Posted by: Brett | January 19, 2010

The Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh.

My Holy Trinity is Hops, Barley and Yeast and I’ve found my new place of worship, The Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh, PA.  Kristie and I went here as a treat after a Sunday morning house hunting trip.   When we pulled into the parking lot, my jaw dropped.  This place is massive, it apparently used to be a full-out catholic church and school, and back in 1996 it was purchased by two investors and turned into a TRUE house of worship.

As you enter the lobby you see an impressive wall of awards (mostly from 1999-2002, so either their quality fell off or they are so awesome they no longer feel the need to post their awards), then you walk through the foyer doors into what heaven must look like.

I’ll keep the review short and sweet.  Their menu is awesome, it’s diverse enough to cover all the local favorites but has some items for more adventurous types and still manages to pay heed to what is in season.  Oh, and they have a wood fired oven IN THE CHURCH.

Their beer list is diverse for a microbrewery and they serve at least 3 seasonals which is impressive and ensures that their beer menu is always fresh.

I ordered a pizza from their wood-fired oven and Kristie got the soup and sandwich (turkey w/brie and cranberry compote and their soup of the day: French Onion). She was pleased with both.

Two things the place should sustain: a food menu focusing on local favorites with some items spiced up with exotic ingriedients (eg. pierogi stuffed with chorizo sausage and ancho chili cream sauce),  and a diverse and rotating beer menu (eg. 3 Christmas ales).

I’ll also give two improves: 1.The beer was flat, no ifs, ands, or buts about it (we ordered the Deluxe 7 beer sample).  I’m talking “left out in a pitcher overnight then served” flat.  This is really a shame cause the TASTE of the beer was awesome but there were NO bubbles.  I’m guessing they carbonate their beer in-line (between the cask and the draft handle) and maybe they just had the CO2 knob turned down, but it was still a shame. 2. I ordered the Plum Tomoato Sauce Pizza (tomoatos, cheese, basil) and while it was GOOD, it could have been GREAT with just a LEEEEETLE more care given by the cook. (Basil distribution was half-hearted, there was no garlic used, the cheese was poor and the pizza’s crust was undercooked)  I sat facing away from the wood oven and said to Kristie it tasted like the cook just didn’t care when he made the pizza and she, who had a view of the oven, noted the cook looked like he didn’t really want to be there.  To be honest, I can see where the cook is coming from but if I was the owner and knew about it I’d be pissed.

Since we arrived about 10 minutes after it opened on a Sunday, I’d like to go back on a Friday or Saturday night when the staff has no excuses for not being on their A game and give them another shot.  The place is just a little nudge away from being awesome and I hope they succeed.  Will let you fools know how it goes and assume that if you come down to Pitts. to visit, we’ll be going here to worship.



  1. […] thing we could be, we signed up and found ourselves sharing a table with eight other people at Church Brew Works, an awesome brewery/restaurant housed in a historic […]

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