No race weekend can be complete without visiting a few new breweries. Luckily, our triathlon weekend trip was dotted with breweries we’ve never been to before. A bit out of the way, Birthright Brewing Company of Nazareth, PA was our first stop. The small brewery has several beers, hard seltzers and other brewery made alcoholic beverages like Jalapeno Pineapple Lemonade available. The food menu was top notch and we highly recommend the beer cheese pretzel. We were unfamiliar with Birthright, so we were blown away by the beer offering. The amount of interesting quality brews could have been an all day affair and the locals are super lucky to get beers like the Grape Ooh-Yeah! and Cream Soda Jerk. Birthright Brewing is a must visit stop.
A bit closer 78 is Bethlehem, PA; a small town brewery hub with our three next stops. Bethlehem is a quaint small city/large town that is gorgeously decorated during the holidays so certainly check out the shops during the holiday season.
Lost Tavern Brewing in downtown Bethlehem was a good stop for another refreshing flight. Straight Out Da Freezer is a boozy, creamy and sweet 9% dessert stout that would have been our best in flight if it wasn’t for the near flawless execution of Lost in the Remix: Pina-Colada. We don’t see Pina Colada brews often, but when we see them done right we’re always impressed; try and get your hands on this for real. As Covid restrictions were still in place for PA, we had to order food everywhere we went – so we’re pleased to recommend Randevoo for the perfect sushi bites while enjoying a flight of Lost Tavern drafts. The only downside is sushi and Pina Colada won’t pair as well as you would hope! There is also a 2nd location in Hellertown, PA.
If you’re looking for a more down to earth Brewery without all the swanky food like beer pretzels and sushi while in Bethlehem, look no further than Bonn Place Brewing. Their food of choice to pair with your beer during Covid restrictions was PB&J – our absolute favorite guilty pleasure. Clearly Bonn Place isn’t about the food, they’re a brewery and served up one of, if not the best IPA we had on this weekend away; Nice Time, Mosaic. Nice Time is just barely a DIPA (8.1%) but comes with all the Mosaic flavor as the beer is part of their Nice Time “SMaSH” brews. Single Malt and Single Hopped (SMaSH) brings back a purity to beer that sometimes we forget exists while drinking Cream Soda Beer at places like Birthright.
Our last call in Bethlehem was at the Seven Sirens Brewing Company, a large indoor brewery with a drive up window for food trucks; our visit had a taco truck and you all know how we feel about tacos. The photo op was with Andrew infront of a flight and tacos with his signature “BEER, TACOS, KITTENS” t-shirt. The brews at Seven were good, but out of our tasting of 6 there was only one great beer; StarGazer. This NEIPA had the perfect blend of Cas, Azacca and Southern Star hops to provide a delicious juice bomb in a perfect NE haze. Hazy brews are common nowadays, but a perfect hazy NEIPA is still few and far inbetween – Seven Sirens nailed it in our opinion.
A short trip out of Bethlehem is Allentown, another large town/small city feel with a great variety of breweries. McCall Collective Brewing Co and Bru Daddy’s Brewing Company call Allentown home. There are several other breweries in the area so please Google map before you head this way. McCall and Bru Daddy were our two new beerventuers this weekend.
McCall Collective Brewing Co is hold up in a short lived, but old favorite and now defunct brewery; Salmon Pants. Salmon Pants Brewing was a flash in the pan and Andrew was super excited to score a t-shirt while he could. Luckily, McCall seems to have more staying power as their powerhouse brews all scored high on our untappd charts. Our two favorites of the flight were the Shucksquehanna Cream Ale and the Hittin’ Dingers Berliner Weisse. Cream Ales come in a wide variety of hot-takes so when we stumble across a true traditional it always earns high marks from us. If the traditional flaked corn brew is not for you, certainly try and get your hands on Hittin’ Dingers Raspberry, Lemon Peel and Lactose Berliner Weisse. A delicious and refreshing 6% full of flavor and perfectly smoothed out with the ample amount of lactose.
In the heart of Allentown and just down the street from Fegley’s Brew Works (another PA favorite) is Bru Daddy’s Brewing Company. The brew pub has a delicious array of pizzas, subs and other high quality pub-grubs. Bru Daddy’s also has this great outdoor space complete with heaters over all the tables for those chilly September nights. The beer at Bru Daddy all scored a 3.5 or higher from us with our favorites being the Mornin’ Cream (a coffee cream ale) and the Sour Senorita: Mixed Berry (massively fruited sour). Bru Daddy’s even have a great brunch special so be sure to visit on Sunday morning/afternoon if you get the chance!
Doylestown & Chalfont
A ways south down in Doylestown, PA is Geronimo Brewing @ Lilly’s Jury Room. The extremely boutique eatery has a humble offerings of cafe bites but with an added quality and care making it feel like home. So where is the beer part? Behind the cafe is a tiny, down and dirty brew house and even smaller tap room serving up some amazing drafts. The 4 Your Ryes Only (*in melody* Only for you. You see what no one else can see and now I’m breaking free) is a seldom seen style; a rye malted IPA. Rye beers often come with a zing of spice or tang unseen in regular IPAs and we appreciated the well balanced departure from the regular IPAs. The real winner of the flight though was B.U.F.F. Stout with Lactose; an extraordinarily smooth coffee and chocolate milk stout. Be on the lookout for either of these if you swing through Doylestown.
Mad Prince Brewing is not a new brewery for us, but they are the entire reason we drove as far south as we did on race weekend. On the outskirts of Doylestown (intersection between 202 and 413) is an easily missed small brew house that pays homage to the Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria (Read more here: ABOUT — Mad Princes Brewing). The brew house operates on a tiny, 1 BBL system so there is a constant refresh of their lines. It’s hard to pick a favorite from them but if you run into Blaubeerbusch or Bruce Wee – Enter the Flagon you will have an amazing experience; and if those aren’t on draft we’re positive you will find something you enjoy. Seriously though, Beerventurers do not detour to our old favorites often so be sure to stop by, grab a flight and say hi to the Mad Prince’s Jim and Kurt for us! Also, bring growlers. We’re sure you will want something to go.
Tilt’em Back Brewing and Tower Hill Brewery are just 7 minutes apart in Chalfont, PA so as you’re driving to or from Mad Prince Brewing besure to keep an eye out for these two. Tilt’em Back was only serving pints and half-pints during our visit so we grabbed a Milk Does the Stout Good and a One Wit Wonder; both well balanced brews with no-frills attached. Perfect pours for those who need a palette cleanse and back to basic. Tower Hill was also only serving pints and half-pints so we grabbed the Breakfast Stout and Big Juicy NEIPA. Like Tilt’em Back, the beers at Tower Hill were also very no-frills but well made beers.
Because I know you’re wondering, after we got slaughtered on race day, did we visit another brewery? Yes, two more in fact. Yergey Brewing and another old favorite Funk Brewing Company of Emmaus, PA were our post-race celebration beers. Yergey was currently celebrating Yergeyfest (their take on an Oktoberfest) and had live music, a lovely outdoor space, food trucks and a fantastic Scotch Ale called Wee Love Scotch. Walking distance down the road from Yergey was an old favorite that we haven’t visited since 2015! Funk Brewing has brewed over 450 distinct beers and we’ve only ever had 12 of them. Just last night we did our Mixed Tape: Guava/Passion Fruit photo shoot and it was phenomenal. They also have a new location all the way down in Elizabethtown if you ever make it down PA that far.