Winter is here, and with that colder weather and shortened daylight. If you’re looking for a warm and cozy outing this winter, you can’t beat a visit to one of Pittsburgh’s many craft breweries. These spots feature much of what Pittsburgh does best and is known for – friendly and welcoming faces, warm, cozy, and relaxed atmospheres, and every visit an exciting chance to try something new, whether it be from rotating tap lists often leveraging local ingredients from the region, or new food trucks or ever-evolving menu variety from their scratch kitchens. Here are a few of our favorite in the Burgh (not ranked in any particular order):
Spoonwood Brewing Company
Located in the South Hills, Spoonwood Brewery is a large and friendly brewery that features some of the best beer and brick oven pizza in the Steel City. With a wide-ranging tap list, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Their large space is great for group gatherings, for beers or for dinner. In addition to their rotating tap list, they also have a fresh menu, often featuring dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Spoonwood offers fresh flavors and great pairings for every kind of taste bud.
Between local patrons and brew masters alike, Dancing Gnome is consistently regarded as one of the most admired breweries in the Burgh. Located in Sharpsburg, Dancing Gnome is a 10-barrel brewery and taproom that prides itself on “hop-forward” brews. They also host a rotating schedule of food trucks that prove to be just as tasty as their beers. They host a rotating tap list that changes frequently that will keep you coming back for more.
Recently named Pennsylvania’s best craft brewery by Thrillist, Brew Gentlemen should be at the top of your brewery list of breweries in the Burgh to check out. Brew Gentlemen prides itself on its mission of creating soft, balanced, and elegant beers with meaningful experiences. The brewery itself is housed in a renovated electric supply store that provides all the Pittsburgh industrial vibe with an updated twist. Some of the best winter warmers that caught our eye include Choco-Matic Imperial Porter and Mexican Coffee Oatmeal Stout.
Hitchhiker Brewing Co.
With two locations in Mt. Lebanon and Sharpsburg, there are two opportunities to experience the magic that it Hitchhiker Brewing. Some of our favorite winter warmers for the season include The Barbarian IPA, Shadow Walker Oatmeal Stout, and Just Baked Imperial Stout – but keep your eyes peeled as there are constantly new instant favorites coming out. And if you’re looking for the inside track, the first Saturday of every month they feature an in-depth brewery tour at their Sharpsburg location, complete with a tasting, and glassware to take home that you won’t want to miss.
Cinderlands Beer Co.
Cinderlands is a craft brewery + scratch kitchen that’s all about serving Pittsburgh classics, with an elevated twist. Cinderlands challenges patrons to expand their palettes and taste buds, all the while providing a comfortable atmosphere with its warm, cozy exposed brick decor and unique murals of the Steel City lining the back-dining area. Some of our favorite brews were the Dad Beer (Cracker Flats), the Sky Weasel if you’re an IPA fan, and Arch & Drum milk stout. Cinderlands is a place you can count on for not only solid beer but delicious food too. If you’re looking for a snack, check out the almonds and chicharrones, they’re unlike anything else you’ll find in the Burgh. And whatever you do, you’re going to want to order the Diner Burger – hands down one of the best burgers in Pittsburgh!
Yellow Bridge Brewing
If you’re feeling up for a quick drive outside of the city, Yellow Bridge Brewing is worth the trip. Their logo featuring the city’s iconic bridges attracts both locals and visitors alike, and the beer gives all many reasons to stay. Their ‘Dude’ series is popular with patrons – Dude Wanted Juice & Little Dude topping the ranks as some of their most popular offerings on tap. They also have trivia, live music, and yoga which gives patrons even more reasons to keep coming back.
Grist House Craft Brewery
Located in the heart of Millvale, Grist House is a popular favorite brewery among both local patrons and their furry companions alike. This dog-friendly brewery offers a neighborhood-feel that’s great for gatherings. With a great outdoor space often a hit for the summer, but with an outdoor fire pit and warm interior, this place is a must-go-to for the winter months too.
Strange Roots Experimental Ales
Specializing in spontaneous fermentation, the tap list at Strange Roots is constantly changing, week over week. They’re passionate about sourcing unique ingredients from the environment around us, and feature beers that might surprise you. Your inner child will love the tasty treats like Smores Stout and Koel – Aid Concord which reminded us of a grown-up juice box! Even better, they have a cocktail on rotation for a gluten-free option and feature vegan-friendly food dishes. The Stoner Taco is a big hit with the locals. With a family friendly atmosphere (and fur-friendly patio!) and always something exciting to try, Strange Roots is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience to check out.
Eleventh Hour Brewing Co.
Located in the heart of Lawrenceville, Eleventh Hour is a 20-barrel brew house that prides itself on focusing on making a variety of beers that appeal to everyone. Triangles Are My Favorite Shape is a crowd favorite for those who love New England IPAs and Archer is go-to for any Kolsch fan. One of the best things about a visit to Eleventh Hour is the laid-back and cozy atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re at a friend’s house for game night – complete with giant Jenga and board games found at the brewery to make it a reality! The food trucks out front never disappoint and complete the relaxed, casual atmosphere perfect for a cozy winter outing with friends.