Pittsburgh: Logging brews, tracks, and hockey arenas

Heinz Field & PNC Park

Downtown Pittsburgh

The City of Bridges

On Saturday, before the Final, we went to “Fatheads” in the strip district for lunch & to meet with Tom’s neice & family. I had two of “Fatheads” own beers, which I had never tasted before. Quite the place, and well worth a visit if in Pittsburgh.
Two days before, we had hit the “Church Brew Works”, which quickly became one of my favorite all time brew pubs. Founded in 1996, and located in a restored Roman Catholic Church which was originally built in 1902, Church Brew Works offers some delightful beer in a wonderfully quirky setting.

Just prior to the championship game, we swung by the Penn Brewery, which is located in the old E&O Brewery Building. A slightly more traditional brewpub, but the beers were equally good, and I loved architecture of the old building.

Penn Brewery. Pure. Pittsburgh.

I thoroughly enjoyed Pittsburgh, although the traffic would make it difficult for me to mentally survive there. For a visitor, there is no rhyme or reason to the street layout, but with the rivers, hills, and old buildings it all adds to the cities’ charm. Even the walk down 5th Ave, from the hotel to the ice arena had a certain dangerous charm to it. It was obvious early in our walk that we were not in one of the more desireable areas of town. I suppose the half mile of broken auto glass was one of our first clues. Still, the ruins of the old homes, that in their day must have been something to behold, were cool to catch a glimpse of, as the vines and trees reclaimed the hill. And the old 5th Ave School, home of the Archers, that has been rebuilt into lofts… with high security parking… was worth the walk.

A little different hockey experience overall from Pittsburgh. The pre-game events were not well attended. In fact, it was a pre-event, live broadcast from the “Souper Bowl” near the arena that brought on our muggy running of the 5th Ave Gauntlet. Upon arrival, there were maybe a dozen people there, and I’m not convinced that half were hockey fans. We had a Yuengling to lessen our disappointment, then took our lapel pins as trophies and ran the gauntlet a second time.

Even on game day, is was not a problem to walk into the Souper Bowl and immediately find a table for four. I can’t think of any other Frozen Four where one could even get in through the door of a pub so close to the rink.

With all that said, the entire experience from the visits to racetracks… both defunct & active, to the hockey arena tours, Yale’s first title and the company of the travelers, this was one good Frozen Four.

Even though I haven’t come away with the urge to actually log my beers.

About icefogger

Just a basic, down to Earth, laid back type of guy here, who loves the outdoors, the indoors, jazz on the turntable, a fire in the woodstove, the northern lights blazing across the sky, and the company of good friends. View all posts by icefogger

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