Penn Brewery - Craft Breweries & Pubs in Pittsburgh
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Penn Brewery tells the story of Pittsburgh’s European immigrants through our craft beers and homemade fare. Pittsburgh’s oldest and largest brewery, Penn is housed in the mid nineteenth-century landmark E&O Brewery Building in the North Side’s Deutschtown neighborhood, just across the river from downtown Pittsburgh. Penn’s beers, all brewed onsite, have won eighteen Great American Beer Festival® and World Beer Cup® medals. Our restaurant serves traditional “Euro-Pittsburgh” dishes including wurst, schnitzel, pierogi, house-smoked meats, and strudel. Penn is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday, from 11:00 am to midnight, and hosts live entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings and select Wednesdays. A lovely cobblestone biergarten is also open seasonally. Happy Hour runs from 4:00-6:00 pm Monday through Friday, and features $3 beers. Private party bookings are also available. Free parking.
Although the modern-day Penn Brewery was started in 1986, its roots actually lie far back in 1848, with the Eberhart and Ober families, Germans who settled in the Deutschtown neighborhood in the City of Allegheny, now Pittsburgh’s North Side. Eberhart and Ober opened three breweries on the site where Penn exists today, and three of the original E&O brewery buildings remain. These buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic places, and boast many fascinating and unique architectural features. Perhaps the most notable of these is a labyrinth of stone caves and tunnels, which were constructed to chill, or “lager,” barrels of beer in the days before refrigeration became commonplace.
The Lore of the Lagering Cave
For centuries, brewers relied on the natural coolness of underground caves to chill their beer and keep it fresh when the weather turned warm. When German immigrants began establishing their own breweries here in America, they brought their beermaking methods with them – including cave lagering. Many of these new breweries built and used networks of beer tunnels through the late 1800s, when modern refrigeration supplanted the old-world tradition of cave lagering. Most of these breweries are long gone, and their caves long-forgotten. Penn Brewery, housed in the historic nineteenth-century E&O Brewery building in Pittsburgh, is one of only a handful of working breweries that still has original beer caves on premise. And in the spirit of our German predecessors, we continue to craft our award-winning beers by hand, in small batches, with no shortcuts. Here at Penn Brewery, the tradition of our lagering caves lives on.