Devils Backbone Continues Rapid Expansion Into Pittsburgh Market

Devils Backbone Now Part of the Pittsburgh Beer Family

Another brewery has found its way into Pittsburgh and they’ve brought award-winning beer with them. Virginia’s Devils Backbone Brewing Company has been aggressively expanding their distribution footprint over the past year and a half, with 10 states and counting now proudly serving their diverse portfolio. As your eyes consume this feature, Devils Backbone will become available at craft beer destinations and distributors all over the Pittsburgh region.

In 2008, founders Steve Crandall and his wife Heidi opened Devils Backbone in the Heartland of Virginia after inspiration struck them on a skiing trip that introduced them both to German-style beers. Their first venture, Basecamp Brewpub, was an instant regional success. With demand for their beers steadily growing, they broke ground on the Outpost Brewery & Taproom in 2011. Their popularity has led to Outpost producing 45,000 barrels in its first three years of operation and a recent expansion brought their gains up to 250,000 barrels.

Hashtag Doin’ Sh*t Right.

The Devils Backbone team boasts several major championships, awards, and accolades from the World Beer Cup, Australian International Beer Awards, Virginia Craft Brewers Fest, and the Great American Beer Festival. At GABF, they secured national titles for 2014 Mid-Sized Brewing Company and Brew Team of the Year, 2013 Small Brewing Company & Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year, and 2012 Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year.

The most revered offering in their portfolio is Vienna Lager, a Vienna-Style Lager that tips the scales at 5.2% ABV and offers mild notes of caramel. This was my first dip into the Devils pool and, I have to say, the liquid is fine. Vienna Lager is a clean, straightforward, incredibly drinkable beer and a true testament to its style. But don’t just take my word for it: Vienna Lager is a four-time medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival, a two-time award winner at the World Beer Cup, and is listed under the Beer Judge Certification Program style guidelines as an example of a superior Vienna lager.

What’s it pair with? See: the whole damn menu.

The Devils Backbone crew has been painting Pittsburgh various shades of red this week as they roll out distribution in their newest city. I had the pleasure of tipping a few pints with Jason Oliver, Founding Brewmaster, Jesse Sedlock, one of Devils’ brewers, Ben Iaderosa, Devils’ Director of Sales who I discovered grew up with my old man (the world is small. When you’re from Bradford PA, it’s even smaller), Michael Finch, Devils’ Pittsburgh representative, and several others at a beer dinner Tuesday night at Twelve Whiskey Barbecue. Kids, if you haven’t wandered into Twelve in the South Side yet, move it up the priority list now. Immediately now. I posted a picture of the menu and food below. If the words don’t make you drool (or they’re too small to see), keep scrolling and let the images do their thing…

If you’d like to hang out with the Devils Backbone crew, today (Friday, April 7th) is easily their most action-packed day. They’re starting the day with a South Side bar crawl and wrapping things up with a tap takeover at The BeerHive in the Strip District. Here’s the full lineup of bar crawl stops:

Over The Bar from 12:00 – 1:00pm
Double Wide Grill from 1:00 – 1:30pm
Dive Bar (new location) from 1:30 – 2:00pm
Smokin’ Joe’s from 2:00 – 2:30pm
Fat Head’s from 2:30 – 3:00pm
Twelve Whiskey & BBQ from 3:00 – 3:30pm
Urban Tap from 3:30 – 4:00pm

THEN…The BeerHive Tap Takeover in The Strip from 5:00 – 7:00pm

Devils Backbone is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev and will be distributed throughout Pittsburgh by Frank B. Fuhrer Beer Wholesalers. Despite ABI ownership, they still have full freedom to grow and develop their brand.

A huge tip of the cap to everyone from Devils Backbone and the crew at Twelve for hosting a spectacular beer dinner.

“Great beer is great beer whether we made it or not. Every type of beer has its time, place, and audience. Beer should be inclusive not exclusive and it should be celebrated and never denigrated. We hope you enjoy drinking these beers and getting to know our Devils Backbone family.” — Jason Oliver, Devils Backbone Founding Brewmaster

Mixed Green Salad, Smoked Blue Cheese, Corn Bread Croutons, Candied Walnut, Caramelized Onion Vinaigrette. Paired with Pear Lager.

Whole Wings Smoked with Charcoal and Hickory, Blueberry BBQ Sauce. Paired with Cattywompus Belgian Inspired IPA.

Half Rack of Sugar Maple Smoked Baby Back Ribs, Fried Brussel Sprouts, Cheddar Grits. Paired with Eight Point IPA.

Belgium Waffle, House Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Stout Reduction. Paired with Coco Bear Imperial Stout.

Brewmaster Jason Oliver dropping some knowledge on the people












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Jason Cercone


  1. Seriously? Not a single mention as to why they’re aggressively expanding their distribution? Of course it’s thanks to our good friends at Anheuser-Busch InBev. This is not a craft brewery!

    • You could not be more wrong. You most likely have ZERO experience in the beer industry. Just another beer nerd looking for something to get upset about.

  2. I didn’t address the fact that they are part of ABI in this feature because it really has no impact on the fact that A) they still make good beers, B) they have been left alone to create and nurture their brand and product, and C) thousands of people enjoy their beers and can now get them in Pittsburgh. I can report with 100% certainty that it’s still real people brewing the beers and running the company. They’ve not been replaced by ABI-funded robots.

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