All About Ales

Did you know that ALL beers are classified as either ales or lagers? Once you wrap your head around the notion that imperial stouts are considered ales, you’re in good shape. Ales have been documented for over 5,000 years now. Ales have yeast that ferments at the “top” of the fermentation vessel, and typically at higher temperatures than lager yeast. Depending on brewing style, ales can be enjoyed when they are young (couples weeks) or very old (couple of years). Here’s a run down on the ale styles and the mighty Pittsburgh breweries that showcase them!

*Breweries are alphabetized (no favoritism n’at). Beers listed on website were included, if we didn’t mention one- let us know! This is not the encyclopedia for beer styles and will be continually updated and added to. Enjoy learning about our Awesome Ales from Pittsburgh breweries!

Amber/ Red Ale

  • Taste- malty, hops intensity ranges from low to high
  • Color- amber to deep red
  • Glassware- pint glass
  • Serving temperature - 45-50 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for an extended amount of time
  • Fat Head’s Brewery- Bone Head Red (Imperial Red Ale)
  • Full Pint Brewing -All In Amber
  • Rivertowne Brewing- Rudolph’s Red (Imperial Red Ale)

American Pale Ale (APA)

  • Taste- great balance between malt and hops, clean, hop focused
  • Color-pale golden to amber
  • Glassware-pint glass or mug
  • Serving temperature-40-45 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for an extended amount of time
  • Church Brew Works- Pipe Organ Pale Ale
  • East End Brewing- Pedal Pale Ale
  • Fat Head’s Brewery- Trail Head
  • Penn Brewery- Allegheny Pale Ale

Barley Wine (American)

  • Taste- intense, fruity, sweet (bitter sweet sometimes)
  • Color- amber to dark brown
  • Glassware- pint glass or snifter
  • Serving temperature- 50-55 F
  • Can be cellared for years under proper conditions
  • East End Brewing-Gratitude

Belgian Trippel 

  • Name “tripel” comes from adding 3 times the amount of malt
  • Taste- spicy, powdery yeast, fruity/estery with a sweet finish
  • Color- bright yellow to gold
  • Glassware- snifter or goblet
  • Serving temperature- 45-50 F
  • Can be cellared for long periods of time under proper conditions
  • Church Brew Works- Millennium Trippel
  • East End Brewing- Ugly American
  • Fat Head’s Brewery- Head Trip

Black Ale

  • Taste-malty, light to moderate roasty notes, hopped generously
  • Color-dark brown to black…dur
  • Glassware- pint glass or mug
  • Serving temperature- 40-45 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for an extended amount of time
  • Fat Head’s Brewery- Black Knight Schwartzbier

Black and Tan

  • Brewery or bartender will layer a dark ale with a light ale or lager
  • Color- black and tan haha
  • Glassware- pint glass, mug
  • Serving temperature-45-50 F
  • Go ask your Pittsburgh brewers for one of these and see what they come up with!

Blonde Ale (American)

  • Taste- very malty, light fruitiness, light/moderate hops (tastes similar to German Style Kolsch)
  • Color- pale yellow to deep gold
  • Glassware- pint glass or mug
  • Serving temperature- 40-45 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for an extended amount of time
  • Rivertowne Brewing- Babbling Blonde

Brown Ale (American)

  • Taste- matly, nutty, caramel, drier than English brown ales
  • Color- deep amber to dark brown
  • Glassware- pint glass or mug
  • Serving temperature- 45-50 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for an extended amount of time
  • East End Brewing- Fat Gary Nut Brown Ale
  • Full Pint Brewing- Little Brown Ale
  • Hop Farm Brewing- One Nut Brown
  • Penn Brewery-Nut Roll Ale

Chile Beer

  • Ales with the addition of various hot pepper juice, oils, or actual peppers
  • Taste- hotness can range from a subtle spiciness or pepperiness to hotter than Hades
  • Color- light colored to golden
  • Glassware- pint glass or mug
  • Serving temperature- 40-45 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for extended amount of time
  • East End Brewing- Rojo Ahumado Collab with Lavery PCBW2014
  • Full Pint Brewing- Name TBA PCBW2014
  • Roundabout Brewing- Polish Hill Pilsner with locally grown peppers

Cream Ale

  • Typically brewed as an ale although sometimes are finished with a lager yeast or lager beer mixed in
  • Taste- hop and malt flavor typically subdued, balanced
  • Color- golden
  • Glassware-pint glass or mug
  • Serving temperature- 40-45 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for an extended amount of time

Dark Wheat Ale (American)

  • Americanized Dunkel Weizen
  • Taste-caramel malts, slightly toasted
  • Color- medium to dark brown
  • Glassware- pint glass, mug, weizen glass
  • Serving temperature-45-50 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for an extended amount of time

