If you want to get into the Halloween spirit, get some Halloween spirits into you! Pittsburgh area bars and breweries are stepping up their phantasmagoric game with spooky cocktails and beers. What better year for it? There’s even a Downtown Fall Cocktail Trail you can follow. The Happy Witching Hour is upon us, mortals. Soak it up while you can.
Quantum Spirits, 230 E. Main Street, Carnegie
Want to make a killer cocktail? Quantum Spirits has you covered like a costume. The Carnegie-based distillery is selling Killer Cocktail Kits so you can mix up libations at home like a mad scientist. The package includes four, full-sized, ready-made cocktails, fresh garnishes, a recipe sheet and a YouTube video tutorial.
Hitchhiker Brewing Co., 190 Castle Shannon Blvd., Mt. Lebanon and 1500 S. Canal Street, Sharpsburg
Even if you’re a beer lover, you can still enjoy a Zombie cocktail thanks to Hitchhiker’s Arm’s Length, a smoothie sour conditioned on pineapple, passionfruit, orange, grapefruit, lime and baking spices that masquerades as the classic Tiki drink. But, fear not, beer lovers! The week of Halloween, Hitchhiker will release Mashmallow, a collaboration stout with Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches that’s made with Count Chocula cereal marshmallows.
Spoonwood Brewing Co., 5981 Baptist Rd., Bethel Park
Have a ghoul’s night out at Spoonwood Brewing Co. Order a Cinnamon Ghoul, a beverage brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh ginger, vanilla beans and pumpkin puree. Or try the new Pumpkin Drop Porter, which adds chocolate malt, milk sugar and spice cake from Bethel Bakery into the cauldron. If you go to the brewery, they’ll blend the two for you to create a Frankenstein beer that perfectly liquifies the season.
Bridges & Bourbon, 930 Penn Ave., Downtown
Want a unique cocktail? “Head” to Bridges & Bourbon. The bar that specializes in unorthodox drinking receptacles now offers the Lobotomy, a blend of rum, applejack brandy, fig, cinnamon, apple juice and cherry juice served in a skull.
Lawrenceville Distilling, 5410 Harrison Street, Lawrenceville
Lawrenceville Distilling’s 1129 Ridge Ave. Absinthe Traditionelle is named after a haunted mansion that once loomed over Pittsburgh’s Manchester neighborhood. Absinthe itself is full of ghostly lore. Nicknamed the “Green Fairy,” the Swiss spirit became notorious for its purported hallucinogenic effects and was banned in the U.S. from 1912 to 2007. While the distillery’s offering won’t make you see things that aren’t there, it’s fun to sip while telling spooky stories around a campfire.
The Leaning Cask Brewing Co., 850 Pittsburgh Street, Springdale
What do you get when you combine The Leaning Cask’s Midnight Moo Black India Pale Ale and Pumpkin Bay Retriever? A Werewolf. The lycanthropic blend is only available on draft at the Springdale haunt. On Friday, Oct. 30, the brewery transforms into The Leaning Cauldron, a reservations-only place to eat, drink and be scary. Can’t sit and stay? Take a can or a GROWLer to go, but beware the moon.
Voodoo Brewery, 205 E. 9th Ave., Homestead
There’s no time like the present to drink Voodoo Brewery’s No Time Like the Present. The collaboration with New York’s Equilibrium Brewery is a New England IPA brewed with the devil’s share of Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin hops. Label artist Thomas Ness is known for putting a monstrous spin on their cans, so, chances are, no matter what you pick up from Voodoo, it’s going to add a bit of Halloween ambiance to your refrigerator.
Burgatory, multiple locations
Burgatory teamed up with ScareHouse to give you the shakes through Nov. 4. Each Oreo Dirt Pudding ScareHouse Shake benefits the Lemieux Foundation’s Make Room For Kids initiative, which gifts Xbox One gaming consoles, controllers, movies and more to kids at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Order a non-alcoholic version or spike it with vodka.
Eleventh Hour Brewing Company, 3711 Charlotte Street, Lawrenceville
Eleventh Hour’s Archer Heavy got a makeover for the Halloween season. The recipe for the traditional German Kölsch-style ale didn’t change, but the temporary packaging is so doggone spooky we had to include it on the list.
Strange Roots Experimental Ales, 501 E. Ohio Street, Millvale and Caliente Pizza & Draft House, multiple locations
It’s been a strange year to say the least, so imbibing a beer called The Plague seems apropos. Since 2015, Strange Roots Experimental Ales and Caliente Pizza & Draft House have collaborated on this dark sour inspired by an imperial stout. It’s aged in French oak Syrah barrels and blended with freshly fermented blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Beginning Oct. 27, it will be available at all Caliente locations. If you go, wear a mask. Bonus points if it’s a Plague Doctor mask.