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The Headkeeper

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

30 Ratings
Ratings: 30
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 7.33%
Taps: 10
Bottles: 600
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery, Store ]

618 S Main St
Greensburg, Pennsylvania, 15601-4078
United States
phone: (724) 838-7439

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-29-2008)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Deuane:
Photo of Deuane
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

Stopped in on a rather cold and blustery Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend 2010. Part of the 2010 post-T-giving "beercation" with Brewslut, FfejHerb and SierraGS.

The old adage of, "don't judge a book by it's cover" certainly applies to The Headkeeper. From out in the parking lot the place looks like it could be a strip club, biker bar, pool hall or all rolled in to one! Upon walking in the door though any entertainment of those ideas quickly vanish.

A long skinny place with the "fat part" up in front with about 6-8 tables for dining. The long bar resides along the left wall and the BEER COOLERS (16 doors worth if you are into counting sucj things!) reside along the right wall. BTW--the coolers are chocked FULL of craft, imports and micros...impressive even to this jaded old fart! An unused nook (at least on this cold November night) is an interesting looking deck area that obviously has potential during more temperate times.

Eight taps pump out all craft draft. While this number is a touch on the "average" side for me but the amount of bottle choices make up for the lack.

Our server was a pleasant and attentive young miss. I do remember sitting a bit too long for our bill but in her defense I think we had hit a change in shift. Overall I was pleased with the service we received.

Now..the beer is impressive, and that is why we BA's go to such places right? But, a (wo)man's gotta eat too, right?

Well, well...The Headkeeper will keep your palate jumping with their VERY impressive "American" (sized) tapas menu! Full of innovative, interesting and mouth watering choices to be sure. In addition, this menu is always changing so visit often and come away impressed, like me! BTW, if you like calamari I wholehearted recommend it but, beware, they serve enough of it to you will swear they must use one of the GIANT squids strainght out of a Melville novel!

Overall, The Headkeeper is an impresive addition to the western PA beer scene. With the recent loss of the Red Star Brewpub in town I am happy to see that Greensburg area craft beer and food aficionados have a place to kick back and relax!

Deuane, Jan 02, 2011
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BigRizz62, Aug 19, 2014
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3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Maurice_Amon, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of psuKinger
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%

This is a great little gem of a spot in downtown Greensburgh. The food menu is all Tapas, prepared fresh on a little stove setup they have right behind the bar. Kind of cool. The draft beer list, while small (14ish?) is imaginitive. They get good mileage out of those 14 taps. They have several large coolers opposite the bar, help-yourself-style (good for browsing and checking freshness dates, which is one of the many things I love about this place) for bottled beer. My guess would be they have around 600 varieties in bottle? Plenty to choose from...

The Tapas are very good, such that I want to eat here every time I'm in the area. Sadly, they often don't open until 3:00 PM, so lunch is never an option...

Glassware is handled right here. Always clean, always appropriate for the style. Wait staff generally has a good understanding of the beers as well, and are attentive as your glass moves from full to empty.

This is one of my five favorites "Craft Beer" spots in the greater Pittsburgh area.

psuKinger, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of Sudsbrewer
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Sudsbrewer, Jul 09, 2014
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%

Finally got out to this spot and was glad I did.

The selection here is quite large. Probably a dozen doors of coolers opposite the bar, with American brews on the right and the hoard of international brews on the left. There are 10 taps, if I am not mistaken. Selection was diverse and thorough. You couldn't really ask for much more. Service was a bit slow, bit decent enough. I didn't go for food this time, but will next time. A good spot worth checking out; even worth a half hour drive from where I live.

RblWthACoz, May 21, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Saxboy10, Feb 25, 2014
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3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

JessicaBurgo, Jan 28, 2014
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4/5  rDev -5.4%

RVigz, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of dbauer78
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

dbauer78, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of Bung
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%

Came to this place while visiting a friend of my wife's who goes to Seton Hill. Looks like a biker bar in a biker bar looking area. The huge patio is the first clue that it is no biker bar. A nice stone patio with covered tables, fire pit, plenty of greenery surrounding. Small bar outside that I really didn't check out other than to check the score of the basketball game.
The bar inside had 8 fairly average albeit craft drafts. The long wall completely lined with bottle coolers is the star. Troegs, Goose Island, Voodoo among the things I expected to see and did that I can not get in NC. Nugget Nectar was great on the unusually warm spring night.

