Pittsburgh Breweries - Fall Edition

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by RandyRanderson, Oct 6, 2017.

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  1. Fordcoyote15

    Fordcoyote15 Pooh-Bah (2,132) Nov 19, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Any details surfacing about any bcbs releases in the area next month?
  2. wingnutter

    wingnutter Initiate (0) May 18, 2005 Florida

    Im going to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving weekend, and plan on hitting a couple of breweries while Im there...Im all about hoppy beers, so besides Brew Gentlemen, would Dancing Gnome be my other best bet?
  3. 3genpanther

    3genpanther Initiate (0) May 20, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Yes. Those are #1 and #2 IMO.
  4. psuKinger

    psuKinger Initiate (0) Feb 2, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Cellar Works Brewing, a little ways up 28, near Freeport/Sarver, really has a nice tasting room/setup, and the beers are pretty strong/worth trying...
  5. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Yes, they would, but they're not very close to each other. If you want to keep it in the same area, BG is close to Voodoo. DG is close to Hitchhiker and not that far away from Grist House. All make very good hop-forward beers.
  6. RandyRanderson

    RandyRanderson Initiate (0) Jun 24, 2014 Pennsylvania

    I'd recommend following the breweries recommended above on social media (Instagram/twitter). BG/DG always have multiple hoppy beers but some of the others can be a little more sporadic. DG also updates their Instagram frequently with their can release schedule.

    Voodoo's IPA releases are usually very good but no guarantees the will be on tap/cans available (Hoodoo not included).

    Grist House almost always has Fire on the Hill and Hazedelic on, with a DIPA mixed in sometimes.

    I haven't been to Hitchhiker's new pub in Sharpsburg but I've had some of their IPA's around town lately and have really enjoyed them.
  7. EersandBeers

    EersandBeers Zealot (695) Jan 16, 2013 West Virginia

    I wouldn't put DG on the same level of BG. Just my opinion. If you are a DG fan-boy that's fine. Even though they didn't give me a sample and they were pricks about it I still bought a few. I don't think there's a thing wrong with tasting a beer before I buy a pint of it. I'd rather know that it's something I like.
  8. RandyRanderson

    RandyRanderson Initiate (0) Jun 24, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Did BG give you samples? I've never asked there but with how long their line can get sometimes, I can see them not doing that. Both places offer small pours (4oz at DG, 6 oz at BG), which is nice to sample a few new ones.
  9. EersandBeers

    EersandBeers Zealot (695) Jan 16, 2013 West Virginia

    Yep. Every place I visited provided a sample if I wanted. I was mostly purchasing flights everywhere though.
  10. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    And you are certainly entitled to that opinion. Just know that you're in the minority thinking that they are not making very similar hazy IPAs. Not a fanboy of either brewery, really. Certainly like their beers, but if they make a meh beer, I'll be the first to say it.

    I agree with you here, to some extent. However, the reason that I was a bit prickish in my response was because of the situation that you described. They were, by your own admission, very busy when you went. You simply can't expect the same level of service at times like that as opposed to when they are less so. I've been there a handful of times and each was a pretty different experience. There were times when I got the opportunity to talk to the staff/brewers and they were happy to conversate and pour some samples for me to taste, even though I didn't ask. There were other times when everyone behind the bar needed to grow two extra hands and although they acknowledged me, they simply filled my order and moved on to the next customer and I was fine with that because of the situation.

    I guess my perspective is a bit different than most. I look at getting tasters as the bar/brewery going above and beyond for the customer. A lot of people seem to think that it is baseline service. Never saw a need for them, myself, and because of that, I tend to get offered a lot of tasters because bartenders know what I like and know that I don't expect them to go above and beyond for me. I'm happy to fully commit to a beer without tasting it first. Be bold, man. Make that commitment.
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  11. 3genpanther

    3genpanther Initiate (0) May 20, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I was at DG last night - it was 2 5 oz pours per customer. They were down to 2 beers by the time I left last night and actually had to close today.
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  12. xmattxyzx

    xmattxyzx Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2016 New York

    Swung by there yesterday and picked up a growler of Astroid. Never really heard of a brewery running out of beer before.
  13. Fordcoyote15

    Fordcoyote15 Pooh-Bah (2,132) Nov 19, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Marketing ploy if you ask me.
  14. 3genpanther

    3genpanther Initiate (0) May 20, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I'm sure the Beers of the Burgh event over the weekend had something to do with supply.
  15. RandyRanderson

