Brewing in Pittsburgh

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and the barstool of Ed Vidunas

January 1, 2014

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Here are the brewpubs and breweries still operating in a world-class beer-drinking city. They are listed in alphabetical order. Please see my notes at the end of this document that includes a few comments on Pittsburgh’s beer festivals. This is not a review but mostly to help you find your way to a beer. All entries are located in Allegheny County unless noted. See the list of breweries outside of Allegheny County, below.


For every brewery ever in Pittsburgh, see 


© Denotes pubs serving cask (or cask-style) ale on hand pump.

{BA} Denotes a member of the Brewers Association

{AHA} Denotes the pub gives a discount to American Home-Brewers Association members. Sadly, only Rock Bottom does it here.


Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar (Cider Maker)

300 39th Street 15201 (Lawrenceville)

Between Penn Avenue & Butler Street

Phone 412-260-6968 Web 

Bill and Michelle Larkin, Owners


Check their Facebook page as they have limited hours. This is a cider/wine/mead house in a true sense as they live and work in their own house. They make cider from apples from Soergel Orchards in Wexford and wine from grapes coming from Erie. The Cider House has their products for take a way and you can drink their ciders at Fatheads on the South Side. Mead is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey. Mead and cider, like wine, are stand-alone products and are not beer. They are interesting and refreshing.


Aurochs Brewing Co.

2124 Penn Ave

Phone: 412-260-8737 Web 

Established in 2012 and makers of gluten free beer.


Boyd and Blair Vodka Distillery (Vodka Maker)

1101 William Flynn Highway, Glenshaw, PA, 15116

Phone 412 486 4666 Web 

Corporate name: Pennsylvania Pure, formed in 2008 by Prentiss Orr (Blair was his great grandfather) and Barry Young. They use potatoes grown locally near Pittsburgh and are only one of very few potato vodka makers. Some others are:

Blue Ice American Vodka – United States

Chopin Vodka – Poland

Koenig Potato Vodka – United States

Luksusowa Potato Vodka (lux-sus-ova) – Poland

Mor Vodka – Poland

Most vodka is made with sugar, wheat, grapes and other grains.


Church Brew Works (Brewpub) © {BA}

Opened on August 1, 1996

First brewpub in Pennsylvania to obtain a liquor license: December 6, 1996.

3525 Liberty Ave at 36th St 15201 (Lawrenceville)

Phone 412-688-8200 Web

Sean Casey, Owner; Matt Moninger, Brewer

Brant Dubovick moved on in late 2011.


This is an absolutely breath-taking restaurant centered in the former St. John’s Roman Catholic Church. The brewing equipment stands at the Alter, which is the centerpiece. One should look at the windows, ceiling and walls of the church to see its past.

Beer Styles are predominantly English and German with Belgium at times. Look for Pipe Organ Pale on cask as well as several others. They do have bottles for in house enjoyment and for take-a-way. Brew Works brews can be found in bottle shops and distributors in the region and their draft beer is found at various pubs too. The Church Brew Works was the first brewpub in Pennsylvania to obtain a license to serve wines and spirits. At press time, Church beers are distributed to bars, bottle shops and distributors through Frank Fuhrer Distributors.


Copper Kettle Brewing Co (Yea, brew it yourself)

557 Greenfield Ave

Pittsburgh, (Greenfield) PA 15207-109

Brew your own is opening soon someday. The bar is open, thank goodness.

Formerly: Greenfield Hardware


Hough's (Bar & Restaurant)

563 Greenfield Ave. (Greenfield)

Phone: 412-586-5944, Web:


Read more: at this Post Gazette story. Matt and Greg Hough have obtained a manufacturer/brewery license necessary to open a facility where customers can come to brew their own small batches of beer to take home. The operation is (going) in a former Greenfield Hardware store adjacent to their bar, the former Pickles on Greenfield Avenue. All indications show this to be Pennsylvania’s first brew-your-own establishment: another first for Pennsylvania. We got the first brewpub (Penn) and the first full liquor license for brewpubs went to the Church Brew Works. At the end of 2010 the bar sports 61 taps, making the largest collect in da burgh.


Draai Laag (Dry Log) Brewing Co. (Regional Brewery)

Millvale, Pa. 15209 

A small, artisan brewery that started putting out beer in early December 2011.


