Pittsburgh has a fourishing group of craft breweries, distilleries, urban wineries and cocktail and wine bars that are popping up all over town. Make sure to visit:
Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar: One of my favorite new finds on my recent trip was Arsenal Cider at 300 39th St. in Lawrenceville. They produce four ciders from dry and tart to semi-sweet. Located in an old house, the bar has Civil War–themed decor, and also carries cider-style fruit wines, bourbons, craft brews and meads.
The Church Brew Works: This would be my church of choice if I lived in Pittsburgh! It is a local craft brewery featuring the beers made in the church sanctuary. In addition to tasting their lagers, porters, ales and IPAs, you can try a menu of pizza, pierogi and bratwurst. I enjoyed trying the Pious Monk Dunkel, a dark style lager with a hint of chocolate plus a malty and caramel finish. The brewery opened in 1996 in the former St. John the Baptist Church at 3525 Liberty Ave. I loved the original stained glass windows and hand painted ceiling.
Maggie’s Farm Rum: This is a local rum distillery that is the producer of Pennsylvania’s first craft rum. All products are distilled from scratch in copper pot stills in the historic strip district. They have received numerous awards including those from the American Craft Spirits Assoc., the American Distiller’s Institute. I did a tasting and then came back and enjoyed a rum old fashioned before my dinner nearby. They feature a large number of cocktails, draft beer and ciders. 3212A Smallman St.
Allegheny Wine Mixer: Thanks to the staff at Cure, I found this fun wine bar and tap room at 5326 Butler St. near the restaurant. It has a large selection of wines, beer and cocktails to choose from plus some small plates of meat and cheeses.
Wigle Distillery: Wigle is a local distillery that makes a large number of spirits from whiskies including rye and bourbon, malt whiskey, gin, rum, vodka, liqueurs and vermouth and bitters. I enjoyed tasting the excellent PA Rye, the Prohibition Rye and the PA Bourbon. Their rye whiskey caramels are a must to buy for the trip home or for a gift. In addition to their Strip District tasting room at 2401 Smallman, they have a downtown bottle shop and tasting room at the William Penn Hotel and their Barrelhouse and Whiskey Garden on the Northside at 1055 Spring Garden Ave. They are owned by the same people as Threadbare Cider House & Meadery. It was also the first distillery opened in the city of Pittsburgh since Prohibition.
Threadbare Cider House & Meadery: At 1291 Spring Garden Ave. in the Troy Hill neighborhood, it is known for its signature ciders paired with pizza and locally made charcuterie. The ciders include their Dry, Dry Hopped and Farmhouse which is bright, tart and dry.
R Wine Cellar Urban Winery: This is an urban winery located in the Strip District at 2014 Smallman St. They make a number of wines from grapes they import from the best grape growing regions. The wines they make are reds and whites along with some sweeter wines and fruit wines. Tastings are available at the winery in the Strip District.
Cinderlands Brewing: This is a brewery and craft kitchen in Lawrenceville at 3705 Butler Ave. They are open for dinner and Sunday Brunch. They make a number of lagers, ales and IPAs.
Local Microbreweries to check out when you visit Pittsburgh include Hop Farm Brewing Company, a local micro-brewery located in upper Lawrenceville at 5601 Butler St., the Taproom of East End Brewing located in the Strip District at 102 19th St., Eleventh Hour Brewing at 3711 Charlotte St. and Roundabout Brewery at 4901 Butler St.
Legume Bistro’s fun cocktail bar and casual restaurant, Butterjoint, is across the hall. They feature Western PA beef burgers ground daily, homemade pierogies and sausages, cheeses, desserts and a soup and salad of the day. 214 N. Craig.