Since 1998, Bethlehem Brew Works has taken small steps in the Bethlehem area and beyond to educate people about what we feel is one of life’s greatest pleasures, a quality glass of beer. The next logical step for us was to open a comfortable lounge area where people could relax and take in the sensory voyage that is drinking a beer. Our decision to include dozens of Belgian beers from around the world on our menu, in addition to our fine house brewed beer and other popular spirits was fueled mainly by the fact that this beer is so distinct and wonderful. These are so carefully crafted and delicious that we feel everyone should be able to experience it.
We do not feel that we are getting away from our roots as a small, family owned brewpub by including these fine imports. Rather, the beers we have selected are not mass-produced but instead are often made by monks, small breweries, or families like ours. Though they are by no means local to us, we feel that these beers have the potential to become as close to some of your hearts as our Fegley’s ESB, or the Steel Workers’ Oatmeal Stout is to ours. We hope that this pair, as it meets and ages will create an atmosphere in which people will grow in their love of good beer. We feel that the two places will complement, yet not mirror or mock one another. In essence, we feel that the Brew Works and the Steelgaarden, to use a Belgian beer term are a “marriage parfait,” or the perfect marriage.
For those of you who have enjoyed our beer since we opened our doors in 1998, and for others who are new to us, but have adventurous taste buds in the genre of beer, this “Brew Works Belgian Infusion” should be an exciting adventure. For others, whose idea of adventurous beer drinking may include Heineken or J.W. Dundee’s Honey Brown Lager, you may want to begin with our Valley Golden Ale and work gingerly outwards from there. The tastes, aroma and appearance of these beers can be quite intimidating to say the least. If you taste sourness so strong that your cheeks pucker, or smell something that might resemble Fido on his bath day, fear not, there is nothing wrong with your beer. Belgian beers have an immense range of sense teasers, and most are incredibly pleasing. They range in color from off-white and cloudy to deep chocolate brown. They range in taste from puckering cherry to musty caramel. They range in smell from cotton candy to mildewed basement. They range in alcohol content from approximately 3% to 12% abv (alcohol by volume).
Unlike the minimal (if any) difference between the mass-produced American Light Lagers, no two of these beers will taste alike. Select something that sounds appealing (we are here to help you with this). Pour it slowly and fully (if possible) into your glass being careful not to disturb the sediment that often sits on the bottom or side of the bottle. Swirl it around in the glass and take in the several distinct aromas the beer will emit. Sip it and let it envelop your tongue. For the most enjoyment, let the beer settle and warm slightly (to around 45-55 degrees). Most importantly take your time to finish the beer and then order another!
Though there are hundreds of Belgian beers, we have painstakingly selected the beers that we felt would offer an excellent sampling of the world-renowned tastes of Belgium. Each of these beers have been reviewed by, and come highly recommended from such beer experts as the late Michael Jackson.
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