11 Killer Pittsburgh Drinking Spots with No Televisions

Pittsburgh, it’s time to sit back and have a beverage…because the Penguins are, once again, Eastern Conference Champions.

Can I get a WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Please don’t read on until you actually woo.

It’s been a dramatic, gut-wrenching, heart-pounding, emotional roller coaster of a playoff run thus far. But that’s what makes it fun, right?

I love sports. Moments like last night’s game-winner from Chris Kunitz in Double OT (which I’ve watched on replay no less than 129 times at this point) give us something to talk about, something to revel in, and something to remember forever.

This has been a glorious time of year in the city of Pittsburgh for the last two Springs. As hockey fans this time of year, most of us are either in attendance, at the big screen outside PPG Paints Arena, at home with our prime living room seat on lockdown, or at a destination with a TV watching intently with our fellow fan. Where we aren’t, however, are the places that don’t have a TV. And those establishments feel it this time of year.

Fortunately, they’re good enough to weather the storm as we live in hopes of Lord Stanley’s fabled Cup once again visiting the City of Champions. But, we’ve got 3.5 solid days with no playoff hockey to speak of ahead of us this Memorial Day Weekend. And as the Penguins rest up for the Predators, here are 11 Killer Pittsburgh Drinking Spots with No Televisions that you should get out and show some love to this weekend and beyond:

Beers at The Independent. Photo courtesy of Yelp.com.

The Independent Brewing Company – Squirrel Hill
The Independent has been a staple of Pittsburgh’s craft beer scene for three years. They feature nothing but local craft offerings on tap, giving you an excellent opportunity to experience 12 rotating beers from our region under one roof. There’s even a good chance you may pull up a stool next to the brewer who made your beer (yes, brewers hang out here a lot). In addition, The Independent offers an elevated, yet approachable food menu and a collection of music on vinyl that could choke an elephant.

Heading to a picnic? Grab some crowlers at The Independent and show your friends the local beer love, too.

Hidden Harbor – Squirrel Hill
The Independent’s sister bar is located directly next door and features cocktails and tiki drinks. For days. When the weather is hot, there’s nothing like a cold, well-crafted adult beverage to make you feel like you’ve escaped to a tropical getaway. At Hidden Harbor, it’s impossible to not feel the elements of paradise.

Reclamation Brewing Company – Butler
Located on the main drag of Downtown Butler, Reclamation is responsible for bringing craft beer back to this once desolate wasteland of artisanal ale consumption north of Pittsburgh. They started a trend that has seen the likes of Butler Brew Works, Cellar Brew Works, and Recon Brewing follow suit, thus making Butler a destination in and of itself when it comes to quality beer. At Reclamation, their taproom ambiance mimics that of an old British pub and is complete with a solid lineup of their own beers, as well as whiskey, mead, and wine. And, they feature a tremendous food menu, too. Plenty of reasons to go north, brothers and sisters.

Maggie’s Farm Rum Tasting Room – Strip District
Tim Russell can’t stop winning awards. And we are OK with that. His rums have been recognized on multiple levels as some of the highest quality and very best in the business and it’s high time you ventured down to the Strip District to discover why. Maggie’s quiet, quaint tasting room is the perfect environment to enjoy conversation with friends (you know, that stuff we did before smartphones) while imbibing on a number of featured rum-based beverages. Kick back, forget the glowing screens, and enjoy!

East End’s Strip District Taproom. Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

East End Brewing’s Strip District Taproom – Strip District
Since you’re in the Strip visiting Maggie’s Farm, you might as well pop over and have a beer with the good folks at East End Brewing. They moved into their new taproom over a year ago and continue to be a staple of the Strip District community. Here, you’ll find no television sets except the one displaying the beer lineup and no food (although you’re welcome to bring your own). Just cool ass hop lights over the bar and an always exceptional collection of beverages from one of Pittsburgh’s craft beer trailblazers.

Smallman Galley – Strip District
Continuing our Strip District tour, Smallman Galley resides just a few blocks away from East End’s taproom. This chef and restaurant incubator quickly gained mass appeal across the Pittsburgh region with an expansion to a second location in the North Side on the not-so-distant horizon. In addition to experiencing the beginning stages of four different restaurant concepts under one roof, they have a seriously kick-ass bar featuring local beers and spirits. Smallman Galley is another spot that lets you get a true taste of Pittsburgh from the comfort of a single bar stool.

Wigle Whiskey Tasting Room – Strip District
Our journey through the Strip District wraps up with a stop at Wigle Whiskey. These guys are a huge part of the whiskey and spirits movement we are currently experiencing throughout the Pittsburgh region. While frequenting Wigle’s Strip District tasting room, you can experience a wide variety of fresh cocktails created by a crew of talented cocktail bartenders. And, since you’re here and Wigle makes it easy and convenient, replenish your at-home stock of whiskey, bourbon, ginever, and absinthe.

Wigle Barrelhouse & Whiskey Garden. Photo courtesy of Wigle Whiskey.

Wigle Whiskey’s Barrelhouse & Whiskey Garden – Troy Hill
Wigle needed some extra space to store all of their barrels. They found it. And, because they’re cool like that, they turned a portion of said space into a tight little party spot! Located behind Penn Brewery on Spring Garden Avenue, The Whiskey Garden delivers solid cocktails, craft beer from local breweries (thank you, PA law changes), and normally has various food trucks on hand to get you some grub. The outdoor area is perfect for daytime drinking and often features live music acts for your enjoyment.

East End Brewing Company’s Brewery Taproom – Larimer
Much like their Strip District brethren, the only TV set you’ll find at the Larimer location tells you what beer is available. Yep, that means you’ll have to talk to one another, friends. In addition to good beer and good conversation, East End typically has food trucks on site to make sure you don’t leave hungry. Be sure to grab a growler or crowler on the way out, too. That’s an order.

Apis Mead & Winery – Carnegie
Mead is a glorious drink. And Apis is a glorious spot in Carnegie that offers a great variety of mead in a fun, quiet environment. Food trucks typically set up shop out front while you enjoy various flavors of the nectar of the gods and enjoy your favorite board game (they have many to choose from). Apis is also in the midst of expanding to a larger facility. Stay tuned for more details about that.

Voodoo Brewery Pub – Homestead
We round out our list with one of the hippest joints in town. Voodoo’s beers speak for themselves as they’ve become some of the most popular and sought-after brews in the ‘Burgh and beyond. Their production facility is in Meadville, but the Homestead taproom is never void of a diverse selection of their quality beers. You won’t find a TV in the house, but what you will find is a creative food menu, arcade games, board games, and an art gallery adjacent to the taproom. Remember when this place was a fire hall? Neither do I.

 

You don’t always need a television set to have a good time, especially when sports is on a brief hiatus. So…grab your friends, grab your loved ones, get to these destinations, and build some lasting memories!

What’s your favorite Pittsburgh destination without a TV set? Let us know where else we can visit in the Comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jason Cercone

For more commentary from Jason, visit jasoncercone.com.

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