Fruit Ales

  • A flavored beer, some breweries use real fruit or veggies (though most use an extract, or syrup)
  • Taste- malt flavor is typically hidden with a low hop bitterness to allow the fruit or vegetable to dominate
  • Color- very pale to black
  • Glassware-pint glass, mug
  • Serving Temperature- 40-45 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for extended amount of time
  • Church Brew Works- Cherry Quadzilla (Belgian Ale Style)
  • East End Brewing-Lord Nordsberry (Belgian Ale Style)
  • Fat Head’s Brewery-Bumble Berry
  • Rivertowne Brewing- Hala Kahiki Pineapple Ale

Hefeweizen (German)

  • The “Hefe” prefix means “with yeast”- hence the unfiltered and cloudy appearance
  • Taste- yeast produces banana and cloves flavors with an often dry and tart edge, some spiciness. Some may taste bubblegum or apples. Little hop bitterness
  • Color- pale straw to golden
  • Glassware- weizen glass
  • Not recommended to be cellared for an extended amount of time
  • East End Brewing-Monkey Boy
  • Fat Head’s Brewery-Goggle Fogger

Imperial IPA 

  • Taste-intense, malty, alcoholic, intensely hop forward
  • Color-golden to amber
  • Glassware-snifter, tulip
  • Serving temperature 50-55 F
  • Can be cellared for long periods of time under proper conditions
  • Fat Head’s Brewery- Hop JuJu
  • Full Pint Brewing- Tri PA

Imperial Stout 

  • Some brewers add coffee and/or chocolate. Some are barrel aged in Bourbon/Whiskey barrels
  • Taste- richly roasted, cleaner alcohol flavors
  • Color-dark brown to black
  • Glassware- pint glass or snifter
  • Serving temperature- 50-55 F
  • Can be cellared for long periods of time under proper conditions
  • East End Brewing -Toaster
  • Fat Head’s Brewery-Bean Me Up Imperial Coffee Stout, Hippy  Sippy
  • Full Pint Brewing -Rye Rebellion
  • Hop Farm Brewing- Little Kulak
  • Rivertowne Brewing- All Aboard Anniversary Stout

India Pale Ale (IPA)

  • Taste-herbal and/or citrus, high bitterness, balancing malt backbone
  • Color-pale golden to reddish amber
  • Glassware-pint glass, mug
  • Serving temperature- 45-50 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for an extended amount of time
  • East End Brewing-Big Hop, Big Hop Harvest
  • Fat Head’s Brewery- Head Hunter IPA
  • Full Pint Brewing-Chinookie, Hobnobber, Gus
  • Hop Farm Brewing- Hop Farm IPA
  • Penn Brewery- Overlook IPA
  • Rivertowne Brewing- Old Wylie’s IPA
  • Roundabout Brewing- Hyer-PA

Kölsch (German)

  • Originally brewed in Köln, Germany
  • Taste- hop bitterness is medium to slightly assertive, vinous (grape like from malts), dry flavor
  • Color- pale gold
  • Glassware- stange
  • Serving temperature- 40-45 F
  • Full Pint Brewing- 3-2-1 Win, King Kolsch
  • Penn Brewery-Cool River Kolsch

Kvass (Russian)

  • Typically made from black or regular rye bread
  • Taste- often flavored with herbs or fruits to balance the bitterness
  • Color- golden to brown
  • Glassware- pint glass
  • East End Brewing-Kvass

Old Ale (English)

  • Full malt body with lots of character
  • Taste- bittering levels range significantly, expect common fruity, vinous, intense malts, and sharp alcohol characteristics
  • Color- rich dark amber to a very dark brown; almost black
  • Glassware- pint glass or snifter
  • Serving temperature- 50-55 F
  • Can be cellared for long periods of time under proper conditions
  • Roundabout Brewing- Heini’s Good Cheer

Porter (American)

  • Taste- toasty, highly variable flavor profile. Some brewers super hop the brew. Some use smoked malts, add coffee, or chocolate. Some are barrel aged in Bourbon/Whiskey barrels. The hop bitterness range is wide but most are well balanced
  • Color- dark brown to black
  • Glassware-pint glass or mug
  • Serving temperature- 45-50 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for an extended amount of time
  • East End Brewing- Eye Opener Coffee Porter, Smokestack Heritage Porter
  • Fat Head’s Brewery- Battle Axe (Baltic), Up in Smoke Smoked Porter, Prohibition Pauly Robust Porter
  • Full Pint Brewing-Perc E Bust
  • Hop Farm Brewing- Fresh Pot of Porter

