Hoppy. Fruity. Malty. Bitter. Dank. Boozey. Delicious. IPAs take up lots of space on the “On Tap” chalkboards across Lehigh Valley due to their popularity and broad beer profile. With so many sub-styles of IPAs, it’s unfair to your taste buds to think they’re all the same.
With the goal of visiting a 12-pack of Lehigh Valley’s best breweries, we set off on a journey to taste as many IPAs as possible to help point you in the right direction, and hopefully find a new favorite.
- McCall Collective Brewing: Threehigh
- Brü Daddy’s Brewing: Winter Dreamz
- Hijinx Brewing: CitraSqueeze
- Yergey Brewing: Take the Black & 50th Session IPAs
- Funk Brewing: Citrus & 365 IPAs
- Bonn Place Brewing: Parity Bloom & That Loud IPAs
- Fegley's Brew Works: Hop Explosion
- Weyerbacher Brewing: Double Simcoe
- Boser Geist: Flight
- Separatist Beer Project: Good Good
McCall Collective Brewing Company
102 E Susquehanna Street, Allentown & 7743 Hamilton Blvd.
The search for Lehigh Valley’s best IPA started off with a bang at McCall! The highest alcohol beer of the entire journey, this 10.6% ABV triple-hopped IPA doesn’t taste that potent (in a good way)! For that strong a beer, it’s surprisingly smooth, too!
Threehigh (10.6% ABV / 40 IBU / 4.2 rating on Untappd)
Brü Daddy’s Brewing Company
732 Hamilton Street, Allentown
The only IPA on tap when I stopped in Brü Daddy’s, this traditional hazy gives winter vibes like a light, pillowy pile of snow on your tongue. Perfect pre-game drink before going across the street to PPL Center for a Lehigh Valley Phantoms game. (Pro tip: their 50-cent wing nights on Mondays may be the best deal in the Valley.)
Winter Dreamz (6.3% ABV / N/A IBU /3.91 rating on Untappd)
HiJinx Brewing Company
905 Harrison Street, Allentown
If you’re just getting into IPAs, this is a great starting point. It’s on the fruity end of the spectrum, with little pine. A really solid balance of hops and citrus. Try it out on one of HiJinx's Disc Golf Putting League nights!
CitraSqueeze (6.5% ABV / 55 IBU / 3.63 rating on Untappd)
Take the Black & 50th Session IPAs
235 Main Street, Emmaus
The only Black IPA on this list, Take The Black is a smooth hybrid of a dark beer and IPA, with the best aspects of both. It might help you transition from one style to the other, as both varieties are acquired tastes. I also decided to sample their 50th Session IPA, a milestone in Yergey's awesome, rotating Session IPA series! It was very flowery with a hint of tropical citrus, and barely bitter.
Take The Black (6.1% ABV / 64 IBU / 3.72 rating on Untappd)
50th Session IPA (4.9% ABV / 40 IBU / 3.32 rating on Untappd)
Citrus & 365 IPAs
18 Bank Street, Emmaus
As its name suggests, Citrus is grapefruit forward and a nice day-drinking IPA without the super bitter taste. 365 is based on the first beer Funk Brewing ever brewed, and the only Rye IPA on the journey. My guest, who doesn’t typically like IPAs, liked this one, so it’s a pleasant surprise!
Citrus (6.1% ABV / 70 IBU / 3.84 rating on Untappd)
365 (6.2% ABV / N/A IBU / 3.95 rating on Untappd)
Parity Bloom & That Loud IPAs
Bonn Place Brewing Company
310-14 Taylor Street, Bethlehem
Parity Bloom is true parity as a well-balanced, hazy, fruity, smooth, and refreshing double IPA. That Loud was the epitome of bang-for-your-buck, turning up the volume to 10% ABV. Hints of a coffee flavor and goes down with a creamy, bitter finish. Bonn Place doesn’t have any TVs, so the room invites conversation between both friends and strangers.
Parity Bloom (6.6% ABV / N/A IBU / 4.0 rating on Untappd)
That Loud (10.0% ABV / N/A IBU / 4.08 rating on Untappd)
Fegley's Allentown Brew Works & Bethlehem Brew Works
812 Hamilton Street, Allentown
59 Main Street, Bethlehem
As a Mug Club member, Fegley’s Allentown location has long been one of my favorite places to unwind after a Phantoms game, with IPAs that are top notch. The go-to Hop Explosion has an initial grapefruit taste, balanced with a malty body and final smack of bitterness.
Hop Explosion (7.0% ABV / 70 IBU / 3.57 rating on Untappd)
905 Line Street, Suite G, Easton
Great news: Weyerbacher is back open! Even better news, under new management, their beer still rules. Double Simcoe was my favorite of the tour. It’s everything I love in an IPA: a little fruit, a bunch of hoppyness, and a mighty 9.0% ABV. (Dogs are allowed in the taproom, too, so the vibe is also perfect.)
Double Simcoe 9.0% ABV / 90 IBU / 3.8 rating on Untappd
Böser Geist Brewing1250 Simon Avenue, K100, Easton
There were too many intriguing IPAs on Böser Geist's list to pick just one. Lucky for me, it was flight night (beer *and* pierogi flights!), so I sampled four. Swole Whip, a “Milkshake” beer made with dairy, was the wildest concoction of the journey. It tastes like a certain amusement park’s famous frozen treat. Sip of Simcoe is fruity, hoppy, and fun! Dream Eater is a mix of a West Coast and a hazy. Creamy and smoooooooth. Coastal Crusader is light in appearance, but surprisingly hoppy! A good bridge from fruity to hoppy, if you’re looking to expand your palate.
Swole Whip 6.8% ABV / 57 IBU / 3.83 rating on Untappd
Sip of Simcoe 7.1% ABV / 47 IBU / 3.54 rating on Untappd
Double Dream Eater 6.2% ABV / 45 IBU / 3.55 rating on Untappd
Coastal Crusader 6.8% ABV / 56 IBU / N/A rating on Untappd
Separatist Beer Project
101 Northampton Street, Easton
Heads up! Separatist Beer Project may be temporarily closed at the moment.
Separatist Beer Project was the most modern vibe of any of the breweries visited, located a stone’s throw away from the Jersey border in Easton. Good Good is amber-colored goodness, and a real sweet spot of malt and hops.
Good Good (8% ABV / 60 IBU / 3.97 rating on Untappd
What. A. Quest. But the best news? This is only half of the Lehigh Valley Brewers’ Guild breweries to visit! Plus, all the places listed above have other great IPA varieties to sample. So as the IPA-loving journey continues, and we hope to see you at the bar, supporting local breweries that stand toe-to-toe with the best in the country!.