Any beer connoisseur knows that a good brew starts with good ingredients. But at Pittsburgh’s Church Brew Works, they’re taking microbrews to another level. They’re making good beer in sanctified quarters.
On our road trip to Pittsburgh for a weekend of heavy metal shows, we visited the microbrewery. High ceilings loomed above patrons. Shiny tanks bounced light from stained-glass windows and into narrows nooks, including an original confession behind the bar. St. John the Baptist
Church laid its cornerstone in 1902 and placed a time capsule underneath the stone to commemorate the founding. Today, the time capsule remains under the stones, holding fast to the history of the church and Pittsburgh.
Church Brew Works beer is fantastic ranging from light pilsners to hearty stouts. We tried the sampler, a generous beer buffet of eight 5-oz. pours. The flights come in fluted shot glasses that line up like glass soldiers under the mosaic lights. I’d never drank 40 oz. of beer in one sitting, even back when Old English (OE!) was popular in a street-punk way. The Irish-style red ale was my favorite. I ambushed one group of guys with a platoon of flights that seemed to bow out their table.
By 4pm, we’d not eaten lunch and been sightseeing in the humidity all morning. In short: we were starving. So, ripping through the menu, we ordered without restraint, starting with perfectly fluffy pierogies. The traditional cheese and potato dumplings paired nicely with my pint of Church Brew beer. Neil and our friend Dave shared an untraditional plate of chorizo pierogies. Afterward, we were ready for our main courses: crab cake sandwich, double-beef Shinkasa Cheesesteak with kobe beef, and a double Philly-Style Cheesesteak with onions and beer cheese sauce.
Although the outside church façade seems very…church-ish and staid…inside, the microbrewery is all about religious beauty among artisan brews and international meals. With
stellar lagers and an eclectic menu, Church Brew Works is a must-see in Pittsburgh. We had a massive meal, over an hours worth of eating, and fueled up for a great night of Rob Zombie, Exodus and Slayer at Stage AE.