Pumpkin Ale

  • Beers with hand-cut pumpkins, puree, or pumpkin flavoring. Tend to be spiced with pumpkin pie spices, like: ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice
  • Taste- mild, with minimal bitterness, a malty backbone, with some spice often showcased
  • Color- orange, brownish
  • Glassware-pint glass
  • Serving temperature-45-50 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for an extended amount of time
  • East End Brewing- Nunkin Ale (does not contain pumpkin-hence the name, but sure tastes like it does)
  • Fat Head’s Brewery- Spooky Tooth (Imperial)

Rye Beer

  • Contains a large amount of rye grain
  • Taste- moderate bitterness, the rye’s strong spicy and sour-like characteristics shine through
  • Color- golden to dark brown
  • Glassware-pint glass, stange
  • Serving temperature-45-50 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for extended amount of time

Rye P.A

  • “Rye-P-A,” a take-off of the abbreviation for an IPA. The hop presence is pushed to the point where they resemble American IPA’s
  • Taste- spicy, earthy hops
  • Color- amber, brown
  • Glassware- pint glass, stange
  • Serving temperature-45-50 F
  • Penn Brewery- Rye IPA

Saison/ Farmhouse Ale

  • Traditionally brewed in the winter and consumed in the summer
  • Taste- fruity, lots of spice, medium bitterness, tiny bit of sweetness
  • Color- golden to amber
  • Glassware- pint glass, tulip
  • Serving temperature-45-50 F
  • Can be cellared for long periods of time under proper conditions
  • East End Brewing- Steel Valley Saison collab with Lavery Brewing PCBW2014
  • Hop Farm Brewing- Saison and the Currant

Scottish Ale

  • Traditionally these ales go through a longer boil in the kettle to caramelize the wort. This produces a deep copper brew with a higher level of unfermentable sugars
  • Taste- hop character is low, light floral or herbal, allowing malt profile to be center stage. Smoky characters are also common
  • Color- Amber to deep brown
  • Glassware- Pint glass, mug
  • Serving Temperature- 45-50 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for an extended amount of time
  • Rivertowne Brewing- Maxwell’s Scottish Ale

Session Ales

  • Style of beer that contains no higher than 5 % ABV. Very drinkable because the malt and hop characteristics are well balanced. The purpose of a session beer is to allow the beer drinker to have multiple beers, within a reasonable time period or “session”, without overwhelming the senses or getting drunk
  • Taste- wide range
  • Color-straw pale to dark brown
  • East End Brewing- Rotation of Session- Gotta go to know!
  • Fat Head’s Brewery- Sunshine Daydream Session Ale

Stout (American)

  • Taste-roasty, burnt flavors, although highly variable flavor profile. Some brewers hop the stout or add coffee and/or chocolate. Some are barrel aged in Bourbon/Whiskey barrels. The hop bitterness range is wide but most are balanced
  • Color-dark brown to black
  • Glassware-pint glass, mug
  • Serving temperature-45-50 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for an extended amount of time
  • Church Brew Works has rotating stouts- gotta go to know!
  • East End Brewing- Black Strap Stout, Chocolate Covered Cherry Stout, Homewood Reserve
  • Fat Head’s Brewery- Oompa Loompa Chocolate Cream Stout
  • Full Pint Brewing- Night of Living Stout
  • Penn Brewery- Chocolate Meltdown
  • Roundabout Brewing- Irish Coffee Stout

Strong Ale (Belgian)

  • Catch all style category for beers from 7.0 percent ABV and above
  • Taste- similar to barley wines and old ales
  • Color- light amber and dark brown
  • Glassware- pint glass, snifter, mug
  • Serving temperature- 50-55 F
  • Can be cellared for long periods of time under proper conditions
  • East End Brewing- Illustration Ale
  • Fat Head’s Brewery- Sorcerer (dark strong), Zeus Juice (golden strong), Pimp My Sleigh (dark strong)
  • Roundabout Brewing- Trompe le Monde (golden strong)

Weizenbock (German)

  • More “powerful” dunkel weizen, translates to “wheat strong”
  • Taste- pronounced estery alcohol character, more complex malt
  • Color-straw pale to dark brown
  • Glassware- flute, weizen glass
  • Serving temperature- 45-50 F
  • Can be cellared for long periods of time under proper conditions
  • Fat Head’s Brewery- Alpenglow
  • Penn Brewery- Penn Weizenbock

Wheat Ale 

  • Americanized version of a Hefe Weizen
  • Taste-hop character (low to high) most are moderate in bitterness
  • Color-pale to golden range
  • Glassware- pint glass, mug, weizen glass
  • Serving temperature- 45-50 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for extended amount of time
  • Aurochs Brewing- Aurochs White Ale (Belgian and Gluten Free)
  • East End Brewing-East End Witte (Belgian)
  • Full Pint Brewing- White Lightning (Belgian)
  • Penn Brewery-Penn Weizen
  • Rivertowne Brewing- Grateful White (Belgian)
  • Roundabout Brewing- Ginga Wheat


