House of 1000 Beers

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

99 Ratings
Ratings: 99
Reviews: 71
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: n/a
Taps: 24
Bottles: 1,000
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery, Store ]

357 Freeport St
New Kensington, Pennsylvania, 15068-6014
United States
phone: (724) 337-7666

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: ejimhof on 01-14-2007

No notes at this time.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 71
Reviews by woodychandler:
Photo of woodychandler
4.01/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Transcribed from notes dated M, 26 July 2010.

For the previous reviewer, if you are going to abbreviate its name, why not go with ""HO1KB"? Ha. I don't really care, but brevity should be as brief as possible (typed the ever-loquacious woodychandler).

I was in Da 'Burgh for several days, including an overnight to Erie with tonybeerguy, staying at a local CouchSurfer couple's house. I have known them for several years now and they are always excited to take me to their beer haunts when I come to town.

We began in their tasting room, located in the end of the building. Entering, we made a button-hook left and made our way past a few high circular tables surrounded by high chairs to get to the inverted "L"-shaped dark faux-marble Formica-topped bar along the left wall, facing toward the front of the building. The back bar held two banks of twelve taps each as well as a three-door, four-shelf cooler. A smaller five-shelf cooler sat along the right wall, followed by a a bank of seventeen (!) six-shelf coolers. A bank of simplistic wooden shelves ran down the centerline, separating the bar area from the coolers. The front of the house, so to speak, had another six taps, all of which were dedicated to Belgian imports.

The ambiance was stark, what with exposed cinder block walls, piping and ducting. Lissen, if I CAN drink in my Uncle Steve's basement and at City Beer in SF, I CAN certainly drink here. Stark and spartan, but it helps keep the bottom line in check. I was told that the Wednesday night glass give-away is off the hook, if you are thinking of going.

A great visit, in which I met more of my readers and drank beer in good company with the assistance of a friendly server. I'd like to go back.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Bone53
4.39/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3

Staff member was knowledgeable about beer and directed me to different ones. Definitely the best selection iv seen in the Pittsburgh area. They have certain beers you can mix and match for $10.95, but most of them are around that price at Giant Eagle anyways.. its cool being able to mix n match them though. Then there are beers that are more scarce, and you are going to pay a premium with that. However, some of those beers you can get at a reasonale price. Buy five beers and the sixth one (cheapest one) is a penny. The two negatives i would say about this place is the high price on certain hard to find beers, and beers being past their best by date. Theres more supply than demand and beers sit for months and months before being bought. Thats not good for an IPA. Moral of the story: Play smart and dont be tricked into paying a ridiculous price for a sought after beer, and either look for a date on IPAs or buy beers that age well. Just my two cents. Cheers!

I paid $30 for a sixer and bomber of highly rated beers that iv never been able to find before. Kind of high, but for those reasons i tell myself its worth it. I say its worth splurging here every once in a while or on special occasions

Photo of Dray
4.86/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5

WOW!! literally a thousand beers! The mix six price was set lower than anywhere ive been, ever. There are beers there that I have never seen in western PA. I was blown away and as I was verbalizing how blown away with the selection I was one of the staff directed me toward their draft list! BOOM!!!! Oh yeah, we do growlers too!! Well over 35 beers on tap and I'm not talking Miller, Bud or Coors.

Photo of Joseph_Bodziock
4.9/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

They don't just sell beer; they're smart, fun, creative and very helpful. I'd go higher than 5 on the selection if I could. Offers among the best, if not the best, selection of beers on-tap. The food is fairly basic, but good, and getting better.

Photo of Jeff412pgh
4/5  rDev -9.1%

Great selection for the area. Little pricey but I manage to convince myself it's worth it every time.

Photo of cwcolby74
4.66/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

The selection was terrific. It was especially good considering Pennsylvania has such arcane beer laws, and the Pittsburgh area doesn't seem to have many bottle shops, just bars/restaurants that have six-packs for carryout. This place had everything I could've asked for.

Second, the owner is great. Very knowledgable and helpful with regard to his inventory and what he can/can't get. I hadn't been in the store 30 seconds and he was all over me, asking if I needed help, picking my brain about what I was looking for, offering suggestions, etc. He followed me from shelf to shelf across the entire store for most of my time there, making suggestions about what's good, what's local, what's an interesting take on a particular style, etc. (and that was what I wanted. I'm not from Pennsylvania and hadn't even heard of most of the brands they had. I wanted a good cross-section that I could take back to Indiana with me). He even let me sample a Firestone Walker beer on tap that they had in bottle and I was intrigued by.

