After our fabulous Rust Belt Tour with Pittsburgh Tours & More, it was a no brainer to hop on the next PA Brew Tour. Mr. Locke loves craft beer and I love that he loves craft beer.
Our tour of top brew spots was in our big city, Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Brew Tour features three bars and restaurants that serve craft, as well as local, beer favorites. We hit popular areas of town, tried some really good craft beer, and made 17 new beer aficionado friends.
Did you know that pretzels and beer go together for a reason? The high salt content cleanses the palette between samples. So, we just had to make a pretzel necklace to wear for the 5+ hours!
Where did we stop and what did we sample? Oh, you’re gonna like this!
Jack’s in the South Side
Jack’s has been around for more than 100 years. In the hands of new owners, and when I write new I mean they’re they most recent by going on 22 years and holding, the previous owners won the bar in a card game bet. That’s luck, right there.
Jack’s is a no-frills, no formality type of hang. It’s a spot where locals can saunter up to the bar, order a beer and a cheeseburger (which was delicious, by the way), grab a seat at a tall table, and just be. Jack’s is loud and crowded even at lunch time on a Sunday.
Which is exactly what we did. Mr. Locke and I, along with our 17 new beer-drinking friends, grabbed some seats and got to know each other.
We sampled full sized brews including Apricot Wheat from the Ithaca Beer Company, Mr. Locke tried one of his old school faves, Yeungling, and this little beauty above, #9 from Magic Hat Brewing Company.
Voodoo Brewery in Homestead
Voodoo Brewery in Homestead is just downright cool. Once a former fire station and municipal building, the company gutted the place but still kept the industrial feel. They offer beer flights on bourbon barrel planks and we were lucky enough to sample their six flagship brews:
- Voodoo Hoodoo- an IPA with 7.3% ABV
- Wynona’s Big Brown Ale- A robust, Dark Brown Ale with an ABV of 7.3%
- White Magic of the Sun- A spiced Belgian Style Wheat Ale with a 7% ABV
- Gran Met- A Belgian-style Tripel. ABV 9.5%
- Voodoo Love Child- Gran Met aged for three months with cherries, raspberries, and passion fruit. ABV 9.5%
- Killa Pilz- A “Voodooized Kellerbier”. The blend is Czech, German, and Polish style pilsners with an ABV of 7.5%
Brew Gentlemen Beer Company in Braddock
Our last stop on the brew tour, Brew Gentlemen Beer Company is the brainchild of two local university students. Pondering what they wanted to do after graduation, Matt and Asa decided to open a craft brewery. Fast forward a few years where they are quickly making a name for themselves with their flavorful brews.
We were each given four sample tickets and, boy, did we sample. Here’s our selections:
General Braddock’s IPA- ABV 6.8%
Business Casual – Imperial Red with an ABV of 8.4%
Build and Destroy – A Wheat Stout with an ABV of 8.2%
Table Beer – A Farmhouse Ale with an ABV of 4.5%
I, myself, also gave the Apricot Mead a go and loved it. Twice the price of a regular sample, the cost was well worth it. The mead starts off sweet and has a fruity finish. I’m sold.
In Between Stops
There’s so much culture and art in Pittsburgh and this one one of my favorite pit stops during the tour. Titles “The Workers”, the gigantic piece was created from steel mill bits and pieces, a Bessamer Convertor ladle, and the I-beams were originally from the Hot Metal Bridge. You can find this one right off the Pittsburgh Heritage Trail. If you’re having trouble finding the scale of the gigantic tribute to the Rust Belt, check out the lady sitting on a bench behind the sculpture.
Yeah, that’s big.
We also made a quick stop at the Joe Magarac tribute in Braddock. Similar to Paul Bunyan, Joe combines the heart and soul of the steel mill into a beloved, super heroesque tribute.
We had such a great time visiting old favorites and new, up and coming bars and breweries. The passion for food and drink is palpable in Pittsburgh, and each of these stops combines the best of The ‘Burgh.
Have you popped in to any of these bars? Please let me know in the comment section below!
Disclosure: I was hosted by Pittsburgh Tours & More to give you fine folks the scoop on what makes this brew tour so great. I was not asked to state a particular point of view and all opinion are my own!