  • American strong ale that is made with a larger portion of wheat malt
  • Taste- sweet, but light tasting. Wheat provides a subtle flowery and citrusy flavor. Strong alcohol presence gives the beer a warming affect
  • Color- ranges from cloudy gold to clear amber
  • Glassware-snifter, large wine glass
  • Serving temperature- 45-50 F
  • Can be cellared for long periods of time under proper conditions

Wild Ale (American) or Sour Beer

  • beers that are introduced to “wild” yeast or bacteria, such as: Brettanomyces, Pediococcus or Lactobacillus
  • Taste- sour, tart
  • Color- golden to dark brown
  • Glassware- flute, tulip
  • Serving temperature- 45-50 F
  • Can be cellared for long periods of time under proper conditions
  • Full Pint Brewing- Paw Paw Berlinner Weisse

Winter Warmers

  • Strong alcohol presence to warm the soul on a wintery day, big malt presence
  • Taste-strong and complex maltiness along with low to assertive hop characters, spices and other special ingredients are often added
  • Color-amber to black
  • Glassware- pint glass
  • Serving temperature- 45-50 F
  • Not recommended to be cellared for an extended amount of time
  • East End Brewing- Snow Melt
  • Full Pint Brewing- Festivus

So next time someone tells you that they don’t like beer- tell them to try ALL the styles of ales before they can make such a hasty comment. Then if they still don’t…there are always the lagers. Please stay tuned for our next segment on Lager Love. Big thanks to Beer Advocate for being such a great reference.

Cheers N’at



Show Your Growler Some Love

growler pour

Pittsburghers love their growlers. We’ve got East End slinging growlers left and right at their brewery and at the PGH Public Market. We’ve got Roundabout Brewery in Lawrenceville topping growlers with some of the tastiest, local beer. We have Sharp Edge providing growler service for their gazillion beers on tap (ask for Josh, he pours a mean one). Heck, we even have local grocery stores supplying growlers for us beer fanatics. Odds are if you like beer- you have definitely seen one, if not own a few…or ten. They are great because they allow us to take home the breweries”one-offs” that aren’t bottled or canned.  Turns out, growlers are not a recent invention to accommodate the exploding craft beer scene;  the concept of growlers started a loooong time ago. Way before prohibition, Americans would take their trusty, good ol’ buckets to the local pub and fill it up with beer and haul it back home. Fortunately, our buckets have eveloved into highly reliable beer transporters when used properly. Here’s how to take care of yours..

Growler Tips to Make Beer Taste Like It Came Straight from the Tap

1. Make sure your growler is clean! Since this is a reusable container, you need to know how to properly clean it.

Skip the detergent- whaaaat? I know, I know sounds crazy but save your blue Dawn Soap for those dirty dishes. Soap residue messes with the beer’s balanced flavors and aromas. Well then how do you clean it then? You’ve got options.

            A. Double rinse with HOT water- (BEST OPTION) only works if done immediately after the last beer was poured. If you miss it, then go with these next options

            B. “No rinse cleansers and Sanitizers”- used by brewers/ homebrewers to sanitize beer bottles/growlers. These sanitize your bottles without leaving harmful residue while drying. If you buy growlers on the regular, it’s definitely worth purchasing. Examples: Star- San, One-Step. Just follow their printed directions

           C. Bleach – this works as well but you must make sure it is completely rinsed out or it messes with the beers delicate properties. But it’s cheap, powerful, and easy to find! Dilute it and you’ll only need a tiny bit plus some hot water.

*Allow growler to dry, preferably turned upside down on a drying rack. Store cleaned growler with lid off. Oh yeah, make sure you clean that lid too!

2. Have the bartender give it a quick rinse right before it’s filled. Better safe than sorry.

3. Feed your growler with your favorite local brew. Studies have shown that Pittsburgh beers are the best beers to fill growlers with. Ha, just kidding. But I’m sure one will be published in the near future. Also- try to fill your growler at places that use fill hoses. You will end up with better carbonation, less foam, and less exposure to oxygen (East End rocks these bad boys).

4. Wrap your growler up. Why? Many growlers are made out of clear glass- aesthetically pleasing, but bad for your beer. Just a few minutes in the direct sunlight can skunk your beer. EEK. Luckily, the solution is simple. Put your recently filled growler in paper or a cloth bag. If you are buying your first one, ask the bar tenders for a cover, they should be able to come up with something. There are growler slings, sleeves, and containers available online for purchase if you are considering serious growler hauling.

*Brown glass growlers are better than clear glass growlers, but they still let a little bit of light in. Stainless steel growlers do not let light in and are harder to scratch. However, they are a little bit more pricey. East End has a Widemouth Vacuum Insulated Bottle and Growler Koozies for sale as well.

