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Old 05-16-2012, 05:33 AM   #1
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Default Pittsburgh!

Hey guys. I'm doing a beer trip this weekend to Pittsburgh, sandwiched around a wedding. Wait! No! I think I'm going to Pittsburgh for a wedding, but drinking a ton of beer before, during and after.

Yeah, that's it!

Anyway, I've been searching around for places to get great beer. I'm looking for bars, beer stores, breweries. Anything that means I can drink some great beer. Does anyone have any good suggestions?

We're going to be in Pittsburgh for four days, so I'll probably even hit up a store or two so I can stash some beer in the hotel room. And, of course, we'll be going out to eat at fine beer establishments.

I'm a New England guy, so I'm out of my element. This is where you fine folk come in.

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Old 05-16-2012, 05:44 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by RCBIV
Hey guys. I'm doing a beer trip this weekend to Pittsburgh, sandwiched around a wedding. Wait! No! I think I'm going to Pittsburgh for a wedding, but drinking a ton of beer before, during and after.

Yeah, that's it!

Anyway, I've been searching around for places to get great beer. I'm looking for bars, beer stores, breweries. Anything that means I can drink some great beer. Does anyone have any good suggestions?

We're going to be in Pittsburgh for four days, so I'll probably even hit up a store or two so I can stash some beer in the hotel room. And, of course, we'll be going out to eat at fine beer establishments.

I'm a New England guy, so I'm out of my element. This is where you fine folk come in.
Fat Heads on the South Side, Penn Brewery on the North Side. www.fatheads.com Just walk down Carson St. On the south side and you will find more bars than one can handle... Be sure to check out Dee's Cafe, the Smiling Moose and Jack's as well. Enjoy
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:34 PM   #3
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A few more places I would recommend:

Church Brew Works - great brewery and restaurant in an old church! Try a pizza and perogies... they are the best with a brew!

Hofbrauhaus - I've never been to Germany, but if the beer is anything in Munich like it is at this location, I'm going to germany some day! This brewery is a must stop!

The Sharp Edge (several locations in and around the city) - If you like belgian beer, this place is a must stop. they have tons of beer on draft and all are delicious! Also a must try is the Ostrich Burger.

Birmingham Bridge Tavern - A little off the beaten path bar at the end of the South Side (SVH666 mentioned that area). Thy have a huge selection of draft beers! Just ask to taste something an they will be happy to pour you a little sample to see what you like. Also try the buffalo perogies... they are awesome! Can you tell I love food as much as beer yet?

Bocktown Beer and Grill - A small but awesome restaurant right near the airport! they have some very interesting draft beers and always have huge coolers with a build your own 6-packs! This place also has some awesome food!

I hope that helps! Pittsburgh is a great town! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

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Old 05-29-2012, 11:17 PM   #4
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For a beer nerd visiting Pittsburgh, here's what I'd recommend:

-Visit East End Brewing in East Liberty if you can.

-The major brewers are great if you can hit them, though they're the obvious, big blips on the radar: Penn, Church, and Hofbrauhaus

-The next type are the popular 'beer bars', many with multiple locations: Sharpe Edge, Bocktown, Full Pint, Rivertowne, Rock Bottom...

-Then there's the bars that happen to have a great selection: Fatheads, The Library...Nola in Market Square is pretty good...and various bars in the southside will surprise you here and there with something like a Rogue Dead Guy, DFH, or something of that caliber.

-Finally there's the gems, little places that are all about the beer. The biggest example I can think of right in Pittsburgh is D's 6-packs and Dogz, in Regent Square. They have a second shop in Monroeville that, while good, isn't AS good as the Regent Square location. No nonsense 'beer bar' with both a respectable tap listing, as well as their 'beer cave', which contains 5-600+ beers, easily, including plenty of hard to find beers. It's not necessarily big on atmosphere in the strictest sense, but in my experience, beer nerds kind of like the no-frills, 'all about the beer' attitude.

If you're able to stray from the city proper, three places within an hour that are definitely worth the trip:

Mister Bones, in Greensburg. A tiny sandwich shop with a small but impressive selection, including some often hard-to-find stuff. It's not really a place a visitor will want to spend all day there...but it's got good food at good prices, with a few craft brews to wash it all down. Small outdoor patio if it's nice. Among many others, off the top of my head, you can find stuff here from Lagunitas, Great Divide, Victory, Rogue, Stone, Sam Adams, Sixpoint, Ithaca, Oskar Blues. This is the place if you're just looking for a bowl of soup and a sandwich, nothing fancy. Also kid friendly, including a small selection of what I guess you could call "craft pop". Staff is great on general service, but only a few are beer nerds, so if you get one of them, great, if not, you'll likely know it quick.

The Headkeeper, a slightly more upscale tapas bar with a small but well-chosen tap selection and over 600 bottles, about half import and half micro, also in Greensburg. The menu here is somewhat more expensive, but also very high-quality, more interesting, and prepared right in front of you. Where Mr. Bones will have a chicken sandwich, at the Headkeeper, you can get sesame crusted seared Ahi Tuna steak w/ wakimi seaweed salad. While I've seen kids here, it's really not the place for them, as things are definitely focused on these more adventurous tapas dishes and the beer. Also has an outdoor patio with plenty of seating. Same deal with the staff, though the staff itself is much larger. Generally, one of the guys behind the bar will know what's up.