Service inside was a bit sparse, the patio was slammed and was getting most of the attention. Some seemed more knowledgeable than others.

Beer prices were reasonable, food looked a tad pricey, but it also looked on the higher end, tapas style along with some entrees.

A great place in an interesting town out beyond rural Pittsburgh.

Bung, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of GreenJetta912
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%

You walk into here and you know you are in a beer geek's bar. Great warm feeling and inviting low light.

Exellent service. Every beer is poured correctly into the proper glassware. about 8-12 beers on tap and they are all good rare beers. bottles are numerous. They have 600+ different beers lining the entire wall in the place.

Bartenders and servers know their stuff and can easily steer you in the right direction if you are overwhelmed by the selection (which you will be at first). They are also knowledgeble with food pairings though I never tried any of the food.

Food is a bit pricey but well prepared from my observations (I'm a cook as well). food is made right behind the bar so you can see what's going on in the kitchen).

Can't say enough good things about this place.

GreenJetta912, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of dougmiller112
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

First off, it's a bit pricey for western PA. It's cheap for everywhere else.

The food is definitely interesting. I've had very good (the conk chowder for example) and OK food. But they are definitely creations of the chef and keep your attention.

But the reason to come here is their bottled beer selection. They have roughly six coolers of US craft beers and another four or so of imports. I thoroughly enjoy picking up a mixed six of beers I have never tried before. It always results in a great evening at home.

You won't find many better places in this part of the country.

dougmiller112, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of toolbrew
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%

Came in here after I went to Mr. Bones on the other side of town. This is more of a bar scene. A few tables as you walk in off of the main street, and a long bar in front of many beer coolers. Only a few tap handles (6 or 8) but many bottles - maybe 16 cooler doors. Good music playing as I entered (Flight of the Conchords - Business Time).

I only had one beer on tap - Troegs Mad Elf. Delish and proper glassware too. A New Holland brew that I had never seen before was on tap as well...and some other beers. But what is really to write home about is the bottle selection.

So many singles to choose from! Domestics, crafts, imports, and many Belgians. Best selection I have seen thus far in my brief stay in PA! I had to grab a 6er (Troegs Mad Elf, Breckenridge Christmas Ale, Birra Dolomiti, De Koninck, Witkap-Pater Singel, Dubbel, Tripel). Also saw Stone, Bells, Brooklyn, Dogfish Head, Avery, Chimay, Rochefort, Coopers, Founders, Dark Horse, Great Lakes, Hoppin Frog and Corsendonk to name a few.

I sat at the bar so the service was great. The bartender was very attentive. Had some "duck lollipops with blackberry habenero" sauce. Basically duck wings. Tasty. Also had some ale cheese dip with soft pretzels.

Tap beer was inexpensive but the singles racked it up. But what do you expect for PA?

I would certainly return.

toolbrew, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%

My wife and I were living in Columbus, Ohio, this last summer, and drove around OH-WV-PA several times. In one of our visits to Pittsburgh, we drove to Greensburg to visit a local building designed by a famous architect. Heading back, we were looking for a place to eat. Sunday night, it's all dead out there... we're almost resigning ourselves to munching on a roast-beef-and-cheddar sandwich at any random Arby's by the interstate when we stumbled upon this cool place and decided to give it a shot.

This place is classified as a "beer bar" and/or "beer store" here on BA but it is much more than just that...

It looks weird from the outside, a big concrete patio with a bunch of backyard-lawn umbrellas. It is also a bit confusing: there is the outdoors bar, the indoor bar, the restaurant and the big bottle shop (which is actually part of the bar, but there's also a separate bottle shop, which I'm not sure it's part of the same business, but most likely).

They say they've got 600 beers, plus some taps. I believe it! You go to the cooler, choose your stuff and drink it at your table or take home. Love that idea! Don't like the lack of prices, though... They have all the usual craft suspects, including stuff I can't get in NY like Bell's, Great Lakes and many PA locals.

