When it comes to brewing, Western Pennsylvania is booming. Pittsburgh is the epicenter of the region’s craft beer culture, with new hop spots popping up all the time. But not far away, there are more breweries worth a quick road trip from Pittsburgh.
If you’re feeling adventurous, designate a driver and hit the road to discover these off-the-beaten-path places.
ShuBrew, 205 South Main St., Zelienople
In 2013, Zach and Erika Shumaker opened ShuBrew in a small Zelienople storefront. Three years later, they moved their brewing operations to nearby Harmony, which enabled them to crank out more beer. The public can sample the goods and pick up to-go cans at the production facility every Friday from 4 to 9 p.m.
The couple just relocated the original Zelie restaurant to a larger space across Main Street. The site has a private event room, more seating and a bigger kitchen.
Known for its adventurous beers and scratch-made food, ShuBrew recently partnered with Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream for a seasonal beverage. London Fog, brewed with Earl Grey tea, vanilla and lactose. It will be available at the restaurant and the brewery, as well as at several Giant Eagle stores throughout Pittsburgh. And this month, the company is releasing a beer inspired by Millie’s Mexican Hot Chocolate Ice Cream.
Noble Stein Brewing Company, 1170 Wayne Ave. Indiana
Want a good beer away from home? Look for the gnomes. Noble Stein’s mascots are always raising a celebratory toast. There’s something to fill everyone’s glass at this Indiana taproom, open Wednesdays through Saturdays. There are 12 rotating draft beers plus an offering from Arsenal Ciderhouse and Wine Cellar. From a Belgian witbier and a Scottish ale to a German kolsch, their offerings span the globe. And food trucks provide good grub.
These guys get creative, teaming up with local breweries and businesses on seriously inventive brews. First Blood, their recent collaboration with All Saints Brewing Company, is a pilsner conditioned with tomato and spices. And Commonplace Coffee supplied the beans used in their Hold the Foam Cappuccino Stout.
Invisible Man Brewing, 132 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Greensburg
You won’t see people brewing beer at Invisible Man — hence the name. But your other senses will be delighted by what they’ve whipped up in the basement of 132 S. Pennsylvania Ave. The business opened in October, but the owners made their presence known at last fall’s Greensburg Craft Beer Week. Half a dozen taps pour highly quaffable libations such as Call of the Void Stout, Chunk’s Confession West Coast IPA and Moves Like Van Damme Belgian Blonde. So it’s easy to make them disappear.
Boxcar Brew Works, 1290 Rich Hwy., DuBois
Go off the rails at Boxcar Brew Works! This nano-brewery operates out of boxcars at The Depot at Doolittle’s. Owner John Frampton opened the rustic space in September 2017 and considers it more of a modern art studio. He gives amateur beer-makers a chance to showcase their skills on a state-of-the-art system. You can watch them beam with pride as their creation hits the taps. A wide range of styles are represented, including stouts, sours, shandies and saisons, so you’re bound to find something you want to chugga-chugga-chugga.
Four Points Brewing, 400 Washington Ave., Charleroi
Make it a point to visit Four Points Brewing in Charleroi. The open second-floor balcony allows patrons to observe the beer-making as it happens on the ground level. Their brews include Fourth Street, their flagship IPA hopped with Columbus, Citra and Mosaic. There are at least 19 beers on tap, all available in 5-, 10- and 16-ounce pours, or crowlers and to-go cans filled on demand by your friendly bartender. Four Points has a rotating food menu of snacks, sandwiches and sharable plates, or guests can head next door to its sister restaurant, Fourth Street BBQ.
Cold Springs Inn & Brewing Company, 993 Park Pl., Mechanicsburg
Cold Springs Inn & Brewing Company is a picturesque place to have a pint. Opened in 2018, it has two decks and a waterfront patio where you can have food and a flight by Yellow Breeches Creek. All the beer is crafted on-site in a three-barrel system. Featured brews include Brown Trout Stout — served on nitro for a velvety mouthfeel — and Endorphin Enhancer, a wheat-based ale infused with smoked habaneros, which adds a little heat to Cold Springs’ taproom.