Sewickley Heights Borough Park & Big Sewickley Creek Brewery

Sewickley, PA

New brewery alert! I also make a point of trying to visit new breweries, especially when it’s in an area that doesn’t really have many taprooms. So I was thrilled to hear about Big Sewickley Creek Brewery! As soon as they were ready to open, I made sure to find a nearby hike so we could go to their opening weekend. Thankfully Sewickley Heights Borough Park was very closeby! This is a new area of the region for me but I was pleasantly surprised by the trails in this park. There was a great mix of natural wooded trails, as well as wider gravel paths. Be aware that some of these are equestrian trails so remember that riders have the right of way and always make your presence known near horses! This is also a popular off-leash area, so if large dogs aren’t your jam this might not be the best place for you.

THE HIKE: Sewickley Heights Borough Park

Length: 3 miles
Elevation Gain: 335 ft
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 1-1.5 hours
Trail use: Hiking, unleashed pets, equestrian trails
Parking: Park only in designated areas on side of road
H&H: 4/5

As its name indicates, this park is located in Sewickley Heights Borough and is open to the public! It is funded mostly by generous donations from residents of the borough. Right next to this area is the Fern Hollow Conservation Area, owned and managed by the American Land Trust. This area is very popular with dog owners as the whole park is an off-leash area! So what does that mean for hikers? Well, be aware that an unknown dog might come running up to say hi! If that makes you a bit uncomfortable, you can always ask the owner to leash their pet but understand that they might not. To be honest, if you have a fear of big dogs, I would probably suggest checking out a different park. During our short walk, we probably had 4 or 5 large puppers come running up to us! 

We really enjoyed this park because of the varied landscape and types of trails. We parked along Hallaway Road in the designated spots and started out our trek by meandering along the wooded trails. The trails were easy to follow but not always clear which one you were on. We saw very few blazes or signposts, but thankfully since the park isn’t too large we were able to just wander without fear of getting too lost. Most of the trails are multi-purpose but a few are hiker-only. After crossing back over Hallaway Road, we walked along the gravel road which was more open. There were a lot of trails back in this area that I didn’t even realize until looking at the map afterwards. There’s plenty of places to walk at Sewickley Heights, whether you’d like mostly flat gravel paths, or woodsy natural trails. 

The park has a helpful website with maps and some rules and regulations about the park. As with most parks, you should stay on the path as much of the area is preserved for conservation. The park isn’t open to hunting at any time and groups larger than 10 should obtain a permit to visit. They also remind users that many trails are multi-purpose so know when to yield! Bikers yield to hikers and equestrians, dog walkers should lease their pets when approaching horses, hikers yield to equestrians and be aware of bikers. 

Overall, I was so glad we took a chance on this borough park! The trails were much more woodsy than I expected and I was pleasantly surprised by how big the space was. Plus it was the perfect excuse to go check out Big Sewickley Creek Brewery!

THE BEER: Big Sewickley Creek Brewery

Address: 2030 Big Sewickley Creek Rd, Sewickley, PA 15143
Distance from Trail Head: 4.4 miles, 9 mins 
Website: https://sewickleybrewery.com/
Food?: Food Trucks or BYOF
Details: Outdoor seating with firepits, dog friendly outside,
H&H Rating: 5/5

New brewery!! I have been following the process of this brewery and I was thrilled to hear they were finally having a grand opening weekend. I have long hoped for a brewery in the Sewickley area as there are so many parks and trails around. Thankfully Big Sewickley Creek Brewery (BSCB) really knocked it out of the park. They have a decent sized taproom that was a great spot for watching the football game. Since J and I aren’t big sports fans (sorry Pittsburghers, please don’t hate us) we sat outside to get a feel for their outdoor space. Man was it nice! There’s plenty of seating on the covered patio with really unique chairs made from old barrels and large heaters to keep it toasty. The yard though was our favorite area. BSCB has made the perfect backyard hangout, complete with string lights, adirondack chairs, and firepits! No to mention the brewery’s namesake creek flowing behind the property. Honestly, I think this place was made with us in mind! 

BSCB was started by two Pittsburgh brothers who retired from the medical field. Brewing beer had always been a hobby for them but as they neared retirement, they started to talk seriously about opening their dream taproom. They managed to get all the supplies ordered for the building before the pandemic put a halt in the plans. Thankfully, they were able to get construction moving and get landscapers to make the cozy backyard space. Since both of the brothers are dog owners, I’m happy to report that the taproom is VERY dog friendly! You might even find a treat for your furry friend behind the bar! During our visit, we were delighted to make the acquaintance of a little puppy on his first public outing! Also, a fun fact that I learned from the brewery’s feature in the Post-Gazette, owner Marc made all of the barrels for the outdoor seating after attending a welding training program! Is there anything these brothers can’t do?!

