Tuesday, July 6, 2010
East End Brewing Company had a very independent, off-the-beaten path feel. We weren't sure what were getting into based on the bleak store front, but this stop did not let us down.
There is no place to sit. You can only get beer to go. However, this place is worth a stop for any beer enthusiasts who find themselves in Pittsburgh. You can also find their beers on tap at many local bars and restaurants.
Church Brew Works is a brewpub located in a magnificent former church building - "cathedral" might be a more appropriate term. The ceiling rose high above the eating area and bar. Brewing equipment towered over the room, perched where the choir once sat.
On a side note, someone looking for a gateway beer to the craft world should check out Celestial Golden which was a fairly standard lager with good smooth flavor.
Penn Brewery felt pretty tame. They focused on German-style beers. They had one English pale ale and about 6 or 7 German beers on tap. The building was interesting. It had a dark, traditional, aged, wooden feel to it. Craig and I both agreed that the Hefeweizen was the top pick. It seemed like a good example of the style and the wheat flavors were delicious. Penn Dark came in a close second.
Rivertowne North Shore. This is a great place to go if you want a wide selection of great beers. They had both local and national hits behind the bar and any beer enthusiast could find something to get excited about. Unfortunately it felt more like being at Ruby Tuesday's than a local brewpub. They don't actually brew beer here and if you want the brewpub or local brewery experience then I'm told it's better to go to their Rivertowne Pour House in Monroeville. I was so unenthused by this place that I forgot to take any photos. Don't get me wrong, if your down by the Heinz Field or the casino, then this is a great stop, but I wouldn't put it high on your brewery tour list when you hit Pitt.
All in all, it was a great afternoon. East End and Church Brew Works were my favorite, but I would be happy to belly-up at any of these destinations. Pittsburgh has enough local flavor to keep the restless, roaming beer geek happy.
Posted by agileh at 11:03 PM