans, Druivenbier was also listed. There are some US Belgian style brews also; the best of the rest are from Ommegang, Heavyweight, Stoudt’s, Allagash & Weyerbacher. The Beer List is punctuated with many interesting brews such as Dupont Saison avec les Bons Voeux, Blanche de Saisis, La Chouffe Biere de Mars, Bière du Corsaire Cuvée Speciale, Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Red Ale as well as a few French Ciders.

All in all a terrific selection, and whilst it is true to say that prices are not cheap, set in the context of the area and surroundings, the odd session in here is manageable. Also, when I ordered a 750ml of the Lindemans Cuvée René for $8, and a 1994 vintage arrived…well, maybe value isn’t that bad. Get it while you can.

So a great beer list, nicely relaxed surroundings, fellow BA Ericaweizen and her legendary bad jokes plus a busy but attentive server, all was good in the World and it seemed like we were set to close the place out…….then enter stage left a large “Wedding Party” rabble, much shoving pushing and drunken idiots at the bar… was just too much, so rather reluctantly we cashed out and left, a real shame….

An Excellent Beer List, but my recommendation would be to come here when it’s a little quieter than usual, at least to get the best from it and enjoy your Belgium brews.

Thanks to fellow BA Ericaweizen for the tour of Bethlehem and the surrounding PA beery countryside during my Memorial Day weekend, and for the Growler of Middle Ages 10th Anniversary Double IPA to make up for the early exit from Steelgaarden!

Highly Recommended.

Last Visit: Sunday 29th May, 2005.

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Photo of erica
3.95/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

If you want good beer in a good atmosphere, don't come here on a Friday or Saturday night. It's way too crowded and it'll take you half an hour ot get a beer, plus you'll have to stare at horrid college kids who are trying way too hard to find someone to hook up with for the night. Otherwise, it's a cool place. A bit pricey but a nice place to sit in and enjoy a good beer on a weekday after work, or a weekend afternoon, after they open at 4 but before all the 'kids' trample in... They've got dim lighting that changes colour and really relaxing mellow techno-ish music, also a bunch of couches and a few pool tables, which is really nice if you want to relax and not think about anything else for a while. Bartenders are good and most often attentive, unless it's super busy, but that's understandable. Selection is pretty good if yer in the mood for Belgian beers- well it's a 'Belgian beer lounge' so it's all Belgian style stuff, plus the Brew Works beers too. Food is good, you can order I think anything off the Appetizer menu, they have good nachos, HUGE nachos... I come here fairly often, maybe because it's 2 blocks from my workplace. or maybe because I actually like it. I don't think you should go out of your way to visit, but if you're in the area, it's one of the better places to go.

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Photo of Fish113d
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

While sitting at Bethlehem Brew Works, the bartender told us about the Steelgaarden and the fact that they serve over 100 different Belgians!!!! Sulldaddy and I looked at each other like, "WOW!!! Let's gittity-go!!!!"

Attached to Bethlehem Brew Works (downstairs), it is a totally different feel. Dark atmosphere with some couches sitting aroudn the exterior windows, small bar with about 15-20 stools, and 3 pool tables off in another room. Handing us a menu, the young lady (bartender) offered us some advice as to which was really good out of the 100+ Belgians to which was cool due to the fact that she just didn't seem like an average bartender who knew about nothing about the product she was serving. The atomsphere again was dark with candles on each table and minimal lighting, which was pretty neat and reminded me of a Martini bar back in Harrisburg. On tap were only those associated with Bethlehem Brew Works, but that was fine with us due to wanting to try something from the 3 page menu of Belgians. We didn't eat any food, but I am sure the food comes from the brew pub as well. More enjoyable than BBW. Worth a stop!

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Well, this was a nice little surprise while visiting the BBW. My compadre fish113d and I walked into the bar area and grabbed a seat at the bar on a lazy Saturday afternoon. We had just had a late lunch upstairs so nothing but liquid intake on this visit.
The area is dark and clubby with a small L shaped bar in one corner. There are several sofas and lounges spread around and some high tables and stools. Further along the side there are some pool tables, more lounge chairs and stools. Grey walls with black table top counters.
The area is dimly lit and feels much more night clubby than beer bar, but then we see the beer list! Well over 100 belgian bottles available including Westlvetern, Westmalle, Duchesse, and stille nacht to name a few I remember. The taps are BBW brews and some guest beers. The place is pretty empty so we get to chat with the bartender, Rachel ( I think) and she tells stories of how at nite the atmosphere changes to night club techno place and the belgian beers are second class compared to the martinis and clubbing going on. Mental note, always stop in the afternoon.
Rachel really knows her beers and enjoys chatting with us about favorite belgians, travelling for beer etc. I enjoyed a tart, sour verhaeghe echte kriek and fish had karmeliet tripel. Definitely worth a stop when visiting BBW, unless it is a fri sat nite.
cool little gem!

