polo mens cologne The Lehigh Valley’s newest craft brewery just opened in Nazareth
The craft brewing boom has reached Nazareth.
After months of anticipation, Birthright Brewing Co., the Lehigh Valley’s newest brew pub, opened Thursday, Feb. 1 at 57 S. Main St.
Birthright offers a lineup of its own beers alongside a menu of wood fired pizza and other snacks in a rustic, industrial setting. The space is decked out with a black walnut live edge bar and huge saw blades, sourced from a Kutztown mill, serving as communal tabletops.
(SEE PHOTOS OF THE BREWPUB HERE.)
While some aspiring brewers make the leap straight from home brewing to their own taprooms, Birthright’s brewmaster and co owner Wayne Milford has spent 18 years honing his skills professionally, ever since he quit a job in pharmaceuticals to take an apprenticeship at Climax Brewing Co. in Roselle Park, New Jersey.
He has since worked as head brewer for Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Delaware, as the first brewmaster at Two Rivers Brewing Co. in Easton and as a consultant for other breweries.
Milford, who has lived in Lower Nazareth Township for about three years, will run the brewery with his wife Shanna Milford and their business partner Mike Dailey, whom Milford met while working at Two Rivers.
“Brewing is one of the most noble professions you can have,
” Milford said, citing the rich tradition of the craft and its ability to bring people together.
He recalls visiting a Trappist monastery in Belgium with his wife, and sitting at a communal table with four generations of the same family, all drinking beer together. It’s a scene he hopes to emulate in Nazareth with large, communal tables encouraging people to interact with strangers.
The possibility of competition from another, yet to be named brew pub planning to open in Nazareth at 35 Belvidere St. doesn’t concern him, Milford said.
Instead, he thinks the two breweries will help draw more beer drinkers to Nazareth. He has seen small breweries successfully co existing in small communities like Bend, Oregon. Spurring on other businesses is part of the plan, something he calls “coopertition,” a portmanteau of cooperation and competition.
“We want to bring Nazareth to the next level,” he said.
As for the glut of small breweries throughout the Lehigh Valley, Milford said Nazareth has enough remove from brew happy cities like Bethlehem and Easton to have an impact.
Plus, he’s hopeful the depth of his experience will help Birthright avoid some of the growing pains that plague some other upstart breweries.
Birthright’s current beer offerings span styles and flavors. The requisite India Pale Ale is “Sparky,” which is 5.8 percent alcohol by volume and costs $2 for a 4 ounce pour and $6 for a 16 ounce.
The “Localer” pilsner, 4.8 percent alcohol by volume,
is meant to provide an accessible gateway to craft beer for locals who are used to macrobrewed lagers. The beer runs $2 for a 4 ounce pour or $4 for a 16 ounce.