So let’s get to the product. Since the brewery is so new, they only had six taps flowing on their first weekend. That was perfect for us since I love being able to try everything on the taplist. Nothing like being haunted by the beer that got away! Not only was the beer crisp and delicious, I also really loved that everything was around 4% ABV. It seemed like everywhere has super boozy brews anymore and that’s just not my jam! I like to be able to sample a few before wanting to fall asleep. Bring back lower ABV beers! My favorite of the lineup was the Roasty Joe Amber. It just paired so perfectly with the campfire and was a great winter weather beer without being too heavy on the palette. But honestly all of the beers were very good and I know this won’t be the last time we visit! 

Our Beer:

  • Smokey Joe Vienna – Vienna Lager – 4% 
  • Sewickley Pale Lager – Lager – 4%
  • German Altbier – Altbier – 4%
  • Roasty Joe Amber – Amber Lager – 4%
  • Munich Helles – Helles – 4%
  • Otto-Pils – Vienna Lager – 5%

Clear Creek SP – Beartown Rocks & Mechanistic Brewing

Clarion, PA

Our final excursion during our New Years Weekend in Clarion was Beartown Rocks in Clear Creek State Park. I loved this hike because we had the trail almost completely to ourselves and I felt so at peace following the creek. The weather for us during this hike wasn’t the greatest for us, being a bit cold and rainy so this trail was a bit treacherous at times. We encountered a lot of mud and slippery spots. Is it really winter hiking if you don’t fall a few times? The tumbles were worth it though for the view at the Rocks. These were really incredible geological features that I highly encourage you to take the time to explore! After a chilly, muddy hike, the best way to warm up is with a brew at Mechanistic Brewing in downtown Clarion. I can’t imagine a better way to end a winter hike than with their Spruce Tip IPA!

THE HIKE: Beartown Rocks

Length: 4.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 700ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Time: 1.5-2 hours
Trail use: Hiking and leashed pets
Parking: Large lot at trailhead with pit toilets
H&H: 5/5

Clear Creek State Park is located in Jefferson County and encompasses just shy of 2,000 acres. Due to its proximity to Cook Forest, it’s a great addition to a weekend in the PA Wilds! The land that makes up Clear Creek was a key part of the lumber industry in the 1800s for Northwestern PA. Its access to the nearby Clarion River made it a prime area for logging. Eventually water power was replaced by steam power and logging tapered off in the area. The land was sold in 1919 to the state and within a decade it became a camping destination. Like many parks, Clear Creek benefited from FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps which planted trees, built facilities, and trails in the area. Several of the buildings from this era are still in use and are on the National Register of Historic Places. The state park abuts the Clear Creek State Forest in which the majority of this hike actually takes place.

Beartown Rocks can be accessed by car via Corbett Road. This is a dirt State Forest road that may not be maintained during the winter months so travelat your own risk! There are also trails around the area if you prefer to hike to Beartown Rocks. We parked at the Clear Creek State Park at the swimming beach lot off Route 949. The parking lot is really big and has pit toilets so it was an ideal place to start our hike! The Beartown Rocks trail begins across the street and is very clearly labeled. You’ll be following this same trail all the way to the Rocks! This is a moderately difficult hike as there are some small stream crossings (no wet feet!) and a few steep inclines. I thought it was the perfect end to our hiking weekend because we saw so many different types of forests from conifer-lined streams to rhododendron covered hills! This is another area that I would love to come back when the flowers are blooming. 

The Rocks themselves are well-worth the heart-pumping final descent. These unique features just seem to rise up out of the ground completely unexpectedly. They are likely remnants of the last Ice Age, due to the speckles and pitting on their surface. There is a nice platform on the top of the largest rock that allows you to see out over the valley. It was hauntingly beautiful in winter especially since we hadn’t seen a soul the whole hike. There was a dense fog hanging over the treetops that was beautiful. I think this would be a lovely fall hike too! To get back to the parking lot, just retrace your steps but be careful! Some of those steep inclines were really slippery going back down! I will fully admit that I took a few tumbles. Thankfully not into this river this time (ahem, here’s looking at you, first day hike in 2021). 

