Pick up a Hitchhiker? Don’t mind if I do. Here’s a lightweight, rainy day beer to channel our Steel City springtime vibes.
ABV is our weekly series that highlights a different beer from a local (Pittsburgh) brewery every week. Check out our past picks here.
I’ve been there before. And I’ll be there again.
Sitting and staring at the muted video screen.
Every time I visit Hitchhiker, my eyes are enamored by their signature looping video reel. If you’ve been, you know what I’m talking about. The television mainstay greets guests upon entry at their Sharpsburg-based brewery.
“Pick Up A Hitchhiker” feels so on-brand for these fiercely independent dudes churning out some truly unique beers.
Let’s get to it.
ABV, volume IX
Conversion – available now at Hitchhiker Brewing
Beer Name: Conversion
Style / ABV: Dry Hopped Blonde Ale, 4.5% ABV
Why we recommend it: I read ‘Blonde Ale’ and felt intrigued. It was the ‘lightly dry hopped’ descriptor that drew me right in. The Conversion is brewed with Pilsner malt and, per Hitchhiker’s website, hopped lightly with Amarillo (a hop strain) and dry hopped with a touch of Amarillo as well.
Hitting the fermenter with a continuation of (light) dry hopping brings out the IPA vibes, but don’t be fooled. You’ll be amongst ALL the aromas and tastes in Conversion, including lemon peel, fresh bread, crackers, and blossoms. This is an excellent beer.
Fun Fact: Conversion is light and feathery at 4.5% ABV. The array of flavors are easy on the palate and, to be honest, this beer feels as though it should have more gravity. The aftertaste is pleasant. The first few sips felt subtle; as I worked my way through the pint, a palpable crescendo emerged. It left me (gently) wanting more.
Where is it available: Hitchhiker Brewing (Sharpsburg and Mount Lebanon).
When is it available: Conversion is available right now
How is it served: Enjoy a fresh pour (at either location) on draft. It’s best to ask about growlers (or crowlers) for carry out, as Hitchhiker’s policy is to evaluate their yield of (existing) 4-packs before making a decision. Conversion is a mainstay at Hitchhiker and generally available year-round.
Honorable Mention Beer: Literally everything Hitchhiker brews is honorable and worthy of mention. Their taproom’s style diversity is awe-inspiring.
No surprise here, your resident hipster recommends either the Barbarian (NEIPA, 7.5%) or the Internet Vacation (Smoothie Sour, 7.0%). Both are rad and significantly different from Conversion (most notably in strength). Ka Pow.
Visiting Hitchhiker in Sharpsburg (or Mount Lebanon)
First Time Visitor to Hitchhiker?
Parking (Mt Lebo): two free lots on either side of the building AND free on-street parking all around the brew pub.
Parking (Sharpsburg): free on-street parking on most of the adjacent streets as well as the municipal lots just a couple blocks away on 13th Street.
Pro Tip: both Hitchhiker locations are tucked among residential areas. It’s best to be mindful of families and residents of their respective neighborhoods. In other words, you might need to walk a few blocks because “all the good spots” will usually be taken by folks whose houses are proximal to the brewery. #Etiquette 🙂
Mount Lebanon: Yes, food is available at the taproom
Sharpsburg: not in-house, but they rotate through a collection of food trucks most days of the week.
Mount Lebanon: very cute, cozy and a lovely outdoor space too.
Sharpsburg: Hitchhiker built their (Sharpsburg) production facility INSIDE a former brewery. It’s a huge space featuring a 25-foot-long, steel-topped bar and mega high ceilings. You can peek through a window into the actual brew space (it’s also huge). Or, on the first Saturday of every month, you can sign up for their in-depth brewery tour: it’s $25, includes a beer tasting AND you can take home the souvenir glassware.
Getting to Hitchhiker
Sharpsburg: Super easy ride on the 91 bus. Pick up / drop off is just a couple blocks away on Main Street. You can also take the 1.
Mt Lebo: Two T lines service the brewery. If you can, catch the T (red line) outbound and hop off at Poplar. Bingo, you’re a 4-min walk to the brew pub.
Uber / Lyft: per usual, always a smart move after some beers.