Church Brew Works

Church Brew WorksChurch Brew Works
Church Brew WorksChurch Brew Works
Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

3525 Liberty Ave
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15201
United States

(412) 688-8200 | map

View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 140 | Ratings: 264 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Fee
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Well-known in Pittsburgh, this is one of the older craft breweries in the city. Super crowded on weekends, the place has more of a neighborhood feel during the week. Beers are good, but not as spectacular as the best breweries in the city. Good food and service though.

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Photo of KatieIPO
3.2/5  rDev -21%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 4

The beer here is pretty good, but not amazing, especially compared with some other breweries in Pittsburgh. Food is pretty standard bar food, and I absolutely love their sweet potato fries. Service is very slow, especially on busy nights. I have spent 2+ hours here just to grab dinner and drinks. That being said, it's a must see for any beer lover when you visit Pittsburgh. The space itself is really beautiful and the novelty of drinking beer in a large church is worth the stop. Just prepare yourself for a long visit.

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Photo of francus
3.74/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

As you can plainly see, this is a brewery restaurant located inside a converted church. Despite the signage on the outside of the church finding the entrance was a bit challenging. I wasn't the only one who found it confusing. Just go up the steps and enter the middle doors like you would if you were going to service.

The architecture is interesting and they did their best to keep the look and feel of the original interior. Upon entering the eye is taken to the brewing equipment. The stained glass are the originals. The place has a dated feel about it. The bar tops are a bit worn and there are sticky areas. The place could probably use a good power washing. That said, this is still place that is interesting to visit, if for no other reason than the feel of the place.

The beers are top notch and those that were made to a style seemed to be on target. The food is rather pricey, but the beers are average priced. T-shirt are actually pretty cheap as far as brewery shirts go (100% cotton). Despite the food price, there are appetizer special during happy hour (half price) and on Tuesday's there are $6 burgers until 9. The burgers are decent, but not amazing. The service was a bit slow, but it was crowded as well.

I recommend going at least once when you're in PIT.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.4/5  rDev -16%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Well, you can't miss this place. This is an absolutely massive church where you walk through the front door greeted by an old, musty church smell and creaky, bouncy floors galore. The table arrangement is a little odd. The semi-open floor plan tries to fit seating into some of the leftover pew space--it almost feels like a crowded Applebee's, especially considering how popular this place is. While unique, the place could use some touching up, as tables are a bit sticky and funky. We should have just sat at the bar on the left, which has really cool tanks behind it, and of course there is the even nicer display up by the alter where the beer is apparently brewed.

Food is really off the wall and all over the place style-wise--we had alligator pierogies and Japanese beef cheesesteak--both were surprisingly good.

Service is prompt and attentive, but not at all knowledgeable about their brews, or beer in general, again reminding of Applebee's, especially with the goofy beachy theme going on this day. With their size and how busy they are I imagine their staff pool largely consists of recent chain restaurant employees, but they should still train them more on their product.

The beer selection is pretty wide for a moderate to small taplist, hitting many styles including IPAs and stouts, but with special focus on German styles, which in my opinion were the best options of the day.

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Photo of Zonian1
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

I visited the Church Brew Works for the first time on a Sunday in Feb, 2017. Had some food and got a flight of most of the beers on tap that day. The longtime manager came by and visited us for a while, regaling us with stories about this storied place, so that was cool. The food was decent. For the beer, I was expecting an assortment of Pilsners/Lagers, since this iconic Pittsburgh craft beer location has long featured those styles. Instead, there was a bit more variety, although no IPAs, as they had recently sold out. A decent bock and a nice wine barrel aged tripel were available. The vibe is not a beer geek vibe, but the place is cool to see nevertheless. If you are visiting Pittsburgh, maybe this shouldn't be #1 on your list, but it is definitely worth a visit!

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Cavernous space...dispute the the obvious ketchiness of a brewery in a church, I thought the place was pretty cool. 20 or so seat bar on the left, brewhouse altar, completely open floor plan , stain glass...6 beers on tap, the two I had were good. Food was excellent and reasonably priced.