This was an excellent hike and a big shoutout to MyTrailsAreMany for suggesting it! I would have never found this one on my own and I’m so glad we went out of our way to check it out. Crossing off another PA State Park! 

THE BEER: Mechanistic Brewing Co.

Address: 538 Liberty St, Clarion, PA 16214
Distance from Trail Head: 24 miles, 32 mins 
Website: https://www.mechanisticbrewing.com/
Food?: Food Trucks or BYOB
Details: Outdoor seating, dog friendly outside

Mechanistic Brewing is another craft beer taproom in the heart of Clarion. It’s right off the main drag and boasts a super cool taproom and lounge. They don’t have an onsite kitchen, but often host food trucks in the warmer seasons and welcome BYOF. They have a huge outdoor patio space and welcome all to their taproom, families included! Their tagline is “Beer as a mechanism to bring people together”. Well I love that! We couldn’t have had a nicer time at this taproom. All of the staff were so nice and we had some great chats about the area and their beer. By far, the standout for favorite beer was their Little Full, Whole Lotta Sap IPA which was made with spruce tips. I was hesitant because I haven’t liked piney beers in the past but this one was so good! It smelled incredible and managed to balance the pine with a sweet hazy beer. It was delicious and honestly I couldn’t imagine a better beer to have after walking in the woods! I didn’t realize it until I was doing some research for the blog, but the two staff holding down the fort at the bar the day we visited were actually the owners, a husband and wife team! No wonder the place had such a lovely neighborhood vibe. If it wasn’t so far, I’d be back all the time! 

Our Beer:

  • Little Full, Whole Lotta Sap – Spruce Tip West Coast IPA – 6.1%
  • Snow Angel – IPA – 5.6%
  • Belgian Saison – Farmhouse Ale – 4.6%
  • Cali Blonde – Blonde Ale – 4.4%

Cook Forest SP – Forest Cathedral & Lost in the Wilds Brewing

Shippensville, PA

Another incredible hike in Cook Forest State Park is the Forest Cathedral. These trails meander through the old growth section of the woods which means you’ll see some enormous conifer trees! There’s a lot of interweaving trails here but we took the Longfellow loop for a nice 2 mile trek. The terrain is a bit bumpy at times and you can expect some areas of elevation. Also, if you’re hiking in the winter, you’re likely to encounter ice on these trails as the dense trees keep the sun from warming up the forest floor. Crampons are a must! This is a great trail to slow down and see what you can see.

THE HIKE: Forest Cathedral – Cook Forest State Park

Length: 1.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 272 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Time: 1 hour
Trail use: Hiking, Leashed Pets
Parking: Large lot at log cabin with pit toilets
H&H: 5/5

Another of our hikes from our New Year’s trip to Cook Forest State Park was the Forest Cathedral area. This area is full of ancient conifers that stretch far into the sky. Even in winter, their green needles dapple the sunlight and create a soft, quiet underbrush. Some of these trees are the tallest in the eastern US! These trees make up what is called an “Old-growth Forest” and are some of the oldest trees in Pennsylvania. This area is so unique and of ecological significance that it is a National Natural Landmark. 

There are several ways to get to the Forest Cathedral, with the most easily accessible starting at the Log Cabin learning center on Forest Road, just up the road from the Cook Forest Visitor Center. Although the cabin itself was closed for the season, there were bathrooms available and a large parking lot. From here, we hopped on the Longfellow trail which immediately led us into the dense forest. We were stunned by the majesty of the enormous trees and also humbled by the downed trunks. It can be a little intimidating to imagine the force wind and storms would have to have to take down one of these giants! The trail was quiet but with some inclines and bumpy terrain. We had a lovely time in the winter, but the icy trails can be dangerous! We followed the Longfellow trail until it reached the stream. At this point, another small trail leads up to Forest road where there are a few other parking spots. If you follow this trail, you will be on the North Country Scenic Trail. From here, we meandered along the easy and wide Tom’s Run trail which follows the stream. Under normal circumstances, you can follow this trail over the stream and it will lead back to the Log Cabin parking lot. However, they are currently replacing the footbridges so we had to bushwhack our way to the parking lot. Not my favorite thing to do but sometimes you have to be resourceful! 

This trail was so beautiful in the icy winter but I would also love to see it during the height of rhododendron season. I think the juxtaposition of the towering hemlocks and white pines with the exuberant blooms would be beautiful! Overall, Forest Cathedral is a must-do hike in PA and I hope you get the chance to see it! 