East End Brewing Co. (Regional Brewery) ©

147 Julius St at Frankstown Avenue


The 6923 Susquehanna Street location has closed.

Operating since 2005 the brewery moved to new quarters as of November 2012.


Web: Twitter

Opened in 2005; not as a brewpub but as a REAL SMALL regional brewery

Beer Styles: English & Belgium style beers

Scott Smith is the founder and brewer.


East End has a line of regular beers as well as a set of seasonal ales, most of which are English style. His Belgian-white (Witte) is an exception. Scott is an experimenter and puts out new beers through out the year, albeit for special events. He has also made Kvass, which is hard to find. This is a Russian method of brewing with baked bread. Scott uses local coffee roasters for his coffee porter and get involved in many community events. In addition to his regular brand, Scott continuously brews session ales that are made with a lower strength but exhibit nice flavors and mouth feel. They are served in pubs on keg or cask.


East End has growler hours at the brewery as well at an off-site location in the Strip District. East End’s site leaves the impression the off site shop is not yet open but it is. Scott is just too busy brewing to update this page. At press time, East End beers are distributed to bars, bottle shops and distributors through Vecenie Distributors.


During November 2011, Scott’s beers were placed on draft (keg, not cask) at the Cask Pub & Kitchen and the Craft Beer Company, London, England. I do think this is a first for a Pittsburgh brewer. I first visited in early December 2011.


Fat Heads Brewery (Cleveland Brewpub) © {BA}

Yea, you see right, Cleveland

24581 Lorain Rd., North Olmsted, Ohio 44070

Phone: 440 801 1001 Twitter-Cleveland, Twitter-Glenn & Matt

Web:, Pittsburgh:


Fat Heads is a bar on the South Side but they have a brewery in Ohio. In England, breweries own pubs but in an American twist this pub owns the brewery. Anyway, the beer is available at some bars in Pittsburgh but mostly at Ft Heads. The Ohio brewpub opened April 2009 and has been going strong since. Brewer Matt Cole is a Pittsburgh lad; so don’t give him flack over his “Brown Ale”. The restaurant is huge and the menu is similar to Fat Heads Pittsburgh. The bar sports all the in-house brews as well as many national and international beers as well. An off-site production brewery (in Ohio) is in the making so that more of the brands can become available in Pittsburgh. Look for distribution from Wilson-McGinley.


Fat Heads Cleveland opened an off-site brewery in early 2012 that allows more product to be put on at more pubs in Pittsburgh and at Fat Heads Pittsburgh.


Full Pint Brewery (Brewery only, almost)

1963 Lincoln Highway (Westmoreland County)

North Versailles, PA 15137

Phone 724 396 9796

The zip code is for North Versailles but it is physically located in Westmoreland County.


Brewers: Andrew Maxwell, Sean McIntyre, Mark Kegg, Jake Kristophel, Sean Hallisey


I normally would not list this, as it is not a brewery based in Pittsburgh. But they are in partnership with Rivertowne Brewery (Andrew Maxwell) and North Country Brewing (Sean McIntire) from Slippery Rock, Pa. and Jeff, formerly of Red Star in Greenburg, Pa. Although not actually based in Pittsburgh they are very much Pittsburgh. This is their site: This site, is not part of the brewery. The basis of this brewery is to bottle the brands for Rivertowne and North Country. Neither brewpub has the space to bottle so this is a win for everyone. Full Pint’s beers on draft can be found in Pittsburgh taverns under the Full Pint brand. Check their website as they have a growler room for you to stop and take beer home. As of December 2010 they have growler hours. Check their web site for hours.


Grist House Brewing (Brewpub)

10 Sherman Street 15209, Millvale

Phone: 814 528 2303 Web:  

Brian S. Eaton & Kyle L. Mientkiewicz


Hofbräuhaus (Restaurant & Brewpub) © limited, {BA}

2705 South Water St at South 27th Street

Pittsburgh, (South Side Works) Pa. 15203-2391

Phone: 412 224-2328, Web:

Brewer: Ed Slouffman, Eckhart Kurbjuhn start-up brewer


Opened to the public on Thursday 29 March 2009. Beer Style is German, of course! They debut a seasonal beer each month and it is tapped on the first Wednesday at 7 pm. Their beers are Munich styles from southern Germany and they may be different than the northern styles we have known from the Penn Brewery. Beer is made in keeping with the Reinheitsgebot (German Purity Law) and served according to the metric system, dispensing by litre (35 ounces) or half-litre glass (17.5 ounces).

