When someone says, “Hey, I can do that,” brace yourself. It can go one of two ways. One, you smash your fender off your house in a misguided attempt at backing down the driveway. Or two, you open an insanely popular bar and enjoy the fruits of your labor for years to come. The brothers behind The BeerHive obviously took the latter route.
After many trips to House of 1000 Beers, they thought, “Hey, I can do that.” And they did. It took Joe, Will, and John a mere six months from conception over beers and wings to open in May 2011. Six years and way more beers and wings later, they’re still standing strong in the Strip District.
The BeerHive is a bar like no other. It’s a craft beer bar, but it has domestics represented, too. There’s the standard bar trivia night hosted by Zoach Trivia (FYI: he’ll post the night’s playlist online if you were into it), but they also host comediens. Of course, parties of all kinds fill their upstairs event space, but you can create something at a Pop Craft Art pop up night, too.
Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Joe and Kassie, BeerHive’s manager, to fill me in on all the buzz. Joe started drinking beer as most of us do – because it was cheap. When he got into craft beers, he did it backwards.
“I started with stouts, then IPAs, then wheats. Usually people do it the other way around.” What was the beer that sealed the deal for him and kept him coming back? North Coast Old No. 38 Stout.
Kassie got her start at a restaurant and bar in Oakmont, bartending and learning everything she could about craft beers. She then flew over to The BeerHive and worked her way up, still learning as she went. Now, she orders and taps their 150 bottles and 12 drafts.
They try to keep a mix of seasonals, rarities, and standards on draft and on the shelves at all times. Overall, there’s been about 1,500 beers tapped (we know this because Joe keeps a running list). Local beers are represented, but they try to focus on limited releases, like Founders KBS or rare beers that only a few bars will get their hands on.
The BeerHive is the Strip District’s neighborhood bar. The customers feel like family and many regulars are considered friends. You can walk in and instantly feel welcome and comfortable no matter what you’re ordering. IPA drinkers sit right next to, and even get along with, fizzy yellow beverage drinkers. I told you it was a bar like no other. Who knew there could be such peace in this world?
Along with stellar beer selection is a food menu that truly makes The BeerHive stand out. It’s American bar food done well. Everything is made from scratch. The sauces and the dressings, even the burgers and chicken strips, are always fresh. Seriously, there’s someone in the back breading chicken tenders to order.
Joe’s favorite, and the most popular item on the menu, is the fish taco. It’s hand-breaded to order, naturally, and topped with fresh ingredients.
That dedication to freshness is how Pittsburgh Pickle Co. got started. The brothers were looking for a good pickle that would stand up to frying because they wanted fried pickles on their menu. Not just any pickle would do. As they saying goes, “if you can’t find it, pickle it yourself.” That’s a saying, right? Either way, it seems to work for them.
They knew they had something when customers asked for the pickles before they were fried. So in August 2014, Pittsburgh Pickle Co. became official. Out of their three varieties, one is bound to tickle you. They have a Pittsburgh Style Pickle, Dill Mill, and Fire & Smoke.
“People will eat a jar of pickles at the bar. That’s why we have them in the cooler,” Joe explains. Rumor has it, a jar of pickles will be on their new menu, though they haven’t finalized anything yet.
You can purchase their three varieties of pickles at the bar and in many stores across the region. They also supply lots of local restaurants with pickles and pickled jalapenos to use in their meals. Joe would relish the chance to be the Heinz of pickles, but right now, he’s just happy to be kind of a big dill: their new production facility just opened its doors and they’ll be able to ramp up production.
And in case you haven’t had enough, they’re making a Pickleback Beer in collaboration with Rock Bottom. It’s brewed with pickling spices and is resting in a Wigle Whiskey barrel as we speak. The release date is still pending, so keep an eye out for the announcement.
If there’s anything that should make coming here a no-brainer, it’s the people. They’ve assembled a wonderful team of servers, bartenders, and cooks. It only makes the beer, food, and atmosphere even better. The BeerHive is a must-stop and has truly become the life of the beer scene in the Strip.