Saturday was the annual Allentown Brew Works Craft Beer Festival, and quite the time it was. There were a ton of fantastic beers and some of the best-ever local brew was being served up. I started off with Hijinx, where I started off with the best beer of the entire festival: Steal Your Face Stout aged in Woodford Reserve barrels. It was huge, smooth, and endlessly delicious. They also had on two coffee porters, one made with Brazilian Coffee and another with Honduran coffee. They were taking votes on which people preferred, and for me it was certainly the Honduran (which was winning in tallies). It was more like drinking a sampler glass full of coffee rather than a beer. It was easily the most coffee-heavy beer I’ve ever had, which makes sense considering they brew a 5 gallon batch with 1/2 pound of coffee. According to the Hijinx guys, this equals out to about a quarter ounce of dried coffee per beer. Yowza. They also noted they should be up and running around March or April and will have their brewery kick-off at the Tavern on Liberty.
Harvest Moon was serving up some really great stuff, including their Cluster Double IPA which definitely rivaled some of the top-rated west coast IPAs I’ve had. They also had Black O’ Lantern Pumpkin Stout and a cask conditioned, dry-hopped brown, both of which were great. The Lehigh Valley Homebrewers were serving up a smattering of stuff including my beloved Double Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter and a pumpkin ale named “Horse Piss”. This naturally led to the best overheard quote of the evening, “Can I have some Horse Piss?”.
Chris Bowen of Hammersmith Ales (and Arctic Alchemy) was serving up what seemed to be the most popular beers of the evening. His scotch ale was out before I even made it up to his table, not long after the 2nd session started. I did manage to snag some of his North Hampton Abbey, a belgian dubbel aged in Woodford Reserve barrels and some of his Lord Cravenmoor. The Yorkshire bitter was also out when I came back. He was serving up a special treat at the end of the festival, a sour version of the Woodford dubbel that I had written about before. It’s easily the weirdest beer I’ve had in a while…very complex with tons of different flavors going on. Very enjoyable.
All-in-all it was another great day at The Brew Works. Although the second floor was crowded as it typically is during these festivals, the third floor was spacious and not overwhelming at all. The variety and quality of brewers here was great and there weren’t many duds in the crowd. Here’s, I believe, a full listing of everything that was there:
21st Amendment – Back in Black IPA
Allentown Brew Works – 007, Funky Monkey
Appalachian Brewing Company – Hoppy Trails IPA, Jolly Scot Scottish Ale
Avery Brewing Company – White Rascal, IPA
Baja – Imported Lager
Beach Haus – Classic Americam Pilsner
Bethlehem Brew Works – Obsidian Black IPA, Warhammer Baltic Porter
Climax – Lager, ESB
Hammersmith – Lord Cravenmoor, William Younger’s 1877 No. 3 Scotch Ale, The North Hampton Abbey, Tolly Cobbold’s Yorkshire Bitter 1903
Flying Fish – Extra Pale Ale, Hopfish IPA, Belgian Style Dubbel
Harvest Moon – Black O’ Lantern Pumpkin Stout, Cluster Double IPA, Cask-conditioned dry-hopped Brown Ale
Hijinx – Steal Your Face Stout, Woodford Barrel Aged Doppelbock, Woodford Barrel Aged Steal Your Face, Hop Havoc, ESB, Prankster’s Porter
Lancaster – Gold Star Pilsner, Strawberry Wheat
Lehigh Valley Homebrewers – Horse Piss Pumpkin Ale, Cider, Brown Ale, Belgian Amber, Double Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter, American Stout, ESB
Lion – Stegmaier IPA, Stegmaier Gold, Stegmaier Holiday Warmer
Pennsylvania Brewing Company – St Nikolaus Bock
Shock Top – Belgian White
Stone – Arrogant Bastard, IPA
Straub – Special Dark, Light, Regular
Stoudt’s – Scarlet Lady, Revel Red
Roy Pitz – Best Blonde, Ludwig’s Revenge, Gobbler Lager, Lay Down Stay Down
Uinta – Hop Notch IPA
Victory – Lager, Prima Pils
Weyerbacher – Merry Monks, Winter Ale
Wild Blue – Blueberry Lager
Yards – IPA, Brawler
A media pass was provided by The Brew Works to cover this event.