Third, as other reviewers noted, the place is totally out of the way. It's not hard to get to, per se, it's just remote. But I'm always up for a good road trip, especially if there's a payoff in the end.

Fourth, yes, some of the stuff he has is expensive. A lot of his bombers (the vast majority, actually) were priced way beyond what I would ever consider paying. A lot of his singles are marked up pretty significantly as well (even some of the lower-end stuff is $3.00 a bottle). He had pint cans of Half Acre from Chicago that he had priced at $7.50 each. HOWEVER....He seems to go to great trouble and expense to grab beers that no other place in the area would be able to get. He prices stuff accordingly, and if what he told me was true (and I have no reason to believe it isn't) he sells the stuff. It doesn't just sit. So if he can get that much money for the stuff, and it's helping him to keep the lights on and to pay the two other guys who work there, I don't have a problem with it.

The highlight for me was chatting with the staff and the mix six-pack area. Plenty of selection that seems to rotate frequently, lots of local and regional stuff, all for like $11. I bought five six-packs. I think if you're open-minded about the location and no-frills atmosphere of the store and you're looking for variety, it's perfect. If you have some money and are willing to pay for something you'd never have a chance of seeing otherwise, all the better.

Photo of Preluderl
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

House of 1,000 Beers really is the premier craft beer destination in the Pittsburgh area.

But...

The owner is a great and pleasant guy. He's always warm and inviting, a pleasure to talk to and I know he works very hard to make sure his store is providing beers that you simply cannot and will not find anywhere else in the region. The problem is that, due to the lengths he has to go through, some of the prices are very high.

Just a couple of examples:

Cascade Kriek Cherry: Retails for $20 on their website, selling here for $50. Yes, fifty dollars.
Goose Island Madame Rose: $50
Deschutes Mirror, Mirror: Retails for $17, selling for $32
Lost Abbey Angels Share: $25 (for a 375mil bottle)
Goose Island Lolita: $30 (selling online for $17)

I absolutely appreciate and respect their desire to provide very hard/sometimes impossible to find product to their patrons, but these prices are a little out of control.

Their prices for normal brews that we're in the distro area for are fine and pretty much in line with everyone else. The prices on the out of distro area stuff tend to get inflated, but they're also offering a premium service that you can't get anywhere else in the area.

Other than the prices, I have no complaints. The service and staff are always amazing and the selection is almost always stellar. If anything, the only other gripe would be the location. New Kensington is a bit of a hike from Pittsburgh and there's absolutely no other reason to visit the town other than this store.

Photo of GregA135
4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

This is hands down my favorite place for grabbing craft beer in the Pittsburgh area. The staff and owner are great! They are very knowledgeable about beer, friendly, and always giving suggestions on new beers to try. The food is great too! I had wings and some sliders, both tasted fantastic! The selection of beer is good too, they have 20 rotating taps and also they have refrigerators that are categorized as 90 point selection, they have a belgian section, and you can mix and match six packs to go! They occasionally get some rare beers in, like Founder's KBS, but apparently that sold out in like 5 minutes. Definitely take a trip down to House of 1000 beers, you will not be disappointed!

Photo of chuckv
4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 5 | selection: 3.75

I've been here a few times, I enjoy it. The staff and owner are very nice and knowledgeable. They have a huge cooler section and shelf beers. You will pay a little more for that "special" find but I don't mind. some of the offerings are way too high but I don't go for those, they wanted like 30+ for a Bruery White Oak. I would never pay that but some might. They have a lot of beers on tap. They also have great beer events. I would recommend going its a nice little hole in the wall bar. Also the do serve the beer in the right glasses!!!

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.94/5  rDev -33.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Went here based on the ratings on BA and was extremely disappointed.

Firstly, this place is very much a hole-in-the-wall type store and the staff was friendly and helpful, so I will give them credit for that. That is where the positivity ends though.

