For anyone who knows me, you probably know I am a big beer drinker. I’m primarily an IPA gal, but I will try any beer at least once! I love holiday beers, fruity beers, dessert themed beers and even a domestic Bud Light every now and then 😉 I wanted to take my love of beer and share with you some of my favorite spots in Pittsburgh to grab a brew and hang out safely (even with COVID going on)! Here is my run down of 5 must hit breweries in the Pittsburgh area.
The Space (OPEN TUESDAY-SUNDAY): Cinderlands is one of my absolute favorite breweries in Pittsburgh! With two locations, their warehouse in the Strip District and their foederhouse in Lawrenceville, this brewery is clearly a Pittsburgh staple. The foederhouse is currently closed while working out the logistics of social distancing, but their warehouse is in FULL SWING. The warehouse is super spacious and a perfect place to safely enjoy a brew with your friends. Normally, Cinderlands has some fun game tables on the first floor, but unfortunately that floor is closed due to COVID restrictions. The upstairs section also has a large beautiful patio space for nice evenings and weekend days! They have a 2 hour time limit for all parties that can have up to 8 people sat together.
The Food & Bevs: With a revamped set menu featuring a chicken parm sandwich, taco flatbread and smoked brussell sprouts, Cinderlands truly has something for everyone. They have daily food deals such as Wing Wednesdays, Taco Tuesdays & more! One important note is their food is fried in peanut oil. Sunday Brunch deserves it’s own shoutout because it is to die for. From 10:30am-3:00pm Cinderlands serves up brunch cocktails and a delicious sweet & savory menu including monkey bread, chicken and biscuits and a veggie omelette. Speaking of cocktails, it’s always nice when you head to a brewery with a group and there are cocktail options for people who may be gluten free or not a huge fan of beer. For those beer lovers, Cinderlands is known for its large IPA menu and their fun fruity “tartshakes” like the current draft, Pancake Galaxy: Blueberry.
2. Leaning Cask
The Space (OPEN WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY): With an average sized taproom, Leaning Cask is a great little place to watch a weekend football game. Located in Springdale it is also a great spot for a work happy hour or event because you can reserve the taproom for a private event up to 40 people. If you have a small group of 6-8 you can also reserve tables in the lounge area by the windows! It is a dog friendly space and frankly a very welcomed feature of Leaning Cask. The brews are actually “dog themed” and all named after a pup!
The Food & Bevs: Leaning Cask doesn’t have an in house food menu, but instead they have a rotating food truck schedule. This week the schedule is the following: [Wed/Chicken Shack; Thurs/Benvenuti’s Pizza; Fri/Billu’s Indian Grill; Sat/Hibachi Lou; Sun/Hoshi Hibachi]. Leaning Cask has cans and growlers to go if you are looking to stop by to grab some local brews for home but also has a nice list of rotating drafts to sit and enjoy. Right now they have 10 that include the Sheltie in Place, Citra Mastiff and American Eskimo, to name a few.
3. Inner Groove
The Space (OPEN WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY): Inner Groove is located in Verona and definitely an underrated brewery in my opinion. With indoor and outdoor seating, this brewery is great all year round! The outdoor is naturally dog friendly as well. In pre-COVID days, Inner Groove hosted trivia nights and had board games like Connect Four and Battleship to make any brewery trip even better! Hopefully they will get back to that when it is safe.
The Food & Bevs: Similar to other smaller breweries, Inner Groove offers a rotating food truck schedule. This week the schedule is the following: [Wed/Mac & Gold; Thurs/Tango; Fri/Wood Stoked Pizza; Sat/Pittsburgh Sandwich Society; Sun/Just Roll’d Up]. Inner Groove has a rotating draft list of 8, but still manages to hit all the profiles for beer lovers. Their current tap list includes IPAs, a stout, porter, sour & more. They also have a curbside pickup for cans and crowlers for convenience during COVID. If you aren’t feeling beer but still want to check out this space, they have some local wines from Narcisi’s Winery as well.
4. Southern Tier
The Space (OPEN WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY): The widely known brewery brand, Southern Tier has a taproom and beer garden right here in the heart of North Shore. The beer garden is very spacious and is the perfect place to enjoy the warm weather, day or night. With TVs everywhere and twinkle lights overhead, you can get together to watch a Steelers or Pitt game here or have a nice (dog friendly) date night. You can also host private events here conveniently as it is located a short walk from Downtown. As a clearly popular choice for a weekend get together, there is often a wait time. PRO TIP: It is NEVER as long of a wait as they say, so definitely put your name in anyways! If you’re looking at a long wait time, pop over to Bar Louie or Burn located on the same block while you wait for Southern Tier to text you that your table is ready.
The Food & Bevs: I will say this over & over, but Southern Tier beers DO NOT MISS. This being said, my go-to is always a flight. There are too many amazing brew choices to just have one. Their fall brews, IPAs, and stouts are to die for!! They have bottles, cans and growlers available to go as well, because honestly just having some of their beer there, is not enough. If you are visiting more for the beer garden vibes and to watch a game steps from Heinz Field but aren’t a beer lover, they also have their own line of canned cocktails and seltzers not to mention their new Pumking Whiskey. Talk about a little bit of everything! For food, they have a totally revamped menu since the start of COVID. I’m gonna be real, their food menu a year ago was nothing to write home about, but now it is BOMB. Featuring an heirloom BLT, jalapeno and cheese pierogis and the classic soft pretzel, the menu is crushing it. If you are vegetarian they also will sub the bacon on the heirloom BLT for avocado 😍 One fun feature of this fall/winter is Southern Tier’s weekly soup special. This past week they had French onion soup and I can’t wait to see what this week’s will be! They have additional food and drink specials on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday too!
5. Insurrection Aleworks
The Space (OPEN HEIDELBERG WEDNESDAY-SATURDAY // STRIP DISTRICT WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY): Insurrection Aleworks is a brewery I have recently become a fan of. Their main location is in Heidelberg, but they just opened their second location in the Strip District the last weekend of October. Their Heidelberg location is currently only open for to go brews, but the Strip location is open for dine in.
The Food & Bevs: After the opening is settled at the Strip, they are then going to revamp their kitchen at Heidelberg and open back up for food and dine in there with their indoor/outdoor space. The really cool thing about the Strip District location is because the taproom is right in the heart of the Strip District, they will hopefully have a food runner that will pick up food from surrounding restaurants via mobile order/grub hub, etc. How cool is that?! For right now though feel free to bring your own food from the local spots on your own. Their brews feature a lot of stouts and IPAs like the Lost in the Fog & Haze IPA, which I am personally a big fan of.
I hope you check out some of my recommendations and make sure to tag me on Instagram @the412franimal when you go!! 😊