Yes, evidently, the Founding Fathers certainly understood how to throw a kick-ass 4th of July party. And while a smattering of burgers, brats, dogs, steaks, chicken, and more will be sizzling on the grill before entering our bellies, let’s not forget another important element of successful Independence Day celebration: solid beer.
That reminds me…
“Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy.” — Benjamin Franklin
Founding Fathers, I want to barbecue with you.
Due to a logistical issue, that won’t be happening for me or any of us this holiday. But, we definitely have a reason to party. We always do. Because we live in a land of freedom. It’s not perfect and never will be, but America certainly beats the other alternatives across the globe.
Part of that freedom we enjoy involves consuming good beer. Fortunately, we’ve got a bevy of homegrown brews that stand up to the heat and give you the opportunity to do two fun things this 4th of July:
To help you prepare, I’ve compiled a list of 9 local beers that will make your backyard activities that much more enjoyable. And, because we’re celebrating Independence Day, MOST (not all) of these beers are proudly being poured at The Independent Brewing Company in Squirrel Hill, where you can stock up on 32oz. Crowler cans to-go. Learn more about these summertime selections, then get yourself out there and grab these beers so you do your 4th of July right.
Roundabout Brewery’s Ginga Wheat – 5.2% ABV
June’s Pittsburgh Beer of the Month on Breaking Brews, Ginga Wheat is the ultimate summertime beer to consume with a sparkler in the other hand. It’s made with fresh ginger, McCormack honey from Aliquippa (hashtag local) and lemon and delivers that refreshing satisfaction that truly encapsulates summer in a pint glass. I could go on and on, but I’m going to point you towards the Beer of the Month feature instead. Hey, it’s a holiday…I’m taking it easy, too.
At The Independent for Crowler Fill? – Nope, no Ginga Wheat on at the Indy, but a trip to Roundabout’s Lawrenceville taproom is always worth it.
Spoonwood Brewing’s Cloud Trip White IPA – 6.6% ABV
A new offering in the Spoonwood lineup, Cloud Trip is a delicious White IPA brewed with orange, coriander, Amarillo & Mandarina Bavaria hops. What’s that mean? A beer pushing 7% ABV that drinks like a session and cuts the heat provided by our always-present drinking partner, Ma Nature. The orange comes through strong and despite a mild bitterness, hop heads and malt-forward enthusiasts alike will love Cloud Trip while firing up something delicious on the grill.
At The Independent for Crowler Fill? – Absolutely it is, just as like the Founding Fathers wanted.
CoStar Brewing’s Hopland Park American Pale Ale – 6.2% ABV
Not only can you snag some of CoStar’s flagship beer for your party, you can tune in to the most recent session of Over a Couple of Beers and get to know Dom and Jeff as if you found their profiles on Tinder! The “garage band” of Pittsburgh’s craft beer scene, they’ve brewed the perfect beer to enjoy while relaxing with friends and family, OR while schooling them at cornhole. The 6.2% ABV means you can enjoy several throughout the afternoon…so get yourself a couple Crowlers at a minimum.
At The Independent for Crowler Fill? – You betcha!
Full Pint Brewing’s T-Funk Berliner Weisse – 4.5% ABV
Take a walk on the wild side with Full Pint Brewing! This easy-drinking Berliner Weisse is made with blackberry and green tea (see, ‘tea’ Funk) and provides a beer that’s easy on the ABV paired with an aroma that is sure to knock your socks off. PRO TIP: I recommend drinking this bad boy while slamming those little white things that go ‘POP’ off the ground.
At The Independent for Crowler Fill? – Why YES it is!
Grist House Craft Brewery’s Weiz Azz American Wheat Ale – 4.3% ABV
What’s a holiday built for outdoor awesomeness without some turbidity? Grist House, as has become a habit, delivers the goods with Weiz Azz American Wheat, a hazy brew that pours a fluffy white head and serves up notes of citrus and bubblegum with a subtle finish. Yet another strong offering in the Grist House lineup, this beer screams summer and gives you the perfect complement to whatever comes off the grill and/or laying in a hammock. For best results, try not to do all three of those things at once.
At The Independent for Crowler Fill? – …
Helltown Brewing’s Rapture IPA – 7.0% ABV
I guess if you were comparing the ABVs of these beers to fireworks, this would be the Roman Candle. Yes, it’s a little bigger. But…c’mon guys, it’s Helltown! These guys can’t help but make a delicious beer and anything from the IPA lineup never disappoints. Rapture is a very aggressive West Coast IPA with aromas of pine and citrus fruits and hopped with the sexy Cascade, Columbus, and Simcoe hops. Served year-round, your holiday is certain to be more holiday-y(?) with Rapture at your side.
At The Independent for Crowler Fill? – ‘Hell’ yes! See what I did there?
Rivertowne Brewing’s Hala Kahiki Pineapple Ale – 4.8% ABV
Part of Rivertowne’s ‘Paradise’ Summer lineup, this beer is absolutely made for summertime enjoyment. The name “Hala Kahiki” is derived from the Hawaiian words for “pineapple” and the flavor absolutely lives up to its name. The first time I ever had Hala Kahiki was on an 89 degree day on a golf course…and that shit was magical. It’s sweet, it’s light, it’s pineapple-y (apparently I can just add a ‘y’ to the end and make up words for this feature?), and it’s the perfect complement for the 4th.
At The Independent for Crowler Fill? – Negative, Ghostrider. But, you can find this beer at distributors all over town or by stopping by Rivertowne’s taproom in Export.
The Brew Gentlemen’s Carnegie Premium American Blonde Ale – 4.2% ABV
So many reasons to enjoy this beer on the 4th. For starters, ‘American’ is baked right into the style. Next, it’s a lighter offering at just 4.2% ABV. Third, The Brew Gentlemen have been on point with so many of their recent beers and Carnegie Premium is no exception. Light, refreshing, and perfect for the ensuing hot-weather, summertime consumption that’s about to commence.
At The Independent for Crowler Fills? – Not this weekend. The Brew Gents are regularly on tap at The Indy, but snagging some Carnegie Premium will require a trip to their taproom this weekend. Gyros N’at will be in the house tonight, so you can grab a few of those while visiting as well.
Rock Bottom’s Good Neighbor Kolsch – 5.0% ABV
We round out the list with one more light brew that drinks as crisp as the day is long. Good Neighbor Kolsch is a staple in the Rock Bottom lineup and one of many beers they offer that truly showcases the talent they have in their Waterfront brewhouse. It features a delicate malt character and a dry finish with a subtle hint of hops. If you’re planning on going all day, growlers of Good Neighbor will help lead the way. Just like a good neighbor should.
At The Independent for Crowler Fills? – Nope, Good Neighbor Kolsch is waiting for you at Rock Bottom this weekend. But so are a list of other kick-ass beers you need to experience. Make grabbing a growler or two your excuse to hit Rock Bottom!
The Independent opens at 3:00pm today for all your weekend beer needs.
Happy Birthday, America!