See Yes, they added the e in the name. At press time, Hofbräuhaus beers are distributed to bars, bottle shops and distributors through Gali Beer Distributors.


Hop Yard Brewing (

Indiana Township, Allegheny Co.


Maggie’s Farm Rum (Allegheny Distillery)

3212A Smallman Street

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15201

Phone: 724 322-5415, Web:


Tim Russell operating Pittsburgh’s second distillery since prohibition specializing in small-batch, full-flavored spirits.


Milkman Brewer Operating since late 2011

A nano-brewery located on Pittsburgh North Side



Penn Brewery Brewpub {BA} Reopened on May 5, 2010

Pennsylvania Brewing Co. (Est. 1986) Brewpub (Est. 1989)

First Brew Pub to open in Pittsburgh and the first in Pa. (September 12 1989)

Troy Hill Road & Vinial St 15212 (North Side)

Phone: 412-237-9402 for the bar Fax: 412-237-9406


Tom & Mary Beth Pastorius founded Pennsylvania’s first brewpub since prohibition as Allegheny Brewery and Pub. The brewery is now under new ownership.


Since Prohibition this is the FIRST brewpub in Pennsylvania as well as in Pittsburgh. They were the first brewpub in Pittsburgh to go no smoking within the building, as of June-July 2006. We old timers remember the Penn by its original name, Allegheny Brewery & Pub (until 1992). The beer styles were authentic German styles. When first opened they would sell in litres but now serve by US pints.


Pig Hill Brewery

1721 Lowrie Street, Troy Hill 

Owners: Joe Reichenbacher & Naomi Auth

Not your father’s brewery in any way. Kombucha is fermented tea and the brand name is Red Star Kombucha. Read more about Kombucha from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.


Rivertowne Pour House (Brewpub) ©{BA}

312 Center Road, Monroeville

Phone: 412 372 8199 Web

Brewer: Andrew Maxwell


With 19 taps, the crew must brew morning, noon and night. There are many styles to choose from and the alcohol range varies to satisfy any customer. The price of a pint should bring a smile to your face even with the Dan O tax. In an unusual move the happy hour is late in the evening.


Rock Bottom (Brewpub) © {BA} {AHA} Freer Wi-Fi

Ninth Brew Pub to open in Pittsburgh (April 2002)

171 E Bridge Street under the Pittsburgh-Grey’s Bridge

(The Grey’s were a nationally famous negro-league baseball team)

Homestead (The Waterfront), Pa. 15120                     

Phone: 412-462-2739 Fax: 412-462-4514

National Web:


Matthew Carroll

Steve Panos, left in 2012

Brandon McCarthy (prior to 2012) & Steve Ilnicki (as of 2012)

Beer Style: English with some German (Vienna) & Belgian


I don’t like the ice tray they have on the bar that keeps your beer cold so I sit off to the side at the end of the bar. The other customers don’t seem to mind. Styles are English and German, with a Belgian now and then. The Bottom always has a rotating dark of porter, stout or black ale. Their beers are well made but not over the top in mega-hops or alcohol, albeit the now and then big brew. At press time, Rock Bottom beers are distributed to bars, bottle shops and distributors through Gali Beer Distributors.


AHA member alert: The RB chain is a member of the Brewers Association and offers a discount to AHA members, but the bartender may not know this.


Roundabout Brewery

4901 Butler St


Steve Slone who was formerly the head brewer at the Church Brew Works (Lawrenceville Brewery) has opened his own brewery in 2013 and started selling growlers in early July 2013. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports July 12, 2013 as opening day. Co-owner Dyana Slone is from New Zealand.


