Since the very first NEARfest in 1999, the Bethlehem Brew Works has been in integral part of the experience. In that first year, the brewery/restaurant was just up Main Street from Foy Hall at Moravian College. The Brew Works would become the locale for the traditional NEARfest Ticket Day Luncheon. As the Brew Works became more familiar with the festival, the more they wanted to support us. It began with beer specials for holders of ticket stubs in 2004. In 2006, the brewery allowed us to rename one of their beers for NEARfest weekend. Simply called NEARfest ESB, the naming of a NEARfest beer was an instant hit with festival-goers (and organizers alike!). Upon entering the restaurant, patrons were greeted with standees on every table promoting the beer, as well as a beautiful recreation of Roger Dean's octopus logo on a chalkboard over the bar.

In 2007, we asked if the Brew Works would brew a special beer just for us, as well as allow us to provide a custom logo. Master Brewer Beau Baden agreed and the result was "Thundering Hammond Pale Ale," a moderately hoppy amber ale. In 2008, a NEARfest 10th anniversary beer was brewed called "10x10 IPA," a very hoppy, golden India pale ale. 2009 saw the first band-themed beer in "Atom Heart Pilsner," a play off of Pink Floyd's classic "Atom Heart Mother," with Lullubelle logo to boot. Kansas was the honoree for the 2010 edition of the NEARfest beer. "Belexes Belgian Ale" was a light colored, but strong yeasty Belgian golden ale.

2010 also saw the relationship between the festival and the brewery become a full partnership in music and libation. General Manager Michael Fegley, who first attended the festival in 2009 and was floored, offered to host a Charity Cask Night for NEARfest on the Thursday before festival. Two special firkins of Belexes Belgian Ale were tapped with the purpose of raising money for the not-for-profit festival. The event was a huge success, and yes, both firkins were kicked that night. While Charity Cask Nights are a monthly happening at the Brew Works, it will hopefully become an annual event for NEARfest.

We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Bethlehem Brew Works and owe many thanks to Michael Fegley, Beau Baden, and Traci Langer for their help and support over the years.

Beer Logos by StrongStuff With each specially brewed batch of NEARfest beer, there has been a custom logo designed to promote the beer via print ads, flyers, video presentation slides, and limited edition t-shirts. Each of those logos was created by graphic artist Tom Whalen of StrongStuff Illustration and Design. Tom's unique style of employing clean lines, stark angles, and striking use of color, lends itself perfectly to logo design. A beer fan himself, Tom is anxious each year to create a beer logo for NEARfest. Tom was also responsible for the Friday night preshow program cover designs from 2005 to 2007.

©2007 StrongStuff/Tom Whalen

©2008 StrongStuff/Tom Whalen

©2009 StrongStuff/Tom Whalen

©2010 StrongStuff/Tom Whalen

©2011 StrongStuff/Tom Whalen
Bethlehem Brew Works
569 Main Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018

Allentown Brew Works
812 W Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18101

StrongStuff Illustration and Design
Tom Whalen