Service was super nice, attentive and even knowledgeable. Pretty busy scene on a warm Sunday night!

Food is fantastic. We shared a lobster pizza, some homemade pasta, another "tapa" and two desserts. Mine was a stout creme brulee, pretty cool! On a second visit, we had a petite filet mignon to die for, intensely rare and bloody. I don't understand why they call them "tapas", though. These are not small plates, and have no Spanish flare. These are appetizer/entree-size dishes of delicious New American cuisine.

Food plus one or two beers, it came up to around $74. Pricey indeed for a small town like Greensburg!!

But I would definitely go back when I'm in the Greensburg-Pittsburgh area. I love the food, the concept, the service... can't complain much!

DoubleSimcoe, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of slander
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%

Holy fucking shit! I think that about captures it. I mean, It's not often I'm freaked but I'm freaked. Seriously. And this from a casual 'hey, have you ever been, you need to see' recommendation from someone somewhere or I might never a-known. A good little drive out one night, and I find myself parkinglotside thinking "Really? This is the place?" Yes, it is. It really is...

It's a deep room which strangely triangulates narrowing to the rear but not annoying Brazenheadedly so. Red walls up front, with some paintings of bleak dismal gray Winter tree scenery & Autumny orange and what not. They're quite good; I like to put a lookin' on them. Gray painted walls further in, with a few flat screens mounted, light brewery signage & mirrors. The rear wall is strangely pasted with poster bill beerings of large, and oddly corrugated foldings run up the corner. High black drop ceilings with exposed duct work, spots & fans, and drop cylinder lamps in cage netting balls over the bar.

8 tables riddled about up front, in this space below the mezzanine above holding another 8 tables and small bar with a single tap. Past there, a long straightish bar to one side seating a dozen + on backed chairs. The bar holds a laminate top over all sorts of shit (brewery labels, coasters, random beerings, statistics, thoughts, quotes, various pics including one of "Norm", the safe blood alcohol chart, a "how to enjoy your 40 ounce Dogfishhead Liquor De Malt" piece, and bits of trivia) offering some good reads.

Bar back, front row center is an open grill, fryer & burner trio where dinner is being made right in front of me. The guy is throwing shit around Crazytown. Drops this, flips that, moves this here, shuffles that there, and fire whoooosh! Spicings on a shelf above and prep to the right, toppings and squeeze bottle things, bowls & plates above. Yes, a stainless steel cook zone with all its associated duct venting. Glassware on the counter to the left, wines on their sides below, shelved booze above and further down the line.

On the wall opposite the bar, 8 double wide coolers split 4 & 4 between American craft beer here and good import action there. They run a decent stretch of the wall from end (near the single hightop table in the rear of the room) to end (side door exit to a spacious outside area with a smaller bar come warmer weather). Collectively, just shy of 500 bottles, but they've got more stashed away back there. About 1/5 of the American selections are from PA breweries, and some good offerings otherwise. Some good grabs on the imports side, as well (Cantillon Kriek, Fantome Saison, De Ranke XX, Duponts Foret, Saison & Moinette, 3 Witkap Pater selections), Belgians, Germs, UK, etc. Over the months, I've pulled a bunch but bottlewise, I mostly just toggle back and forth between Mr. Edmund Fitzgerald and Oberon and on and on. They play make your own 6 pack or pick at whatever.

As if playing cooler hunt didn't keep me busy enough, they've got 8 taps on a single tower at the other end of the bar. Always a mix of good American craft beer, a dab of imports from time to time, and staples PBR & Miller Lite for whomever. Amongst the things I've had at on draft there, the Bell's Quinannan Falls Special Lager (right place, right now), East End Big Hop Harvest Ale (good wet hop tastiness, did not suck), and the Flying Mouflan & a Dead Reckoning firkin dry hopped with Bravo, on the heels of a Troegs promo there.

And the place is a tapas bar, too. The portions are larger than tapas, like an app, but priced smaller than an entrée. They call it American tapas. I do dig. And having trudged out there once a week for all of Q3 and half of Q4, we've gone through the menu hard.

