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How do you define a sports bar in a sports town like Pittsburgh? Truthfully, if a bar has more than one television, it basically counts. Trying to find a spot for Steelers Sunday? Pitt football Saturday? Hockey playoffs? Bucco season? Really, no matter what game you’re trying to watch, most every bar in Pittsburgh’s got your back. Very few label themselves as “sports bars,” namely because they don’t need to — many places (too many to count) have sports memorabilia lining the walls and regulars who could pass for 1970s Steelers statisticians. So, what are the best sports bars in Pittsburgh? The short answer: all of them. But if you’re looking for more specifics, this list should have you covered, no matter what region of the Steel City you base your fandom in.
Placed right at the bottom of Cardiac Hill in Oakland, take a seat at Pub instead of climbing to a seat at the Pete — it is not recommended to make that climb having just eaten loaded nachos. Good food choices and atmosphere bring people in (and also make them stay). It can be hard to find a seat here, but you’ll be surrounded by a feverish energy once you do.
Photo from Thrillist
WILLIAM PENN TAVERN
Most of Pittsburgh’s outdoor bars are on rooftops, which are excellent in their own right, but there’s something to be said for a first-floor bar that doesn’t require you to hike up three flights of stairs or awkwardly ride in a cramped elevator. The William Penn has a large outdoor space (that’s covered in the winter) that requires no extra legwork, so all your energy can be spent eating wings (with its famed “Kitchen Sink” sauce) and screaming at the refs.
Photo from Thrillist
Want to go out to watch the game with a good selection of beer? Don’t want to the hassle of a big crowd? The Strip District’s BeerHive is the place for a calmer Steelers Sunday. Some might like the big crowds to cheer with, but others might want to skip the air horn in the ear every once in awhile. This bar constantly rotates its draft list and, what’s more, it actually keeps it updated on the website. Small plates, like Pittsburgh Pickle Company deep fried pickles, will serve you well on game day.
Photo from Thrillist
BIRMINGHAM BRIDGE TAVERN
The tavern’s building has stood the test of time, by design. The bar has merged the classic with the updated look and feel of the place, and added on a lengthy list of pours. Not to mention its award-winning wings and salads that are actually salads and not the sad pile of leaves some other bars might try and pass off as salad. This tavern has a great second-floor space, but is available for private party reservation, which can make the bottom floor a skosh too tight sometimes.
THE SOUPER BOWL
There’s a bar that has Iceburgh’s likeness in its logo, and it just so happens to be located across the street from PPG Paints Arena. As you walk up to The Souper Bowl, you’ll hear the Pens’ announcers, giving you that pre-game hype up. Busy before and after the game, the divey space becomes the eye of the storm during regulation time for those who don’t have seats inside the arena. Sit right in front of a TV, grab what’s on special, and sink your teeth into some wings with a sauce option that mixes BBQ and buffalo (Hint: It’s waayy more buffalo).
Photo from Thrillist
JEROME BETTIS’ GRILLE 36
Where can you get an Immaculate Margarita? The Bettis Grille. The Bus’s stop is located on the North Shore, just footsteps away from Heinz Field and PNC Park. More like an mid-to-upscale restaurant instead of a bar, a few extra dollars is worth the price of space, good food, and strong drinks.
An obvious leap across the pond in the middle of the Steel City, Piper’s might more commonly be a game-day hangout for those with a love of soccer, with the Beautiful Game memorabilia lining the walls instead of American football. However, the pub food and drink selection is good on any type of game day, and really, nothing should come between a sports fan and their bangers and mash.
Photo from Thrillist
Strip District & Other Locations
The only thing that’s more Pittsburgh than going to Primanti’s is going there to watch a game. Any of the locations throughout the city provide a truly yinzer atmosphere to watch whatever is on, coleslaw and all. If you’re lucky, the chain might have the HBK sandwich available (created near the end of the championship 2015-16 season to honor Penguins players Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino, and Phil Kessel, not “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels), which stacks bacon and kielbasa on top of ham and is only available in limited releases.
