Pittsburgh On Tap

As the days start to grow longer and temperatures begin to rise, one thing that nearly all Pittsburghers have in common (besides their love of sports) is their anticipation of Spring’s grand arrival.

In the Steel City, spring evokes a sense of hope, and a longing for brighter, sunnier days ahead. Pittsburghers have so many things to look forward to throughout the city like outdoor events, concerts, baseball games, festivals, and enjoying outdoor bars and restaurants.

In the world of craft beer, especially in the northern US, spring is time to pack away not only your thick winter coats, but also the heavy winter beers you’ve been drinking. 

As the new season arrives, it’s a great opportunity to explore different types of beer and try out new styles that are popular this year. Springtime is also a chance to get involved in the latest trends happening in the craft beer scene, both in Pittsburgh and around the country.

Craft Beer Trends

Marketing and Consumer Experience Evolution
Over the past few years, breweries have changed their motive from just selling beer to also provide engaging consumer experiences. 

The pandemic accelerated this adaptation, prompting breweries to organize fun events, entertainment, and collaborations to reignite consumer enthusiasm and create unforgettable visits. 

Pittsburgh breweries have joined in on this trend by hosting events like mini beer festivals, drag brunches, “Galentines” events, Steelers watch parties, and yes – even Taylor Swift theme nights. 

Collaborative Endeavors
Collaborations have been a huge trend recently, and not just two breweries working together to produce an innovative beer. Local businesses, non-profit organizations, musicians, restaurants, and bakeries have been teaming up with breweries for fun and often unexpected collabs. 

You may see bakeries contribute their goods for a “sweet” special release beer, businesses holding pop-up stores in a brewery, or even local animal rescues bringing adoptable four-legged friends to a brewery’s location. While you’re sipping on your favorite craft beer, you’ll begin to notice there is much more going on at breweries these days, making your brewery visit all more enjoyable. 

Diversifying Craft Beer Options
The craft beer industry has been expanding well beyond their consumer stereotype of  “bearded hipster.” Folks of all demographics can now be seen at breweries socializing over a beer (or 2). Beer is for everyone! But – not everyone loves beer or even drinking alcohol.

Breweries are getting creative in their attempts to satisfy all their customers, particularly with non-alcoholic beers, mocktails, and sodas. 

The “sober curious” culture is prevalent in the US, and breweries are adjusting to welcome all demographics to their space.

5 Hot Craft Beer Styles

Lagers have always been popular, but lately, they’ve become a favorite among craft beer fans in the US. Known for their lighter alcohol content, and fresh, crispy, clean taste, lagers are perfect for warmer weather. 

Where to try lagers: Dancing Gnome, Golden Age Beer Co., and Necromancer

Dark Lagers
Dark lagers are making a breakthrough in the craft beer world and have a rich, malty taste to them.  Despite their darker color, they’re actually very light in volume and refreshing.

Where to try dark lagers: Lorelai, Cinderlands, and Old Thunder Brewing Company

Non-Alcoholic (NA) Beers
Non-alcoholic beers speak for themselves. They give you the same satisfaction of enjoying a beer without the booze… or the hangover. So for folks who want to be social without the buzz, and want something besides a water, NA beers are for you. 

A lot of local breweries like Cinderlands, Coven, and Two Frays Brewery carry an assortment of NA beers. Be sure to check your favorite breweries’ website for current tap lists and NA beer options! Also, many local restaurants like City Works, Hidden Harbor, and Burgatory carry mocktails, milkshakes, and other fun beverages without the booze.  

Czech Pilsners
Originating in the Czech Republic, this pilsner is a well-loved beer style around the world and always a fan favorite. These beers are highly carbonated and have a light, crispy finish, often accompanied by a subtle spice and floral aftertaste. These easy drinkers are perfect for spring evenings.

Where to “Czech” out some Czech Pilsners: Bonafide Beer Co., Lolev Beer, and East End Brewing 

West Coast IPAS
This California-based IPA is a classic warm weather beer. Unlike a hazy IPA, West Coast IPAs have a clear, light body to them with an intense taste of hops, bitterness, pine, and citrus. West Coast IPAs are perfect for IPA lovers who want the same hoppy taste, but looking for something lighter and cleaner. 

Where to try West Coast IPAs: Burghers Brewing, Hitchhiker Brewing, and Voodoo Brewing Company

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