Drinking the ‘Burgh

The lure of the City of Bridges is strong these days and Stock & Barrel writers are not immune. Lots of “renaissance” banter, and it’s barely a morning drive from Columbus. I too have traveled to the not-so-far-off land of Pittsburgh recently, and I am happy to report that my insatiable thirst for fine beverages was quenched. The following are a handful of places that stood out over the blurry and beautiful weekend trip in a city that seems to find the perfect balance between no frills monuments to shots, beers and football, and lavishly appointed spaces serving world class cocktails, wine, and craft beer that belie the rust belt, blue collar reputation of the Steel City.

Beer

It’s only fair to split this category in two: Commodity and Craft.  Pittsburgh is no stranger to the craft beer boom of the last 10 years, but sometimes a cheap domestic and a shot of whiskey in a neighborhood joint beats out a locally-brewed belgian style tripel. For the former, Jack’s in Southside is a good bet. Maybe it was seemingly the entire neighborhood celebrating an absurd Steeler’s victory against the Bengals in the AFC Wild Card, or perhaps it was simply the fluorescent signs advertising 16 oz mixed drinks, and $2.60 domestic bottles. Either way, it was tough to have a bad time at Jack’s. For the latter, a Hop JuJu Imperial IPA at Fat Head’s Saloon would satisfy any craft beer fanatic, but make sure to take a trip to Grist House Brewing in Millvale for their Camp Slap Red IPA. If the weather is nice, you’ll never want to leave their giant, dog-friendly outdoor area.

Wine & Cocktails

I can’t really say enough about the Strip District’s Bar Marco, a charming restaurant and bar that serves up amazing food along with a fantastic wine list, and cocktails that are worthy of heavy praise. Once seated at the bar or one of the handful of small tables, you’ll notice two things right off the bat, or rather the lack of two things: a cocktail menu, and the ability to tip your server. The restaurant staff are paid a salary, which is reflected in the slightly higher listed prices. When ordering drinks, simply order a classic, or describe the flavors you like, as well as any spirit preference, and the talented bartenders will mix up something great.

Bonus Category: Coffee

After a night of eating and drinking, the first priority is a good cup of coffee, and Pittsburgh is not lacking in that department; however, my favorite spot we visited was a tucked away florist/gallery/design/coffee shop that is it’s own animal all together. With creative floral arrangements, books, trinkets, and fine art adorning the walls and shelves, and a beautiful Spirit Duette espresso machine manned by a barista cranking out maple lavender lattes, and fresh cups of coffee from Heart Roasters in Portland, OR, you will not find another place like 4121 Main


Visiting Information:

Jack’s Bar

1117 E Carson St

Pittsburgh, PA 15203

412-431-3644

Jacksbarpittsburgh.com

Fat Head’s Saloon

1805 E. Carson St.

Pittsburgh, PA 15203

(412) 431-7433

fatheadspittsburgh.com

Grist House Craft Brewery

10 E Sherman St

Pittsburgh, PA 15209

(412) 447-1442

gristhouse.com

Bar Marco

2216 Penn Ave.

Pittsburgh, PA  15222

barmarcopgh.com

4121 Main

4121 Main Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15224

4121main.com

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