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Photo of PopeDX
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I like the Gaaaarden a lot. A cool dark/steel look with various seating (bar tables, a small bar, some couches, etc.) and a couple of pool tables. It was a tad on the smokey side. BBW beers on tap along with a few Belgians (major props for having Duchesse...), plus a Belgian bottle selection that rivals a certain couple of bars in Philly. Giradin Gueuze black label? Nice. Service wasn't the most knowledgeable, but very friendly and pretty speedy. Overall, very nice. I'll definately be back next time I'm in the Lehigh Valley.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The Steelgaarden is the downstairs part of the BBW, but it is like stepping down the stairs and entering another universe. Whilst the BBW upstairs has a steel motif going on, the steelgaarden is definately going for a chilled-out lounge bar atmosphere that reminds me of a few swanky bars in Manhattan. The atmosphere is nice with low lighting, candles, funky electronica music, regulation pool tables, and nice comfy coaches. The quality of the beers is always top notch and the selection is excellent as they have all of the BBW brews on tap straight from the tanks, as well as two or more guest Belgian beers on tap and tons of Belgian bottles as well (including rarities like cantillon, girardin black label, fantome, and more!). The food is good as well, as you can get some of the upstairs food down in the Steelgaarden. The only downside to this place is the prices. Sure this is a cool place in downtown Bethlehem with an excellent atmosphere, but most bottled beers are $7+ (I can get them for $4 or 5 at other less swanky places) and alcohol (which it seems, is what most people drink down here) is very pricey as well. How about $10 for a double vodka and coke....seriously....a bit pricey for me since bars up the street will sell the same for $4 or $5! Anyway, prices aside, this is a damn cool lounge bar with an above average selection of Belgian brews! Go!

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Photo of slander
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

We sat upstairs at the bar at Bethlehem Brew Works, biding out time, sampling the wares. Gone had me the Mirabelle, a plum lambic. It was real damn nice and I coulda had me another, 'cept what with the whole, "Watching the clock for 4 PM" thing, and well, it's now being 2 minutes of, we can head downstairs to the Steelgaarden Lounge...
It's a whole different world down there. A small "L" shaped bar seats upwards of a dozen. They've got 8 taps (6 house beers and 2 guest taps, being Hoegaarden and the Verhaeghe Echte Kriekbier) and like a scillion Belgian bottles (that's a thousand bazillion). The bottled list is broken out by style (Dubbel/Brown Ales, Blondes, Gueuzes, Pale Ales, Strong Ales, Trappist Ales, Barleywines, Tripels, Wits, Lambics, Quadrupels, Oud Bruins...) from the standards up through the Abbey De Rocs Grand Cru, Hansens, Cantillions and Fantomes. The carry the Monk's Flemish Sour Red and it's the only place I've ever seen the Liefman's Glukriek. And they carry a handful of American Belgian style beers (Stoudts Dubbel & Tripel, Weyerbacher Merry Monks & Quadrupel, Allagash White, Dubbel & Tripel, Ommegang 3 Philosophers & Hennepin) for good measure.
Just drinking my absolutely stellar Verhaeghe Echte Kriekenbier and talking with the guy at the end of the bar, him being Lewis and he a brewer there. Seems the Mirabelle was not initially intended to be a plum lambic but what with them plums being fresh and all, there you go. Lewis shared with us a most wonderful bottle of their '02 Framboise.
Looking around, it's a good comfortable place. Beyond the staircase lies a pair of full size pool tables and there's a handful of couches and cushy chairs in the corner. Whoa!! In the month and a half's time since I've been there last, They've cut down the far wall and taken over 2 adjacent store's worth of space adding an additional room with a third pool table, a second bar, and a bunch more couches and cushy chairs. Low "S" shaped track lighting overhead and candles on counters and tables throughout. Great De Dolle and Caracole posters (you know the ones I'm talking about). Well worth mulling around suspiciously 'til 4 waitin' for this place to open.

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Photo of ElGuapo
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

The downstairs of Bethlehem Brew Works.
It is a nice little lounge with dim lighting. There are two pools tables a a couple nice comfy couches. The decor is pretty simple with lots of great belgian beer tins. The music selection was very unique and absolutely fantastic. It was a quiet place, and the mood was just right.

Service was excellent. The bartender, Mike, was very enthusiastic and polite. He made a great effort to call everyone by name, which is one of the most important skills of bartending.
The selection is pretty good. They have maybe 80-100 Belgian brews in bottles as well as taps for all of the BBW beers. There are a few good ones on the list, but nothing out of this world. They had Rochefort, Westy, Westmalle, de Dolle, Cantillon, etc. Again, great beers, but nothing you haven't seen before.

I do not think I would trek to Bethlehem simply for the Steelgaarden, but it serves for a great little after dinner spot with a date. You can make a nice little night out of BBW and the Steelgaarden.

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

A great place. As you walk down the stairs from the Bethlehem Brew Works, you enter a different world. This place is dark, complete with leather sofas and tables, and even a couple of pool tables. It is industrial in appearance, yet oh so comfortable.

The beer selection is what separates the Steelgaarden from most beer bars in so much that theu have in excess of 80 different Belgian bottled brews, and the staff is quite knowledgeable about all of them. Moreover, they also have all of the Bethlehem Brew Works beers on tap. Prices are what's expected as far as the Belgians, truth be told.

Their menu is limited...cheese plates and the like, and I believe they offer the full dessert menu as well.

If you are in the area, this place is well worth the trip.

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Steelgaarden Lounge in Bethlehem, PA
Place rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 24 ratings