Local Spring Beers
Contributed by Vanessa Palumbo of Resident Tourist Bethlehem PA.
“A quart of ale is a dish for a king.” – The Winter’s Tale, William Shakespeare
Get your crown ready!
It’s spring in the Valley which means the crisp snap of a can tab welcoming the sweet tastes of a fruity ale. Or it can mean the hiss of a bent bottle cap unleashing an explosion of hoppy goodness. Whatever you fancy, the Lehigh Valley is brimming with beer fanatics yearning to try something new on draft. This yields copious amounts of fun seasonal ales you have to get your hands on! With six breweries within less than a forty minute radius of Bethlehem, a seventh being cultivated as we speak, and a gypsy brewer, the Lehigh Valley is quickly becoming a beer capital! Below are some of the springy beers to lure you into doing some hefty taproom crawls this season in the Valley!
Wit (ABV 4.6%)
The word Wit is defined as a Belgian wheat ale. What sets Wits apart from US or German wheat ales is that they must be brewed with a minimum of 25% wheat malts. This particular Wit has a light spiciness due to star anise that compliments the orange peel, coriander, and grains of paradise. This golden beauty can be found every spring and into early summer. It pairs well with light seafood dishes (i.e. tote a six pack to your friend’s next clam bake), or pair it with a light fruity dessert at Grandma’s picnic. Or – you can also simply head to Weyerbacher to down a pint – no pairing necessary!
Other Springy Brews Available: Tarte Nouveau – Ale Brewed with Blood Orange Puree, Riserva (American Wild Ale barrel-aged on raspberries), Last Chance IPA with Apricot
Blueberry Belch (ABV 4.2%)
Let’s get fruity! When I think of warmer-month beers, I think fruit and a ton of it! Brew Works’ Blueberry Belch is a perfect go-to. In a fifteen barrel batch, Fegley’s uses three hundred and sixty pounds of real fruit! The fragrance of blueberries hits you with a punch before your first sip. The color is an exquisite ruby red. The Beverage Tasting Institute described the composition perfectly when they stated it was, “lively fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body.” Personally, I believe it is best on draft at the bar with brunch. This blissful blueberry brew is available every May to September.
Other Springy Brews Available: Space Monkey (Raspberry Saison) newly added as a year-round Flagship
CitraSqueeze India Pale Ale (ABV 6.5%)
CitraSqueeze was recently released in twelve ounce cans on May 1st and currently sold at the Tasting Room. This IPA is an array of juicy goodness blending orange, grapefruit, melon and mango flavors in one can. When poured it is an amber color with a thick foamy head bursting with heaps of hops.
Other Springy Brews Available: Wicked White (a Belgian Style Witbier), Blueberry Wit (on tap Memorial Day)
Citrus India Pale Ale (ABV 6.7%)
This citrus IPA has clouts of grapefruit, blood orange, pink guava, passionfruit, and pine. This was Funk’s first India Pale Ale. It was perfected by using four different hops, one including the “Lemon Bomb” which was an experimental hop per Funk’s website. It seems their rigorous work yielded a perfectly balanced brew– and a great spring ale to opt for at their taproom.
Other Springy Brews Available: Double Citrus Imperial IPA, Tumbleweed Pale Ale
Hexerei White Ale (ABV 5%)
Hexerei is a Pennsylvanian-German term meaning witchcraft, and yes, this beer casts a spell of refreshment over you! Once chilled, the ending sour nip after the initial sweetness of citrus is enchanting. Plus, any bottle art inspired by legendary Stevie Nicks better harness an all-star beer.
Other Springy Brews Available: XReserve Peach & Ginger Saison, Stonefly India Pale Ale
Others Worth Mentioning:
Two Rivers Brewing: Key Lime Berliner Weisse (Released 5/19)
Sole Artisan Ales: Clink! (A great go-to for a hoppy anytime beer)
In conclusion – let’s drink! Dive into the Valley’s Ale Trail!
Resident Tourist is the alias of Vanessa L. Palumbo, a transplant from Scranton PA. A passion for photography and an appreciation for her new surroundings prompted her to start a local blog dedicated to playing tourist as a resident around the Lehigh Valley. Check out her other adventures around town at Resident Tourist Bethlehem PA.