From a historical standpoint, Pittsburgh is most recognized for its contributions to the steel industry. In 1911, Pittsburgh was responsible for approximately one-half of the United States steel output. However, as decades wore on, that output waned and a massive implosion in the industry in the 1980s led to several Pittsburgh-based steel mills ceasing operations and left thousands of workers without jobs. As Pittsburgh has evolved and reinvented itself since this occurrence, great efforts have been made to encompass the city’s former staple and weave its roots into the tapestry of our current day-to-day “Steel City.”
One fun and important part of Pittsburgh’s evolution has been its overwhelming acceptance of craft beer. A town with brewing roots as far back as 1765, Pittsburgh is packed pillar to post with beer enthusiasts always looking to tap into new libations.
And thanks to places like Blue Dust in Homestead, we have the opportunity to experience Pittsburgh’s roots and Pittsburgh’s love affair with craft beer…all under one roof. This pleasurable combination has put Blue Dust a major craft beer destination in Pittsburgh, and we are pleased to have them as April’s PCBN Mobile App sponsor!
Blue Dust is located right next to the train tracks at the entrance to the current Waterfront Shopping Center, a plaza bustling with theaters, restaurants, shopping, and more. This same spot was formerly known in Pittsburgh as the entrance to the Homestead Steel Works. Those familiar with the area will recall seeing the brick smoke stacks located on the outskirts of the complex, capturing the essence of what this historical section of town once represented.
For those unfamiliar with steel mill lore, “blue dust” is a term used when iron ore is dominated by very fine, soft hematite. Since hematite grains often have a bluish-gray color, the powdery ore was nicknamed “blue dust.” In today’s Steel City craft beer lore, Blue Dust is the term tied to a remarkable gastropub that features 26 rotating craft beer taps, a vegan-friendly menu, outdoor dining, and in-house infused specialty drinks. Blue Dust is the perfect pairing of craft beer destination and neighborhood bar.
Opened in 2009, owner Jerry Miller makes no bones about his mission of delivering the best craft beer options available by strongly abiding by his #1 Rule: No Crap On Tap.
Jerry’s affection for featuring craft beer has helped him establish strong relationships with local and national breweries alike. He has a great relationship with Rogue Farms located in Oregon, as well as local breweries like Helltown, Full Pint, and many others. His three decades-plus of experience in the beer industry and a strong affection for craft beers himself has helped Jerry establish a diverse selection of drafts and bottled beer to be enjoyed in-house or to-go.
Of course, Jerry can’t do it alone. Assisting him in keeping Blue Dust on the cutting edge of craft beer evolution and development is Stephanie Dickson. If you’ve communicated with Blue Dust via Twitter, Facebook, or any other online medium, you’ve been talking to Stephanie. She handles Blue Dust’s social media and is heavily involved with organizing the various events that have helped establish Blue Dust as a major player in Pittsburgh’s craft beer circle. She’s also responsible for the flavor-packed infused drinks, with greats including a peach-infused tequila.
October brings lots of excitement to Pittsburgh. The Pirates are on the verge of starting their 3rd straight playoff run with hopes of a better outcome versus last year’s Wild Card game. Pumpkin beers, while all over the place since late summer, are now officially “in season” and this month is jam-packed with gourdy goodness all over town. Blue Dust is in on the fun as always with the 4th Annual Pumpkin Fest under the Homestead Grays Bridge on Saturday, October 10th, from 1pm – 10pm!
It’s no secret that Blue Dust throws some killer parties under that bridge. Oyster Fest during Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week, KSWA Wrestling, and, of course, a pumpkin beer festival to run and home and tell Mom about. The event will feature over 20 pumpkin beers that you get to drink out of a gourd, live music, food trucks, and all the fun your little pumpkin-loving heart can handle! Admission is free and beer tickets will be available for purchase upon entry.
Blue Dust has built itself into one of Pittsburgh’s top craft beer locales thanks to extensive beer knowledge, unique food, friendly staff, and a spirit that embodies the essence of what the area once represented. Just like the steel workers of past generations, the Blue Dust team works incredibly hard to ensure you get exactly what you’re looking for. No matter what that may be.
See you guys at Blue Dust and Pumpkin Fest 4!