Am I going out on a limb by stating that craft beer has put (in a good way) a stranglehold on Pittsburgh? I don’t think so. On a daily basis, beer drinkers are making the switch from mass-produced to craft, thus increasing demand for these artisanal adult beverages and transforming our city into one unwilling to settle for anything less than excellent beer.
To meet this demand, bars region-wide have restructured their beer programs to accommodate the requests of us beer fanatics in search of something new, something bold, and something innovative. Our choices now range from the most simple of lagers to the most unique of stouts aged in rum barrels. There’s no question our voice has been heard, and unique beers will continue to rule the realm.
One craft beer destination in Pittsburgh that has delivered on these requests is Wexford Ale House in, where else, Wexford. This quaint, cozy establishment gives off the vibe of a sports bar without being categorized as one. The emphasis inside these four walls is on craft beer while offering a laid-back, chill ambiance. They are located on Perry Highway, the busiest thoroughfare in the area, with tens of thousands of cars passing by daily. If you happen to be buckled into one of those vehicles, you owe yourself a trip to the Ale House to unwind. You are about to discover some of the reasons why in this month’s edition of Craft Beer Spotlight.
Wexford Ale House was established in November of 2009 and has evolved into one of the best locations north of Pittsburgh to kick back and enjoy a solid craft beer. Owner Dave Smith has made a strong commitment to providing unique, flavorful brews, which has led to 40 rotating taps from which to choose. Hopheads, maltsters, and those looking for something simple will all find just the right beer to fill their pint glass and satisfy their taste buds.
“There’s always something different on tap,” Dave explained. “We keep up on the trends and know what’s going on out there. We want to make sure our customers always have a variety of craft options to choose from.”
With so many beers at your disposal at the Ale House, coming thirsty goes without saying. And if you come hungry, rest easy. Wexford Ale House has a full menu to choose from as well. Having both grown up in the Buffalo region, Dave has added a special Western New York flair to the menu. That Buffalo inspiration makes its way to Pittsburgh as you can be guaranteed great wings at the Ale House. The buffalo mac and cheese is also a very popular item.
But leading the list of Western NY-inspired foods is the beef on weck sandwich. Few establishments in Pittsburgh serve this type of sandwich, which features roast beef on a kummelweck roll. The meat is traditionally thin cut and served rare, with au jus dipping sauce on the side. Horseradish truly makes this sandwich pop. Sorry guys, no french fries on this bad boy. Having grown up about an hour and a half south of Buffalo myself, I can hardly recall a family occasion or gathering whose menu didn’t feature beef on weck. Pair this with your favorite pint and you’ve got things made in the shade.
Wexford Ale House runs daily lunch specials, which is perfect for all the businesses surrounding the establishment, as well as for those passing by. In addition, they run Happy Hour daily from 5pm to 7pm and also feature 1/2 off wings on Wednesday nights and $1 off burgers Thursday evenings.
As I mentioned before, the Ale House has a very cozy atmosphere and offers a quiet setting for craft beer enjoyment. They also offer an outdoor patio for those who like to pair fresh air with fresh beer (and, seriously…who doesn’t?) And going back to that sports bar vibe…although not officially labeled as such, they offer the perfect setting for watching your favorite team. 10 TVs surround the bar and dining areas and put the big game right in front of you.
“Wexford Ale House is a great location for college football,” Dave stated. “We also show all the Penguins games and have the Major League Baseball package and NFL Sunday Ticket.”
North of Pittsburgh is experiencing rapid growth when it comes to craft beer options with more establishments either opening their doors or adapting craft beer programs to their day-to-day operations. As the area continues to evolve, Wexford Ale House stands out as one of first establishments to provide solid beer options to citizens of Wexford and surrounding townships. In many ways, they have provided a blueprint of how craft beer can stimulate the masses, thus opening up the doors for other locales to follow in their footsteps.
As the craft beer landscape inevitably faces change as we move forward, Wexford Ale House is one ready to adapt. Many locales will be diversifying their tap lineups, but they’ve been in this mode for quite some time and are focused on continuing to deliver the best beer selection in Wexford to everyone who comes through their doors. Combined with extensive beer choices is a food menu that ensures you won’t leave hungry, thus giving you plenty of reasons to tip your next pint within these four walls.
To sum it all up, Dave and his crew have one simple goal for Wexford Ale House…
“We want to be the best in the game,” he proclaimed.
When you look at the total package they bring to the table, that sounds like a very attainable goal.