Opening Soon! Grist House Brewing

At almost any point between the Allegheny and the Mon, you’re probably within a short bike ride of a local brewery. To give you an idea of what kind of craft coverage exists in  Western PA, there will be 36 (!!!) Pittsburgh area breweries at next month’s Beers of the Burgh Festival. A few your favorites will be pouring, but there will also be an extensive preview of up-and-comers new to the scene. This week we stopped by Grist House Brewing in Millvale to see how things are looking for the 4.12 event and their grand opening just a few weeks later.

IMG_4975Some of you may be familiar with Grist House from their appearances at local events over the past year. Our first encounter was at last April’s Millvale BrewFest, right in their backyard. Since then, their team has been working tirelessly to set up shop at 10 Sherman Street in downtown Millvale. “Shop” in this case, consists of a pristine 15 barrel brewing system, 10-tap bar with plenty of seating, hand-built deck and spacious, fenced-in parking area that holds the promise of food trucks and summer nights spent outside.

Inside proves just as enticing. The bar is expansive and handcrafted, the ten rustic tap handles – created just around the corner at Red Star Iron Works – will pour Grist House’s existing three signature beers, as well as in-house seasonals and experimental brews. There’s also seating at antique wooden barrel tables and a garage door will provide direct access to the deck, so long as the weather plays along. The walls are adorned with reclaimed barn siding and a handmade chalkboard where patrons can “Buy A Beer A Friend” – essentially pay in advance for a friend’s future visit.

The bar area at Grist House Brewing

The bar area at Grist House Brewing

The interior view is equally impressive from wherever you sit. At the tables or at the bar, you have an open view of the brewing area and pristine 15 barrel system; while you drink your beer, you can also watch it being made.

View from the seating area

View of Grist House’s 15 barrel, American-made brewing system, right from your bar stool!

Believe it or not, the setup at Grist House gets even cooler. There is an area between the tanks and fermenters that will also serve as a stage for bands and entertainment. The whole place is pet friendly for friendly dogs. And somehow we haven’t even talked about the menu. Think quality hot dogs, Cincinnati-style chili, house-packed peppers. Plus, the option of ordering your favorite takeout directly to your bar stool.

For information and details on their upcoming opening, follow Grist House on Facebook, Twitter, or stop by their table at the Beers of the Burgh Festival to say hello.

 

    It’s (Almost) Restaurant Week in Pittsburgh!

    So you’re almost 2 weeks into that new years food cleanse and desperately looking for any reason at all to eat a steak, a cheese plate, a brownie, something fried for the love of Pete! In walks Pittsburgh Restaurant Week.

    Not since New Year’s Eve has there been such a valid excuse to indulge your culinary desires. And with another banner year on the horizon for the Steel City food scene, this coming PRW is truly a “can’t miss” situation.

    You can find a full list of every participating restaurant at the official PRW website but a few of the specials we’re most curious about are the themed entree at the newly opened Grit & Grace, a prix fixe menu at Butcher & The Rye, and Verde‘s $14 brunch. Specials run between Monday, 1.13 and Sunday, 1.19 but the pros recommend you make reservations ASAP.  Bon app!

     

      It’s Harvest Time In Pittsburgh

      Before you finalize your Thanksgiving menu, let yourself be inspired. The annual Farm to Table Harvest Tasting this Saturday is the perfect place to learn what the local purveyors can contribute to your feast, and to see how culinary trendsetters are taking classic dishes way beyond basic.

      The Farm to Table initiative facilitates an amazing showcase of local farmers, brewers, restaurants and more to help make supporting the community and local food economy easier than ever. Over 50 vendors will be gathered in Homestead from 3-7pm and $25 gets you in to sample them all. Whether you’re planning your big Turkey dinner, or just looking for a festive way to spend your Saturday, this is a deal that seriously can’t be beat. Holiday bonus? You can ride your bike (read: earn those Harvest Tasting calories) to and from the event on the freshly finished GAP trail.

      Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 12.48.40 PM

       

       

        Home Brew Happy Hour THIS Thursday (featuring FREE BEER!)

        By now you probably know, Unlock Pittsburgh has a total beer crush on the Three Rivers Underground Brewers. They’re inclusive, informed, support awesome causes & this Thursday they’re bringing at least three styles of their expertly crafted brews to Bayardstown Social Club for an Unlock Pittsburgh / Pittsburgh Happy Hour event of unrivaled beercentric proportions.

        Obviously, members of BSC get in FO FREE, and between 6 and 9pm Thursday, non-members get in for $3, or can sign up for unlimited access to this urban outdoor space (including grills, tables, lights, social interaction, etc) for just $10/month. Total steal. Think about it.

        There’ll be some food you can eat…hot dogs, buns, nothin’ fancy. (as aforementioned, there are grills at the ready, so feel free to BYOFEAST) There’ll also be yard games and quick-winted banter, but the real deal here is the beer. TRUbrewers are coming armed with a few kegs, including a West Coast IPA, a California Common & a Ginger Beer. And while they’re pouring their own creations, they’ll be happy to talk all things craft. AS A MATTER OF FACT, we’re encouraging all the home brewin’ homies in the place to bring a bottle or a few of your own brew.  Have the TRUbrewers critique it and ask for advice, or just swap with other DIY enthusiasts in the area.  We’ll be armed with a few bottles of Indian Summer Ale dreamed up right in Friendship.

        c480x270_15

        Because the TRUbrewers are so damn awesome, each pour is free and gives you a little taste of what you’ll be getting if you come out to their 7th annual Brewing Up A Cure event on October 12th at the PPG Wintergarden. There you can try tons more styles of beer you literally won’t get anywhere else.  Three hours of one-of-a-kind beer samples? Yes. Please. If you like what see…ahem, drink…this Thursday, you can buy tickets online for just $50. ALL PROCEEDS benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Have we mentioned how awesome the TRUbrewers are?  Weather you pony up for the awesome event in October or just have a few beers on Thursday, consider donating. Even just a few bucks that, anywhere else Thursday, you’d probably be spending on beer.