The hands down winner of the tapas scene is the 5 spice pork tenderloin drizzled with chipotle beurre blanc (just enough heat, I pretty much order it every time). Amongst the other that which were awesome; The Petite Filet done with a chipotle candied bacon gorgonzola compound butter (the best of the 3 ways I've had the filet. This one was Tim's atonement for having killed the bacon wrapped scallops he'd promised us), the Pan seared Ahi tuna with sweet chili sauce & wakimi salad, the grilled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, and about 2 dozen other things I don't have the character count to talk about here.

Veggie options (Scallion & rosemary new potatoes, sautéed forest mushrooms, etc.) if you need 'em. Food is excellent. I do enjoy the strict "no ketchup" rules.

Relaxed chill place. A season worth of games and tunes, subtle for the most part. Real nice folks, they know their beer & food game; Skip, of course, and Tim on Tuesdays. Promos & beer dinners and even an infrequent firkin. Lots of time out here with Dan Gant, and sometimes that Ron non showing up motherfucker (and other unusual suspects). Great place for a work dinner. Or playing drinks. Or both. 'And' both, actually. Stellar!

slander, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of schneid
4.44/5  rDev +5%

While visiting Pennsylvania, I went to the Headkeeper because of the ridiculous state of beer. Previously I stopped at a beer store that only sold 24 packs and the best beer was a mixed case of Great Lakes. I didn't really need 24 beers for a 3 day visit.

The Headkeeper is a beer bar and you can buy single bottles of beer. I found bombers of Ballast Point Sculpin ($11.50), and I also bought New Holland Dragon's Milk, Weyerbacher 15 Imperial Stout, Ithaca Flower Power IPA, Bear Republic Red Rocket, and Thirsty Dog Imperial Stout. They had a very good selection of beer.

They also have some decent beer on tap. I had a Bear Republic Racer 5. The prices seemed just a little higher than I find in Illinois, but I don't think you can beat the selection in this area.

Also, the bartenders were very friendly and helpful.

schneid, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of Stigs
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%

Stopped in here over Christmas just to check it out. I'm originally from Greensburg, live in Pittsburgh now and wanted to get a taste of the scene from my hometown.

Conspicuous looking place from the outside, brought me back a few years to when I used to hang out at Q-ball in high school. Kind of an odd interior, couldnt pick on a certain vibe but I wasnt there to decorate the place.

Decent sized cooler had a few each of the atypical western-PA staples...Troegs, Victory, Penn, Terrapin, Brooklyn, Smuttynose, Dogfish, etc etc. Barely noticed the second set of coolers towards the back containing mostly German and Belgian imports...nice selection there.

Overall I was surprised to see such a nice selection in Greensburg. Again, I hate when places do not mark prices, but figuring it was Christmas Eve I filled a six pack anyways and was pleasantly surprised when it rang in around $20 (included a DFH Olde School and Burton Baton I figured it would be a bit higher). My brother-in-law from the NE picked up two sixers of stuff he couldnt find.

Service was decent, a couple employees stopped to ask us if we needed assistence, and I ended up helping a fellow customer find some Mad Elf - probably saw 5 or 6 people come in and leave with Mad Elf, they love it here.

Waited a minute or two for someone to ring us up, but it got really busy from the time we walked in the door to when we filled and checked out, she was calling another employee to come in early so I won't hold that against them.

Overall, a pleasing visit, and I was proud of Greensburg to house such an establishment. Cheers!

Stigs, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of mikecharley
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%

Headkeepers is probably the best in my area as far as what I'm looking for in an establishment. The beer selection is vast, the food is top notch (albiet expensive), and they have a nice outdoor seating area. They have everything from Troegs to Bells to Cantillon. The GM (I believe he is), Mike, always fills me in on new bottles they just got, or special stuff they have in the back, almost every time I walk in the doors. Some of the below posters are correct in the fact that the wait for opening a beer, or taking an order, can be unbearably long. Other than that, and the fact that you could drop a hundred here in a heartbeat, it is a great place to chill and kick back a few good beers while enjoying some quality food.

mikecharley, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of PatrickJR
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%

Another stop on my visit to PA. The atmosphere was fairly typical of any bar, except it was peppered with all sorts of beer related items. Ultimately a clean, dim bar room that would've been a nice place to spend an evening.

As far as I could tell, all of the beers were refrigerated, and there was no way any light was getting into this room. A huge cooler with 10 or so doors lines the back wall.

It was pretty slow in there, so I checked with the bartender how everything worked (being from NC the PA beer laws are bizarre to me) and he told me, but that was about it. Didn't seem to know too much about the rather pricey beers I was buying, but he was friendly and made sure I didn't get charged an extra buck for one of the beers I got.

Massive selection, easily a few hundred beers to pick from. Great craft selection with Troegs, Great Lakes, Flying Dog, North Coast, Weyerbacher, Victory, DFH, Lagunitas, and several others. The imports were well represented also with a ton of German beers I've never before run across and some really astounding Belgians that I didn't ever think I'd find (Lindemanns Cuvee Rene, Liefman's Goudenband).

Although the discounts were nice I walked out of there minus a small fortune and plus a sixer. However it's stuff I may never have the chance to buy or try again (or at least not for awhile) so a little splurge wasn't too rough.

PatrickJR, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of OneDropSoup
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

I'd been meaning to try this place out for a while, & actually went on several short but futile pilgrimages, as the reputation of it warranted. Futile because, although it's easy to find once you know where it is, is very hard if you don't, even though you're probably staring right at it. Glad I finally got around to it.

Once I found my way inside the "non-descript gray box" (works for me -- I'm not staring outside looking at it), I was content on staying for awhile. The atmosphere is very brew-friendly & hip without being intimidating. I like the memorabilia around, featured on the bar itself & on the walls & balcony around. I love the transparent, self-contained vibe: the kitchen is right behind the bar. You could spit on it (but please don't).

The coolers are loads of fun to pore through, & I found myself enticed & engaged (& I consider myself somewhat jaded). This might be the best cold selection in Westmoreland County -- there are other venues that rival it, but as far as a selection that's ready to serve, I'd place this at the top. Some good seasonals, you can tell they keep it well updated.

I gave the service a "good" because at the time traffic very slow (4pm on a Wednesday), so of course it was going to be good. As a sidenote on the service, I talked to someone I assume was the proprietor for a good 20 minutes or so, a really friendly & knowledgeable guy. It was obvious he was passionate about what he does & the niche that his establishment has carved in the environs. He knows beer & he knows the "scene." Sure, this is not technically "service", but gives the place an intimate, inviting feel, especially for someone like me who is there on his own personal "mission." (I go on a lot of these) I guess I like the attitude of the place -- definitely aiming high but not forgetting that the customers are the bread & butter.

The food was great -- I got the crab cakes with chipotle beurre blanc & was really into them. I'd really be interested in trying some more of the menu -- it seemed to be tapas style, but a higher end tapas with fairly substantial portions. There aren't a whole lot of restaurants that have good beer AND good food, & this place seems to be in that vital minority. As much as I like, I get tired of the sandwich & fries fare: this is a good alternative.

The prices are reasonable for what you get: I'd say that they were slightly on the pricey side, but you get what you pay for in my opinion. Beer enthusiasts should be familiar with this concept anyway, I'd think.

On a plus note, they were having a tasting later that evening. Had I not just been getting off work & having to drive another 45 minutes home, I might've stuck around. For my first stop by I was impressed, & will definitely make a point of coming around again.

EDIT: One frustrating aspect of this place is that none of the prices for beer are displayed. I got stuck paying $14 for a 12 oz. bottle of beer. Ask for the price ahead of time!

OneDropSoup, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of Boto
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%

Driving by this place you would never think to stop in. It is a non-descript old gray box of a building. Inside you find an absolutely fabulous beer selection. They even have a couple on tap. What makes this place even better in the food. Last night I had some of the best crab cakes I ever had. Others in my group commented on the great taste of their steaks, shrimp and calimari. The prices were reasonable too. The beers are at restaurant prices, which makes them a bit expensive for take out. Blame PA's archaic beer laws for that one.

Boto, Apr 06, 2009
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The Headkeeper in Greensburg, PA
93 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.