THE BEER: Lost in the Wilds Brewing

Address: 21964 PA-66, Shippenville, PA 16254
Distance from Trail Head: 15.3 miles, 23 mins 
Website: http://lostinthewildsbrewing.com/
Food?: BYOF, Food Trucks in summer
Details: Outdoor seating, Dog friendly outside, Bike trail nearby

Lost in the Wilds is a fairly new brewery in Clarion county that has pretty much everything you’d want in a watering hole in the woods. They’ve got a bright sunny taproom with a wide selection of house-made beer and other local booze, a huge outdoor space that often hosts concerts and food trucks, and are located right on Route 66 Trail which is popular for walking, biking and even cross country skiing. I found this space to be so incredibly inviting and I loved that there were people from all walks of life in the taproom enjoying a brew. It definitely felt like a gathering place for the community! 

Despite being pretty new, Lost in the Wilds has already garnered some big attention! They were featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette among a list of “Notable Restaurants and Breweries along Bike Trails” and Travel Mag gave them a nod on their list of “10 Must-Visit Pennsylvania Breweries”. It sounds like things are going to just keep getting better here! 

With their large outdoor space, Lost in the Wilds is very family friendly and invites fuzzy friends on the patio and grounds only. Since they have no kitchen, you’re also welcome to bring food or order from a food truck. Check out their website for the list of trucks starting in April. 

Just be aware that Lost in the Wilds is taking a January Break! They’ll be back open and doing their thing on January 26th. 

Our Beer:

  • Bear Fox – NEIPA – 7%
  • Cran Cherry Sour – Cranberry and Cherry Sour – 6.5%
  • Oatmeal Stout – Stout – 6.8%
  • Hot Cocoa Stout – Stout – 5.7%

Cook Forest SP – Fire Tower, Seneca Viewpoint via North Country Trail & Clarion River Brewing

Clarion, PA

One of my absolute favorite hiking traditions has been getting out for a First Day Hike. Whether you go on your own or join a group, this is the perfect way to kick off the New Year and set some intentions for the rest of the year. We joined a First Day Hike in Cook Forest State Park that had a surprisingly large turnout! It was great to see so many different people joining in. This hike started at the Ridge Campground and included Seneca Viewpoint and the Firetower. We then went on a walk along the Clarion River on the North Country Trail.

THE HIKE: Fire Tower, Seneca Viewpoint & River Trail – Cook Forest SP

Length: 4.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1100 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Time: 2.5-3 hours
Trail use: Hiking, Leashed Pets
Parking: Large lot at trailhead with pit toilets
H&H: 4/5

This holiday and work season ended up being rather busy for us. We didn’t do much hiking in December and honestly didn’t see each other a lot. So we decided on a whim to book a cabin in Cook Forest State Park for the New Year. The cabin had a wood burning fireplace, no wifi, and very little cell signal. It was perfect!

There’s actually a lot to explore in the Cook Forest area, including the nearest large town of Clarion. One thing to be aware of though is the camping season. Since we went in January and on a holiday, a LOT of places were closed. Make sure to do a little research before you leave to see what might be open! Some things are very spread out so I’d hate for you to make the drive only to find out that a certain place is closed for the season! Thankfully, the great outdoors is never closed! However, make sure to always be prepared for the weather. Luckily, our visit coincided with a warm spell that brought temps in the low 50s and melted a lot of the snow and ice. I was surprised though how much ice there was still on the forest floor! You never know when you’ll wish you brought crampons!

So as I mentioned, this was our first day hike! If you’ve never done one before, a lot of parks will have a ranger-led hike on January 1st to get people outdoors together. I couldn’t believe how many people showed up for this loop! Special thanks to the Friends of Cook Forest for leading this hike. This was an easy loop that meandered along the Fire Tower road up to the Seneca viewpoint and then to the Firetower. We parked at the Ridge Campground where there were several spots right by the first pavilion. Walking along the dirt and gravel road was easy but if you’re looking for a different route, you can also get on the Baker/North Country Trail and follow that to the viewpoint area. It might be a little longer though since you have to start in the Forest Cathedral area. This is probably the trail we would have chosen if not joining the first day hike group.