Photo from Thrillist
CARSON CITY SALOON
Carson City is probably the ultimate bar stop for someone looking to cheer and yell at various large screens with a crowd of likeminded people. The South Side spot’s walls are lined with memorabilia, including the likes of a Jaromir Jagr jersey that’s been altered to say “Jagoff” and “traitor” — you know, the type of wall hangs that give you all the warm and fuzzies as a Pittsburgher. A large draft list and a few bucket options make this place a great spot to take an Uber home from regardless of your budget, and the food menu touts Pittsburgh favorites, many of the portions big enough for two — prepare your belly accordingly or plan to share with a friend. The atmosphere is loud, enthusiastic, and contagious, much like Pittsburgh itself.
TO KEEP UP TO DATE ON THEIR SURVIVAL GUIDE CLICK HERE
Let’s be real: we’ve all outgrown our seat at the kids table. It’s time to grow up and show off your fancy apartment and impeccable taste this holiday season. Is there any better way to prove your #adulting skills than curating a classy cheese plate?
Didn’t think so.
We put this pairing guide together with our friends from Vermont’s Cabot Creamery to help cut the anxiety from your holiday party planning. Enough with the small talk, though, let’s grab some Long Trails, Cabot cheese and get this party started.
I wouldn’t have known that Brown Shugga is presented as Lagunitas‘ Chirstmas beer, but this is the time of year they sent me one to sample. Their website calls it their “winter seasonal” And the red and green on its label solidify the idea. So here it is.
Brown Shugga is one of those beers in which a batch with a mistake turns out to be better than expected. If you know Rogue’sDead Guy Ale story, you likely know how a Lagunitas brewer botched a batch of their Old Gnarlywine, but owner Tony Magee told the brewer to save by dumping in brown sugar to get it up to the needed original gravity of 1.100. But the different fermentable gave the beer a different taste, and thus Brown Shugga was born. There’s an alternate holiday beer, made when their brewing capacity couldn’t make enough Brown Shugga; called Lagunitas Sucks, but that’s another release.
Even in the minutes it took to snap and upload the picture above, the smell of brown sugar remained strong with this one. The pour is caramel brown malt under a foamy head. Bubbles in the tulip glass rise slowly, like the brew is too thick for them to handle.
The taste is indeed very sweet, although in this fresh bottle, there is still a backing of hops, perhaps more English than northwestern. The mouthfeel is only slightly thicker, it turns out, than regular beer, but well within barley wine range. Despite having 9.7% alcohol by volume, they describe this beer as “slammable,” and I have to admit the alcohol is very well hidden. It finishes with just a bit of hop afterburn, and leaves the lips nice and sticky.
Lagunitas suggests serving this with any dessert made with pumpkin pie spice, but I think we don’t want to hear about that right now. Maybe try setting this as a palate cleanser after dinner, and put off dessert for an hour or so. Catch up with whatever game is on.
Anchor Historian Dave Burkhart brings us interesting tales of Anchor’s past, guided by the factoids printed on the underside of Anchor Steam Beer crowns.
Under every Anchor Steam Beer crown (we brewers call bottle caps crowns) is a little piece of Anchor lore. Each represents anywhere from ounces to tons of research, and there are over 200 different crowns in all—start collecting them now! In the Under the Crown blog series, I’ll offer a brief elaboration on each UTC factoid (Under The Crown—another industry term).
1965 – Anchor Steam still at SF’s Old Spaghetti Factory
1965 – Fred Kuh tells Fritz Maytag about Anchor’s plight
1965 – Fritz Maytag’s first visit to Anchor
1965 – Fritz Maytag buys 51% of Anchor Brewing
1965 – Anchor Steam Beer first balloon ascension
1965 – Anchor sells 882 barrels of beer
Since all the crowns in this installment of Under the Crown are about 1965, maybe it’s best to tell their story by recounting our story from that time.
Fred Kuh, a bartender at San Francisco’s Purple Onion, opened his Old Spaghetti Factory Café and Excelsior Coffee House on Green Street in 1956. The bohemian gathering place and watering hole was “the city’s first camp-décor restaurant,” as Fred recalled, “but it wasn’t called camp then.” Anchor was the only brew on tap there. “We built our business around steam beer,” Fred said.
