Draai Laag Brewing Company / Saints & Turncoats Public House
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Ratings: 6 | Reviews: 3 | Display Reviews Only:
3.53/5 rDev -19%
After hearing about this place for a year and sampling some of their beers at local beer fests, we finally managed to get ourselves down to Millvale to check it out.
Draai Laag is a small and simple operation, which isn't a bad thing in the slightest. Better to do a few things right than try and take on too much. Your opinion of the place will pretty much be colored by your opinions on Belgian beer styles and faux-medieval décor, which are pretty much the two dominant themes of the place.
I'll have to admit in advance I'm a hophead, and I don't suspect there will be a Double IPA on tap any time soon here. But what they do, they do well. We worked our way through a sampler of five beers, which included the Gulden Brugge, Wild Angel, Simon Girty, plus a Framboise and a Lambic which were both brand new. I had had Simon Girty over the summer at a beer fest and thought it substandard, but this time it was much improved. Wild Angel was my favorite of the bunch.
Service and atmosphere are both great. Our friendly and attentive server/bartender was wearing a kilt, which goes along with what they're aiming for with the décor, as well. A little kitschy, I guess, but it wasn't over-the-top pretentious or Medieval Times-ish. Considering how many breweries/pubs have absolutely zero flair whatsoever, I'm glad someone puts an effort into it. Bonus points for leaving out the TV and putting board games on the tables.
Food? No. Their liquor license requires them to serve food, which they want no part of. So the line at the bottom of the beer menu that says "Can of Soup: $25.00" is how they get around it. Come on, guys. If a kitchen isn't in the business model right now, that's cool, but couldn't we at least get some chips or pretzels or *something*?
To sum up, this is a fine place and a welcome addition to the Pittsburgh scene. It's nice to see a place focus on Belgian styles, and serve them with a unique flair and class. The Belgian fans out there will thoroughly enjoy stopping here. My personal take was that after going through the sampler and one full-sized beer, I just ran out of reasons to stick around. For a local, this place will be a stop on the Pittsburgh beer tour I take out-of-town guests on, not a regular hang-out. But that's good enough for me.
11-24-2013 16:40:46 | More by MikeFromMarsPA
4.59/5 rDev +5.3%
A relatively new brewery on the scene in Western PA, located right off of 28 in Millvale.
A tiny little operation, but the owners have definitely put some time, effort, and expense into tidying the place up. Although modest, it's very clean and presentable. Maybe 6 or 8 oak tables seating 6 each, but we crowded 9 around one and that was fine. A nice bar at the back end with high seating for maybe another 8? It's not a large place at all, and the brewing operation on the right is even smaller. Two 2-barrell systems, and that's it. They age all their beers for 2-3 months before selling, so you can see barrels/kegs lying around putting some age on, and that's about all their is to the operation.
What furniture they have put in there is nice. Heavy oak. Rustic decorations. A mural on the wall, and a window that has a staind-glass design. The atmosphere is very laid back, and there's some old-world regal European music playing at a low volume in the background. No TVs; the focus here is beer and conversation.
The wait staff was professional and friendly, willing to discuss the brewery and business end of things with us.
As for selection, they had 6 Belgain-style offerings on draft. The Aureus, Gouden Brugge, Simon Girty, Ragnarok, and St. Angus were all available as part of a flight for $10, with nice presentation on a wooden pallette of sorts. A sixth offering, Rogue Monk, was only available by the snifter, and unfortunately kicked before about half of my group was able to have any. Of the five in the flight, I thought the Ragnarok was fantastic, and found all but the St. Angus to be rather exceptional. The Rogue Monk was the star, and my only regret from the visit was that I was one of the unlucky ones to miss out on a glass.
4-packs are available for takeout. I was hoping for a better price, considering we are not going through any middle-men/transportation costs, and I'm buying straight from the brewery, but the beer is sufficiently excellent, and the price wasn't overly-obnoxious, to the point where I still opted to pick up a 4-pack.
This is the best, most interesting, unique beer being brewed in Western PA. If you like Belgain-style beer, I can hardly recommend it highly enough.
06-21-2013 13:37:16 | More by psuKinger
4.29/5 rDev -1.6%
It's pronounced "Dry Log".
Public House is, at present, open: Thursday and Friday 6:30pm - 10:30pm. These are not the hours during my initial review, so they are subject to change. Check ahead, for your own good.
Not sure what expectations I had, but whatever they were, they were exceeded. Extremely chill atmosphere with a very mature and knowledgable staff running things.
The place is small, and I would assume it's going to get even smaller once word gets out. I think there are 8 seats at the bar - and they are probably the highest seats I have ever seen. 4 large and 2 small tables, if my memory serves correct, fill the rest of the space. I think there were also a few chairs by the door? I didn't count seats, but I'd say maybe 35 seats on the floor.
All the beers are Belgian. Some of them were heavy to me, but all were consistent and solid productions. So many American brewers put out the lamest garbage labeled as Belgian ales; Draai Laag is not in that category. I think if you liked something less than the others, it might come down to personal taste. I'm putting 4 down for the selection to be ornary and to say that I want to see them go bigger; though I doubt it's possible with their capacity. I do have to note that their beers are much better with some age on them. So the fresh stuff on-tap might not be as interesting as a bottled version from 8 months ago.
Also, worthy of note: someone new in my life doesn't really like beer, and hasn't really tried that many. I took her to Sharp Edge and we tried 4 different brews and she thought 1 out of the 4 was decent. I got her a sample of the Framboise Noir and she liked it better than any of those four beers. I think they were Augustijn, Gulden Draak, and two others of similar caliber.
Love the brewing equipment in clear view of the bar.
This is a must stop for anyone visiting Pittsburgh, as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately, I will be unable to visit anytime soon as I have taken a job that will occupy my Thursday and Friday nights. So, go and enjoy things on my behalf.
I hope these folks do better than they can keep up with.
02-03-2013 01:11:20 | More by RblWthACoz
Draai Laag Brewing Company / Saints & Turncoats Public House in Millvale, PA
- out of 100 based on 6 ratings.