Here’s a reason to howl: BrewDog opens Friday in East Liberty.
The 4,000-square-foot bar and restaurant at 6144 Centre Ave., is the Scottish company’s sixth DogTap pub in North America. It’s located in the Eastside Bond development across from Target.
Jon Quick, BrewDog’s head of retail in the U.S., anticipates folks will be lined up around the block before the 11 a.m. debut. The first 100 people through the door will be entered in a raffle to win BrewDog swag, a gift card and a two-night stay at its DogHouse brewery and hotel in Columbus, Ohio.
Friday’s guests might even score a hands-on tutorial with brewer Paul Young. He operates the five-barrel system, which will churn out a new beer every week, including collaborations with other local beer-makers.
The pub features graffiti-style murals by in-house artist Craig Fisher and 190 seats, both inside and on two, dog-friendly patios. There are 24 rotating taps and a grab-and-go area in the front of the eatery where customers can pick up bottles, cans, crowlers, growlers and BrewDog merchandise.
Yinzer Pale Ale will be a staple at the site. At 4.12 % alcohol by volume, the Pittsburgh-themed libation is easily quaffable with floral notes and a nice, caramel-colored body. Most BrewDog offerings push style boundaries and are unlike anything on the market. Popular selections include the grapefruit-forward Elvis Juice and Lost Lager, a dry-hopped Pilsner made with classic German Saphir hops.
Like the beer, the food isn’t your average bar fare.
Load up on “elevated junk food” such as tacos, nachos, fries, sandwiches and wings. Book in advance online and get all-you-can-eat wings on Wednesdays. Don’t eat meat? Substitute cauliflower for chicken. All of the beef burgers are made with two, four-ounce locally sourced ground beef patties. The Fast Joe is topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo, house pickles, red onion and Elvis Juice bacon jam.
James Watt and Martin Dickie founded BrewDog in Fraserburgh, Scotland in 2007 and now have 50 bars across the globe.
The company is owned by more than 120,000 craft beer lovers who invested money through Equity for Punks (EFP). The crowdfunding campaign helped subsidize the Columbus brewery and expand distribution to other states. There are DogTap pubs in Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. Backers earn discounts at BrewDog bars and the online shop. The Pittsburgh area has more than 150 EFPs and there’s still time to invest. A single share starts at $60.
BrewDog is focused on imbuing a lot of Pittsburgh pride into its new location. All staff members are from the area and the bar features local spirits from Wigle Whiskey and Maggie’s Farm Rum. In the coming months, patrons can attend weekly beer school sessions that teach them about BrewDog selections. Pittsburgh brewers will also be invited to host courses on their own offerings.
Quick is in awe of the Steel City’s beer scene and says they may add a BrewDog Kennel, a mini-hotel boasting two to six rooms, above the Centre Avenue pub for folks who want to wake up to a little hair of the dog.