5. Refrigerate your growler. Cold liquids hold carbonation longer. No fridge? Store it in a cool, dark, and dry place-like a pantry.

6. Drink. Ideally, the beer is best when consumed within 1-2 weeks of purchase, but can be kept in good shape for several months when unopened and refrigerated (Beer has never lasted that long in our fridge so we can’t verify from first hand experience that this is true, but we’ve read this several places). Once the growler has been opened, definitely consume within 1-2 days. The beer will go flat within 2 days. Again, we have not experienced this deadline issue…. Once it hits your’s so good!”- Frank the Tank. But if you have flat beer- no problem. Use it in one of your favorite recipes! We’ve got a ton on here if you need any inspiration.

7. Repeat! Clean, fill, cover, store, drink. Easy as drinking a brew at a Buccos Game. Now go fourth and practice safe growler-ing and enjoy your tasty beer just like the talented Pittsburgh brewers intended for you!

Cheers N’at

Sweet Auntie Anne Goes Eurotrash

Most of us have indulged in those decadent little cinnamon and sugar bombs from Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. It’s hard to go to the mall and not give into the temptation of buying  one…or four. It lures in the unsuspecting mall patrons with its hypnotic aroma- anyone and everyone in the vicinity is completely doomed for. We feel that way about Southern Tier too. Every time we come across one of their beers, we must try it. Consistently, they have brewed some of the most flavorful and delicious beers on the market today. We stumbled across their Eurotrash Pilz a couple of weeks ago, and knew that it had to be our next project. I mean, how could we pass up a beer with a name like that? Once we took a sip, it turned out to be everything we hoped to find in a great pilsner. It is so drinkable and balanced, it would be a complete disservice to beer cooks everywhere not to showcase it in a dish. We knew the marriage between a copycat recipe of an Amish lady’s pretzels and Eurotrash Pilz would be beyond epic. And it so was…

eurotrash pretzels


  •          2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
  •          1 cup warmed (not hot) Eurotrash Pilz from Southern Tier
  •          2 TBSP granulated sugar, divided
  •          2 TBSP packed light-brown sugar
  •          1 TBSP vegetable oil
  •          1 tsp salt
  •          2 ¾ (maybe a little less) cups all purpose flour
  •          3 cups hot water
  •          1/4 cup baking soda


  •          1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  •          1/2 cup granulated sugar
  •          1 TBSP ground cinnamon


Warm beer in microwave for 20-30 seconds (However, do not let it become hot because it will ruin the yeast). In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine warmed beer, yeast and 1/2 tsp granulated sugar. Whisk to dissolve and set aside for 10 minutes.

Fit mixer with dough hook attachment and mix in remaining granulated sugar (1 TBSP and 2 ½ tsp), brown sugar, vegetable oil, and salt. With mixer set on low speed, SLOWLY add in flour and mix until well blended. Knead mixture on low speed until smooth and elastic, adding up to an additional 1/4 cup flour as needed (you want a soft dough that is slightly sticky). Let the dough rest in bowl, preferably in a warm place until it has doubled in size (1 1/2 hours)

Punch dough down and divide into 4 equal portions. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Dust tops of dough lightly with flour and cover the dough sections you aren’t currently using with plastic wrap (to prevent over-drying). Roll each portion into a rope about 24 to 28-inches long. Cut into bite size pieces (they expand a little bit in oven)

Pour hot water and baking soda into a mixing bowl and whisk to dissolve. Using a slotted spoon, dip several pieces of dough into the water mixture, then lift and allow excess water to drip off, then transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat process until all dough has been used. You may need to warm up water/baking soda mixture between batches

Bake dough bites in preheated oven for 7- 11 minutes or until tops are golden brown

Remove from oven and using a slotted spoon, dip into melted butter, toss to evenly coat then lift and shake off excess butter. Transfer to a plate and allow to rest for 2 minutes

Meanwhile in a small mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar and cinnamon until well incorporated. Dip the pretzels into cinnamon sugar mixture and toss to evenly coat. Serve warm with our Southern Tier Choklat dipping sauce for a euphoric snacking session!

Cheers N’at



Choklat Dipping Sauce

choklat sauce


  • 3 TBSP butter
  • ½ cup Choklat Stout from Southern Tier
  • 2 TBSP corn syrup
  • 2 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Combine butter, Choklat stout and corn syrup in a sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat until butter has melted and the mixture has just started to boil
  2. Turn off heat and stir in softened cream cheese and chocolate chips until completely melted. Allow to cool slightly before using

Dip your Eurotrash pretzels in this awesome sauce or use it as a topping for your favorite ice cream. Or just eat it by itself- no one’s judging over here!

Cheers N’at


Full Pint Brewing Co.

