Your favorite Beer of the Month Club welcomes you to Penn Brewery, where their craft beers and historic setting tell the story of Pittsburgh’s European immigrants. Today’s Penn Brewery began in 1986, but its roots lie in 1848, when the German Eberhart and Ober families settled in what is now Pittsburgh’s NorthSide.

They opened three breweries on the site where Penn exists today. Three of the original buildings remain, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many unique features remain – the most notable is a labyrinth of stone caves and tunnels constructed to chill (or “lager”) barrels of beer before refrigeration came into being. They brewed at this location for decades, then merged with a number of other breweries. They became Pittsburgh Brewing Company in 1899.

Today’s Penn brand was born in 1986 by the late Tom Pastorius, who used contract manufacturers. Penn opened its own brewery in 1989 in the historical building complex. The restaurant opened that year, too, making Penn the first “tied house” (a restaurant tied to a brewery) in Pennsylvania since Prohibition.

In 2008 a local private firm bought Penn, outsourcing the beer production and closing both the brewery and restaurant. Fortunately, a new group of local investors bought back Penn, resumed brewing at the end of 2009. and reopened the restaurant in 2010. Today they happily brew award-winning beers, including:

  • Penn Dark Lager, a Munich-style dark, offers complex roasted nut and toffee notes. Deep mahogany with a tawny foam head, it is moderately hopped with a clean lager finish. Surprisingly smooth!
  • A Vienna-style/Amber lager, Penn Pilsner has a malty nose with a touch of hops. Well-rounded, balanced with toast, nuts and toffee.

Featured Beer from Penn Brewery: Penn Dark Lager and Penn Pilsner

DARK LAGER – Penn Dark Lager – Bottom-fermented lagers, rooted in the Bavarian region of Germany, are considered the traditional beer of Munich. Most can be described as toasty and smooth-drinking with low bitterness and little hop aroma. Serve with beef and bison, raw oysters, veggies (both pickled and roasted), and BBQ fare.

PILSNER – Penn Pilsner – Bottom-fermented, refreshing and golden, pilsners are the world’s most poplar style of beer. Versatile, Pilsners pair well with many foods, including bacon, burgers, anything nutty or BBQ’d, fried fish and cooked cheese dishes.

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Kaitlyn Murphy
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