Church Brew Works

Not Rated.
Church Brew WorksChurch Brew Works
BEER AVG
3.7/5
Based on:
73 Beers
619 Reviews
Place Score: 90
Reviews: 134
Visits: 217
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

3525 Liberty Ave
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15201
United States
phone: (412) 688-8200

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 134 | Visits: 217
Reviews by FleeVT:
Photo of FleeVT
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I was on vacation with my brother visiting family and we were "dragged" to this place under the guise of being virtuous. As most have already described, the atmosphere is amazingly unique. It really is difficult to capture in words the feeling when taking in the scene. As you approach the brewpub, the sign out front is the only clue innards of the building; a beautiful historic red brick structure complete with steeple and ornate stained glass.

The inside is dimly lit by the ambient light from the beautiful stained glass windows and some antique fixtures. A lot of the original material from the church was used in the renovation. Pews were shortened to make benches, the chairs from the old rectory are now used at 4-tops, even the lanterns have been witness to a sermon. But the centerpiece of the establishment is the altar, now the brew house.

The beer quality was adequate. I had the sampler which included the three mainstays (Celestial Gold, Pipe Organ Pale Ale, Pious Monk Dunkel), and three rotating specialty beers (or which I only remember the Winter Stout). No tasting notes were taken; this was more of a just enjoyment and recon visit. The beers were good. The atmosphere is probably more the selling point, but the beers were good. Of all the beers tasted, the Dunkel stood out as best.

Service was fantastic. We had an older woman who was very attentive. When we started asking lots of questions, she actually sat with us and talked our ears off. It was great. We got the whole history of the place (which I'm sure all of the servers can give you) with her own personal take on some of the refurbishment decisions. Although she admitted she was not a beer drinker, she very knowledgeable of their offerings and able to make recommendations for our group.

The selection was great for a brew pub. I believe there were 7 brews on tap when we visited. Not sure about the mass produced stuff, didn't think to ask!

I can't comment to heavily on food, we were only there for a couple of pints. Being on vacation in Pittsburgh I had to try some traditional fare, so ordered a plate of Pierogies. They were fine. My Pittsburgh family gave them a 3.5 out of 5. I have a feeling some of the other offerings may be better. The menu was the same as the one currently posted online.

All in all I left thinking, I wouldn't search out their brews, but I would definitely be back. Great atmosphere, good beer, decent food, and all for a great value. (2,463 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of Child_Pugh
2.72/5  rDev -32.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5

Had only about 60% of their beers on tap, one bartender on a Weekend night, and surrounded by bridal showers. Weird vibe, poor selection. (137 characters)

Photo of lamb0176
4.15/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Photo of brother_rebus
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3

The beer is tasty and well made here. Awesome merchandise options. The joint was ppropriately staffed too. Unfortunately they were missing something like 4-6 of their drafts. Kind of a bummer, but warrants a trip back for sure. The thing that bothered me was the building. Now this may sound whiny and choosy. The place was probably a decrepit crumbling mess when they purchased it. It was probably super expensive to get work done there. But turning a church into a brewery is touchy; if you cant afford to do it right, maybe dont take on such an immense task. Im no religious nut or architect. But one of the roman arches of the atrium was held together with plywood and screws... The two side porticos of this beautiful old building were harryhackjobbed; door knobs ripped right out and liquid nails'd shut... C'mon meow. Hopefully these are temporary fixes. I'm surprised some historical society isn't crawling up they necks. (929 characters)

Photo of JArt
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Photo of kkdowning
1.3/5  rDev -67.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1 | food: 3

Beer that is consistently watered down, awful service, and passable food. But hey, it's in a church! That's just so wacky and different, right?

This is a place to take out of towners as they'll love the location, but if you're a local there are so many better options. Avoid. (276 characters)

Photo of Jaszucs
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of indurTheB
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The place was a little empty when I visited, but then again it was about a crisp 0 degrees outside. Being a Floridian, I was "schooled" a little about the temperature at which an IPA is supposed to be served. I guess we like our IPAs to cool us off a little bit. Overall, this is a great place to visit just because of the unique vibe. (338 characters)

Photo of Dcbelkot
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.25

Photo of Coronaeus
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of RyFikes
2.88/5  rDev -28.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.75

I took a day trip to Pittsburgh with my fiance and had dinner at CBW. I love the theme of "beer worship" and the whole set up was very tasteful. Maybe even too tasteful, I'd like to see them take it a step further. My biggest problem with the place was the acoustics. If you closed your eyes you would think you were in a school cafeteria, which for me does not promote a hang-out-and-drink vibe because if you raise your voice EVERYONE can hear you. There is not even background music, probably because it would be too echo-y. On top of that the bartender was very condescending to my fiance when she asked about the beers. Smug bartenders is something that I just don't tolerate. Aside from all that the food was great, the beers were average. (749 characters)

Photo of mikemands
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

took the road trip in September, food was excellent, cool atmosphere like a cafeteria, decent beer. bought a mug. will return next time I'm in Pittsburgh. (154 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

After a chilly morning shopping in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, it is time for some lunch at Church BrewWorks in Lawrenceville, a couple of miles past the Strip. On the way there you can pass the historic Pittsburgh Brewing Company, former home of Iron City Beer.
The food is good and they are locally known for their wood-fired pizzas. Check on-line for their changing menus for both food and beer. They always (almost) have their core beers on tap with a rotating selection of seasonals or one-offs. Their rotating stouts are their best beers although their Pious Monk dunkel is also pretty good. There is limited availability of bottles for sale, but most beers are available in growlers. There is also a small shop with tees, glasses, and other stuff available.
The real draw here is the building itself – an old Catholic church repurposed into something useful - a tax-paying business which brings people into the area to spend money. The pews have been repurposed as seats for the tables, the altar is now the brewing area (behind Plexiglas, feel free to genuflect), the stain glass windows are mostly still there. The rest rooms are cater-cornered with the females being near the entrance and the males beside the altar. Parking can be difficult – there is a small lot behind the building and street parking can be tough, particularly during sporting events.

Note: Any beers => 8 % are served in an 8 oz glass. If this is on the beer menu, I can't find it. This can be an unpleasant surprise if you are expecting a 12 oz shaker. (1,557 characters)

Photo of Whitey_from_Remedy
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of imdabuzzard
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Worth the trip to the berg to see this place (44 characters)

Photo of sirsteve42
4.19/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of JCHOMA
3.34/5  rDev -17.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3

Photo of Brock915
4.81/5  rDev +19.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of PretzelCity
3.99/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of evan35
3.64/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Photo of greg4579
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of bruceb
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Photo of Mike_winwood
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of ksolekjr
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

What a setting (14 characters)

Photo of Jaketoman1
4.88/5  rDev +21.1%

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Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh, PA
90 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.