Wigle Whiskey (Whiskey Maker)

Pittsburgh Distilling Company, LLC

2401 Smallman Street

Pittsburgh, (Strip District) PA 15222

Phone Web 

Note: The spelling of whisk(e)y differs geographically but also to have distinguished between quality. Irish whisky was a prime product but that made in Scotland was considered poor, at one time. As they both were being exported the Irish wanted to call attention that theirs was “different” from the others. Bar talk has it that the Irish added the e to make it different in the eyes of the consumer. How true? I don’t know. But I do know that some really fine whisky does come from Scotland (as well as Erin).


Brewpub & Brewery Operations


Breweries are not permitted to operate like a bar but they can have a hospitality room. Brewpubs are really restaurants with a brewer’s license. They want to sell you their beers but they are permitted to sell other brewpub beers as well as commercial brews but they seldom do. They beers made by local brewpubs and breweries are often found in local bars.


Beer Festival Notes


The Penn Brewery has the Pennsylvania Microbrewer’s Festival every June on the first Saturday.


Mr. Sharp Edge, Sir Jeff Walewski has a European Beer Festival at the end of June. See more about this on his Web:


The Penn State Beer Expo was cancelled in 2009 but is now back, (29 Aug 2010) under new management. To learn more about the State College Microbrewers Expo, please contact Mike or Malissa Martin at 814-574-1968. E-mail: or


Construction Junction has a beer festival, The Steel City Big Pour towards the beginning of September.


The Pittsburgh Rugby Club has a beer tasting festival Brew Fest in the autumn. Date and locations can vary so check out the link. For 2009 it is scheduled for Nov. 13.


Additional Notes


For other information on breweries in Pa. see Lew Bryson’s updates.


Brewpubs sell beer, wine and spirits for on-site consumption. They may, if they wish, sell growlers to go but not for consumption in the bar. Breweries cannot sell beer for on-site use.


Brewpubs seem to call their brewers by several names. I think the most accepted names in the industry are brewer and assistant brewer. One uses Head Brewer and Brewer and the name Master Brewer is also used out there. I call them all essential to life.


In 1989 the Penn Brewery opened as the Allegheny Brewery & Pub. It changed its name and is still operated by Tom and Mary Beth. The Penn is the first brewpub to open in the City of Pittsburgh but also the first to open in Pennsylvania. Tom’s hard work paved the way for a change in the laws that prohibited brewpubs from operating. Thanks Tom.


All brewpubs are permitted to carry other brands of beer and those of other brewpubs if they wish. They also may serve wines and spirits if they apply for a license extension. The Church Brew Works was the first brewpub in Pennsylvania to obtain a license to serve wines and spirits. They can also sell growlers to go and so can taverns.


Pittsburgh was home to a great many breweries before and after prohibition. I would like to list them and someday I will. Until then check out this great site.


Breweries outside of Allegheny County

(Western Pennsylvania Breweries)


Beaver Brewing

Beaver Falls, Bever County

Dan Woodske, brewer and owner

A nano brewery who makes some interesting brews.


Blue Canoe Brewing (

Titusville, 16354 (Rt. 8 at Rt. 27) Crawford Co.

This was formerly Four Sons Brewery


Eire Brewing (

1213 Veshecco Dr, Eire, Eire Co.


Helltown Brewing (

13 Henry C Frick Street

Mt. Pleasant, 15666, Westmoreland Co.

Shawn Gentry, brewer and owner

Mischievous Brown Ale is a classic English brown in my opinion.


Lavery Brewing (

128 W 12th St. Unit 101, 16501, Erie, Erie Co.

Jason & Nicole Lavery, brewers & owners


Laurel Highlands Meadery (

Greensburg, Westmoreland Co.

Phone: 1-724-249-6323 (MEAD)

Matt Falenski, owner who is licensed to operate as a limited winery.

Mead is NOT beer or distilled spirits but fermented honey. It is sometimes called honey-wine. It is very good (gluten free, too) and something you may be missing out on.


North Country Brewing (

141 South Main St 16057 (off Rt. 108) Slippery Rock Borough, Butler Co.

Sean McIntire, brewer


Sprague Farm Brewing (

22113 US Highway 6 & 19, Venango 16440, Crawford Co.

Brian Sprague, brewer and owner


Voodoo Brewing (

Arch St. in the furniture store across from the post office, Meadville, Crawford Co.

Call 1-412-468-0295 before going, as they are not open normal hours: the brewery that is.

Matt Allyn, brewer and owner


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