Anchor Steam signage at the Old Spaghetti Factory
By 1965, as America slaked its thirst with lighter, mass-produced, heavily marketed beers, the Old Spaghetti Factory had become one of Anchor’s last remaining accounts. Fred—ever loyal—even loaned the brewery money to help keep San Francisco’s beer afloat. In July 1965, he heard the news that Anchor—then known as the Steam Beer Brewing Company—was about to shut down.
Fred turned to a customer and friend who was living in the City by the Bay, twenty-seven-year-old Fritz Maytag—great-grandson of the founder of a well-known appliance company in Newton, Iowa. Fred knew that if Maytag paid a visit to the brewery, he might just fall in love with it. Sure enough, “it was as if,” Fritz reminisced, “someone said, ‘That’s the last cable car and it’s going out of business tomorrow unless you put up a few thousand dollars.’”
On August 2, Fritz Maytag shook hands with owner/brewmaster Lawrence Steese, purchasing 51% of the brewery (and its debt) and rescuing our brewery from imminent oblivion. Final papers were filed September 24. San Francisco’s iconic beer and “medieval brewery”—as Fritz fondly calls it—were saved!
Former Owner/Brewmaster Lawrence Steese
To celebrate and promote his new acquisition, Fritz called on aeronaut Deke Sonnichsen and his balloon Libra. The first ascension of the Libra/Anchor Steam Beer balloon took place in Palm Springs in November. Another, on a chilly December day in San Francisco, was unfortunately more balloon than ascension. Nevertheless, Fritz—one of America’s first guerrilla marketers—succeeded in garnering some much-needed attention. We made the paper, albeit under the headline “A Valiant Fiasco”!
The Libra/Anchor Steam balloon ascension
By the time 1965 came to a close, we’d racked up sales of 882 barrels of beer—218,736 pints of a San Francisco original—including an uninterrupted supply to Fred Kuh’s Old Spaghetti Factory. The craft beer revolution had begun.
Next time you pick up a 6-pack of Anchor Steam Beer, be sure to check out what fun facts are under the crown! Share what you find with us on social media and tag @AnchorBrewing and#DrinkSteam for a chance to be re-posted! Use our handy Beer Finder to locate a brew near you!
‘Tis the season for holidays, giving, porters, stouts, holiday parties, family gatherings, beer swaps, you know name it. It can be hard keeping up on everything. You might not even have the time to consistently grab fresh six packs or something to satisfy all parties at whatever party you’re hosting or going to next.
Atwater Brewing Co. understands your worries and wallows. Fear not, they have constructed a holiday party pack ready to satisfy the widest range of beer palettes. Keep your eyes pealed and enjoy the holiday season!
Great Lakes Brewing Co. will debut four new seasonal brands and is adding a fan favorite to its year-round lineup next year.
The Cleveland brewery announced its 2017 beer lineup last week.
The new seasonals, which each were made in the brewpub’s original seven-barrel brewhouse by pub brewer Steve Forman, are:
• Grandes Lagos Lager, a Mexican-style lager with a pink hue and tart finish thanks to the addition of hibiscus flowers. It’ll be available in six-packs, 12-packs and draft in March.
• Lightkeeper Blonde Ale, a slightly hoppy ale. It will be sold in March as part of the Fridge Filler 12-pack, which also will include Holy Moses White Ale, the 2017 edition of the Hop By Numbers IPA brewed with experimental hop 06277 and …
• Oats MacDonald Pale Ale, a creamy pale ale made with oats. It will be sold as part of the Fridge Filler.
• Hop Madness Double IPA, which will be available in four-packs and on draft in April.
(You can check out bottle images provided by the brewery below.)
Meanwhile, Turntable Pils will join year-round brews Dortmunder Gold, Eliot Ness, Burning River, Commodore Perry and Edmund Fitzgerald in six-packs, 12-packs and draft starting in January in Ohio.
“Turntable Pils was a hit in its debut year, with many customers saying they’d love to make it their ‘go-to’ beer because of its flavorful but easy-drinking style,” brewery spokeswoman Marissa DeSantis said. “Turntable Pils fits in perfectly with our year-round portfolio because it showcases one of the things we do best: brewing fresh, balanced, and true-to-style beers.
