On Feb. 24, in anticipation of Trace Brewing’s first day of dine-in service, Marketing Manager Aadam Soorma activated the site’s online reservation system.
“Within three minutes, we had 25 reservations,” he says.
It’s safe to say Pittsburghers are excited for this new, yet also historical, spot in Bloomfield to open its doors.
After launching to-go can sales on Dec. 17, the taproom at 4312 Main St. is now open at 15 percent capacity, meaning it can seat 28 patrons. Current hours are 3 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are recommended, but the staff will do their best to accommodate walk-ins.
In the next few weeks, visitors will also be able to soak up some sunshine in the beer garden while enjoying a brew.
Trace doesn’t have a kitchen, but it serves meat and vegan options from Rolling Pepperoni in Lawrenceville and wraps from Everyday’s a Sunday café in Garfield. You can also bring your own grub to complement your beer. General Manager Katie Rado can mix you a Maggie’s Farm Smooth Sailing white rum cocktail. In late-March, the business will open its coffee and espresso bar featuring Redhawk Coffee products.
The company has released 16 beers so far. Head Brewer Zach Colton is already barrel-aging some Belgian-style, spontaneously fermented beers created in Trace’s koelschip room. The wild beer will sit in 32 wooden bourbon and wine barrels for 10 to 18 months.
There are three offerings on tap — Woods Saison, Orange Sap IPA and Meteor Remote DIPA — along with five canned pours, ranging from a Dortmunder lager to a kettle sour.
Colton, founder Dave Kushner and Dev Johnson — Trace’s first vocational training program participant — are busy whipping up batches to meet demand. Thanks to the open layout of the 5,800-square-foot space, guests can see the 10-barrel brewing system in action and ask questions about the process.
They also can get a history lesson.
The structure was built in 1910 as a brass and bronze foundry. Over the years, it morphed into a film developing studio and an underground music venue called The Shop.
There are traces of the building’s past throughout the interior, which was designed by Epic Development, as well as signs of the times, including gender-neutral restrooms. Inclusion is key at Trace — Soorma is a member of the newly formed Pittsburgh Brewery and Taproom Diversity Council.
The site’s exterior is constantly changing.
The side of the building facing Clement Way is a legal graffiti wall overseen by the Pittsburgh Artists Autonomy Coalition. The wall is open to the public during daylight hours; artists must share the space and be respectful, and hate speech will be removed.
Colorful paint covers the glass block windows. When the sun shines through them, it looks like stained glass, giving the taproom a church-like feel — and the owners can’t wait for customers to be singing its praises.