Dishing Out Awesome Grub: 9 Pittsburgh-Area Breweries That Serve Their Own Food
Food trucks and breweries go together like black and gold, but some sudsmakers are dishing out good eats on their own. Here are nine breweries (plus a punk-rock pub) to check out.
This brewery-restaurant got its start in Butler County, but it’s a ‘Burgh thing. While the owners work on putting the final touches on a new site at The Highline development on the South Side, yinz guys can visit their Zelienople and Lawrenceville locations for a menu made entirely of locally and sustainably sourced ingredients. There are smash-style burgers with Steel City-centric names; the Fox Chapel, which won a James Beard competition, is topped with goat cheese, mixed greens, pickled onion and balsamic reduction. But it’s not just a burger thing; there are small plates (pierogies!), sandwiches and salads, too.
Lawrenceville: 3601 Butler St.
Zelienople: 215 W. New Castle St.
Cinderlands Beer Co.
Cinderlands’ first incarnation — the Foederhouse in Lawrenceville — is a cozy spot for naturally fermented foederbier and classic Belgian pub cuisine. Its larger location in the Strip is a two-story, 300-seat facility featuring a first-floor bar and dining room with views of the open, scratch kitchen. Upstairs, you’ll find another bar — as well as a lounge and patio. The brewery’s suburban taproom is a stripped-down version of their city sites with a menu to match. Get snacky items such as soft pretzels, pepperoni rolls, quesadillas, cheese dip and sliders — plus, food trucks roll up every Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m.
Lawrenceville: Cinderlands Foederhouse, 3705 Butler St.
Strip District: Cinderlands Warehouse, 2601 Smallman St.
Pine: Cinderlands Taproom, 171 Wexford Bayne Road
Spoonwood Brewing Company
When you’re driving up Baptist Road in Bethel Park, Spoonwood’s enormous, 15-barrel facility appears from behind the trees like a beacon of good beer. But their wood-fired oven looms just as large to the taste buds. Order a Working Class Hero Cream Ale while you peruse the weekly specials and a rotating menu filled with no-spoon-required appetizers, salads, burgers and pizza. A spacious, outdoor seating area and a steady line-up of live music makes Spoonwood a suburban vacation destination.
Bethel Park: 5981 Baptist Road
Yellow Bridge Brewing
At this family-run business with locations in Delmont and Greensburg, pizza (and a smattering of salads and snacks) bridges the gap between an empty and full stomach. Using house-made dough and sauce, the little brewery is cranking out a variety of 12- and 16-inch pies. Styles range from The Plain Jane to The Pepperoni Moderno with red sauce, mozzarella, a generous layer of pepperoni, arugula, balsamic glaze and hot honey. If, during your stay in the City of Bridges, you get a hankering for Detroit-style, rectangular pizza, the Greensburg site also serves one of those, too.
Delmont: 2266 Route 66
Greensburg: 33 East Pittsburgh St.
East End Brewing Company
One of Pittsburgh’s pioneering breweries — it’s been around since 2004 — East End is now making a name for itself with its creative pizzas. At its original Larimer site and its new sister location in the South Hills, East End Chewing is the culinary counterpart to beer production. (It also gets our Food Editor’s vote for Best Pizzeria Name.) The rustic, thick-crust pies — including an off-the-wall Pizza of the Week — are accompanied by a rotating list of soups, sides and bar snacks, including vegan and vegetarian options. And if you want to bone up on your Pittsburgh knowledge, East End is releasing a series of You Are Here beers representing each of the city’s 90 neighborhoods. Even Mister Rogers would’ve said cheers to that!
Larimer: 147 Julius St.
Mt. Lebanon: 651 Washington Road
Hop Farm Brewing Company
Named Best Place For A Sunday Solo Beer in our 2023 Best of the ’Burgh issue, the Lawrenceville mainstay is also ideal for a dinner party of one or 100 (in addition to the taproom there is sidewalk seating and warehouse space). The BBQ Bacon Burger (two smashed beef patties, Swiss cheese, smoked bacon and housemade barbecue sauce) might not be good for the body, but it satisfies the soul. If you’re the indecisive type, order a flight of beers and a trio of sliders: Hop Farm Burger, Taco Burger and Pulled Pork. Hop to it.
Lawrenceville: 5601 Butler St.
Mastic Trail Brewing
There’s a tropical oasis in … Shaler. Two summers ago, the former Moose Lodge was transformed into a 7,000-square-foot Caribbean-themed brewery named after a 10-mile scenic pathway on Grand Cayman Island. From the rattan furniture and cabana bar vibe to the floor that’s painted to look like sand and sea, it’s a respite from the industrial chic of typical taprooms. Order a beachy beer such as the Surfin’ Moose Blonde Ale. The food menu is similarly island-inspired, with Bacalao Fritters, a Cubano sandwich that’s roughly the size of Cuba and a Coconut Shrimp Po’boy.
Shaler: 1044 Saxonburg Blvd.
If you want to rebel against typical pub grub, Insurrection AleWorks is your HQ. From a gourmet meatloaf sandwich to a vegan club, this microbrewery in tiny Heidelberg is an off-the-beaten path escape for good food for every diet. Feeling adventurous? California Roll Deviled Eggs! Canadian, eh? Poutine Loaded Fries! Saving your empty calories for beer? AleWorks Salad! Have offspring? Kids Grilled Cheese with fries! Everyone leaves happy.
Heidelberg: 1635 E. Railroad St.
The Smiling Moose
Turn your frown upside down and the volume to 11 at The Smiling Moose. Mike “Scarfo” Scarlatelli, who’s been a touring musician most of his life, opened the South Side location 20 years ago, offering upscale pub grub along with punk, rock and metal shows. A family-friendly, yet still rockin’, version debuted in the ’burbs in 2021. The menus at both Mooses are peppered with pop culture references (Pizza the Hutt’s Pizza Bread, anyone?), mouthwatering burgers, soups, salads, sandwiches (say hello to the Tony Montana Cuban) and really good pasta salad. Need another reason to grin? The Smiling Moose is also a nano-brewery churning out small-batch beers for its restaurants.
South Side: 1306 E. Carson St.
Cranberry: 8032 Rowan Road