Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Mindful Brewing is a Friendly Neighborhood Spot (With Good Beer)

The South Hills brewery and restaurant is an above-average entry in the rapidly expanding list of local spots for in-house beer.



When I started working here, I could pretty well keep up with local breweries. I couldn’t tell you where every local pint of beer was born, but I had a pretty solid grasp on the major players and their styles.

That time is long, long gone.

The exponential growth in Pittsburgh’s craft-beer and microbrew scene has been a boon to bars and bottleshops far and wide. As recently as a decade ago, you would be pleasantly surprised to find more than one or two local offerings at your corner bar; now, seeing rotating taps stocked with homegrown favorites is the norm even at middling pubs (and the best bars around can offer you a virtual beer tour of western Pennsylvania).

More importantly, however, that has led to a number of thriving, destination brewpubs scattered throughout the region. For many parts of the county, there used to be one good bar within a 10-minute drive; now, there’s often one good brewery in the same radius.

As someone born in the North Hills, I regard everything on the far side of Mount Washington as a strange and impenetrable maze of highway-less, labyrinthine mystery. (Admittedly, I lived in Bethel Park for like six months but I remember nothing other than long commutes and fine baked goods.) If I did find myself taking up residence in that Castle Shannon/Whitehall-ish area, however, I would find myself spending a great deal of time at Mindful Brewing, the striking restaurant and brewery on Library Road.

The two-story building, which opened in early 2017, cuts a dramatic figure amid its nondescript neighbors, especially at night; it’s impossible to miss the glowing red logo looming over the road. Inside, you’ll find a sit-down restaurant to the right of the front door and an inviting bar to the left; brewery and kitchen, both clearly visible, lie ahead. Both sides are watched over by the scoreboard-style accounting of current brews that has become more and more popular at small breweries and drafthouses.

Mindful Brewing, which aims to incorporate as many local ingredients as possible in both its food and its brews, is always trying a lot; among their 70 taps, 14 featured in-house brews as of this writing. There’s some variety in the quality, as is usually the case with a brewery that’s dabbling in a bit of everything; I loved the aptly named “Straight Kolsch,” and enjoyed the “Table Beer,” made with all local ingredients. “Putin’s Revenge Coffee,” a Baltic-style porter and one of Mindful’s signature brews, didn’t work out quite as well for me. I’d rather see a brewery try to do too much than not enough, certainly, but the more-is-more approach (both in terms of offerings and taps) is beginning to wane for a good reason: It’s harder to be good at everything than it is to be great at a few things.

I need to try more of the food to develop a rounded opinion, but what I’ve had — a very solid salmon-filet sandwich and seasonal vegetables — was satisfying, and the menu includes many more fresh (and vegetable-based options) than I’m used to seeing at a brewpub.

Mindful includes a bottleshop as well, temptingly close to the bar — making a short pour while you pick out a six-pack a fine idea.

It’s instantly a fabric-of-the-neighborhood place, and that’s good news. In the ’90s, we had beer distributors and shady corner bars; in the ’00s, we had sprawling sports bars. Now, we have neighbors making beer down every street. That’s a good trend.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Our 50 Years: Why I Hate Nostalgia

Enjoying memories is fun – but a far cry from pining for the past.

Perspectives: Finding Grace in #MomLife

A Pittsburgh television reporter learns to embrace the imperfection that comes with being a working mom.

The 400-Word Review: Pledge

IFC Midnight's collegiate terror tale is mostly for genre fans, but it lands a few decent punches.

Capel’s Basketball Resurrection Has the Zoo Rocking Again

Head coach Jeff Capel is restoring respectability and re-establishing the relationship between Pitt’s students and Pitt’s student athletes.

Why Did No One Tell Me Cirque du Soleil is Awesome

A skeptical novice takes in the troupe's "Corteo" production and is stunned at his own delight.

Three Rivers Champion: Julius Boatwright

Boatwright works to connect everyone who needs it with mental health support.

Turkey Devonshire: Reviving a Classic Pittsburgh Sandwich

The once-famous sandwich originated here but now is largely forgotten. We dive into its history and argue that it's time for a revival.

Navigating the Future of Public Transit in Pittsburgh

Six Pittsburghers share their struggles and hopes for the region’s public transit system.

Why Jamison Farm Is a “A Napa Valley for Sheep”

How a former coal miner and his wife use the resources atop rolling Westmoreland County hills to produce the best lamb in the United States.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Review: Fish nor Fowl

The sixth standalone concept from the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group, is DeShantz’s most exciting restaurant yet.

Our 50 Years: When We Tried to Predict the Future

25 years ago, we predicted what the Pittsburgh of 2019 would look like. We were ... close?

Help Pay Tribute to a Pittsburgh Jazz Legend

Mary Lou Williams began as a teenage piano prodigy in the Hill District and made it to Carnegie Hall and beyond. This month, you can discover her musical legacy.

Their's was a Starry-Eyed Pittsburgh Romance

John Brashear dedicated his life to science — and his wife, Phoebe.

She Became Pittsburgh Radio Royalty by Making Music Matter

Rosemary Welsch, longtime DJ and senior producer at WQEP-FM, has shepherded the station from startup to institution.

He Tries to be a Blessing to Someone Every Day

Doug Williams helps men facing homelessness with hard work — and example.