Good news! There are officially more breweries open in America today than ever before–4,144 as of December, which the Brewers Association says is the most since 1871. Even better, most of them are small, local microbreweries. Pittsburgh is doing its part to chip in: Two craft breweries opened in Pittsburgh last week and a bunch more are on the way. Here’s a closer look:
A note on dates: the process of opening a brewery can take years and involves applying for licenses at the local, state and federal level. As a result, delays are quite common. Check out a brewery’s social media page for the latest information.
507 Foreland St., Northside.
When NEXTpittsburgh first wrote about Allegheny City Brewing last November, part-owners Amy Yurkovich and Al Grasso spoke fondly of their time spent living in Colorado and in particular small neighborhood breweries that created a “third place” where friends and neighbors could gather over a pint. They have created just such a space at their cozy Northside location. Details like family photos on the wall and tiny succulent plants on the salvaged tables give the intimate spot a lived-in feel. As for the beer, co-owner Al Grasso told NEXT they “really wanted to push the envelope.” Despite being just a few days old, ACB already boasts an impressively diverse eight-beer tap list that includes a flavorful graham cracker porter, barrel-aged ginger beer and a bold habanero stout.
925 Main St., Sharpsburg.
Andrew Witchey’s Dancing Gnome Brewery opened to standing-room only crowds Saturday, October 1. The tasting room is designed in a contemporary style with a poured concrete bar, uniform stainless steel tap handles and houseplants that pop against the bright white tiles of the wall. With it’s well-defined aesthetic and hazy, hoppy pales many thought the location called to mind Braddock’s Brew Gentlemen. A chocolately Wonka Stout and hoppy blonde joined two pales as the first four beers on draft at the brewery, a number that will certainly increase as production ramps up.
Mindful –UPDATED 1/17
3759 Library Road, Castle Shannon.
A former McGinnis Market on Route 88 in Castle Shannon has new life as Mindful Brewing. The brewery is owned by the same team behind Carnegie’s popular 99 Bottles craft beer bar. They are using a 10-barrel system (and six 20-barrel fermenters) to brew between 10 to 15 of their own beers. Brewer Nick Jones says time will tell which ones become flagship, but their popular Lime Agave Wheat is likely to make the cut.
The first floor of the building contains the brewing facilities, a full restaurant, bottle shop and primary tap room, where 10 to 15 local wines and meads will join other local and national beers. Upstairs contains a partially-enclosed patio and an additional bar with 20 tap lines of its own. If you can’t wait until opening to sample their fare, check out their collaborative beer with Full Pint, a Big Lebowski-inspired imperial White Russian Stout called His Royal Dudeness that’s currently available in bars across town.
Coming this year
102 Union Ave., Oakdale.
Opening: “End of October”
Located in the heart of Oakdale, Helicon Brewing already has 18 bike parking spots installed in anticipation of thirsty cyclists peddling by on the Panhandle Trail. Owner Chris Brunetti hopes to satisfy customers that are looking for a new beer every time as well as those who prefer the same style consistently. Eight beers will be available at a time, four or five for flagships as well as two to three rotating seasonals. As a production brewery and not a brewpub, Helicon can’t serve food (or host food trucks!) but outside food is welcome, and they do happen to be conveniently located next to a pizzeria.
322 N. Shore Dr., Northside.
Lakewood, NY’s Southern Tier Brewing will open their very first satellite brewpub in the shadow of Heinz Field. The North Shore location will boast a 10,000-square-foot beer garden and another 6,000 square feet of interior space. A one-of-a-kind seven-barrel system (which just made it through customs from Germany) will brew four to five exclusive, site-specific beers. They’ll be joined on the tap line by about 20 more Southern Tier brews trucked in from Lakewood and a handful of offerings from Victory Brewing. The location will have also have a full restaurant menu to satisfy hungry tailgaters.