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The Headkeeper

Your Rating: None
38 Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

618 S Main St
Greensburg, Pennsylvania, 15601-4078
United States

(724) 838-7439 | map

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Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-29-2008

View: Place Reviews | Events
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Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 20
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

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!

 4,929 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of heddar33
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Photo of jophish17
3.86/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of Titan21
4.74/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of mmoranelli
5/5  rDev +16.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Fremont897
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of greg4579
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of misternebbie
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Photo of Tarabach
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Coopersbeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of BigRizz62
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of seanpsu33
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of metallurgist
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Maurice_Amon
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of psuKinger
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

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.

 1,006 characters

Photo of Sudsbrewer
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

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.

 511 characters

Photo of Saxboy10
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of JessicaBurgo
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of RVigz
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of dbauer78
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of Bung
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

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.

 990 characters

Photo of GreenJetta912
4.6/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

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.

 786 characters

Photo of Deuane
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

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!

 2,124 characters

Photo of dougmiller112
4.13/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 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.

 580 characters

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The Headkeeper in Greensburg, PA
Place rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 38 ratings
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