The selection was pretty good but almost anything that was interesting was SIGNIFICANTLY overpriced. It seemed as though the cheapest bomber in the place was $15 and they went WAY up from there. I generally don't care about a couple of dollars here and there when I buy beer, but the prices here were so high that I only bought about 5 bottles where I would have normally bought about 9 or 10 based on the selection. An example would be bottles of Alamanc Barrel Noir for $18 and Alamanac Fresh Hop Cluster for $19. I can order these beers on line with shipping costs for much cheaper than that. And that was just the beginning. This seemed to be a place that priced their more interesting beer intentionally high thinking that someone would eventually buy it at that price.

The other negative about this place for an out-of-towner is the location. This seems close enough to Pittsburgh when you map it on line but it is further than it looks and it is not the most pleasant of drives to get here. For how out of the way it is and the prices I would NEVER go here again.

It was also VERY warm in this store and I think they should invest in air conditioning to save the beer that is sitting on the shelves as most beer was not refrigerated.

Photo of Tonerelia
3.86/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

A bit odd in its pricing, some beers you can get else where for a much cheaper price, but then other beers you couldn't find a better deal anywhere than here... Very odd! Atmosphere is good and staff if very warm and welcoming selection is very good especially for PA where bottle shops are few and far between

Photo of KJ2013
4.78/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Along with Vintage Estate, this is easily one of the best places you can go for a great selection of beer and a great draft list too. They frequently hold a lot of interesting events and deals for craft beer drinkers that simply do not exist anywhere else. In the Pittsburgh area, none can even come close to House of 1000 Beers!

Photo of partypak
3.15/5  rDev -28.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4

The place is a little hole in the wall. The decor is beer, coolers and shelfs of beer, with a little bar around the corner with lots of tapps. They serve food but I didnt go there for the food. They dont seen to draw a big croud mostly locals and the beer nuts looking for a surprise find. They have a verry good selection but the prices are high and almost everything is stored at 75 degrees, unless its in a cooler, not good for stouts for aging.

frendly people and a good place to stop in for a suprize once in a while when tired of the same old things.

Photo of CTJman
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Traveling I stopped in here to meet a fellow BA. I found the selection to be great and employees to be very helpful. I was able to share a few killer beers with a few people and one of the owners. Upon making a nice purchase and before leaving the owner had asked if I had ever had VooDoo beers before and within 2 minutues of saying nope he took out 2 from the back and said let me know what you think. What a great guy. The price on the bottles were at a bit of a premium but if you consider the cost of s/h these days it all but makes up for it.
Hope to stop here again soon.

Photo of DWolf
4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

I live an hour from this place, and have always wanted to check it out, as I've heard good things. I wasn't disappointed. I rated the atmosphere accurately, because they lay out of the place is a bit of a maze and has a the feeling of being a cluttered garage. But, everything else is top notch. The staff is knowledgeable and amazingly helpful. You can tell they appreciate their craft beer. If you ask about something, they just won't point it out they'll go get it for you. There is also about 40 beers on tap - all excellent choices and many you JUST WON'T FIND ANYWHERE ELSE in the area. The tap prices are also VERY reasonable. The bottles and cans are a little on the pricey side, but you get what you pay for. Overall, I'm disappointed in myself for not checking out House of 1000 Beers sooner!

Photo of sugarcaneE
3.11/5  rDev -29.3%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5

Nice variety overall but finding things like Pliny for $14-$15 per bottle was not worth it. Had an off-putting interaction with an employee that stated a tasting list was not for me to take home, when i never asked or mentioned wanting such a thing. I do not plan on returning.

Photo of ScottyDuzntNo
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 2

Great place to discover new beers, or get that hard to find beer. Good atmosphere, nothing special. Could use some more TV's for watching "the game" but if your just going to have drinks with friends it's perfect. Staff is very helpful and kind and the owner is cool and down to earth and will just sit down and have a beer with you and talk beers or whatever else. I definitely recommend The House to any one who's in the Burgh.

Photo of cw577enfield
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

WOW! Loved this place. Stopped there on my way to VA from Pittsburgh. It's where I found my first bottle by Russian River (Consecration) and Alesmith (Speedway Stout). Great selection of beers and outstanding bar with extensive tap listings. The best part about tap listings was projected on a flat-screen TV above the bar. Very 21st century! The young guy behind counter was very helpful and friendly. The only downside was their price for certain "hard-to-find" bottled beers.