The total loop along the Fire Tower Road was around 3 miles. We lingered at the Seneca Overlook and J was even brave even to go up the Fire tower! That was a no thank you from me. From there, we left the group and continued along the baker/North Country Trail down to the Clarion River. Despite how warm it had gotten, it was crazy to see the ice chunks floating down the river! I can only imagine how frozen everything was over Christmas. This trail was so peaceful and we only saw one other family. My absolute favorite part though was seeing a beaver on the trail!! I’ve only ever seen evidence of their chomping so it was so cool to see the actual animals on the trail. He slunk away as we got closer and disappeared into the water. 

Beaver!

From here you can really continue along as far as you want. We followed the trail to the Henry Run Sawmill Waterfall. This is a really unique feature that doesn’t appear on the park map! Henry Run is a small tributary of the Clarion River and this section was dammed during the logging boom of the late 19th century. Although the mill no longer exists, the rock wall from the dam is still standing and creates a beautiful little waterfall. Around this time it has started to get misty, so we decided to turn around before we got too soaked. On the way back, we got on the River Trail which leads back up to the Fire Tower Road without going all the way back to the overlook area. Beware though, this is a really steep climb back up! Our hearts were definitely pumping by the time we made it back to the road. 

There’s also an alternative way of visiting these sites, which I learned of thanks to Tory at My Trails are Many and Jim at UncoveringPA. You can come at these trails from a different way if you park at the trailhead on Gravel Lick Road. We wanted to go this way but Gravel Lick road was closed for the winter! From there, you just get on the Baker/North Country Trail and go along the water. From this way, the waterfall will be the first site you encounter. From there, you can continue along until you see the Fire Tower and Seneca Overlook. This would be a great place to take a break before turning around! This would end up being about a 5-mile out and back trek to see the waterfall, fire tower, and overlook. Check it would below:

https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/henry-run-falls-fc03d48?u=i

Stay tuned for more of our hikes in Cook Forest! 

THE BEER: Clarion River Brewing Company

Address: 600 Main St, Clarion, PA 16214
Distance from Trail Head: 30 miles, 50 mins 
Website: http://clarionriverbrew.com/
Food?: Full Menu
Details: Outdoor seating (seasonal)

After spending the day hiking along the Clarion River, it almost feels inevitable that you should grab some food and a beverage from Clarion River Brewing Company! This brewpub is located in downtown Clarion right on the main street. The venue is split into two sections: the bar area and a large dining room, although you can have a meal in either. With hearty sandwiches and burgers, I’m sure this is a popular place when school is in session! We were lucky to pretty much have the place to ourselves when we were in town. Clarion River brews in house but also features other local brews on their taplist. Unfortunately when we visited, they were in between brewers so they didn’t have any of their own headliners on the menu. No worries, we were able to get a flight of all their in-house stuff and sampled some other local brews too. 

Their food was filling and just what we needed to warm up. Like most breweries with a full kitchen, I wouldn’t say it was stellar but it got the job done! I hope that their hunt for a new brewer moves forward without a hitch so they can get their taplist back! Overall, Clarion River Brewing was worth the stop if you’re in town, but I would definitely suggest including it as part of brewery crawl so you can sample the other area offerings 

Our Beer:

  • Betta Weatha – Cream Ale – 5.1%
  • Fuzzy Wuzzy Was A Beer – Peach Milkshake IPA – 6.5%
  • Ol’ Chap – ESB – 6.1%
  • Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut, Sometimes a Stout – Vanilla Coconut Stout – 5%

SUM UP: Cook Forest State Park is a great weekend getaway from Pittsburgh. The area is full of campsites and cabins and has lots of little restaurants during the season. The state park is a beautiful area for hiking, famous for its old growth forest. This hike takes you to the old Fire Tower, a beautiful lookout at Seneca Rocks, and a secret waterfall! The 5 mile loop is rated moderately challenging due to some steep sections and proper footwear is recommended. Check the weather before heading out! Afterwards, warm up with a brew a burger at Clarion River Brewing if staying in Clarion or the Clarion River Lodge if camping or staying in a cabin in the State Park. You can’t go wrong with a weekend in the PA Wilds!

Urban Hike & Strip District

Pittsburgh, PA

One of my absolute favorite places to explore during the holidays in Pittsburgh is The Strip District. This vibrant neighborhood is the best place to find unique gifts, specialty ingredients, and some of the best food in the Burgh! While getting some Christmas shopping done before the holidays, J and I decided to take a walk along the Strip District trail that runs along the Allegheny River to the Point as well as wandering along Penn Ave to all of our favorite shops. The Strip District is quickly becoming a beverage destination and we stopped in the brand new Bonafide Beer Company to warm up after our urban hike! This is your cue to take an urban hike through the Strip District!

