In a new article for Saveur, Pittsburgh native Allie Wist gives readers a crash course on drinking in Pittsburgh. “These days, this almost-Midwestern, recently revitalized city has a far richer drinking culture than outsiders may expect from a town still best known for its long-gone steel mills,” explains Wist in a piece titled, How Pittsburgh Is Becoming a Beer and Spirits Destination.
After a quick history lesson nodding to Pittsburgh’s German brewers and the Whiskey Rebellion, Wist turns her attention to the city’s current drinking life. Though breweries, distilleries and bars are opening at a rapid clip, many are firmly rooted in the past. Wist points to outfits like Arsenal Cider, Wigle Whiskey and Church Brew Works, writing that businesses like these “make meaningful efforts to call back the city’s storied drinking history.”
More essential to the growth of Pittsburgh’s drinking culture is the enthusiastic, collaborative nature of the city’s drinkers, bartenders and producers. Wist quotes Maggie’s Farm owner Tim Russell, who says, “It is very supportive; so much so that I’ve had trouble keeping up with product demand. There is so much pride in the city.”
Though the article makes a few small missteps (the Deutschtown neighborhood is called Deutchland; Phillip Wigle is referred to as Peter) and one could certainly quibble with Wist’s specific selections, she lays out a solid introduction to some of the city’s major players.