“We’ve put the Great Lakes spin on this classic style to show people how flavorful and complex a pilsner can be. At 5.3 percent, Turntable is lower in alcohol than our other year-round offerings, so it’s an approachable, session-friendly option for our fans and new craft drinkers.”
Great Lakes also liked the idea of celebrating Ohio’s music history, she said.
The brewery is planning to celebrate the year-round launch with themed events, contests, and merchandise.
Here’s the rest of Great Lakes’ seasonal release calendar:
Bud Light, the Official Beer Sponsor of the NFL, is further celebrating passionate NFL fans around the league by introducing limited-edition “Strike Gold” Super Bowl-themed packaging. Randomly seeded in select packs are gold Super Bowl 51 cans, which – when found – give fans the opportunity to enter for a chance to score big at the end of the season and win tickets to attend the Super Bowl each year for the rest of their life (up to 51 years).
“All season long, Bud Light has celebrated the most passionate and dedicated fans that the NFL has to offer, and as the playoffs approach, we want to see fandom turned up another notch,” said Anna Rogers, director of NFL partnerships and strategy, Anheuser-Busch. “Most NFL fans likely won’t see one Super Bowl in their lifetime, so we figured what better way to reward one of the NFL’s biggest fans than by giving him or her tickets to the big game for the rest of their life?”
Beginning Nov. 28 and extending through Jan. 13, all packs of 18-, 24-, and 30-packs of 12 oz. Bud Light cans across the country (excluding California) will feature the new bold look. Just 37,000 gold cans will be randomly seeded in these limited-edition Strike Gold Bud Light packs, which opens the door to winning the grand prize.
Halloween and Thanksgiving have flown by and now we’re moving into Santa season. What better way to celebrate the holiday spirit than with a beer fit for Ole Saint Nicholas himself. Rogue Ales & Spirits’ “Santa’s Private Reserve” is a double hopped red ale roasted with a fine balance of malts and spruce finish.
This week we’re ready for a rich and dark imperial chocolate rye porter. We’ve looked high and low for one of the best post-Thanksgiving brews to help you wash down all of those left-overs. Upon much review and taste-testing, we’ve landed at DuClaw Brewing Company’s “Guilty Filthy Soul,” a medium-full bodied Imperial Chocolate Rye Porter that is rich with the aroma of roasted malts and cocoa. Big chocolate flavors and underlying notes of rye and coffee give it a good base, but the use of real chocolate in the brewing process boosts this brew to a whole new level. It adds a velvety mouthfeel and crisp, bittersweet finish.
Don’t miss your chance to track down this limited release in 12 oz bottles.
Pour yourself a glass of holiday spirit on the first weekend of December at Hough’s Taproom. From Friday, December 2nd through Sunday, December 4th, Hough’s will be hosting their annual Toy Drive Weekend. Each day with provide incentives for customers to donate a toy to wing some swag and specials from Long Trail Brewing Co., Sierra Nevada, Brooklyn Brewery and more.
FRIDAY DECEMBER 2 | Kick Off Event (6pm – 9pm)
Celebrate the kickoff with the Greenfield Holiday Parade. Long Trail, Neshaminy Creek, Brooklyn Brewery and Sierra Nevada will be in attendance to take part in the festivities.
Don’t forget to bring a toy for HEARTH and be entered to win some prized brewery swag.
Last but not least enjoy great food and draft specials plus featured $8 32oz. cans to go.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 3 | Meet and Mingle (3pm – 5pm)
Meet and chat with some of the brewers of Southern Tier.
SUNDAY DECEMBER 4 | Weekend Recovery (10am – 3pm)
End the weekend with bloody mary’s and a delicious Hough’s brunch as well as a Tito’s giveaway when you bring a toy to donate.
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60% to 70% cacao), finely chopped (1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs.)
For the sauce:
3 tbsp. butter
½ cup Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro
2 tbsp. corn syrup
1 cup dark chocolate chips
To make the crust: Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor, pulse the cookies and sugar until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until evenly moistened. Using your fingers, press the crumb mixture into the base and partway up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Use a flat-bottomed, straight-sided glass to further press and smooth the bottom and nudge the crumbs halfway up the sides. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Position the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and leave the oven on. When the pan is cool, wrap the bottom and sides with 2 overlapping 18-inch squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil and set in a large baking pan.
