Time for my last stop in Pittsburgh. I dove deep into the historic Deutschtown neighborhood for this venture. The historic feel was punctuated by an old, yet seemingly still functional, Heinz factory across the highway.
But, this visit was not about ketchup. Oh no. I was here for the beer, make no mistake. And my destination was certainly no hole in wall with a tiny sign that you had to search for. Due to the somewhat congested nature of the building layouts, you don’t see it from very far away. But, when you get to Penn Brewery, you definitely know it.
Before I even went inside, I got a camera full of interesting information just walking around their cobblestone biergarten with… I don’t even know what to call them. They look like archway tunnels or caves that have been closed off at one end. Although, now they have been set up as drinking/dining areas.
Whatever they are, they are really cool. The rest of the cobblestone biergarten was also interesting.
I ordered myself a plate of pierogi, the Mash Paddle Vs. Hipster beer and settled down to take in the atmosphere and chat with the bartender. I found out that the building was not just a historic landmark for being an old building. It was actually a brewery that had started up in 1884. Penn Brewery apparently still has lagering caverns still in use from the old E&O Brewery days. I’ll bet the odd outdoor areas used to be an entrance to those cavers.
As I waited for my pierogi I wandered the inside and got some additional pictures.
I also checked out the ratskellar where you could see brewing equipment that started in the basement and was situated under the brewing equipment you could see by the bar.
Penn Brewery was absolutely worth the trip, and I managed to score a 2013 bottle of St. Nikolaus Bock Bier that they had squirreled away.
Wow! I just realized how far behind I am with some of the visits I’ve made. In case anyone hasn’t noticed, I travel A LOT. So I have a lot of breweries to write about. Still to come are trips I’ve made to Portland, Baltimore, and New Mexico. On top of that, I have a lot of local-ish breweries to get to. There is a lot on my plate (42 breweries to write about at last count). So, hopefully, I’ll start churning out a reasonable amount of new content to keep up with the pace. I recently spent a significant amount of time organizing all of the pictures and videos I’ve accumulated (which reduced the amount of time I had to write, see how that works). Seems I have a few visits that slipped through the cracks. Let’s make sure they get the attention they deserve.
Remember when I went to Pittsburgh and wrote about The Church Brew Works and Insurrection? Well, that was not all there was to that trip. Somehow I got pulled onto other stories. But there are some Pittsburgh stops we still need to look at.
The story so far. We had a rental car for the first day of the trip (which got me to The Church Brew Works, Insurrection, and Penn Brewing), but then we were on our own. We were staying at a hotel with a shuttle to the airport and we were working at the airport. No need for a rental car for most of the week long trip. The down side of that situation was that we were limited to eating within walking distance of the hotel. On top of that, we were working crazy hours at the airport and we were exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel every night. I was sure I would never find enough breweries, brew pubs, or even good craft beer bars in the area to keep me satisfied during the week and I just didn’t have the energy to go exploring. However, on the way back to the hotel on the first night, we saw a sign within walking distance that said “Industry Public House“. Seemed worth checking out.
They did have “Industry” beers listed on tap. I asked if they brewed on site (as I couldn’t tell if the equipment behind the glass was brewing or distilling equipment) and they were very up front about letting me know that their beers are brewed by Full Pint Brewing. I definitely appreciated the honesty, and Full pint is a great brewer. So, no complaints on my end and certainly nothing to be ashamed of on their end. I was also impressed with their drink listing which included an indication of how full the keg was and a link to Untapped so that you could see what people were writing about.
I am a 5 year old at heart, so I got a kick out of seeing my name pop up on the board when I tracked my beer. Obviously, I got the Hot Blast Habanero Pale Ale, because I like things hot, hot, hot. Before you get all bent out of shape because these systems are showing up all over the place, keep in mind (as I stated at the beginning of the post) that this happened a while back. It was new to me at the very least.
Normally, I’m all about the beer. But, this place had so much more going for it. They also had a list of whiskys and bourbons about as long as my arm and smoke infusers on site. You picked your whisky/bourbon and your flavor of smoke (e.g., apple wood) and they smoked your whisky/bourbon right before bringing it out to your table. I’m not normally a whisky kind of guy (or a heavy smoke flavoring kind of guy for that matter). But I had to try it anyway. I got a Southern Comfort with a cherry wood smoke added. It really was pretty good.
And to top it all off, they had some of the most unique food options I’ve seen in quite some time. That lead to Industry becoming out nightly stop all week long. The first night, I got some wild boar bacon. The second night, I got sausage croquettes with a whiskey sauce and butternut crisps. The next night, I got the roasted duck pot pie. On the last night there, I got the kimchi shortrib burger and the bourbon bread pudding. The saddest part is that I only scratched the surface of what they had available.
I once had a similar week-long work trip where the only place to eat near the hotel was a Waffle House. I can absolutely say that having Industry so close at hand was a far, far better experience. And I did mange to get a “growler” of that Hot Blast Habanero Pale Ale. Although “growler” is a strong term considering what they gave me was really a 12 oz mason jar.