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Photo of MarkLinton1
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of brother_rebus
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 2.75

The beer is tasty and well made here. Awesome merchandise options. The joint was appropriately 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. 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 hacked up- door knobs ripped right out and liquid nails'd shut. Hopefully these are temporary fixes.

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Photo of kkdowning
1.3/5  rDev -67.9%
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.

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Photo of indurTheB
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of RyFikes
2.88/5  rDev -28.9%
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.

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Photo of mikemands
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
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 Jackofallbrews
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

This place is enormous. A small brew system occupies the pulpit, with fermentation/serving tanks behind the long bar to the left of this picture. I'm not so sure about the tawdry yellow flags and signs though--it seems to detract from the majesty of this place. They also had un ugly yellow bopping hot air driven promo thing outside that I associate with cut-rate used car lots. It was crowded but not insane and our service was accurate and fast.

We had a pretty good pizza with wild boar and BBQ sauce made with one of their beers along with a side order of terribly cooked fries. My wife and I shared a sampler of all their beers. This was a mixed bag--some were good, others not as thrilling. None were outright terrible, but overall they reminded me of the brewpub beer quality from the early 1990's. My favorite was actually the light lager since it was the cleanest of the bunch. I have a hard time believing that these beers won GABF medals, but I know that things can change batch to batch and possibly brewer to brewer. I tried to look up some details on the brewer, but the garish bright blue website didn't have any information. I would certainly recommend checking this place out, but I found several better places for beer even in the same suburb.

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Photo of misternebbie
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Great perogies and pizza, great aps and entrees too, albeit on the pricey side but a great dining experience in a old Catholic church, tons of great craft beers all on tap and very fresh that rotate often, you will spend Morton's/ Ruth Chris money (at least I do) but very satisfying.
Try it


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Photo of drtth
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.25

This is a place to visit for the building if nothing else. A re-purposed church the interior is impressive and the spaces are wide open and leave one with a good feeling.

The food and beverages were pretty much ordinary and good but not outstanding.

Service was just fine.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.25

Stopped in here when in town for work this week. Awesome setup in an old church like nothing I have ever seen. Freaking cool as hell. Huge place with lots of setting and a large bar space. Almost too big. They had about 10 taps with regulars and rotating seasonal stuff. Bottles and growlers abailable. Tried a couple brews on draft and got some Apps and a pizza. Good was very good, but the beer left something to be desired. Definitely worth a stop in but don’t expect mind blowing brews.

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Photo of mtnst8
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Wonderful building for a brewery. The old cathedral is gorgeous and a really nice feel for this purpose. The selection of beers is great and the staff was exceptionally helpful in weeding through the offerings. Beers are good, though the visit I took the odor of the brewing process in the customer area was almost overpowering. Not sure if that's an "all the time" thing. Must stop in if you're in Pittsburgh.

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Photo of JG-90
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Church Brew works is a really cool place. Built in a huge, beautiful old church, with gigantic vats where the altar used to be - pretty sweet. Good selection of PGH and german favorites, food is all good quality and not too expensive. Its been very busy whenever I was there but the service was still very good.

I had a sampler flight last time I was their, getting to try 6 of their different beers was great. They have a bunch of great brews, and do a good job brewing to different styles.

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Photo of poonamibaxter
3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3

The beer and food are just okay but it is a really cool building. Definetly worth stopping by and getting a couple beers. I couldn't stop just looking around the place and that I was sitting in a bar at an actual church. Suck it Catholic school! Cherry quad was the best of what I tried. Yes there are better beer places in Pittsburgh but none in a neater place.

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Photo of spedprof
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Visited Church Brew Works for the first time yesterday... This is a place that you have to see believe! The brewery/restaurant/pub/hop garden is located in an old church. When you walk through the front door, you stop in your tracks and the beauty of the church and the conversion to a brewery.

The beer was excellent! We had the sampler which was gave us the opportunity to try 5 ounces of 9 different beers. There was a beer to meet everyone's taste. Then, we had a few pints of the beers that we liked. In addition to the beer, the food was terrific and our waitress was a sweetheart! All in all, an excellent experience and we hope to return real soon!

