Beer of the Week: Allegheny City Brewing and Dancing Gnome’s Quintessence | Drink | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Beer of the Week: Allegheny City Brewing and Dancing Gnome’s Quintessence

A love letter to a neighborhood brewery on its fifth anniversary

click to enlarge Allegheny City Brewing and Dancing Gnome’s Quintessence - CP PHOTO: OWEN GABBEY
CP Photo: Owen Gabbey
Allegheny City Brewing and Dancing Gnome’s Quintessence
Beer of the Week: Allegheny City Brewing and Dancing Gnome’s Quintessence
Allegheny City Brewing: 507 Foreland St., North Side. alleghenycitybrewing.com
To say I moved to Pittsburgh by the seat of my pants is an understatement. It was 2018. It was a Friday. I was supposed to start my new job on a Monday. And I didn’t have a place to live yet.

My dad and I drove down from Rochester, N.Y., anyway, with an apartment viewing lined up for later that day with my prospective roommate. We got in, checked into our Airbnb, then went to check out the apartment on East Ohio Street. We liked the place (and were out of options and time), so I signed the lease that day. As I said, whirlwind.

And just like that, I had a neighborhood, a community. I had a place in a new city to call home. So my dad and I naturally looked for a spot to kill some time before we went to a Pirates game later that night. It was a beautiful fall afternoon, and we saw there was a brewery right out back of my apartment. And that’s how we ended up at Allegheny City Brewing, he and I spending a symbolic moment together, one of the last ones before he had to leave me to my own devices, in my own home.


My Beer of the Week is Quintessence, Allegheny City Brewing’s five-year anniversary collaboration with Dancing Gnome, a triple IPA that is beautifully juicy and dangerously smooth for a 10% IPA. But really, it’s a celebration of those small symbolic moments that the brewery has provided for me, and how much it’s been ingrained into my experience in Pittsburgh.

I’m moving out of this apartment at the end of the month, albeit to a place all of five minutes away from the current place. But as you leave a spot, you start to reflect on what that community has meant to you, and Allegheny City Brewing has undeniably been a part of it. From that first trip there with my dad, it provided me comfort. Sitting outside while doing work and getting distracted by all the dogs. Going on a very early date with my girlfriend, hoping she’d enjoy going there as much as I do. Hosting friends during the pandemic in the parking lot, all of us sitting apart from each other as our weekly way of connecting. Allegheny City Brewing brought all of this to me, whenever I needed it.

This whole thing is probably overly dramatic, eulogizing a place that I’ll still go to frequently. However, I think an important part of the Pittsburgh brewing community is what a place means to you. Allegheny City Brewing might not have the hype of some other breweries. They may not be the spot that’s recommended on all of the “places you need to go to” lists. But they were my spot. Everyone has one in their community. It could be a brewery or a restaurant or a gym or a store. But it’s yours. Allegheny City Brewing was mine. So cheers to Allegheny City Brewing on a killer beer, cheers to five years, and cheers to finding your Pittsburgh spot.

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