         

         

          Here For The Beer : Roundabout Brewery

          This summer ushered in an impressive number of new, local craft brewers.  A few have opened and many are forthcoming but the one we’re STILL most psyched about is Roundabout.

          roundabout

          Leading the onslaught with it’s July opening, the new Lawrenceville fixture has been establishing itself with sold-out growler hours and a scene-stealing presence at most of the season’s beer festivals. We stopped into the humble Butler-street headquarters a few weeks ago to sample a few ales and talk shop with the owners about how they came to realize their craft brew vision.

          Steve and Dyana Sloan run the show entirely on their own, 2 fermenters, 5 taps, 5 days a week. It may seem like a modest operation, but the quality of the beer is unabashedly outstanding. With a slew of recipes perfected over 10+ years in the professional brewing industry, the Sloans rotate signature brews like the Black Possum – a rich, balanced dark ale featuring robust coffee & chocolate – and the seasonal Ginga Wheat – a fresh ginger & hopped ale that was recently retired for the colder weather months (if you didn’t get to try it this summer, put this first on your list for spring ’014). And though their output is relatively small, the experience and passion put INTO the product is almost unparalled in our local brewing community. At one point or another, Steve Sloan has worked to make beer for breweries in Florida, Hawaii, California, Colorado, Missouri and New Zealand. It’s not his first Pittsburgh rodeo, either. The veteran had previously helped revitalize the craft at Church Brew Works & John Harvard’s.  Back in the City of Champions after a few years on the road, he & Dyana embrace both the local availability of fresh ingredients and the international influence of classic Belgian styles & distinctive flavor of upstart Kiwi breweries from Dyana’s home country of New Zealand to create unique, unforgettable beers.

          Though you may one day see Roundabout… about town… for now you’ll have to stick with the growler hours at their Lawrenceville location. Chances are, the more you fill up, the sooner you’ll see a new Roundabout brewpub on the scene.  Cheers!

          Left: Daily draft list at Roundabout, Right: Steve Sloan in the brewery warehouse

          Left: Daily draft list at Roundabout, Right: Steve Sloan in the brewery warehouse

           

           

            Adventures In Beer… Brewing Up A Cure

            Like the cultured citizens of Europe… and our oh-so-Euro U.S. congress… we took a little August holiday this year, giving our readership some time to catch up on missed posts and our Facebook fans a chance to focus on free ticket giveaways and “award-winning” instagrams. You can dry your tears of loneliness, friends. We’re back with big ideas and life-altering opinyinz. We’ll get to those soon enough.

            What have we been doing all this time?  Well, we feasted like kings. We beached like whales. But most importantly, we brewed beer.

            After our initial forays led by the expert brewers at Copper Kettle, we decided to take things to the house. Literally. One all-inclusive equipment kit and a trip to South Hills Brewing Supply later, we were elbow deep in hop sludge and simmering in questions about boiling times, dry-hopping techniques, methods of storage, grain contents… the list goes on. We checked some books out, watched a few podcasts, but it was a fortuitous encounter with a TRU beer nerd expert that really opened our eyes to the possibility and range in the realm of home brewing.

            The Three Rivers Underground Brewers (TRU Brewers) are a small and exceedingly active club of home brewers based in the Pittsburgh area.  They foster a community of shared experience & passion, that helps single brewers broaden their individual knowledge of the art through collaboration and conversation.  With open pint glasses they welcome every level of brewer, from novice drinkers to beer judges and even bloggers.  They come together once a month to sample their potables and discuss everything from methodology to innovation to competition.  You’ll also see them out on the town promoting some of their best brews by pouring at local beer fests like Millvale and even Big Pour.  And for one night in October, they’ll host their seminal sampling event at the Wintergarden in PPG Place.

            At the 7th annual Brewing Up A Cure on October 12, you can expect to find the usual trappings of a commercial beer fest – live music, awesome local food, an enthusiastic union of wildly different people with similar palate preferences – what TRUly sets this event apart is an assortment of beers that you will literally find nowhere else.  While there’ll be a few corporate beer sponsors on hand, the majority of the ales you’ll try are individual-conceived and uniquely inspiring.  The showcase of talent and promotion of the home brewing community also boasts one other distinguishing characteristic. ALL proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to help bolster the $100,000+ donation the TRU Brewers have amassed over the past 6 years.  Check out more information on the TRU Brewers and be sure to grab a ticket at brewingupacure.org.

            Cheers to a hoppy fall!

              Hough’s In August Is A Dream Come True

              We’ve heard beer does a bar good but dayummmn, Hough’s!  How much did you drink?

              After Christmas in July we seriously didn’t think this place could get any more awesome but oh ho ho, check out their August specials.  Not only are they featuring Lagunitas all month long with discount drafts, bottles, growler fills & tastings but it’s also Copper Kettle Flight Month.  That means 5 x 4.7oz testers of any of the neighbor-made brews for just 8 bones.

              And just to cover their proper party base, they’re throwing a big ‘old Back To School blowout on August 23 and 24th to celebrate the end of summer.  Details are TBD but knowing that they’re got Shiner lined up to sponsor and a big old prize package ready is enough to get us a little more than psyched.

              Also check out their featured trivia nights, with beer sponsors New Holland, Just IPA, Blue Moon and Angry Orchard lined up for the weekly quiz Tuesdays at 7:30.