Full Pint Brewing Co. is an extraordinary Micro Brewery located in North Versailles, about 12 miles outside the city. It opened its doors in 2009, and never looked back. As you pull in for the first time, you may not recognize it right away (or completely miss it). But when you do find it, it’s worth all the confusion. The brewery is housed in what looks like a former car repair garage. There’s a certain charm to the brewery, something that’s hard to put into words. But the first words that come to mind are- welcoming, authentic, and honest. It’s a place where really innovative and tasty beers are created. It’s a gathering place to drink those really great beers. Nothing more, nothing less.

full pint beer

When you walk in, you enter their large pub area. The walls and floor are painted this crazy bright green color, which really warms up the industrial space. There are several long, wooden tables and benches that accommodates all those awesome Pittsburgh craft beer drinkers.  The bar backing has about a gazillion stickers on it. I must say, it was rather amusing to scan through them all. You can grab a seat at the bar and have a brew (that will run you a meager 4-5 bucks) or fill up your growler to take back home with you. We recommend both, a little something for now and later. Plus, you can grab a tasty bite to eat during regular pub hours.

full pint bar

Moving right along, there is a door to the left of the pub that will lead you to where all the magic happens-the brewery. Sean Hallisey (Cofounder and Brewer) gave us a proper tour of his place. Pretty impressive machinery, if you ask me. And all the kegs- my goodness! It’s like we died and went to heaven. For those of you who also enjoy seeing where great beer is born, you’re in luck. Full Pint offers brewery tours, so go online and book one for you and your friends. You will be like so kewl n’at.

full pint brewing   full pint ferment.

full pint labeling   Full pint kegs

Currently, Full Pint has seven Year Round Brews:

  • All In Amber
  • TRI PA
  • Chinookie
  • Hobnobber
  • Gus
  • White Lightning
  • Little Brown Ale

They also have seven Seasonal Brews:

  • Rye Rebellion
  • Spruce
  • Night of the Living Stout
  • Festivus
  • Perc E Bust
  • 3-2-1 Win
  • King Kolsch

full pint spruce

Plus, they have a Nerd’s Reserve brew series. Current offering: Paw Paw Belinner Weisse. Past offerings: Magnum Red IPA, Weizen Bock Toberfest, and Yeast Common Denominator. Brewers Sean, Jake, and Barrett take turns on developing, brewing, and naming the beer. It is their own personal project and is only released when there is a little bit of flexibility in the brewing schedule. It’s a great way for the brewers to expand the brewery’s repertoire with a different style of beer. Plus, it gets all those creative juices goin’. Artists will always need their release….And they are true artists over there.

Speaking of brewers, let’s talk a little about them, shall we? First off, we have Sean Hallisey. He was our go-to guy because my mum knows his mum and she was the one who turned us onto Full Pint in the first place. Anyways, Sean started his passion for brewing in college. He explained to us that the beer available lacked flavor and ingenuity. Plus, he liked it “better than soda” so off he went brewing “in the closet” (literally). Then, Sean continued as an assistant brewer at John Harvard’s Brew House in good ol’ Monroeville. A few years down the road and a few titles later, he worked at Rivertowne Brewing Co. until Full Pint was ready to roll. Make sure you check out his glamour shot on the Full Pint website.

Next key player, Barrett Goddard. He went to college to become a chemical engineer but the drawl to become a professional brewer overcame him. In 2001, he started brewing professionally for John Harvard’s Brew House. Then, he moved down to Wild and Wonderful West Virginia Brewing Co. After a few years stint, he came back to the ‘burgh to become the head brewer for Rivertowne Brewing until Full Pint was rip roarin’ and ready to go. His chemical engineer background has dubbed him the “science guy” for the brewery. Good thing because there is a lot more science going on in the brewing process than meets the eye..

Last, but certainly not least, Jake Kristophel. This lad began his brewing career in 2006 at the infamous North Country Brewing Co. in Slippery Rock. He left there in 2009 to become founding partner and lead head brewer for Full Pint Brewing. Apparently, he likes tank tops, beekeeping, and following OSHA regs. You do you Jake!

If you like beer and Pittsburgh, make sure you check out Full Pint Brewery in North Versailles. They are skilled at their craft and are not shy about creating delicious, full-flavored beers. Cheers to great Pittsburgh beers!

We like drinking Full Pint Beers so much that we’ve added them to a few of our favorite recipes, check them out! Hot Beef Sammiches, Beer Chicken Pot Pie, Pittsburgh Cubano Sammich !

