Enjoying a cold beer outside on a hot day is one of the simple pleasures in life. In 2020, it’s more important than ever to find those small moments of joy. If you’re raising a pint to Mother Nature, why not support a local brewery in the process? Here are beer makers that boast outdoor seating areas. Welcome to your happy place.
Abjuration Brewing Co., 314 Arch St., Verona
Abjuration, one of Pittsburgh’s smallest suds factories, is tucked inside Stowe Township’s renovated Parkway Theater (which itself is worth a visit). The mad scientists behind the beaker glasses are coming out of the darkness, partnering with 10.7 Marina in Verona to bring their beers into the sunshine. Weather permitting, the first two Paddles & Pints pop-ups are Aug. 20 and Aug. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. Food trucks will be on-site and there’s room for around 50 socially distanced patrons. Brewer Dave Hallam says Abjuration plans to host the events once or twice a week through the fall when there should be fire pits to warm you up on crisp evenings.
Dancing Gnome, 925 Main St., Sharpsburg
Aside from can pickups, Dancing Gnome’s taproom has been closed since the pandemic started. Now you can make reservations to imbibe in a small space behind the Sharpsburg building.
“With summer winding down and changes in guidelines being less frequent, it felt like the right time to give it a go,” says Andrew Witchey, owner of Dancing Gnome.
For now, reservation times are Friday 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday noon to 4 p.m., with the potential for extended weekend and additional weekday hours as the seasons change. The DG Garden boasts seating for 40 to 45 people — no kids or fur babies — at both covered and uncovered tables. There’ll be four draft options available and a rotating lineup of food trucks.
Spring Hill Brewing, 1958 Varley St., North Side
Get a farmhouse brew with a spectacular view. This tiny operation is housed inside a 100-year-old, 15,000-square-foot building (the former Workingmen’s Beneficial Union). The outside of the property boasts a large front porch, 40 seats and an ample yard, where you’re welcome to lay down a picnic blanket. Pair a beer — there are six to seven different ones on tap — with a food truck meal or an Italian hoagie from nearby Marshall’s Cigar. (We’re not blowing smoke … they’re good!) Hours are Friday 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday 2 to 9 p.m. and Sunday 2 to 6 p.m.
Allegheny City Brewing, 507 Foreland St., North Side
The folks at Allegheny City Brewing didn’t have much outdoor seating pre-COVID-19, so they set up a 42-seat beer garden in an empty lot across the street. There are 11 beers on tap, along with a rotating offering from Arsenal Cider and you can pair it with a bite from a food truck stationed out front. If you have well-behaved dogs, bring them along; they might get a chance to meet Sheldon, a fearless cat who visits the brewery from time to time. Hours are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 4 to 9 p.m., Saturday noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 8 p.m.
Cinderlands Warehouse, 2601 Smallman St., Strip District
Cinderlands Warehouse, the brewery’s second location, opened last spring, complete with a large patio overlooking the Strip. There’s room for 50 customers to safely and comfortably sip a selection of 10 to 14 draft beers and peruse a menu packed with scratch-made meals. You can fill up Wednesday through Friday 4 to 10 pm., Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
East End Brewing Co., 147 Julius St., Larimer
Since 2004, owner Scott Smith has been encouraging Pittsburghers to “buy a good friend a good beer.” East End’s newly revamped patio, which opens this Friday, is the perfect place to do just that. Prohibition Pastries will be there to feed patrons with their famous hand pies, barleywine pretzels and beer cheese. There’ll be plenty of socially distanced seating, eight brews on tap (try the Almost Famous Pickle Beer, a collaboration with Primanti Bros.). Hours run Friday 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday 2 to 8 p.m. Check online to stay up-to-date on their hours and menu items.