Would recommend this place to anyone who's in the area of P-town!

Photo of basickness
4.51/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

the place has a ton of beers. cant be mad at it. the guy behind the counter was really helpful in finding me some things... i was already drunk and there for the first time and didnt hate the patience to look through all the beer, so he was able to pull a couple of the style i was looking for with relative ease. kind of pricey, but it is what it is. i'd go again for sure.

Photo of John_M
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

Stopped by on a late Saturday afternoon.

As you come in from the side parking lot, it takes a moment or two to get your bearings. There's a very large cold box in the back, that runs far to the right, over by the bar area. There is also shelf after shelf of beer on display as well, and the effect is nearly overwhelming. This place definitely has a large selection of beer.

As I was wandering aimlessly around, in obvious confusion, I think either the owner or the manager asked if I needed some help. (he was sitting at table to the left with a beer, watching some hockey with a friend) I told him I was just browsing, checking out the craft selection, but seeing as how he asked, I then asked him how the store was organized. The shelves and cold boxes are organized by brewery, but he mentioned that they also have an IPA/DIPA and stout section as well. So that was helpful. This place really has a pretty impressive selection of beer, with what appeared to be an emphasis on local and regional breweries, but with plenty of nationally recognized brewery stuff as well (FW, Bruery... even some bottles of RR Supplication). In addition to the impressive bottle selection, the back bar area boasts some 40 different beers on tap as well. The better draft options, at least on this day, included FW double jack, founders imperial stout and Fatheads IPA. I had a glass of draft double jack while at the bar, and it tasted pretty fresh and delicious. Service at the bar was swift and friendly, and draft prices were pretty reasonable ($5.75 for a 13 ounce glass of DJ, and I think a glass of Fatheads IPA was $5).

OK, this is a great place, but it's not without its faults as well. I highly recommend that anyone shopping for IPA/DIPA's be sure to check the "best by" date. I was tempted to get some bottles of flower power, until I saw how old they were. Same with the 12 ounce bottles of double jack. Bottles of Sculpin had an "enjoy by" date from back in September (which is why I give this place only an "average" service score). Also, while some of the prices here were OK (HOTD Fred for $7, for instance), I was bit taken aback when I saw that bombers of Double Jack were going for $15. That's easily the highest price I've ever seen for this beer, at least at a bottle shop. Also, I didnt' see any 6 packs on sale here. Maybe you get a break if you buy a 6 pack (I didn't see any signs to that effect), but otherwise everything is priced by the bottle. Bottles of Union Jack were $4, and bottles of Double Jack were $5.50 I believe. Even if you get 10% or 15% off for a 6 pack, that's still a pretty hefty price for a 6 pack I think.

The few negatives aside, there's no doubt I'd be a frequent customer if I lived nearby, as the selection here is great, and the 40 taphandle draft list is a huge bonus. Glad I had the chance to stop by....

Edit from 10/13. Was just looking over the review from sevenduffs, and would agree with his comments about the location. This place is indeed out of the way, and I agree it's no fun trying to get to from downtown Pittsburgh (or in my case, Morgantown, WV). While that's hardly the store's fault, I would agree that it is something to keep in mind if you're from out of town and don't know the area well.

Photo of jhamilton214
4.72/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

My new favorite. Very extensive selection on tap and bottle. Not much in the way of food so don't come with an empty stomach.

I watched the hockey game there the other day. Two televisions in the main bar. Not overly crowded.

I've only just started going to this place but feel welcomed. It's not stuffy. Not a biker bar. I'm close to 50 and don't feel out of place with the younger or older crowd. Also, I'm new to craft beers and I don't feel left out of "the club". I've asked a couple patrons for suggestions and they've been open and helpful. I love that I can sample any of the 40 plus brews on-tap.

Photo of shaw87psu
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 1.5

Great place to drink a beer with friends or to buy something for later. Two separate bar areas to enjoy your selections with friends. The great patrons here are a diverse mixture. Forty plus beers on tap! great deals on six packs. Seasonal Beer Area makes it easy to find that one must have. Great, friendly staff! Very helpful if you are searching for that specific brew. Some Russian River, Heady Topper, Dogfish, etc.... Don't come if you are hungry, Not much in the way of food, other than some munchies.