Cheers N’at


Cast Iron Stout Brownies

close up brownie

Growing up, we had an unforgettable sign hanging in the kitchen- “Life is uncertain, eat dessert first”. With this featured dessert, you may find this suggestion a little hard to resist. We developed a cast iron stout brownie that is sure to please anyone and everyone who has the blessed opportunity to try it. We were inspired by all of those tasty Guiness Brownies that we indulge in every St. Patrick’s Day. They are super good, but it is time for a remix. This year, we highlighted one of our absolute favorite stouts- Secret Stache Stout by Finch’s Beer Co. Their Secret Stache Stout is loaded with chocolate malts-which makes it a perfect complement for all that rich, chocolaty brownie goodness. The best thing- serve it warm, right out of your cast iron skillet for a fudgy, gooey, and completely satisfying dessert. And guess what, these stout brownies pair perfectly with the rest of your Secret Stache Stout. Whether you are starting or ending your meal with this, you’ll be one happy camper. “Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold beer and another one!”- Irish Toast.

Death By Chocolate Cast Iron Stout Brownies

brownie forks beer


  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup flour, lightly packed
  • 2 TBSP cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 4 ½ oz unsalted butter, cubed (1 stick plus 1 TBSP)
  • ¼ cup Secret Stache Stout*
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


  • 1/4 cup mix of semi sweet/ milk chocolate chips for top of batter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs
  3. In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, walnuts, and salt
  4. In a medium cast iron skillet, bring butter and beer to a slight simmer over medium heat. Add 2 types of chocolate chips ; reduce to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly, until chocolate has melted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, and let cool for 5 minutes
  5. Once cooled, add chocolate mixture to sugar mixture, whisking until blended. Stir in flour mixture
  6. Pour brownie batter back into cast iron skillet
  7. Sprinkle ¼ cup of mixed chocolate chips on top
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes. Note: Your cast iron skillet holds heat for a long time, so your brownie will continue to bake if left to rest. Serve immediately from skillet for a wholesome and wonderful dessert experience. But be careful, it’s hot! Don’t worry- you can wash it all down with the remaining Secret Stache Stout. Mmmmmm!

*Secret Stache Stout Stats- This (5.3% ABV) Sweet/Milk Stout is brewed with real vanilla beans from Madagascar. It’s brewed with tons of chocolate roasted malts that gives you that wonderful chocolatey flavor. They added a touch of lactose to create that milky stout feel. This beer got its name from the Movember phenomenon (growing mustaches in Nov. to raise awareness for men’s health issues) because they brewed it heavily in November. Hence the name Secret Stache! Make sure you check out the pint can, you can see a lock and key to signify the “Stache” (obviously e at end for mustache) and two finch birds on the other side that had waaay too much to drink. This beer was the GOLD winner at the 2013 US Open Beer Championship in ALT and was named the BEST stout in 2013 by So do yourself a favor and go try one!

**Don’t know where to find Secret Stache Stout from Finch Beer Co.? Check with this awesome guy Michael Finch on twitter @thatfinchguy and he’ll tell ya where it is sold by you! (we picked ours up at Whole Foods)

Cheers N’at

Wigle Whiskey

Did you know that American Whiskey was born in Pittsburgh? Neither did we until we discovered Wigle Distillery in the Strip District. It is such an amazing place, which makes for a great story- so here it goes.  During the 1700’s and 1800’s, Pittsburgh was THE place to get proper whiskey. At its pinnacle, Western PA had over 4,000 documented stills. Now, Wigle Whiskey is the only whiskey distillery in our region. To be honest, I’m okay with those odds. Why? Because Wigle Distillery has the tastiest spirits the world has ever known. There’s something in that Pittsburgh water…

Wigle opened its doors in March, 2012. The distillery is named after the good-natured man Phillip Wigle, who was sentenced to hang for his love of whiskey. He inadvertently triggered the Whiskey Rebellion, a fight against the taxation of whiskey. If you haven’t noticed this yet, make sure you check out their logo, you’ll see that the g is being hanged. Also, you may wonder if the name is pronounced “wIggle” or “wiggle”- the owners say “wiggle”- so we are sticking with that. Plus, it just sounds like a good ol’ time. Wigle. Fun right?

wigle symbol

Wigle Distillery makes lots of delicious spirits: White Whiskey, White Rye Whiskey, White Wheat Whiskey, Aged Whiskey, Gin, and Rum. They are making these fine spirits just like the distillers did back in their heyday; with local ingredients and a copper pot. Also, if you are into aging your own whiskey, they have a kit for that, n’at. Those crafty distillers have also made their own line of bitters: Organic Aromatic and Organic Rosemary Lavender. Also, they are in the works for developing more bitters including a spicy chocolate mole and a bitter orange. We got the opportunity to sample them-completely amazing.

Bitters Ingredients

wigle bitters spices

You may wonder why we would be interested in a distillery because we have focused much of our efforts on craft beer. Well, beer and whiskey are more alike than you may think. Oddly enough, for the first two days of processing, beer and whiskey are almost identical. Surprised? We were too. Here is the breakdown of the process.

