What do you get when three best friends decide to start a brewery on their own? A great place to “Drink Comfortably.” Couch Brewery was founded in Highland Park by Darren, Cary, and Mike, three regular dudes with a thirst for good beer and comfortable furniture. Since their grand opening in April 2017, these guys have managed to create one of the most laid back spots in Pittsburgh to enjoy a brew. And did we mention that Darren looks just like Brad Pitt?
A beer for every mile marker. Respecting the old. Discovering the new.” That’s the mantra of Hitchhiker Brewing in Sharpsburg, PA. Originally founded in 2014, Hitchhiker Brewing got its start in a tiny 3bbl brewhouse in Mount Lebanon. However, it wasn’t long before Head Brewer (and surprisingly talented freestyle rapper), Andy Kwiatkowski’s beers became so popular that Hitchhiker scaled up production to a brand new 15bbl brew system in the former quarters of the historic Fort Pitt Brewing Building in Sharpsburg. Might we recommend trying the Whole Punch series?
If you’ve lived in Pittsburgh at any time in the past five years, you’re no stranger to Full Pint Brewing. Their beer is some of the most heavily distributed in Pittsburgh for a reason. Their White Lightning even took home a Bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2013, so these guys probably aren’t joking around. Enjoy some of their brews with us at their Wild Side Pub in Lawrenceville, complete with the original PlayStation and all the classics. Challenge Shane to play you in Tony Hawk: Pro Skater. We dare you.
Grist House? More like Grist Home. As in home to some of our favorite beers in the ‘Burgh. Grist House Brewing was founded in 2014 by brothers-in-law, Brian and Kyle, whose several years of home brewing had made them very popular among their family and friends. Their 15bbl brewhouse is situated in a renovated building that used to belong to a slaughterhouse in Millvale (don’t worry, they cleaned it). It features a massive outdoor space and is dog-friendly. Who doesn’t like petting a pup?
Founded in 2014 by two seriously smart dudes, Brew Gentlemen quickly became the preferred hangout spot in Braddock. The inception of the idea came in 2010 while the two were juniors at Carnegie Mellon University with a knack for brewing in their dorm. After graduation, Matt and Asa embarked on an 18 month DIY renovation project in an old electrical supply store on Braddock Ave. Now just a few years later, BG’s beers have become staples in the Steel City.
Formerly Draai Laag Brewery, which opened its doors in Millvale in 2012, Strange Roots Experimental Ales is turning over a new leaf in 2018 with a new name and a new approach to brewing quality beers. Where its former self was known almost exclusively for its bold and sometimes aggressive-tasting Belgian style sour ales, the brewery’s rebrand has brought forth a new, forward-thinking approach to brewing beers that have mass appeal. Don’t worry, the sours are still amazing.
These are new kids on the block, but you wouldn’t guess that after tasting their beers. Named in tribute to black ashes that would rain on lower Lawrenceville back when Pittsburgh was still the steel capital of the US, these folks take their Pittsburgh pride as seriously as they do their IPAs. With a well-rounded repertoire of unique styles brewed right in the basement of their pub on Butler Street, we’re expecting big things from Cinderlands. Oh, and the food is spectacular, too!
The seasoned veteran of the Pittsburgh craft beer scene, East End Brewing Co. is one of the most popular breweries in the city. Founded in 2004, when Iron City was considered a "craft beer," these guys were among the first local spots to break the mold of ordinary beer. Since then, their arsenal has ballooned to an impressive 35 unique beers brewed every year. Their large indoor/outdoor space in East Liberty is a perfect place to take some friends for a cold one. Try the Big Hop!
One of the hidden gems of the city, Allegheny City Brewing opened its doors to the public in September of 2016 in the historic North Side neighborhood of Deutschtown. Known for their laid back, dog-friendly environment, this is a perfect place to enjoy a pint with your pup (well, don’t let your dog drink, but you knew what we meant). Allegheny City has 12 rotating taps and they’re always loaded with a flavorful and well-balanced lineup of tasty brews. Added bonus: bring a photo of your dog and they will enshrine your furry friend on the wall to be admired by all.
For over a decade, Voodoo has been a pioneer in the mecca of craft beer that is Western Pennsylvania. It may be most famous for its well-rounded lineup of award-winning brews, but Voodoo Brewing Co. offers more than just a tasty beverage. Their unique setup in Homestead's old (and absurdly haunted) municipal building will have you coming back for seconds.
They may be new to Pittsburgh, but they're no rookies when it comes to beer. Since 2011, the folks at Enix Brewing Co. have opened two successful breweries in Madrid and have now decided to set up shop on 8th Avenue in Homestead. Really? You guys chose Pittsburgh weather over Spain? Anyways, if you like good beer, good food, bowling, or any combination of the three, you'll want to pay this place a visit.
Situated in the Hills of Troy (or Troy Hill, for the layman), Threadbare Cider makes a cider so tasty that Johnny Appleseed himself may shed a prideful tear. Their menu features a wide selection of homemade ciders, local craft beers, and barrel-aged cocktails as well as artisanal pizzas. This has something for everyone, including a space for the kids to play while mom and dad enjoy an adult beverage.
Wait, isn't it Steel City BEER Tours? What's with the distilleries? Listen, we named our business before we added some of these places. Nevertheless, Wigle is the place to go if you want to taste, purchase, or learn about whiskey in Pittsburgh. Their staff knows enough about whiskey to put Jack Daniels to shame. Check out their spot in the Strip District!
You don't have to be a pirate to enjoy a good rum, but you can still take our tour if you do happen to be one. If you are, in fact, a pirate, you'll feel right at home at Maggie's Farm Rum, an urban distillery in Pittsburgh's Strip District with more than enough awards to fill this column. No, seriously.