    RandyRanderson Initiate (0) Jun 24, 2014 Pennsylvania

    I was there Friday and they only had 5 beers on. With how much they've been canning, this was probably inevitable. They said they are installing a new 20 bbl tank that will increase production 30% so hopefully they is up and running soon.
  16. PSU_Mike

    PSU_Mike Initiate (0) Sep 6, 2013 Pennsylvania

    You can thank the "awesome" moderators of this forum for driving all of us elsewhere.
    psuKinger likes this.
  17. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    TB . . . where nobody actually Talks about Beer. :poop:
  18. Ryan145

    Ryan145 Devotee (323) Oct 11, 2013 Ohio

    Looking for some advice.

    The wife and i will be visiting Pittsburgh Dec 9th. Plan is to first pickup some cans at Dancing Gnome for their noon release.

    How soon do we need to get in line @DG to guarantee cans? I wasnt sure if they sell out and or the line takes hours to go through.

    What other local breweries have cans to go? Looking for Hazy NE IPAs.

    What about food choices for lunch and dinner Pittsburgh? Nothing fancy and nothing too pricey, under $10-20/person. Just looking for a good casual atmosphere that has food or an environment we cant find in Columbus. We are big burger fans.

    Brewery Ranking?
    1. Brew Gentlemen
    2. Dancing Gnome
    3. Voodoo?
    4. Grist House?

    I appreciate your help.

  19. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Where are you staying? If you don't have BRGR or Burgatory in Columbus, there are multiple locations around here. I feel that their burgers are very good, even though they are a chain, and they usually have an OK tap list, as well. If you're looking for something uniquely Pittsburgh, I'd recommend Primanti's, if you haven't been. There are LOTS of cool places on the Southside, in Lawrenceville, and in the Theater District, as well, if none of those float your boat.

    1) Brew Gentlemen: the reason that I'd give them the nod over DG is that they made more styles of beer and they make them well.

    2) Dancing Gnome: great hop-forward beers, but I can't say that I've been taken with their non-hoppy offerings.

    3) Grist House: very good hoppy beer and their other beers are solid, as well.

    4) Voodoo: Core beers are solid. The only reason that they get all they hype that they do is because of their Barrel Room Collection, which isn't available outside of release dates.

    The ones that aren't on your list that I would think STRONGLY about visiting are: Insurrection, Helicon, and Hitchhiker.
  20. Ryan145

    Ryan145 Devotee (323) Oct 11, 2013 Ohio

    Thank You. Primantis sounds perfect for lunch. Maybe Burgatory for dinner.

    I havent booked our hotel yet.

    Still trying to decide where best to eat and drink that evening then make a decision on a close Hampton or other reasonable hotel.

    Any idea about the DG can lines? And other local cans availability?

  21. 3genpanther

    3genpanther Initiate (0) May 20, 2009 Pennsylvania

    First of all, hope you enjoy the Burgh!

    Regarding the DG can line, depends on the batch/volume. I would recommend signing up for their weekly newsletter on their site in order to get more details on how many cases they plan on releasing, plus they'll tell you if they're limiting people to 3 packs or not. Assuming they are making a large batch (~100+ cases) for something they've already released before (such as Stained Glass Ceilings), I'm guessing you'll be fine to show up maybe 30 minutes before to be safe, 45-60 minutes to be super safe. There's a decent chance they'll still have some after noon but depends on how much you want to risk it. It's not a 2 hour lawn chair kind of wait though.

    BG/DG/Voodoo are top 1-3 in that order in my book. BG and Voodoo are fairly close to each other, but neither is in a good area of town, so I would hit those up in the afternoon. BG is re-releasing Lou this week which ranked #1 out of 176 in Paste Magazine's recent blind taste test, but I'm guessing that won't be there by 12/9.

    Grist House's hazedelic juice grenade is real solid and they're known for being one of the better breweries around. DG and Hitchhiker are both in Sharpsburg and Grist House and Draai Laag are both in Millvale a mile away, so you can hit up all 4 without much effort. Draai Laag specializes in sours - may not be your thing, but might be worth a try for you and your wife. Hitchhiker isnt my favorite, but a lot of people like them, and they just moved into the old Fort Pitt brewery, which is pretty cool. Every brewery has its own feel and all are good in their own way.

    Lawrenceville is the most trendy area of Pittsburgh for food/drink options and they have their own set of breweries in Hop Farm, Roundabout, and Eleventh Hour... the first two get good reviews, the third is new, so I'm not sure.

    Burger options:
    - Burgh'ers in Lawrenceville
    - BRGR and Burgatory (various locations)
    - Tessaro's - classic burger place before burgers were a thing, think old school feel, the classic Pittsburgh burger place (Bloomfield), might be a good option for you vs. the new school places that all kind of feel the same.

    Other options:
    - Gaucho Parilla Argentina - you won't find a Pittsburgher that isn't in love with this place. Expect to wait in line before ordering. It was in the top 10 of Yelp's best new restaurants I think last year.
    - Piper's Pub and Fat Head's - two south side places serving up solid food and drafts and they're across from each other. Piper's is a soccer pub and has solid breakfast too.
    - Noodlehead - I know you said burgers, but this place is awesome, dishing out $9 noodle dishes and its free BYOB in Shadyside (50 cent recycling fee pp). Cash only. I know you'll have DG cans in hand...
    - Piccolo Forno is a reasonably priced and solid italian option in Lawrenceville that's also BYOB. I think it's walk in only (maybe on the no wait app), so I would go early to avoid a line.

    Let us know how your visit goes!
    #61 3genpanther, Nov 14, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  22. RandyRanderson

    RandyRanderson Initiate (0) Jun 24, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Hitchhiker mentioned they will be canning soon but I don't know how soon that will be happening. But their Sharsburg location is down the street from DG and I've been impressed with their recent IPAs.

    As far as places to say, checking AirBnB might be worth it as a lot of the breweries aren't that close to hotels.

    As mentioned above, Gaucho is a great option. It's my favorite restaurant in the city and is a pretty unique place. Not a burger joint (they have a steak burger) but they do beef very well. Industry in Lawrenceville has good burgers and draft list as well.

    While the areas around BG and Voodoo aren't the best, they are safe to go after dark if you can't get there in the afternoon
    3genpanther likes this.
  23. kkdowning

    kkdowning Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Pennsylvania

    In regards to Lawrenceville, Hop Farm is meh, Eleventh Hour is legitimately awful, and Roundabout is one of the best breweries in Pittsburgh (if not a bit low-key since they do their own thing and do not chase trends).

    Smoke is a great joint for tacos in the area and worth the wait (so too is Gaucho).
  24. RandyRanderson

    RandyRanderson Initiate (0) Jun 24, 2014 Pennsylvania

    That's disappointing to hear about 11th Hour, it's a good location so I was looking forward to checking it out.

    I agree on Hop Farm and Roundabout though. HF leaves a lot to be desired. Love Roundabout's beers but outside of their events (which are great) it's not a very fun place to have a beer. Get crowlers to go and go to Gaucho or another BYOB place in Lawrenceville (Picolo Forno/Pussadees Garden)
  25. EersandBeers

    EersandBeers Zealot (695) Jan 16, 2013 West Virginia

    I def add Hitchiker to your stops. It's close to Dancing Gnome. No clue on cans at DG, not my thing. Brew Gentleman is #1. Since you are there just hit Voodoo too. Pretty cool place I think. If you have never been to Pittsburgh I always enjoy taking people to Church Brew Works. The atmosphere and the reaction is always fun in my opinion. I know the beer isn't for everyone. And I love eating breakfast at Pamela's. Just get there early.
  26. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Wildly inconsistent sours, but sours none-the-less. In fact their slogan shouldn't be "Wild by Design", is should by "Wildly Inconsistent by Design".

    See what I did there? I made a funny.

    Can't recommend Piper's more highly. Extremely well curated beer list and very good pub food and we won't even start talking about whisk(e)y. The Chip Shop next door is nice, as well, if you're just in the mood for that type of thing. Conveniently there's also a Primanti's on the corner.

    Haven't been to Fathead's in a while, mostly because it tends to always be ridiculously crowded, but it's always worth stopping for a couple pints and a Headwich if you're visiting.

    Always find it fun to hear what visitors think of our fair city.

