Off the Rails Barbeque & Drafthouse will provide the grub at Strange Roots' Gibsonia location. Photo courtesy of Strange Roots Experimental Ales.

All aboard the new Strange Roots and Off the Rails partnership 

Strange Roots Experimental Ales is chugging into the season with a new kitchen partner.

Starting April 28, the brewery’s Gibsonia location will feature food from Off the Rails Barbeque & Drafthouse, a Verona-based eatery that opened in 2019. The menu includes brisket, pulled pork, St. Louis-style ribs, smoked chicken, mac and cheese, coleslaw, baked beans and collard greens.

The Strange Roots location at 4399 Gibsonia Road debuted in 2018. It’s been closed since December 2021 so the crew could make improvements to the facility, which includes a kitchen, indoor seating for 48, and an outdoor, dog-friendly area that can accommodate about 100 revelers.

Photo courtesy of Strange Roots Experimental Ales.

Weekly hours are 4 to 10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 2 to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Happy hour runs from 4 to 6 p.m. on weekdays with $5 beers and food specials. You can hear live music there every Friday and Saturday. The kitchen will close at 9 p.m. each night.

Off The Rails will continue to smoke meats at its Verona location, but will eventually set up equipment in Gibsonia to make some products on-site.

BBQ aficionado Ken Shields entered the restaurant business with a food truck called Oakmont Barbeque Company. Several years ago he converted an old gas station and used car lot at 549 Allegheny River Blvd. into Off the Rails. The name is a nod to Verona’s railroad heritage and Shields’ transition to a brick-and-mortar spot.

The fast-casual, counter-service BBQ joint features indoor seating for 34 diners and a seasonal patio with room for another 50 to 60 patrons. There’s also a small bar with a 12-tap draft system.

This isn’t the first food partnership for Strange Roots.

Last summer, the brewery teamed up with the Pittsburgh Sandwich Society Food Truck to provide grub for the  taproom at 501 E. Ohio St. in Millvale.

Sandwich-makers Erin Andrzejewski and Michael Carney offer a full menu of customer favorites and will be serving fried fish sandwiches every Friday during Lent. They’ve sold out every week so far.

Hours for the Millvale location are 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday.

Coven Brewing now open

On Thursday, April 6, Coven Brewing officially opened for business in the former Roundabout Brewery space at 4901 Butler St. in Lawrenceville.

Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, 4 to 11 p.m. on Friday and 1 to 10 p.m. on Saturday.

Brew Gentlemen is looking for artists to help transform its beer garden, which is slated to open on April 14. Photo courtesy of Brew Gentlemen.

Brew Gentlemen beer garden making a comeback

Within a few weeks, Braddock’s Brew Gentlemen will reopen its beer garden, BG Open Air.

In the summer of 2019, the brewery staff transformed the vacant lot into an accessible, park-like atmosphere. The dog-friendly area, which will operate from April 14 to October, will feature picnic tables, a semi-permanent bar, garden beds and a space for lawn games. It aims to function as a third place for beer lovers and the Braddock community as a whole.

Brew Gentlemen is looking for artists who live or work in Braddock to add color, texture and dimension to the space. You can read the request for proposals and submit your design online.

Construction restarts at Grist House site in Collier

Sunday, April 10, from noon to 5 p.m., is the last day to pick up beer from Grist House’s site in Collier Township.

After a pandemic pause, construction on the 55,000-square-foot building, which served as a Nike Missile Command Center during the Cold War, is picking up again.

The historic property will house the Millvale-based brewery’s main production, packaging line and barrel-aging facilities, as well as a taproom and a retail space.

Photo courtesy of BrewDog.

Celebrate Earth Day with a BrewDog

To celebrate Earth Day on April 22, participating bars around the country, including BrewDog Pittsburgh, will hand out dogwood saplings in upcycled BrewDog cans. They will be available while supplies last at 6144 Centre Ave. in East Liberty. No purchase is necessary.

Kristy Locklin

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.