From Deli to Beer School

For Mike Murphy, owner of the Carson Street Deli, beer is not something just to drink when watching a Steelers game. To him, it’s an “art form.”



The Carson Street Deli, located in the South Side.

Photo courtesy of Liz Murphy

Not many people can tell the mass of a beer just by tasting it, unless, of course, you’re Michael Murphy, who owns Carson Street Deli in the South Side.

To Murphy, of Sewickley, beer is not something just to drink when watching a Steelers game. To him, it’s an “art form.”

Murphy—a beer connoisseur for 35 years and the brewer of his own beer—is finally getting the chance to incorporate that beer expertise into his deli business.

“I really wanted to do something with beer. So I thought that a deli would be a perfect marriage,” he says.

When he bought the restaurant in May, he did not want to make many changes because of the deli’s long-term reputation of high-quality, locally sourced ingredients.

“I don’t want to fix what ain’t broke,” he says, noting the recognition the deli received by Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2010 Readers Poll.

He did, however, want to enhance the deli with a large selection of beers. By the end of the month, Murphy plans to carry 200 varieties of beer and wants to continue adding new beers—specifically limited-edition beers—to the collection. For example, on Monday, the deli received a shipment of 2008, Dogfish Head Fort, 18 percent ABV raspberry ale—only 36 cases were distributed in western Pennsylvania—within four days, the deli sold out.

“I’d like to be known as the source for the really esoteric, the really unusual collective-grade beers.”

To share his love and knowledge of beer, Murphy started what he calls a “beer school,” or free beer tastings at the deli, in mid-June.

“I enjoy talking about beer, and it makes this business a lot of fun,” he says.

(1507 E. Carson St., South Side. Mon.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Beer tastings: Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m. Free. Info: 412/381-5335, carsonstreetdeli.com)

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Welcome to the New Pittsburgh: A City Transformed

Welcome to the New Pittsburgh: A City Transformed

A new economy is being built by a younger, highly educated generation that appreciates the city’s past while embracing its future.
Pittsburgh's Hill District, Reimagined

Pittsburgh's Hill District, Reimagined

Thanks to grassroots community efforts and investments by nonprofits, foundations and developers, the neighborhood is on the cusp of a long-awaited renaissance.
PittGirl: Time to Let Go of the Past

PittGirl: Time to Let Go of the Past

She says we 'Burghers must recognize our resistance to change and realize that we need to give it a chance.
Review: Willow

Review: Willow

Following a menu and interior overhaul in late 2014, Willow returns as a revitalized dining option in the North Hills.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

See 62 Years of Change in Pittsburgh With a Swipe of the Mouse

See 62 Years of Change in Pittsburgh With a Swipe of the Mouse

Guaranteed you will look at this more than once.
Pittsburgh Dad's Take on Super-Deflate-Gate, Parking Meter Meltdown, Hypnotic Snow

Pittsburgh Dad's Take on Super-Deflate-Gate, Parking Meter Meltdown, Hypnotic Snow

Our weekly round-up of awesome, funny, quirky posts about or from the 'Burgh.
Another Movie Shot & Set in Pittsburgh Headed to the Big Screen

Another Movie Shot & Set in Pittsburgh Headed to the Big Screen

"Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" received rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival.
New Comedy Shooting in Pittsburgh Features A-List Celebs

New Comedy Shooting in Pittsburgh Features A-List Celebs

The cast includes three Academy Award-Winners
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Welcome to the New Pittsburgh: A City Transformed

Welcome to the New Pittsburgh: A City Transformed

A new economy is being built by a younger, highly educated generation that appreciates the city’s past while embracing its future.
Pittsburgh's Hill District, Reimagined

Pittsburgh's Hill District, Reimagined

Thanks to grassroots community efforts and investments by nonprofits, foundations and developers, the neighborhood is on the cusp of a long-awaited renaissance.
PittGirl: Time to Let Go of the Past

PittGirl: Time to Let Go of the Past

She says we 'Burghers must recognize our resistance to change and realize that we need to give it a chance.
Review: Willow

Review: Willow

Following a menu and interior overhaul in late 2014, Willow returns as a revitalized dining option in the North Hills.
A Growing Rivalry on Ice: Robert Morris vs. Penn State

A Growing Rivalry on Ice: Robert Morris vs. Penn State

Two teams that clearly don't like each other are vying for bragging rights for the state.
Review: Salt of the Earth

Review: Salt of the Earth

Brandon Fisher is the latest chef behind Salt of the Earth’s modern-American dishes.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags