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Exploring Craft Beer in Pittsburgh

Work travel has some benefits :-)

Last week I had the pleasure to visit Pittsburgh for a client meeting. One of the first things I do when I travel is seek out some places where I can taste some of the local craft beers – you know the stuff I can’t get back home.

The first night we arrived in Pittsburgh around 7pm and my travel buddy and myself decided to hit the rooftop bar called Biergarten at the hotel for a quick drink and a really cool view. I always like drinking on top of buildings, just something about overlooking all the activity within the downtown core.

To start off my beer drinking adventure, I ordered the mischievous Brown by Helltown Brewing. This beer is a English style brown ale with a great caramel and nut flavor. This beer was a great start as it was meant to be sipped and enjoyed which was what I required. The beer had a smooth texture and refreshing to my tired taste buds – in other words it got me in the mood for another. The next beer on order was the Dortmunder Gold by Great Lakes Brewing Company (these guys are based in Ohio). This beer was clean, smooth, and refreshing with a sweet malty taste. The last beer for the evening was Blah, Blah, Blah from 21st Amendment Brewery – a great IPA beer that uses nine hop varieties. It went very well with my salmon dinner.

On our last night, we started off at the hotel for happy hour which provided us the opportunity to sample a local beer for free (who doesn’t like free beer). This beer was light refreshing Pilsner brewed by Penn Brewery in Pittsburgh. I liked the first one so much I had two more.

Next stop was a restaurant called City Works located in the Market Square downtown. This is a great spot with a little parkette in the centre and restaurants all around. We got lucky and ended up on the patio with a great view of the night life. The first beer tried here was the Alpha Initiative Number One (I know it is a mouthful eh?) – a very enjoyable IPA from Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick Maryland. The next beer was called the Animator from Strange Roots EXP from Pittsburgh – this was a really nice brown ale so I had a couple of these. The food pairings included Deep fried cheese curds which were very yummy, the classic chicken wings with a mustard BBQ sauce to die for – loved this so much I asked for the recipe. We threw in some duck nachos, some chicken wraps and few other munchies and enjoyed a few more beers before heading back to the hotel and getting our beauty sleep.

In the end, I really enjoyed Pittsburgh and want to come back here for a real visit, perhaps a nice weekend for a hockey game, some more food and you guessed it – BEER!

Mark

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