ABV, Craft Beer, Holidays

14 Pittsburgh Breweries with an Irish Ale for St. Paddy’s Day

We rounded up a selection of (Pittsburgh-based) Irish-Style ales, stouts, and porters in time for the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

ABV is our weekly series that highlights a different beer from a local Pittsburgh brewery every week. Check out our past picks here


There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a (non-local) Guinness during your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Heck, I’ll probably have a couple myself.

That being said, Very Local takes pride in guiding you – our dear readers – toward a local option, when it makes sense.

Pittsburgh-based St. Paddy’s Day revelers: here are 14 area breweries with a local option you can mix into your weekend festivities. We’ve divided this roundup into two sections – local beers and local events at breweries.

Know someone waiting til ACTUAL St Paddy’s Day (Tuesday) to celebrate? Send them to Southern Tier in the North Shore for a double-beer release, take-home-your-glassware bash.

ABV, volume LVIII

St. Patrick’s Day – Beer Options at Pittsburgh Breweries

Hop Farm // Lawrenceville

Beer Name // Style // ABV: Mrs Mary Mullens // Irish Dry Stout // 5% ABV

Know Before You Go: Awesome food available on-site by Provision PGH. Hop Farm plans to open their side lot (on 56th St) and serve from a beer trailer in their warehouse (in addition to the taproom) for overflow crowds on Saturday.

East End Brewing // Larimer

Beer Name // Style // ABV: Point Breeze North // Irish Dry Stout // 4.5% ABV

Know Before You Go: As part of East End’s ‘You Are Here: Neighborhood‘ series of beers – conveniently, the Point Breeze North is an Irish Dry Stout that’s currently on draft at the brewpub. Furthermore, the neighborhood beer is on a nitro tap for that added creamy, velvety goodness.

Check out East End’s Instagram post (below) for a thoughtful, easy to digest explainer on nitro beer versus conventional (CO2) beer.

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NITRO BEER! Carbonated beer's velvety counterpart. It's smooth to drink and fun to watch…but what is it? Let's say you have our newest neighborhood beer, Point Breeze North, on one of our regular taps and also a nitro tap. What would the difference be? Well, for starters, it's exactly the SAME beer in both kegs, only the gas composition in each keg is different. Nitro kegs have a higher percentage of Nitrogen vs Carbon Dioxide. The beer is forced through a restrictor plate in the tap, whereas in "regular" kegs, the reverse is true. What this does is change the mouthfeel of the beer! Nitro beers actually have more, smaller bubbles. Combine that with the fact that nitrogen is mostly insoluble in liquid, and the end result is a velvety texture that emphasizes malt characteristics and de-emphasizes hop bitterness. Plus, it creates a thicker head of foam (thanks, restrictor plate), and also looks super cool. "Regular" kegs have CO2 as the predominant gas resulting in bigger, more prickly bubbles that you find in most beers. Historically, darker, maltier beers such as stouts are found on nitro taps because their malty nature works so well with nitrogen. Nowadays in the craft beer scene, experimentation is more common, and that's no different here at EEBC (one of our favorites being Pedal Pale Ale with Grapefruit on nitro). We always have one beer on nitro, so feel free to ask our BEERtenders what's on today! Or, if you're a retailer, we always have nitro kegs ready for distribution. • • • • • #eastendbrewing #buyagoodfriendagoodbeer #nitrobeer #nitro #pittsburgh #pittsburghbeer #drinklocal #stoutbeer #beereducation #craftbeer

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Roundabout Brewery // Lawrenceville

Beer Name // Style // ABV: Pumpernickel Porter // Porter // 7.5% ABV

Know Before You Go: Expect to taste Molasses and Caraway in the Pumpernickel Porter at Roundabout. Fun Fact: if you hit up Roundabout Brewery on (most) Fridays during lent, they’ve booked Pub Chip Shop (food truck) to serve up their excellent fish sandwich at the brewery.

Pro Tip: If you plan to enjoy Pub Chip Shop’s Friday Fish Fry at Roundabout, go early if you can. Everything is made to sell and they may be sold out if you arrive late.

War Streets Brewery // Northside

Beer Name #1 // Style // ABV: Sampsonia Smoked Porter // Irish-style Porter // 5.8% ABV

Beer Name #2 // Style // ABV: Sherman Ave Stout // Dark Irish Stout // 5.8% ABV

Know Before You Go: When it comes to breweries and taprooms with food, War Streets Brewery continues to be very underrated. You should definitely plan to stick around for a bite to eat while here. War Streets Brewery shares an address with Bier’s Pub; their lunch / brunch / dinner menus are all excellent (we highly recommend the burger).

Eleventh Hour Brewing // Lawrenceville

Beer Name // Style // ABV: Brother // Irish Dry Stout // 5.1% ABV

Know Before You Go: To mark St. Paddy’s Day, Eleventh Hour’s special release of Brother will be served on nitro for that extra smooth, creamy head and mouthfeel. Highly recommend stopping by for this one-of-a-kind stout.

Hitchhiker Brewing // Sharpsburg and Mt Lebanon

Beer Name // Style // ABV: 16-oz Trip To Ireland // Irish Dry Stout // 4.9% ABV

Know Before You Go: Hitchhiker plans to release 16-oz Trip To Ireland at both of their Pittsburgh taprooms on Wed, March 11. Described as “Ireland in a glass” the Irish Dry Stout was hopped using East Kent Goldings and will be available in both draft and cans.