THE HIKE: Strip District to Point State Park

Length: 5 miles
Elevation Gain: 20 ft
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 2 hours
Trail use: Walking, biking, leashed pets
Parking: Street parking at 24th street or lots
H&H: 4/5

This is not your typical hike! The Strip District is in my humble opinion one of the coolest places in Pittsburgh. Although certain sections of it have become more modernized and built-up, you can still find pockets of that classic Pittsburgh Charm. The Strip District is the perfect place to go and explore or to pick up some high quality ingredients for a special meal! We have a couple of shops we go to every time we visit and I’ll share them later on! If you’re looking to turn your visit into more of a hike, head towards the Allegheny River and get on the Strip District trail. This is a paved trail that is popular with bikers, walkers, and more. It leads towards the Point where it meets up with the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. The trip from 24th Street in the Strip to the Point is just under 2 miles. 

Roaster at Allegheny Coffee Co
Lunch at Enrico’s Cafe
Wholey’s Seafood

During its industrial heyday, the Strip District’s location along the river made it a perfect spot for mills and factories. Some of the more famous tenants included ALCOA, US Steel, Westinghouse, and the Heinz Company. As an extension of this thriving business, wholesale grocers and other warehouses began to pop up. Although much of the large-scale industry has since moved out of the area, the Strip District retains some of that history by being home to wholesale grocers, ethnic food markets, artisan shops, and restaurants. 

Every time I visit the Strip District, I have a couple stores that I must go to. Firstly, I always have to check what’s on sale at Wholey’s Fish and Meats. One of my favorite holiday traditions is getting our Christmas Eve fish at this long-standing staple of the Strip District. Here you’ll find some of the freshest seafood in the Burgh and high quality cuts of meat. We always have to stop in Mancinis bread too to get something fresh for dinner. Some of my other favorite stores are In The Kitchen, Love Pittsburgh, Penzey’s spices, Pennsylvania Macaroni Company, and Roxane’s Dried Flowers. And what is a visit to the Strip District without stopping for some food? The Strip District is famous for its classic diners, with the most popular being Pamela’s, Kelly O’s, and DeLuca’s. If you’re looking for lunch, one of my favorite hidden secrets is the cafe behind Enrico’s Biscotti. If you didn’t know they had a cafe with brick oven pizza, you’ve got to get yourself right asap! Also if you’re not in the mood to sit, there’s a plethora of excellent street vendors. 

Well that just barely scratches the surface of all that the Strip has to offer! Just remember it’s best to visit in the morning or early afternoon and that it can get pretty busy on the weekend. There’s mostly street parking or lots but definitely expect to pay for parking. If you’re looking just to do the walk to the Point, you’d be better off parking near 24th Street on the road where it’s a little less crowded. Enjoy this gem of a neighborhood! 

THE BEER: Bonafide Beer Company

Address: 155 21st St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Distance from Trail Head: 0.6 miles, 10 mins walking
Website: http://bonafidebeerco.com/
Food?: No kitchen, get food in the Strip!
Details: Indoor seating only, full bar

Bonafide Beer Co is the newest addition to the growing brewery community in the Strip District! They join Insurrection, Helltown, Cinderlands, Aslin, as well as Kingfly Spirits and Wiggle Whiskey to make the Strip District a drinking destination! Bonafide Beer Co is the brainchild of the co-owner of Butler Beer Works and the owner of PA Libations, so this place really knows its beverages! The small but mighty taproom is located in the former Chicken Latino space in the Strip, across the street from Pamela’s. They focus on sessionable beers that are easy to drink. Nothing fancy here, just good beer! But that doesn’t mean the digs are plain! No, this taproom is unique in that it has a speak-easy, high class vibe. I loved the dark jewel tones and gold finishes. I felt like I was stepping back in time! 

While we couldn’t stay for too long, we really enjoyed our round of beers. The Snug Stout was definitely a stand out, as it wasn’t too bitter and featured a nice chocolatey hint. But if beer isn’t your thing, they also have a full bar featuring lots of PA distilled liquors. Bonafide may not have a kitchen, but there’s no shortage of excellent restaurants and food carts around the area which they highly encourage you to patronize! Overall this is a great addition to the Strip District and we’ll definitely be back!

Our Beer:

Hazy 1 – New England IPA – 6.2%

Snug Stout – Dry Irish Stout – 5%