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Church Brew Works

Not Rated.
Church Brew WorksChurch Brew Works
Based on:
75 Beers
1,465 Hads
Place Score: 91
Reviews: 135
Visits: 222
Avg: 4.07
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 

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 135 | Visits: 222
Reviews by ffejherb:
Photo of ffejherb
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Visited on 11/25/07 during a weekend trip to Pittsburgh with my wife.

This place is amazing to behold! Everything about the church is still intact, from the pipe organ to the stained glass windows. Massively huge cathedral ceilings stretch far beyond the hardwood floors and ornate woodwork. The bar is quite large and zig-zags around the left side of the brewpub with enough seating for about thirty patrons. Lots of tables are dispersed throughout, and you can view the brew tanks from just about any spot in the wide-open room. The centerpiece of the establishment - brew tanks on the alter - is priceless! It was even more fitting that we visited on a Sunday afternoon.

Selection was pretty good, including four regulars and four seasonals (including one on cask). They had the following beers during our visit: Celestial Gold, Pipe Organ Pale Ale, Pious Monk Dunkel, Thunderhop IPA, 4-Grain Harvest Ale, Non-Denominator Dopplebock, and a Pumpkin Stout on cask. They were out of the Blast Furnace Stout.

Service was prompt, and the bartender described all of the available beers to a "T". I started with the 4-Grain, and also had the IPA and the Pumpkin Stout, with my favorite being the 4-Grain. The quality of the beers was up to snuff, and all of the brews looked and tasted fresh. All were served at proper temperature in nice glassware.

Service was a little slow, considering there were only two other people at the bar, but nothing to shake a stick at. We also ordered lunch. We shared the hummus appetizer, which was quite good. For the entree, I had sun-dried tomato pesto pasta with chicken which was a bit greasy, but pretty tasty. My wife had the portabella mushroom sandwich with fries, which she enjoyed. The server forgot my bread, but it was brought promptly after I mentioned.

This is such a unique place that, even if the beer was lacking (which it wasn't), I'd still visit while in Pittsburgh. I've never been anywhere like it, and I will definitely return on my next trip to Pittsburgh.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of e_beaulieu
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of schroeder1200
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Photo of MarkLinton1
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

One of the most unique breweries you will find anywhere. The beer is brewed on the alter of a 1902 Roman Catholic Church, and it is truly "holy water". Food is phenomenal. A must do when in Pittsburgh.

 201 characters

Photo of Kwak
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 5

Photo of Child_Pugh
2.72/5  rDev -33.2%
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 +2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Photo of brother_rebus
3.69/5  rDev -9.3%
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 -7.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Photo of kkdowning
1.3/5  rDev -68.1%
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 -5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of indurTheB
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
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 -17%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.25

Photo of Coronaeus
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of RyFikes
2.88/5  rDev -29.2%
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 +6.6%
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 +4.7%
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.

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Photo of Whitey_from_Remedy
4.34/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of imdabuzzard
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
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 +2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of JCHOMA
3.34/5  rDev -17.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3

Photo of Brock915
4.81/5  rDev +18.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of PretzelCity
3.99/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of evan35
3.64/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

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Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh, PA
91 out of 100 based on 135 ratings.