Photo of rodlavers
4.81/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Nothing special about the atmosphere until you get used to the place, so trying to leave my bias out of this particular rating. If I walk in for the first time, I can't tell right away that I want to stay and enjoy myself for quit some time. It has it's appeal to me now, but judging from my first visit, I really did not know what I stumbled across. Lucky me.

Very high quality, in terms of service, beer selection (draught and bottle), and overall experience. Nothing to complain about, unless it gets too crowded. Even then, it's awesome.

Service is impeccable. After getting to know some of the proprietors/employees, my experience has been most positive. More on this below.

Selection is great, considering what you can and can not obtain here in PA. Selection is very high for what is available, absolutely no complaints whatsoever.

For some, the food issue could be a deal breaker. But for me, I really don't care. Recently, Ho1kb has employed various Pitt area food trucks to set up shop some nights during the week and this is enough for me.

In terms of value, it's a bottle shop, so if you want to buy 24 bottles of your favorite beer, it's going to cost more than it would at a case place. For me, I enjoy making my own 6ers, mixing and matching, and purchasing bottles I have never had before and would not have a chance to try otherwise.

I first visited this place just over a year ago and have visited regularly ever since. In the area, it's my first choice among places to have a few beers and pick up a few bottles. PA liquor laws being as they are, I have my case places, and I have my bottle shops. At 46 beers of draught, and literally (probably) thousands of bottles to peruse while visiting, House of 1000 beers is my #1 spot to have a few beers/pick up a few bottles I do not want a case of otherwise. Really enjoy the folks who work there, not only for their knowledge of beer, proclivity to remember what styles I prefer, overall friendliness/approachability, but also to enjoy a beer with once in awhile. I particularly enjoy the feature that allows me to try a beer I have not had before and enjoy it while I shop for bottles. I can't wait for my next visit. Cheers.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

What the!? I certainly was not mentally prepared for this place when I stepped inside. To say this place has a wide selection would be like saying that fire is hot. Or, that the Earth is round. There are so many beers here, and so many that you will see nowhere else in the Pittsburgh area. Russian River? Yep. Deschutes? Yep. Uinta. Port Brewing. Lost Abbey. Red Racer IPA. Uncommon Brewers. And on...and on...and on... I think I would have spent about $500 if I would have picked out everything I wanted to try. The prices are high for several things. But hey, it's cheaper than buying a ticket or driving to some other place to find some of this stuff. If this is out of your way, it is definitely worth a trip, in my opinion. They also have about 40 beers on tap (available for growlers too), so you can't really go wrong here. Just watch out for older bottles of stuff. (I blame the local beer nerds for not clearing out the stock here in order to help keep things moving. Heh.) This place is frickin' amazing.

Photo of soulfly1492
3.38/5  rDev -23.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

I've been looking for a store like this for a while now. Fatheads has a decent selection but it's too expensive, and I'm not a big fan of driving to downtown Pittsburgh for a few 6-packs. 6 & Save is perfect for anyone that wants to try a ton of different micros for a great price. The majority of their selection is at room temperature. They also have some of the same bottles cold, and they have a small section of very rare micros and imports. I can't see myself ever sitting down and drinking any beer at the store, but I'm extremely impressed by the variety and reasonable pricing of their beer. Do yourself a favor and stop in the store if you're anywhere within a 45 minute drive of New Kensington, PA.

Revising my original review from February 2007... the year is 2012 and this place has expanded, I'm sure the owner is drowning in money. What used to make this place great was the great selection and reasonable prices, well throw the reasonable pricing out the window. Prices on-average have gone up 150% to 200% since I started here. I've spent probably $2,000 here since 2007, but I've become frustrated recently and seldom stop here anymore. I'm spending a lot of time to find other options. Gateway Grill in Monroeville has half decent pricing on select brews. I continue to look for other options to avoid the constant price gouging.

A general comment for craft brew fans... WHEN YOU OVERPAY FOR BEER, YOU ARE HELPING TO RAISE THE MARKET PRICE FOR EVERYONE. IF IT LOOKS TOO EXPENSIVE, PASS AND TRY IT ELSEWHERE. COST CONTROL IS A JOKE AT THE PRESENT TIME. YOU MAY FIND THE SAME $5 BOTTLE FOR $2 AT THE NEXT STORE.

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House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington, PA
97 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.