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Photo of redmaw
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.75

My wife and I were there for lunch, obviously it is a brewery in a church, a large old church. SO the environment and pretty unique, and we liked it. It was a little dimly lit, but then we came in and went out to full sun so take that for what's it worth. The selection seemed on par with most restaurants around here for lunch, sandwiches salads, and a couple specials. I think they have a completely different menu for dinner, and there was more on it than what is listed on their website. We both got sandwiches and liked them, but they weren't really extraordinary in anyway. I also had two of their beers the st Agricola, which I can't find on BA and there Pious monk dunkel. I thought both were good, the st Agricola (a brown ale that wasn't made as intended per their description) was pretty unique in my experience, there was a lot a fruit and malt, balanced by just enough hops in the background. The price was a little more than I am used to, but it is much more "downtown" than I normally go to so it is probably average or cheap for the area.

Overall I enjoyed it and would go back, but it's not a place I would visit regularly.

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Photo of jophish17
3.54/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Visited twice in the past year, both times for lunch on a Saturday afternoon.

To start with - this is an interesting concept to say the least. I am definitely one of those renovate-before-replace type of people, so I appreciate the work they did here. With that said, as cool as the idea of turning a church into a brewery is, I can't help but think that the building just doesn't do it for me in terms of a brewpub. It feels more like a German bier hall (which may be what they were going for, given the portion of the taps devoted to German style) yet doesn't bring the energy and intimacy of a German bier hall, and I can't imagine this place doing that even on the busiest of Friday nights. Church Brew Works is physically cool, but the atmosphere is a let-down.

Fortunately, the beer is hardly a let-down. I felt that most of the beers would fall into a solid "B" rating. Nothing was exceptional, but very few things were disappointing (the Pipe Organ Pale and Berliner). These guys have been in business a while now, and you can tell - the beer is predictable and well-crafted. Having the sampler twice, and a couple of pints of things that weren't on the sampler, I'd say that the Dunkel and Thunderhop were probably my favorites. I love how the offer German classics alongside American IPAs, stouts and various stouts.

Food here is a bit harder to rate than the beer - the menu *looks* good. It's an exceptionally varied menu - with words like "Thai", "Jerk", "Queso" and "Kobe" on the menu. Creative use of ingredients for some potentially outstanding dishes. However, I felt like they were just trying too hard with what they had to work with - a case of no matter how good the recipe may be, the ingredients still make the meal. I won't say the food was bad, I'd say that the more inspired dishes on the menu just could have been better. Next time, I'll stick with pierogies. I love me some pierogies.

Service is standard, and the prices are fair. All told, I've always had a good time at the Church Brew Works, but I can't seem to credit the Brew Works for being more than a meeting point with good beer.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Church Brew Works is inside a huge old church in Pittsburgh. When you walk in you can see that they made very few changes to the building itself. They still have stained glass windows and the altar where the brew equipment sits. Up and down the aisle are flags from the brewery. The seats look like pews. You can spend a lot of time just looking around at the settings.

They have a pub and dinner / lunch side. We sat on the lunch side and the food was great. We had a pierogi pizza (pizza with potato puree, onions and cheese) that was really unique. Homemade sweet potato fries cooked to perfection. I had a buffalo burger special that was also really good. The waitress was really friendly, knew a lot about the menu and the beer, and made sure we never had empty glasses.

For the price, I didn't feel it was bad. We had 6 people order lunch, we had an appetizer and about 5-6 beers plus other drinkers and it was only ~$120. I don't think you'll find many places with as good of food + beer for $20 a person.

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Photo of tommyguz
4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Such a unique place. A renovated catholic church turned into a brewery. It is such a neat place to visit and the food is always delicious. The beer is pretty good. I like that they have a lot of different stuff on tap and a rotating stout that seems to never be the same when I go. If there is one brewery to check out why you are in Pittsburgh, it should be Church Works. All the brewing equipment is visible from where ever you sit and the brew kettles are right there where the alter used to be. It is very affordable and it was kid friendly as well (we went with a group that had 4 kids 2 and under.

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Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh, PA
Brewery rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 1668 ratings