Ale-American Summer

Iron City Brewing may have moved East, but these three city microbreweries are thriving in its wake.



Photos by Heather Mull

East End Brewing Company
East End Brewing Company’s mechanical-engineer-turned-brewer, Scott Smith, will tell you that the term “growler” was coined in the pre-Prohibition era when people would transport beer home in a metal pail. When the beer sloshed around on the journey, the escaping carbon dioxide would “growl” from underneath the lid.

Today, Smith’s version of the growler is a half-gallon glass jug that lets ale-enthusiasts take his fresh brews to-go. “We’re a microbrewery in every sense of the word, not a brew pub,” Smith says of his Homewood warehouse, which has no space for seating. That’s because nearly every square inch is used to house hardware, including a gas-fired, 10-barrel brewhouse system once owned by the defunct Foundry Ale Works in the Strip District.

You can find East End brews like the popular Smokestack Heritage Porter on tap at more than 100 bars around western PA, or you can stop by the brewery Tuesday through Saturday during “Growler Hours” (visit website for schedule) to fill up your very own reusable take-home jug ($3 for jug; $10-$13 for refill). And, no, that’s not the growler rumbling. It’s your stomach.
(6923 Susquehanna St., Homewood; eastendbrewing.com)

The Church Brew Works
With the FIFA World Cup Finals in full swing this month, why not enjoy a delicious World Cup-winning beer along with it? After all, you’re going to need something to savor while those gentlemen kick the ball to and fro and tumble around the “pitch” for two hours. If Slovenia versus Slovakia fails to enthrall you, head to The Church Brew Works for a glass of its Pious Monk Dunkel, a dark, mellow, German lager that won a bronze medal in the 2000 World Beer Cup. 

Housed in the cypress-paneled, stained-glassed confines of Lawrenceville’s old St. John the Baptist Church, built in 1902 and deconsecrated almost a century later, The Church Brew Works offers a rotating menu of internationally inspired ales delivered right to your pew (seriously).

Brewmaster Brant Dubovick is always making fresh batches in the steam-jacketed, stainless steel tanks of the towering brewhouse, which sits under the church’s original vaulted apse. Enjoy the summer specials, the Heavenly Hefe-Weizen (a German wheat beer) or the Coconut Stout in the outdoor Hop Garden.

(3525 Liberty Ave., Lawrenceville; churchbrew.com)

Penn Brewery
All of these generic, fratty commercials for watered-down corporate beers might make it seem like the industry is a “bros-only” affair, but two local female entrepreneurs are changing that perception. Last year, Penn Brewery—North Side’s venerable producer of Penn Pilsner and other Bavarian-style brews since 1986—was in serious trouble. Nearly a million dollars in debt and without its founder, Tom Pastorius, who had sold the brewery to new owners and subsequently been replaced, the Troy Hill institution was about to go under.

Then in stepped Linda Nyman and Sandy Cindrich, two hop-loving investors intent on returning the Penn Brewery to its former glory. The pair brought back barley-geek Pastorius as president and CEO, and together they reopened the brew pub’s restaurant with its German-style beer-hall tables and famed potato pancakes and even introduced a pale ale in addition to its traditional roster of malty, Munich-style dark lagers. Prost! (that’s German for cheers!).

(800 Vinial St., Troy Hill; pennbrew.com)

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in October

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in October

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

From glass and aluminum to ketchup and candy, Pittsburgh has made its mark, thanks in large part to the instantly recognizable brands that remain etched not merely on its buildings — but on its DNA. We look at 10 of those brands and explore how they helped to establish and define the Steel City.
Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Under a new CEO, Pittsburgh International Airport heads into its 25th year while attempting to woo flyers and flights and leave its empty, post-hub days behind.
Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Three men at NASA serve pivotal roles in maintaining the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been taking high-resolution photos of deep space for more than 25 years. And they're all from Pittsburgh.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

New Contract for PSO is a No Go

New Contract for PSO is a No Go

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians vote to go on strike.
Strip District's Savoy Seeks to Refresh and Renew

Strip District's Savoy Seeks to Refresh and Renew

The restaurant debuts a new lounge and has plans for refocused menu and more.
Pittburgh’s Daya Dropping New Album, Headline Tour

Pittburgh’s Daya Dropping New Album, Headline Tour

The teen singing sensation from Mt. Lebanon’s tour concludes in Pittsburgh.
See it Now: Trailer for Filmed-in-Pittsburgh “Fences”

See it Now: Trailer for Filmed-in-Pittsburgh “Fences”

Directed and starring Denzel Washington, the first big screen treatment of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play arrives in theaters on Christmas Day.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in October

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in October

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

From glass and aluminum to ketchup and candy, Pittsburgh has made its mark, thanks in large part to the instantly recognizable brands that remain etched not merely on its buildings — but on its DNA. We look at 10 of those brands and explore how they helped to establish and define the Steel City.
Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Under a new CEO, Pittsburgh International Airport heads into its 25th year while attempting to woo flyers and flights and leave its empty, post-hub days behind.
Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Three men at NASA serve pivotal roles in maintaining the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been taking high-resolution photos of deep space for more than 25 years. And they're all from Pittsburgh.
Dish Review: Bar Marco's Turnaround

Dish Review: Bar Marco's Turnaround

The Strip District eatery overcomes tumult and once again is one of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants.
Talk of The Tahn: Weird Things We Do that Make Pittsburgh Wonderful

Talk of The Tahn: Weird Things We Do that Make Pittsburgh Wonderful

The things that are best about us? They’re not things. They’re ways.
Edit Module

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


New Contract for PSO is a No Go

New Contract for PSO is a No Go

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians vote to go on strike.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
e2 to Close in Highland Park

e2 to Close in Highland Park

Chef/owner Kate Romane will move on to a new project.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
6 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

6 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

Easy access from universities, wallet-friendly prices and really good food make these our favorite choices for the university set.

Comments


Halloween Hotlist: 10 Events That Prove Scaring is Caring

Halloween Hotlist: 10 Events That Prove Scaring is Caring

Pittsburgh is a wicked destination for spooky shenanigans. Here’s a sampling of what’s to come.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pirates’ Ship Sunk But Salvageable

Pirates’ Ship Sunk But Salvageable

Of all that conspired to derail the Pirates after three consecutive trips to the playoffs, the unanticipated implosions of Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano proved, in retrospect, to be more of a deal-breaker than anything else.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Green Chic: The Boxcar Planter Set

Green Chic: The Boxcar Planter Set

The geometric set is available through the hip Ace Hotel shop.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Surprise: Deepwater Horizon is Quite Good

Surprise: Deepwater Horizon is Quite Good

Reviews of "Deepwater Horizon" and "Queen of Katwe," along with local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
A Laid-Back Love: Kelly McHolme and Bob Stasa

A Laid-Back Love: Kelly McHolme and Bob Stasa

This Pittsburgh couple wanted their guests to be just as content as they were at their wedding.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Make Your Design Work for You: Mecox Opens In Pittsburgh

Make Your Design Work for You: Mecox Opens In Pittsburgh

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Mecox will be opening its eighth location, but its first in Pittsburgh, in Shadyside.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education

Thiel College to Break Ground on New Science Facility

The project will cost $4.5 million and will connect two previously existing structures.

Comments