Plants And Cider? See What’s Sprouting In Greenfield And Other Booze News

Beer and cider culture continues to grow throughout the Pittsburgh region.


Pittsburgh hopped to the top of another “Best of” list, and this one is worthy of a celebratory toast!

Clever, a real estate data company, analyzed 50 metro areas in the U.S., crunched a lot of numbers and determined that our town is the No. 1 beer city in America. Well, duh?

You can read the full report here. And now for more local beer and cider news from an English major who repeatedly failed math class:

Greenhouse Co-op 

The Higgins family hails from Austin, Texas, but they’re laying down roots and preparing to pour cider in Pittsburgh.

Married couple William and Tammy, along with William’s sister, Darien, left the Lone Star State last summer on a soul-searching road trip. The nature enthusiasts thought they’d end up in some autumn leaf-gazer’s paradise like rural Vermont, but their pit stop in Pittsburgh — we’re famous for our foliage, too! —  never ended. 

They planted themselves in Brookline. Their business, Greenhouse Co-op, is expected to open this summer on Greenfield Avenue in Greenfield. There, they’ll sell retail houseplants and create small-batch hard ciders and wines. That’s downright poetic. 

Darien is a veteran of the adult beverage scene; she’s made everything from cider, beer and sake to mead and distilled spirits. Tammy’s love of plants blossomed during the pandemic and she will serve as the resident green thumb. William, who has a bachelor’s in business administration in finances, will deal with the math. They’re hiring employees who will have voting rights in major decisions, part-ownership in the company and other perks of co-op life. 

Greenhouse will sprout up in the space once occupied by Copper Kettle Brewing Company, a brew-on-premises shop. In yet another serendipitous twist, the folks next door are also new to the neighborhood. Ross-based Necromancer Brewing Co. is opening their second location in the former Hough’s, a longtime craft-beer destination. You probably shouldn’t drink while reading this article. 

While they work to get the brick-and-mortar operation up and running, you’ll see their plants popping-up at different businesses throughout the city. I met up with William at Hazelwood Cafe, Dasawn Gray’s charming coffee shop at 5017 Second St. in Hazelwood.  

We chatted about cider culture and horticulture while caffeinating at a spot dedicated to African coffee and culture. It was a good morning. 

William wants to help bolster the cider scene in Pittsburgh, which includes Threadbare Cider + Mead, Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar, A Few Bad Apples Cider and After the Fall Cider. (Becky Kretschmann, the mother of After the Fall Owner Maria Kretschmann, was a teacher at my alma mater, Rowan Elementary School in Cranberry, where I’m sure she received lots of shiny, red apples.)

Greenhouse is receiving the same kind of love from the Greenfield community. Many residents have already donated heirloom plants to the co-op. They’ll be displayed in places of honor at the shop.

William says they’ll tackle plant propagation and bottling in the near future, but right now they’re focused on getting kegs filled and the doors open. Like a lot of inspiring small business owners, they’re still dealing with paperwork. (THINK OF THE TREES!) 

Once the last page is signed hopefully everything will be coming up roses.

“We’re on a shoestring budget,” William says, “but if we can pour a pint of cider before midnight on Dec. 31, we’ve made it.”

Your parents were wrong; money does grow on trees.



Threadbare Cider + Mead 

For the first time in its history, Threadbare Cider + Mead is selling the hard stuff in single-serving, 12-ounce cans. 

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Wigle Whiskey’s sister company released two flavors: Ciderday and Hometown Lemonade.

The former is an approachable semi-sweet beverage made with Pennsylvania apples and select native yeast. The latter is a summery spin on cider inspired by a sunny day at the beach. It features fresh lemon juice and is infused with whole, dried elderflowers. 

They want to make locally crafted ciders more accessible to consumers, who are already flooded with hometown beer options.  

“We see equal opportunities for four-packs of cans to go wherever life takes you and large-format glass bottles for special occasions and celebrations,” Head Cider Maker Brian Bolzan said in a press release.

The cans are available at Threadbare Cider House Bottle Shop and at the Threadbare Ross Park Mall Bottle Shop located inside of the Wigle Whiskey Bar. 



Aslin Beer Co. 

Aslin Beer Co., which takes up more than 7,000 square feet at The Terminal in the Strip, will soon feature an express-service window in the hallway connected to the taproom.

You’ll be able to pick-up coffee, pastries, to-go beer and order-ahead food at the hole-in-the-wall.

To me, this service just adds to Aslin’s charm.

Categories: PGHeats