    Indeed they do. And a nice draught list to boot. Worth going down just to sit in the window and people watch. FWIW, there's a location in Robinson (near the airport), which has a very similar menu, but twice the tap lines. Can't people watch there, though.
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  27. Tmwright7

    Tmwright7 Initiate (0) Feb 3, 2015 Pennsylvania

    Great list!! I think The Vandal for lunch and Pusadee's for lunch or dinner would be be great additions as well. Especially if your travels take you to Roundabout.
  28. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Good point. Easy to walk to most of the worthwhile places on Butler St. from Roundabout.
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  29. jagoffyinzer

    jagoffyinzer Initiate (0) Mar 11, 2010 Pennsylvania

    The first canning release should be this week barring any major issues. After the first one we will offer weekly releases.
  30. RandyRanderson

    RandyRanderson Initiate (0) Jun 24, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Thanks for the update! Great to hear.
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  31. RandyRanderson

    RandyRanderson Initiate (0) Jun 24, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Another good option for those visiting and looking for local beer would be The Independent Brewing Company (not a brewery) in Squirrel Hill. Their taplist has been very impressive as of late and you can currently get BG, DG, Grist House and Hitchhiker all in one spot. Haven't eaten there in awhile but food was good when I did.

    Not too far from Voodoo either.
  32. Juice0880

    Juice0880 Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2015 Pennsylvania

    Stained Glass Ceilings was pretty damn good and was a small batch offering for the first release. I wouldn’t be shocked if this one goes a bit faster than the other Saturday releases. Typically you can grab a seat at the bar, have a few pints, then grab your cans on a Saturday. Either way, if you’re there around open, you should be good on a re-release can offering from DG.

    Everyone covered the food options for you. Someone mentioned Burghers for your burger option. Def my fav of the new school joints. However, Tessaros is def a great alternative! Enjoy your trip!
  33. psuKinger

    psuKinger Initiate (0) Feb 2, 2005 Pennsylvania

    If we limit the discussion to just the 4 breweries you listed, I'd take Dancing Gnome as my #1, and then BG as #2, Grist as #3, and Voodoo as #4. But, I think you ought to take a look at adding Hitchhiker to your list (near Dancing Gnome), I'd put that certainly above Grist (for beer, not atmosphere, Grist is an awesome place to hang, and the beer is good too), and maybe above Brew Gentlemen too.

    Also, if you are into more than just Hazy NE IPAs, and like/appreciate Belgians (especially sours), I can't recommend Draai Laag more highly. Awesome spot to chill and have some biers, and probably my favorite brewery in the Burgh.

    As for food, for my money Fathead's is the clear #1 choice for tasty mid-priced "bar food", and there beer list (particularly the ones they brew themselves at their Cleveland brewery) is fantastic. Some may not be aware, but the Pittsburgh "saloon" pre-dates the Cleveland brewery(s). This is "the original fatheads" location, which I think is pretty cool. When it comes to sandwiches, I think it blows Primanti's outta the water. But if you want to stay *central* to the Dancing Gnome / Hitchhiker / Draai Laag Lawrenceville/Bloomfield/Millvale part of town, my recommendation would be to check out either Caliente Pizza or Industry Public House. They're in "the right part of town" if you're hitting up the breweries out that way, the food is good, and they'll have a good beer list too. In terms of food+beer, I like Caliente better (probably my #2 or #3 place, behind Fatheads, in the greater WPA area), but I think Industry probably is a "nicer" place with a better vibe, and better opportunities to people-watch (particularly when the weather isn't so cold), if that matters.

    Other personal favorites of mine in the greater-pittsburgh-area, that may not have gotten mentioned elsewhere and are likely out of your way (but maybe not, so I'll mention them for completeness):
    -The Headkeeper (in Greensburgh)
    -House of 1000 Beers (in New Kensington)
    -The Yard (downtown, not Shadyside - awesome "gourmet grilled cheese" sandwiches)
    -Beer Market (on the North Shore - best place to grab a beer and people watch before heading into PNC park for a Bucco game - which probably means nothing to you for a Dec 9 visit, but I mention it anyway in case you ever return for a Summer weekend)
    #73 psuKinger, Nov 16, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  34. Pierre_Pressure

    Pierre_Pressure Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2016 Pennsylvania

    So I'll preface this with I've only been here for a couple months at this point. I reserve the right to change my opinion and take what I say with a grain of salt. That said...these are the breweries that I'd recommend.