Malted grain is immersed in water to germinate. Then, the wet grain is dried out in a kiln and allowed to sprout, making it possible to turn starch into sugars- just like the malting process for brewing beer. Next, the mixture is then ground up and mixed with hot water (which is called “liquor” for distilling and for brewing its called “mashing”). Once the mixture has converted its starches into simple sugars, the wort (sweet, watery mixture) is ready to be boiled (at this stage, the beer wort is mixed with hops). The worts are boiled, cooled, then moved into holding tanks where the yeast will introduced to the liquid.

While the beer wort is readied for its fermentation, the whiskey wort is readied for the distillation process. At this point, the processes deviate. The whiskey wort is heated to just below the boiling point of water, allowing the alcohols (which evaporate at a lower temperature than water) to move up the still, passing through coiled copper tubing (called the “worm”) where the alcohol vapors become liquid once again.

wigle big pot   water drip copper pot

Their “unaged” or “unoaked” whiskey is bottled right out of the stills. You’ll notice that the liquid is clear. Their aged whiskey sleeps peacefully in their 53 gallon handmade wooden barrels for months at a time. During the aging process, the whiskey moves in and out of the wooden barrels and extracts the tannin and vanillins out of the wood. This process aids in the creation of the unique flavor and beautiful amber color found in Wigle’s aged whiskey. Wigle recently purchased a barrelhouse in the North Side to accommodate the growing demand of all of those wonderful, drunken capsules.

 aging kits

We are so fortunate to have a craft distillery here right in the ‘burgh. Wigle is one of a few craft distilleries in the United States that produces every one of their products from scratch. They only use fresh and local organic grain. The owners are so committed to freshness that they only mill the grains onsite that same day when they are ready to make one of their signature “batches”.

wigle barrel

If you ever have an opportunity to visit Wigle Distillery- please do it! Our first experience was completely incredible. We originally went to pick up Christmas gifts for our friends. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a great bottle of booze, right? As we arrived, we were greeted so warmly by one of the owners, Mary Ellen. She talked us through their spirits, and they all sounded really appetizing. We couldn’t make up our minds so we ended up ordering a tasting flight. I admit- this was my first liquor tasting session. I know, I know.. that’s pretty crazy but truthfully I was never overly excited about liquor. The vast majority of my experiences with liquor were in college. And in those days, we definitely weren’t drinking for taste… But Mary Ellen was so fabulous, knowledgeable, and accessible. She instructed me on how to properly taste the liquors and how to prepare the glass- drop a couple of ice cubes in or add a splash of water then swirl and taste. They were all good- actually, extremely good. Just by themselves. I never, EVER thought I would enjoy liquor all by itself.  Wigle has truly ignited an appreciation and interest for craft spirits. Plus- the atmosphere in the distillery is incredible. The colors are warm and bright. This place really fosters inspired conversation when you sit down to drink one of their signature cocktails with friends and family.  After that first trip, we knew this place had to go down in the books.

Wigle’s Bottle Ceiling

wigle ceiling

The next time we went in for the interview, we were greeted by one of the owners-Meredith Grelli. She gave us a really insightful and entertaining tour of the place. Then, she introduced us to her husband, Alex Grelli, and her father Mark Meyer while they were in the midsts of distilling one of their coveted spirits. This establishment is truly a family affair. The idea of a distillery in Pittsburgh came about during a trip to Canada. Meredith’s family had visited several wineries and really fell in love with that culture and atmosphere. They wanted to create that same environment here in Pittsburgh and before you know it…Meredith’s brother Eric, mother Mary Ellen, and father Mark all shared in her and Alex’s vision of bringing a craft whiskey distillery back to its birthplace. And it has been magic ever since.

bitters fact 101

When we were their guests that evening, we too felt a part of their family. The owners and staff were authentically genuine and kind. They even invited us sit in on their bitters class, which was a whole new (and exciting) world for us. Let us tell you a little about what we learned in that bitters class. We sipped on their signature Old Fashioned cocktail as we waited for the other eager students to arrive. Lauren, the ingenious bitters developer for Wigle, explained bitters and their rich history. Bitters are basically a delicious concoction of herbs and roots nestled inside one of their finest liquors. To many refined bartenders- a true cocktail contains the combination of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters.  It is amazing to wittness how a few droplets can completely transform the taste of a cocktail. If you like to have fun while learning something new- this is definitely the class to sign up for. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we are going to get a few friends together and sign up for another one soon.

wigle bitters tasting

We believe in Wigle Distillery. We believe that they have embraced the creativity and sense of community that Pittsburgh is well known for. Great lengths are taken to support regional farmers by using only local and fresh ingredients. They aren’t here just to sell whiskey, they are here to educate, serve, and inspire fellow Pittsburghers. Thank you Wigle for bringing craft whiskey distilling back to its birthplace. Cheers to you Wigle!

Cheers N’at