The 5 Best Breweries in Pittsburgh • Hop Culture
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9.11.17

The 5 Best Breweries in Pittsburgh

Your roadmap to the Steel City's best craft beer.

Written by Juliana Farrington

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This list could be a whole lot bigger.

There’s a familiar line from Peter Pan that asks, “Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have our tea first?” The grown-up version of this might read, “Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have a beer first?” In Pittsburgh, you don’t need to distinguish. Beer drinking is the adventure. Here are five of the best breweries in the ‘Burgh, a city we call home. Plot your course and go explore.

Voodoo Brewing

205 E 9th Ave | (412) 368-8973

Maybe you’re familiar with Voodoo’s Barrel Room Collection releases and the way they prioritize locals over out-of-towners. They also prioritize independence. The anti-corporate, employee-owned Voodoo keeps it real. Now with locations in Meadville, Erie, and Homestead, Voodoo has become a cult-favorite. Remaining true to beers that are “fun, flavorful, and thought-provoking,” you can expect to find their six flagships, a diverse seasonal selection, and plenty of South Park references at their taprooms. It’s worth noting that no beer is brewed on-site at the Homestead location. Instead, Voodoo beer, which is brewed at their production facility in Meadville, is served at the Homestead pub.

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Draai Laag

501 E Ohio St | (412) 407-2506

Feeling a two brewery type day? Visit Draai Laag and Grist House, both located just across the Allegheny River in Millvale. Founded in 2009 by Dennis Hock, Draai Laag brews in the Belgian and French tradition, with a strong focus on yeast. A student of beer science since age 17, Hock is well-studied in spontaneous fermentation, hence the trademark “Wild by Design.” His beers tend to be high in alcohol, so it’s best to go on a full stomach.

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Grist House Craft Brewery

10 E Sherman St | (412) 447-1442

Opened in 2014 when two brothers-in-law remodeled an old slaughterhouse into a brewery, Grist House is dog-friendly, family-friendly, and has one of the best outdoor spaces around. Their taproom, deck, and beer garden crowd with people and pets — you may have to step over a Frenchie or two — but the canines are friendly and the bartenders and patrons are even friendlier. We recommend the Undead Unicorn, a hoppy pale wheat ale named after a rare breed of brain-eating equine.

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Brew Gentlemen

512 Braddock Ave | (412) 871-5075

After taking second in Paste‘s blind tasting of 247 of the best IPAs in the country, the hype machine was primed. Since then, the brave among us have packed into cars and drove the 30 minutes to Braddock, where Brew Gentlemen is located. But the trip is worth it for a visit to this well-branded brewery that (think tuxedos), along with that phenomenal IPA, produces Doublemex, one of our favorite stouts.

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Dancing Gnome Beer

925 Main Street | (412) 408-2083

Dancing Gnome doesn’t apologize for brewing hop forward beers. Instead, they emphasize that their beers are “brewed with knowledge, passion and lucid abandon.” Such a thoughtful and smart brewery, we had to look up the word “eudaimonia” to figure out what it is they believe in. It’s a Greek word meaning good spirit and human flourishing. It doesn’t take long to recognize that Dancing Gnome — determined, cheerful, and energetic — knows exactly what it is and what it stands for.

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Honorable Mentions