After accepting the job as the new brew master for Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works on Jan. 5, Chris Bowen's first day was the night that Liz Rivera, a well-known Bethlehem homeless woman, was struck and killed by a hit-and-run motorist.
Rivera, who often made small objects of art and items such as woven pot holders to earn money, was a staple at many downtown businesses that would invite her inside for a cup of coffee, food or to just get warm.
“I’d spent a considerable amount of time downtown and used to encounter Liz all the time,” Bowen said. “I was shook up when I heard she was hit. I thought, ‘geez’ there had to be something I could do.”
He approached the Fegleys, owners of the Brew Works, about naming his first brew in honor of the woman who had befriended so many Bethlehem business owners and locals.
They backed him on the idea, and tapped the first keg of “Liz NE IPA Memorial Beer” on Friday.
“It’s a hoppy beer with a lot of spunk and character that reflected her,” said Bowen, also brew master for Allentown Brew Works, another Fegley business.
The artwork created for the beer also honors Rivera. It’s reflective of the woven potholders that she would make and sell.
Bowen asked the Fegleys if they could donate some of the proceeds to charity. A portion of beer sales will go to New Bethany Ministries, which serves the homeless. Money will also go toward an arts scholarship for ArtsQuest, because of Rivera’s love of the arts.
Liz NE IPA is on tap at the Bethlehem Brew Works. It is a limited release brew and will only be available for a few weeks, Bowen noted.