largegarlic wrote:That got me thinking, what are people's picks for the best Pittsburgh/Western PA brewer? I've had East End, Rivertown, Penn, and Church Brew Works, and I find all of them to be decent, but nothing special. If Fathead's counts (I'm not sure that they do, since I thought they brewed a lot of their stuff in Ohio), I think I would go with them.
Have you tried Draai Laag
in Millvale? They're only open Thursday and Friday evenings, but worth a visit if you enjoy Belgian style beers. Be sure to try the Aureus and the Simon Girty if they have them when you go.
Penn is a mixed bag for me. They have stuff like their Weizen, Weizenbock and Penndemonium that are awesome... but the rest of the beers generally fall in the decent to good range. I'm not a huge lager guy, so that probably affects it to a decent degree. As I mentioned though, do yourself a solid and check out the Kaiser Cider they made w/ Arsenal Cider House... that was damn unique (to me at least) and tasty as hell.
Church Brew... well, they are definitely a mixed bag. Either the overall quality of their beers has gone down over the years, or my taste buds have changed as I tried more beers because the great majority of their beers don't do a whole lot for me anymore. Last time I was there, I got a sampler which had their standards (Pious Monk Dunkel, Pipe Organ Pale Ale and Celestial Gold) and 5 others. The Octoberfest and the Hoptoberfest were the only ones I really enjoyed. The others ranged from meh to ok. I <3 their Pizza though, which is the main reason I go there, moreso than the beer tbh.
I've had a couple beers from Rivertowne... they were all good, not great.