Summer and day drinking are the dynamic duo that we wait all year for, so we’ve been planning out our ideal trip for a while now. Sure, we could happily stumble up and down Butler Street and have a great time at Roundabout Brewery, Hop Farm, Allegheny Wine Mixer, Eleventh Hour, Arsenal Cider, etc, etc. But we like going off-grid and exploring some lesser-known spots.
In any case, this is what we would do if we were trying to have the best day of drinking ever. Feel free to steal our ideas.
Stop #1: COP OUT Pierogies, Etna
All good day drinking days start with carpeting the stomach. There’s no better way to get your pre-drinking brunch on than with pierogies. COP Out features handmade pierogies in a “cop’s dozen” of 14 that come in unique combinations like buffalo chicken, chicken marsala, and even a breakfast option. Drool all over yourself with the dessert pie-rogies like apple maple walnut cheesecake, s’mores, and freaking fudge.
Stop #2: Boyd & Blair Vodka Distillery, Glenshaw
Get to this hip-to-sip spot for their free tour which includes a free tasting. Their flagship potato vodka has repeatedly ranked on “Best Vodka of the 120 Top Spirits in the World” so you have no excuses for skipping the short Route 8 drive to get to it. It’s also too-hip-to-skip because it’s located in the old Glenshaw Glass Factory.
Stop #3: Hitchhiker Brewing, Sharpsburg
On the first Saturday of the month $25 will get you a tour, a tasting, and even glassware to take home. Reserve your spot in advance online then pay at the door. It’s worth the small amount of pre-planning to get the behind the scenes look at this brewery that dared to cross a river and move from Mt. Lebanon all the way to Sharpsburg. Their bravery and their variety-of-styles beers deserve a big Thumbs Up.
Stop #4: Dancing Gnome, Sharpsburg
All IPA fans will feel like they have died and gone to American IPA heaven. Don’t let the small taproom fool you as this place is big on the hops and finding ways to infuse their brews with fruity-good aromas. A food truck will be parked right outside and those tricky gnomes will entice you to buy just one more round of the Tentacle Squad.
Stop #5: Strange Roots Experimental Ales (previously known as Draai Laag), Millvale[relevant url=”http://www.strangerootsbeer.com/”]
Practically unmissable as you exit Route 28 into Millvale, Strange Roots offers an outdoor biergarten which immediately transports you to Belgium. In its “hay-day” you’d encounter off-the-wall combinations like the locally-sourced raw wheat-straw Petite Ferme and the tried-and-true brew The Plague. 2018 brought major changes but they still focus on ever-changing new brews – so stop in often since you never know what the latest tap list will hold.
Stop #6: Grist House, Millvale
Grist House sits back off of the main street and has grown into a full-fledged backyard party spot. Local food trucks on rotation will give you that much needed belly-fill as you imbibe on their funkily-named standards. Cap your day with a 6.2% ABV Double Vice coffee porter which is made in partnership with Allegheny Coffee or opt to get completely blitzed with the 9% ABV Tripel Grist.
Stop #7: Pittsburgh Food Truck Park
In the Millvale Riverfront Park (on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail) you will find the long-awaited-for mash-up of food+drink. Food trucks and Local craft drafts rotate daily. It is the best place to just park yourself and let the craft beer scene come to you as you let your cares drift down the Allegheny.