The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Guide to Allentown
Allentown, PA creates the western-most city of the Lehigh Valley Ale Trail, with neighboring cities of Bethlehem and Easton to the east. Within recent years, Allentown has truly experienced a renaissance of its downtown, which continues to move forward each day.
2014 brought the addition of the PPL Center to Downtown Allentown. The Lehigh Valley Phantoms, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, call this brand-new venue home for their hockey season. Visitors will also find Lehigh Valley Steelhawks indoor football games played in the PPL Center, as well as world-class entertainment with a variety of concerts, action-packed events, and more.
Allentown is also home to a great variety of museums and interactive exhibits, including the America On Wheels Museum, the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, the Da Vinci Science Center, and more.
In the summer months, you can get your thrills at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom. These two parks offer fun for all ages with everything from high-speed rollercoasters to the kid-approved Camp Snoopy.
To take in everything that Allentown has to offer, you’ll want to make a weekend of it. Experience brand-new, luxury accommodations at the Renaissance Allentown Hotel located in Center City Allentown. For more traditional experiences, head to the Allentown Comfort Suites or the Holiday Inn Express Allentown Dorneyville.
But the downtown of Allentown is not the only scene experiencing resurgence. You’ll find a number of breweries within the city, as well as some of the best spots to enjoy a cold one after a day of fun.
Located just down the street from the PPL Center, you’ll find Fegley’s Allentown Brew Works. This location offers a wide variety of house-brewed beers. Stop into their full-service restaurant for a bite to eat (we recommend giving the beer and cheese soup a try). Create a sampler of beers from the varieties available on draft, including flagship brews, seasonal varieties, and other limited release batches.
Throughout the year, the Allentown Brew Works plays host to a number of beer-related festivals. The Brewer for a Day Festival, held in late summer, serves as a chance for fans to vote to select the official beer of the upcoming Lehigh Valley Beer Week. In the fall, be sure to make it to the annual Craft Beer Festival, where visitors have the chance to sample many beers from both near and far. In the spring, check out their Cask Beer Festival, which features a number of limited release casks of beers—a real treat for any true beer connoisseur.
While you’re downtown, stop into two of Allentown’s newest restaurants for a great variety of draft options. The Hamilton Kitchen and Bar, located at the corner of 7th & Hamilton Streets, provides a cozy setting for some fantastic meals. Just across the street in the Renaissance Allentown Hotel, you’ll find The Dime restaurant. Both of these locations offer local craft favorites year-round.
You’ll also find a nod to local craft beer within the PPL Center. During events, attendees will find a selection of locally-brewed beers available at select concessions areas in the arena, including Fegley’s Brew Works and Weyerbacher Brewing Company.
Hop on over to the South Side of Allentown to the Bridgeworks Enterprises building. Here, you’ll find three unique chances to sample some beverages.
First up is the Colony Meadery, offering a variety of award-winning meads. Tours are available by appointment, but you can stop in during regular hours to enjoy a sample or to purchase a bottle of their delicious mead.
Just down the hall is HiJinx Brewing Company, a relatively new addition to the Lehigh Valley craft beer scene. Their brewing takes place on-site; be sure to fill up a growler to go before you head home.
For a slightly different twist, why not sample some liquors as well? County Seat Spirits also calls the Bridgeworks Enterprises home. Their new distillery currently produces white rum and vodka, with more varieties on the way. Stop in for a taste, tour, and to purchase a bottle of your own.
After your visit to the trifecta at the Bridgeworks Enterprises, swing over to the West End of Allentown for two more great stops.
Youell’s Oyster House is home to some of the area’s finest seafood dining, as well as a solid selection of beers. They offer eleven draft lines dedicated to craft beers, often rotating to feature a number of local varieties. Be sure to have a taste of the Fegley’s VSA Honey that they have available on draft, a perfect pairing for a restaurant with an on-site apiary.
Cross to the other side of Cedar Beach Park towards the campus of Muhlenberg College. Tucked away on the corner of 23rd & Liberty Streets, you’ll find the Tavern on Liberty. This bar is unique in that it only serves beer- no wine or liquor here! Their available varieties here are second to none, with literally hundreds of beers stocking the shelves of the coolers. Enjoy a few in-house, or craft your own six-pack to go. If you’re up for a challenge, create a list and cross off each beer to earn a plaque on the wall.
If you still haven’t had your fill of all that the Lehigh Valley Ale Trail has to offer, not to fear. More exciting additions are on their way; the local craft beer boom is just beginning!