To fill and bake the cake: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat until combined. Mix in the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla until smooth. Mix in the eggs, egg yolk, and 1-1/4 cups of the cream just until well combined. Set aside. Heat the remaining 1/3 cup cream in a small saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil; remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth and then whisk in 1 cup of the pumpkin batter. Pour the remaining pumpkin batter into the prepared crust. Drop 2-tablespoon dollops of the chocolate batter over the pumpkin batter. Work in one quadrant and use a wooden skewer or toothpick to continuously “write” capital cursive L’s, being careful not to go too deep and scrape the crust. Turn the pan to work in the next quadrant and continue swirling and turning until all quadrants are done. Pour 1 inch of boiling water into the baking pan. Bake until only the center of the cake jiggles when nudged, 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes. Turn the heat off but leave the cake in the oven with the door ajar for another 45 minutes. Remove from the water bath and foil and run a thin, sharp knife around the edge of the cake. Cool completely on a rack. Cover the pan with plastic wrap (without letting it touch the cake) and chill for at least 8 and up to 24 hours
To make the fudge sauce: Add the butter, 1/2 cup stout and corn syrup to a sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat until butter has melted and the mixture has just started to boil. Turn off heat and stir in 1 cup chocolate chips until completely melted. Allow to cool slightly before using. Cheesecake recipe courtesy of finecooking.com.
Hailing all of the way from Kansas is this #BeerOfTheWeek! This Scotch Ale is yet another perfect winter beer made for curling up next to the fireplace with it’s nice blanket of malt. You won’t be able to miss the prominent toffee and caramel flavors laced through the hint of smokiness. Finish it off with a subtle spiciness from the Magnum, Chinook and Styrian Golding hops.
Pair it perfectly with heavy meat dishes, strong aged cheese or chocolate and you’re sure to have yourself the perfect night in.
A new study finds that beer lovers have no problem finding a pint in Pittsburgh.
The study by Infogroup revealed the top 10 U.S. cities for both beer and wine. The full lists for each are as follows:
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Raleigh, North Carolina
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
Rochester, New York
San Jose, California
New York, New York
To determine the top U.S. cities for beer and wine lovers, Infogroup analyzed more than 15 million verified business database records to identify which metro areas with a population of at least one million residents are home to the most beer retailers and breweries, including craft and microbreweries, as well as the most wine retailers and wineries.
The study also provided insight into the lifestyle differences between beer and wine drinkers. Compared to wine cities, for instance, top beer cities have a higher percentage of homeowners and a slightly higher percentage of married households and families with children. In addition, residents of beer metro areas are more likely to own pets and eat at family restaurants.
Metro areas that prefer wine, on the other hand, have a higher average income and home value, along with a slightly higher percentage of college graduates. Residents of wine metro areas show a higher propensity for traveling – especially cruises and foreign travel, joining physical fitness clubs and practicing yoga and Pilates.
Additional findings include:
Residents of beer metro areas are more likely to prefer country music concerts for entertainment.
Residents of wine metro areas prefer live theater and classical musical concerts.
Despite having a higher average income, the average purchasing power (income adjusted for the cost of living) in wine metro areas is lower than it is in beer metro areas.
To read more about Infogroup’s top 10 U.S. beer and wine cities study, click here.
During this new President-elect session, why not take a moment to feature a beer that draws inspiration from FDR’s Depression-era radio addresses? They were a kick in the butt and a warm hug at the same time–just like this brew. It has all of familiarity of a traditional seasonal brew with an unexpected and ever-so-tender twist. This rich, dark, English-style ale some unexpected spices to give it a new edge.
Only available from October through December, you don’t want to miss this early winter seasonal beer before it is too late. The perfect brew to wash down a turkey sandwich or some pumpkin pie, you can find it in six pack cans or on draft.
Fireside Chat is our early winter seasonal brew available from October through December in six pack cans and on draft. Brewed like a classic, warming Strong Ale but with a subtle blend of hand-selected spices for just the right festive flair.