    1) Brew Gentlemen: They can do hazy, but what sold me was their Table Beer. This is a brewery that I really want to see expand more into wilds/sours as I think they can knock it out of the park.
    2) Hitchhiker: Haven't had a world class beer, haven't had a mediocre beer. When you can walk in and get a black currant sour, black IPA, and a coffee IPA (amongst other things) all at once and have them all be good, well what more can you ask for? Ask me in six months and these guys might be #1 for me (keep making black currant sours and you will be).
    3) Roundabout: Purely preference here. I get that DG and BG get a lot of love for their hazy IPAs, but thats just one style. These guys are putting out some more complex beers and kind of nailing them.
    4) Dancing Gnome: Really wish they would do more non-IPAs. The IPAs are OK, but the anniversary stout was on a whole other level. Kind of reminds me of Trillium for the past couple of years....what they do is great, but they really only do one thing and just make small changes and you wish they'd branch out.
    5) Couch Brewery: Haven't had a ton, but I could drink their stout on nitro all day long. Cool spot and good people too.
    6) Grist House: I want to like them more. The people I've met there are great people. The beer is good...but they are a notch below BG and DG for IPAs and that seems to be their identity.
    7) Draai Laag: I really want to like these guys more. Sours/wilds are my thing. I've had a couple that are really good, a couple that are really....not, and a bunch that fall somewhere in between.

    Again, these are all places that I think are worth checking out, none of them are bad. And this is based on a limited time in the city, so just because I didn't mention it doesn't mean it isn't worth going to (Voodoo, I'm looking at you...it's not me, its you, just move someplace even more convinient).

    As for food/beer options, I haven't hit nearly as much and most of what I've been to are South Side places, but I'd suggest Pipers, Caliente, and Carson Street Deli in that order. All three have outstanding taplists and good to great food. Independent Brewing Co is also worth a visit, though I haven't had their food yet (lot of local beer and they had one of the best Octoberfest line ups I've had the privilege of trying).

    Now for those that have been around longer than I have....where can a guy get a good quad around these parts?
  35. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Didn't you get the message, man? Belgian Trappist-style beer isn't cool. :wink:

    In all reality, nobody locally makes anything that I'd consider passable examples of traditional Belgian beer. Sorry, man.
  36. 3genpanther

    3genpanther Initiate (0) May 20, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Agreed, I really can't think of any. Surprised I never really thought of that until now, as I certainly enjoy Belgian quads. I know Cobblehaus in Coraopolis specializes in Belgian and German inspired beers, but I don't think they've brewed a quad yet. They just opened in the past year and they're a small shop, but may be worth checking out.
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  37. Mounty4Life

    Mounty4Life Initiate (0) Mar 4, 2012 Pennsylvania

    First off I would rather quit drinking beer altogether than go to couch or 11th hour again! Battle is between BG and DG, on here mostly. BG nails mouthfeel and brightness of their ipas everytime. They have refined their base ipa gen Braddock so much that it is the best beer they make. My personal faves are their dipas foshomo b1 Akamai and albatross but I would put gen brad up against any Reggie ipa all day and feel it is best! DG is barely a year old and definitely getting more of my $ this past 6 months than anybody! The constant flow of new stuff and circulation of core brands has my tastebuds frazzled from hops. I think creases s awesome low abv stout, and anny stout was solid for no adjuncts and could be beefed up and turned into a bunch of different fun stuff. My favorite ipas are pounce, yam jam, tiny baskets (fresh) and beyond infinity has my mouth cloying from hop abuse. A few of their dipas, fall off quick but ive found what I like and will be more selective on my allocations. Roundabout is awesome sleeper in town and may have the best brewer in city at helm. Steve does Steve though, so as long as an ipa and recently his Berliners, are on tap I will frequent. Grist house is cool environment and make decent beer that usually covers broad spectrum. Hitchhiker I have hopes for but have yet to be blown away by anything but they are doing the right things! Insurrection is too far to drink for me but I like their sours so hoping for coolship bottles! Ipas are hit or miss, Double galaxy sasquatch was real nice but had bunch I didn't want to finish from them too! Oh voodoo vandaley industries was so good but last few cans I've got were not good at all and looked messy! I hope they learned something from, angry chair and we see fruited berliners start popping off often. Please start sending adjunct stout firkins to homestead please and thamks
  38. wingnutter

    wingnutter Initiate (0) May 18, 2005 Florida

    Does BG or DG have crowlers, or just growler fills? If like to get some to shoo back to FL whole I'm there but don't wanna have to deal with glass.
  39. wingnutter

    wingnutter Initiate (0) May 18, 2005 Florida

    ^stupid typos.
    *ship back to FL whIle I'm there.
  40. OverTrainOverGain

    OverTrainOverGain Zealot (542) May 11, 2017 Oregon

    Both just do growler fills.
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