Hofbrau in Pittsburgh

I spent two weeks in Munich this summer, so I'm all for bringing a German biergarten to Pittburgh.


2 Responses to "Hofbrau in Pittsburgh"

globalburgh said... 8/17/2006 6:46 PM

In early July, I was chatting with a bartender at The Church Brew Works. We were lamenting the passing of the most recent beer heyday in Pittsburgh, the late 1990s. I'm a beer tourist whenever I travel and I thought Pittsburgh had one of the best emerging beer scenes in the world. I don't get that sense now, but I think Pittsburgh could return to its former glory quite quickly.

Drover said... 8/18/2006 3:56 AM

I lived in Pittsburgh during its "beer heyday" in the late 90s and I have visited Pitt as a beer tourists several times since, most recently this summer. I’m here to tell you that Pittsburgh has not lost any of its beer glory in the 8 years since I lived there. Sure, I remember when the Strip District was a virtual brewer's alley: Valhalla, Strip Brewing and Foundry Ale Works were all within a mile of each other, and all right across the river from Penn. Valhalla and Strip made run-of-the-mill beers and frankly the craft brewing scene is not terribly worse off for their passing. Foundry, on the other hand, made some truly solid beers and I was most displeased to hear of their demise (which I hear from the rumor mill was mostly self-inflicted via poor management). While Foundry’s demise was a true loss, new upstart East End Brewing has quickly gained a devoted local following and promises to bloom into a regional success -- so Pitt really hasn’t suffered a net loss in quality beer producers in the last decade. Penn of course is still up and running and still one of the finest producers of German-style beers in America. Other long-time Pittsburgh institutions like D's Sixpax & Dogz, The Sharp Edge, Fat Head's and Church Brew Works have a national reputation among beer enthusiasts, though the Church more for its ambiance than the quality of its beer. (Smokin' Joe's ought to have similar national “legend” status and I am baffled that it does not.) Heck, even the otherwise lamentable Pittsburgh Brewing Company is responsible for a large portion of Sam Adams' output. All these places help keep Pittsburgh near the top of the list the nation's greatest beer towns. Hofbrau's decision to open a massive beer hall there is strong evidence that Pitt's beer-town credentials remain strong and true. Rumors have swirled that Belgium's famed Delirium Cafe also seeks to relplicate itself in Pittsburgh, though I have been unable to secure confirmation. So in short, I’d argue that Pittsburgh's "beer heyday" never really went away; it has simply experienced some inevitable upheaval.

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