There are few things more summery than a lazy evening at a brewery — live music, food trucks, cute dogs, and kids running around, and seating geared towards conversation and relaxation.
Pittsburgh is home to dozens of breweries. The official Pittsburgh Brewery Guide lists 42, but folks count as many as 50 within Allegheny County alone. The city’s surrounding counties are also rife with great spots to grab a pint with friends and family. While it’s impossible to highlight the best traits of every brew spot, we’ve rounded up just a few to help you plan an epic summer evening.
Best brewery to bring your kids to
Big Sewickley Creek Brewery
2030 Big Sewickley Creek Rd., Sewickley. sewickleybrewery.com
If you’re in the mood for a night out and either want to or need to take your little ones, check out Big Sewickley Creek Brewery. Pack the kids a change of clothes and some Crocs, because this brewery is right along the “crick.” Brothers Marc and Chris Gignac chose the location because the proximity to nature and space to run around creates just the vibe they were looking for. With food trucks, live music, and trivia nights, there’s always a reason to stop by, and the whole family will have a ball.
Best brewery for man’s best friend
Various locations. strangerootsbeer.com
If you want to bring your dog to the brew house (or pet other people’s dogs), Strange Roots is a great place to go. With three Pittsburgh locations — Millvale, Gibsonia, and New Kensington — there is a Strange Roots near you, we promise. Each location has a dedicated partnership with a different local kitchen to ensure good eats while your pup socializes in their generous outdoor space. Millvale features Pittsburgh Sandwich Society, Taqueria El Pastorcito slings delicious eats in Gibsonia, and Common Oven Pizza Co. slices up handmade pies in New Ken.
Best spots with non-alcoholic options
Two Frays Brewery
5113 Penn Ave., Garfield. twofraysbrewery.com
The Open Road
600 E Warrington Ave., Allentown. openroadbarpgh.com
If you’re sober, the designated driver, or just taking a booze break, there are two great options to check out. Two Frays Brewery in Garfield features traditional alcoholic brews along with their NA West Coast IPA — making it a great choice when just some members of your party are teetotaling. The Open Road in Allentown features nonalcoholic beers, wines, and spirits from a variety of different breweries, wineries, and distilleries.
Best brewery for outdoor drinking
Spoonwood Brewing Co.
5981 Baptist Rd., Bethel Park. spoonwoodbrewing.com
If it’s a gorgeous day or evening, and sitting inside just won’t do, check out Spoonwood Brewing Co., which has outdoor seating in droves. Their Bethel Park restaurant is lined with glass garage doors that open onto a spacious patio and an expansive yard for pups, kids, and general lounging. Their wood-fired oven serves up crowd pleasers all day long including smoked meat with homemade cornbread, mac n’ cheese, and pizzas. They’ve got a brunch menu, too, for the morning drinkers.
Best brewery for getting your grub on
2601 Smallman St., Strip District. cinderlands.com
If you’re thirsty and hungry, check out Cinderlands Warehouse in the Strip District. Overseen by head brewer Paul Schneider and executive chef Joe Kiefer, a 400-lb smoker and 3,000 square foot kitchen crank out irresistible meat, baked goods, and more. The warehouse can easily fit 350 diners without feeling cramped, so it’s a great place for a group meetup, too. They’ve got two other locations in Lawrenceville and Wexford, as well — Lawrenceville serves up Belgian pub food and Wexford offers grab-and-go options prepared at their other locations.
Best brewery for live music
4312 Main St., Bloomfield. tracebloomfield.com
If you’re in the mood for some tunes, stop by Trace Brewing in Bloomfield for a constant lineup of diverse and varied artists. Musical acts range from a TaylorFest — four bands covering Swift’s greatest hits — to Slappers N Bangers, who spin the best of rap, hip-hop, and R & B. They also have art classes, trivia nights, and a paid vocational program for those interested in becoming a brewer. While there’s no kitchen, a lineup of food trucks means you won’t be hungry.
Best brewery for cold weather
Grist House Craft Brewery
10 E Sherman St., Millvale. gristhouse.com
If you’re looking to sit outside on a chilly night, there are multiple options, but one stellar choice is Grist House Craft Brewery in Millvale. When the temps drop, their massive outdoor space features fire pits and heaters to sit around while trying their in-house brews. There’s always a food truck on site, and kids and pups are welcome, too.
Best brewery for showing off
Church Brew Works
3525 Liberty Ave., Lawrenceville. churchbrew.com
If you have out of town guests, take them to Church Brew Works in Lawrenceville. It’s a local classic that checks all the boxes for the true Yinzer experience — beer, a converted church, and pierogies. They’ve also got seafood, mac n’ cheese, and generous salads. Their brew list includes IPAs, pilsners, and saisons as well as a long list of fun cocktails and mocktails — and a killer dessert menu.
Before heading out for a night of brewskies and bites, check each brewery’s social media for updates — they’ll tell you what food trucks, bands, or events are happening as well as what’s new on tap. Cheers, Pittsburgh!