Inner Groove Brewing // Verona

Beer Name // Style // ABV: Tin Roof // Irish Red Ale // 5.4% ABV

Know Before You Go: With live music in the taproom (2pm to 5pm, Saturday for St. Paddy’s Day) the Inner Groove team has a balanced, easy drinking ale to get you movin and groovin for the holiday. Tin Roof carries a lovely “rusty, reddish color” and will be joined by a new release on Saturday – Wicky Wild; a west coast IPA (6.2% ABV) that hits the spot for folks craving something a little more bitter.

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Here's more about today's beer releases. These ones are a little easy to identify, but go ahead and name that tune. – If two new releases isn't exciting enough, we also have @revival_chili will be here at 2:00. Taproom opens at 12:00. – Tin Roof | Irish Red Ale | ABV 5.4%. – Inner Groove is a little old place where we can get together to share a pint of our Irish Red Ale. A balanced, easy-drinking ale, with a moderate malt character full of caramel and toasted notes. The deep rusty reddish color has “Everybody movin', everybody groovin' baby!” ______________ Jitter Bug | Coffee Blonde Ale | ABV 5.3%. – “Wake me up!” 'Cause I'm not plannin' on going solo. Wake me up before you head out to IGB for our new coffee blonde ale. Jitter Bug has the malt and hops dancing in time. A modest addition of coffee beans and lactose create gentle yet intriguing flavors, a slight roast boost, and a hint of caramel, all without adding the characteristic dark coffee color. With just enough coffee and cream, your head will go a bang-bang-bang 'til your feet do the same. (a Jitter Bug 👏🏼). . #pittsburghbreweries #pghbrewery #beerrelease #innergroovebrewing

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Rock Bottom // Homestead

Beer Name // Style // ABV: Incline Red // Irish Red Ale // 5% ABV

Know Before You Go: Rock Bottom has a full service restaurant on-site. Plan to stay for a hearty bite to complement those beers.

Sly Fox // Downtown

Beer Name #1 // Style // ABV: O’Reilly’s Stout // Irish Dry Stout // 3.6% ABV

Beer Name #2 // Style // ABV: Seamus’ Irish Red Ale // Irish Red Ale // 5.7% ABV

Know Before You Go: Sly Fox’s downtown Pittsburgh taproom is literally adjacent to the iconic Point State Park. First time guests can expect Sly Fox to provide indoor AND outdoor seating (weather dependent) along with a solid kitchen that fires up food seven days a week. Sly Fox will have two Irish-Style beers available.

Fat Head’s Brewery // Southside

Beer Name // Style // ABV: Great Scots // Scotch Ale // 9.4% ABV

Know Before You Go: Described as amber hued, bold and malty, you can expect to taste caramel & toffee with hints of smoke, roast and chocolate in this big, boozy beer.

St. Patrick’s Day – Events at Pittsburgh Breweries

Sat, March 14

Allegheny City Brewing // Northside

Know Before You Go: ACB plans to open early for guests coming to and from the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Sat, March 14

Leaning Cask Brewing // Springdale

Beer #1 // Style // ABVIrish Red Ale, brewed with Peated Malt & Oats – aged in Jameson infused oak barrels // 4.5% ABV

Beer #2 // Style // ABVIrish Red Ale, brewed with Irish Breakfast Tea, lemon peel and ginger – aged in bourbon barrel // 4.7% ABV

Know Before You Go: Leaning Cask has a double cask tapping planned for Saturday. Both are unnamed Irish Red Ales and both were conceived and brewed with help from Leaning Cask’s bartending staff. The bartenders have been divided into two teams (each team represents one of the Irish Red Ales) and they have a friendly competition among patron voters (hence the lack of names for each beer)

Leaning Cask will have PGH Tortas out front slinging their corned beef, live music from Sam Sears and they will release their first-ever fruited sour – Pedigree – which features blood orange, cranberry, cinnamon and Madagascar Vanilla Bean.

Sat, March 14

Helltown Brewing // Strip District

Know Before You Go: As part of a pop-up St. Paddy’s Day Tailgate Party, Helltown Brewing will be pouring a selection of their beers at 1700 Penn Ave in the Strip District. The event is 21+ (and dog-friendly) and goes from 9am to 5pm. Live music is slated to begin at 1pm and the entire experience is part of an extended preview that foreshadows the grand opening of 1700 Penn Ave, a bar / taproom / wine shop in partnership with Pennsylvania Libations.

Tue, March 17

Southern Tier // North Shore

Beer #1: Irish-Style Red Ale (name and ABV to be announced)

Beer #2: Irish-Style Stout (name and ABV to be announced)

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2628557487469255/

Know Before You Go: Southern Tier’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration is on Tuesday, March 17 – it features a double beer release, an Irish food menu, discounted Southern Tier merchandise AND if you buy a pint, you can take home the glassware. The party gets started on Tuesday, beginning at 11am.

Tue, March 17

East End Food Co-Op (at 5pm)

Can Release: The above mentioned Point Breeze North – an Irish Dry Stout from the team at East End Brewing – will be celebrated with a special Tuesday can release on St. Patrick’s Day.

Location: Catch the can release from 5pm to 7pm at East End Food Co-Op (7516 Meade St, Pittsburgh, 15208). You can also pick up cans at East End Brewing in Larimer.

 

Header Photo: Josh and Stefanie Lipke of Leaning Cask Brewing, photo by Cory Morton.