Finally, in New Kensington, there's the House of 1000 beers. There isn't much else to do in New Ken, so it's a trip just for the beer, but the House of 1000 Beers lives up to its name, all in a "garage bar" style setting (concrete floors, unfinished wood & concrete, etc), it's definitely a no-nonsense approach to good beer, with 40-60 good beers on tap, and at least 600 different bottles (and really, it wouldn't surprise me if there were the full 1,000 beers, if not more, on their shelves). Food is the bare minimum. Basically, they'll pop some frozen chicken or poppers in the oven for you, or make you a plate of nachos. Here, from the few times I've been there, all of the staff at least has a decent knowledge of beer, with the bartenders usually knowing their tap selection very well, in addition to their own favored styles (the first time I went, my bartender mentioned that she was a big fan of stouts, another time, the young lady behind the bar was a hop head, etc.).

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Old 06-15-2012, 07:31 AM   #5
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A big thanks for this info. I'll be visiting Pittsburgh this weekend and checking out some of the places suggested!

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Old 06-15-2012, 06:10 PM   #6
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you are very welcome! have fun here!

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Old 06-15-2012, 06:43 PM   #7
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I have to agree with just about everything that Cold said. You really wont go wrong with any of those selections, so I would just pick the ones you are closest to or have the easiest access to. Im on the southeast side of town (south of Monroeville) and these are the places I frequent often (listed in order from best to least best):

1. Fatheads in Southside – like others said you cant go wrong spending a day on Carson Street. Fatheads is probably the best ‘beer bar’ down there. Get the Headkeeper IPA, trust me!
2. Dee’z in Monroeville (while it might not be as nice as the Regent Square location, it is a bit cheaper and they have a good selection)
3. Blue Dust in Homestead – Little divey, but the atmosphere is cool and they always have 3-4 beers that you either never heard of or have always wanted to try.
4. Rivertowne in North Versailles – decent selection (maybe 20 on tap beers). Best thing about this place is the food is awesome and very reasonably priced. (I always get either the Youghiogheny Pizza or the Jambalaya sub). They of course have the rivertowne beers and also usually one or two from Full Pint. Staff usually doesn’t know what the hell they are talking about when it comes to beer, except maybe a couple of em.
5. Headkeepers in Greensburg – Go here if you’re looking to impress your date while still having the choice of a great beer. Tapas style food but they are generally pretty big portions. Cool atmosphere where you can pick a beer from their wall of coolers and the wait staff will bring the appropriate glass and pour it for you. Little expensive obviously.
6. East End Brewery is a great brewery. So is Church.
7. Mad Mex (couple locations but I go to Monroeville) – Good menu, above average beers with the odd one-off hard to find brew, awesome happy hour spot.

Places I tend to avoid if there are other options available (they are still mostly above average in terms of beer bars/restaurants):
1. Rock Bottom – they usually have one beer that is worth drinking to me. Food is slightly above par, with a chain-restaurant style menu. Cheap place to get a growler if you want that (like 8-10 bucks for a filled new growler).
2. Penn Brewery – If you like authentic German food, than I would maybe give this a try. I don’t. And their beers are a little blah to me, but that kind of goes with the authentic German feel.
3. Hofbrauhaus – Great place if you are looking for a frat boy sh*t-show on a Friday or Saturday night. Otherwise go early and enjoy the Dunkel in the Bier Garden.

Looking to pick up a case for the hotel? I always go to Save Mor Beer and Pop on Browns Hill Road.

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Old 07-11-2012, 04:06 PM   #8
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I'll toss in another recommendation for Bocktown

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Old 07-11-2012, 05:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cold View Post
Finally, in New Kensington, there's the House of 1000 beers. There isn't much else to do in New Ken, so it's a trip just for the beer, but the House of 1000 Beers lives up to its name, all in a "garage bar" style setting (concrete floors, unfinished wood & concrete, etc), it's definitely a no-nonsense approach to good beer, with 40-60 good beers on tap, and at least 600 different bottles (and really, it wouldn't surprise me if there were the full 1,000 beers, if not more, on their shelves). Food is the bare minimum. Basically, they'll pop some frozen chicken or poppers in the oven for you, or make you a plate of nachos. Here, from the few times I've been there, all of the staff at least has a decent knowledge of beer, with the bartenders usually knowing their tap selection very well, in addition to their own favored styles (the first time I went, my bartender mentioned that she was a big fan of stouts, another time, the young lady behind the bar was a hop head, etc.).

My home base. My best friend designed the place and Dave (the owner) is a really nice guy. Get there if you can!
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:34 PM   #10
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If possible, find out when Fat Head's is having a firkin friday. They are usually pretty awesome. Seem to occur about once a month on fridays at 5:00 PM. They make big hoopla and tap a firkin, passing pints out for free until its kicked, which usually is under a half hour. Last one I went to was Rogue Mogul Madness. It was the only firkin of that beer in the country to leave the brewery so it usually draws a big crowd for limited releases. Get there early, happy hour starts at four. A brewer of the selected firkin usually is present as well so its cool to talk beer with a pro. Fat heads was pretty much always the best beer bar in the city but have been really stepping it up even further recently. Make sure to get a Fat Head's Headhunter IPA, my current favorite non-imperial IPA. The Sorcerer belgian strong dark is pretty epic as well. If staying in southside after, hit up Smokin Joes for 70+ taps, and then work your way to The Library. They have about a dozen taps that rotate frequently with usually a great selection. They also have two happy hours every day, 5 to 7 and 9 to 11 with 3.25 drafts. That should drunken you sufficiently for a Pittsburgh beer trip. At least for that night.

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