Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is easy to get to from all points. Just follow the North Star, or if you prefer, you’re GPS. It’s so easy to fall in love with this historical picturesque town. It is not what it once was when Bethlehem Steel shuttered its doors over 20 years ago. The city is experiencing a rebirth. Pick anytime to go, however, Christmas is when “Christmas City, USA” shines the most brightest. This is a Fermented Adventure paradise.
The Lehigh River divides the town. We began the day on the South Side at the Christkindlmarkt. If you’re looking for holiday gifts and crafts this is the place to begin. There is something for just about everyone on your list. For us it provided an opportunity to revisit and stock up on the libations being offered by many of the local craft providers. Eight Oaks greeted us first. Most recently they have released their Barrel Finished Old Tom Gin. Have you ever tried mead? Colony Meadery is a great place to start. As you wind your way through you will discover some nice sweet treat options. Stroopies, Groffs and Ye Old Toffee Shoppe enticed us to give our sweet tooth some attention. Social Still is one of our go tos for their exceptional craft spirits. They are also right across the free parking lot, within walking distance. Grab a cocktail before or after shopping. Do check the website for a complete list of the vendors and when they will be there. Buy your tickets ahead of time and skip the line.
Now that we got some shopping out of the way, it was time to head to the North Side. Where, even more shopping was waiting. There are local crafts being offered in huts along the E Market Street. There is plenty on this short block to experience. We set our sights on some local beer flavor. We quenched our thirst for Sours and Stouts at Lost Tavern Brewing. Fegley’s Bethlehem Brew Works has an array of beers as well and we settled on the Pumpkin/Yam Beer, The Steelworkers Oatmeal Stout, along with the Steelgaarden Wit. Along the street we discovered one amazing chocolatier. You will want to get one of everything at The Chocolate Lab. We certainly did our best to practice restraint. There is a new coffee shop at the far East end of the street. Don’t go to Bitty & Beau’s for just the coffee. You will meet the most incredible people there who are making your visit special and impactful. We wandered in and out of the shoppes, watched a real live metal work demonstration and were overwhelmed with all of the history. As the sun began to set, the street became electrified.
Bethlehem offers so many places to get cocktails. Don’t miss the Tavern at The Sun Inn where you can enjoy hand crafted distilled spirits featuring Christmas City Spirits. We landed at the McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub and Whiskey Bar. The atmosphere was lively with conversation. The bartenders are knowledgable about their whiskey and make tantalizing drinks. Our meals were outstanding and full of flavor, everything that you would expect to get at an Irish Pub. While enjoying our last dram we took in the evenings live music with Regina Sayles, shared a fresh baked scone and made some new friends.