Kane Woods Nature Area & Hitchhiker Brewing

Scott Township, PA

Between summer festivities and tackling our new house (!), we haven’t had a lot of time for hiking! Thankfully, we found that the Kane Woods Nature Area is just a few minutes away from our neighborhood. Despite being pretty small, it’s a great place for a short walk and is especially popular with dog walkers. We had a refreshing hike after a long day in the yard and capped it off with a few pints at my favorite Pittsburgh brewery, Hitchhiker’s Mt. Lebo location! Sometimes you just don’t have time to climb a mountain, so this was the perfect compromise.

THE HIKE: Kane Woods Nature Area Loop

Length: 2.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 230 ft
Difficulty: Easy
Time:  1 hour
Trail use: Hiking, leashed pets, NO BIKES
Parking: Small lot at trailhead
H&H: 3/5

Kane Woods Nature Area is a small greenspace in Scott Township and is managed by the Scott Conservancy. It offers a few miles of trail that are marked by different colors. On our visit, we did a big loop that included all of the trails. Although the park is small, you could combine trails to get as much or as little mileage as you want. Our favorite part of the park was the white trail along the small creek. I love a good creek trail! 

From our experience, I would not recommend taking the blue trail loop from the Whiskey Point trailhead. This trail was extremely overgrown and had seen very little foot traffic. Some of the trail was on a very steep slope and the trail was not cut in enough so we were almost slipping down the hillside. This trail was very unpleasant and I would suggest staying on the other trails if you can! 

Kane Woods might seem like your typical suburban greenspace, but it actually has a really interesting history! The land was once owned by General John Neville, who served alongside George Washington in both the French and Indian war and theAmerican Revolution. After the war, he resided at his mansion where the Kane Woods are now located! However, Neville didn’t have the best luck after the war. He was appointed tax collector after the infamous whiskey taxes were implemented by the fledgling Congress. He quickly became very unpopular with the local farmers, to the point that he was run from his home and it was burned to the ground! This led to events now known as the Whiskey Rebellion. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the Scott Conservancy’s website or the Heinz History Center! And be sure to tour Woodville Plantation, the historic plantation of the Neville Family right in Heidelberg. 

Unfortunately none of this history is apparent when you’re walking through the trails but pay attention to the trail names. They all make reference to the events of the Whiskey Rebellion. Of course, the perfect pairing to this hike would have been to go to Insurrection Aleworks (taking their name from the local uprising) buuuuuuut I had a hankering for Hitchhiker instead. Either of these breweries would be a perfect post hike beer!

THE BEER: Hitchhiker Brewing

Address: 190 Castle Shannon Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15228
Distance from Trail Head: 2.1 miles, 6 mins 
Website: http://www.hitchhikerbrewing.com/
Food?: Snacks & Food Trucks
Details: Outdoor seating & dog friendly
H&H Rating: 5/5

Okay I’m gonna make a bold claim. Hitchhiker is my favorite Pittsburgh brewery, particularly the Mt. Lebo taproom. This was actually the very first craft brewery I ever went to! My dad and I have been patrons here since they first opened and it’s been so satisfying to see the Burgh recognize their fantastic beer! 

Hitchhiker has been making quality beer since they first opened their doors in 2014 in a small store front on Castle Shannon Blvd. Since then, they have grown exponentially and moved their brewing facilities to a huge outpost in Sharpsburg which also has a taproom. This place is always hopping and I recommend a visit, but Mt. Lebo taproom always remains a favorite to me for its neighborhood vibes. There’s plenty of parking nearby and there’s a lot of foot traffic from the neighborhoods. 

On this visit, we scored our favorite table (yes we have a favorite spot) and stuck to some refreshing hoppy beers. The 15th and Canal is always one of my go-tos here and the Kolsch was a refreshing new favorite. Hitchhiker does a lot of fun experimental things in addition to some of their headliners. This time around, we got the Blackberry version of their Fruit Rush series and it was really tasty! When it’s not super hot, I also really like the Woke Breakfast Stout, if dark beers are your thing. 

Hitchhiker is always my #1 recommended brewery so I hope you get to check it out! Before you go, check out the food truck schedule or grab a snack at the bar. 

Our Beer:

  • 15th and Canal – American Pale Ale – 5.8%
  • Myrcene – Double IPA – 8.4%
  • No Added Flavor – Kolsch – 5%
  • Fruit Rush: Blackberry – Shandy – 4.8%

SUM UP: Kane Woods Nature Area is a small greenspace in Scott Township with a few miles of wooded trails. For history buffs, this area was the site of events that sparked the Whiskey Rebellion in the 1790’s. All of the trails are named for people and things surrounding this important event in Western PA history. Although small, the wooded trails along a small creek are very peaceful and it’s a great place to walk your furry friends! Afterward, enjoy a brew at a local brewery like Insurrection Aleworks or Hitchhiker Brewing! Both offer delicious beer and a neighborhood vibe.

Devil’s Hollow Conservation Area & Fermata Brewing Company

Ambridge, PA

The creek crossing that led to some very damp feet

This is a story of the hike that wasn’t meant to be. Sometimes you just aren’t as prepared for nature as you wish you were! We originally were going to do the Walker Park Trail in Leet Township only to find about 0.5 mile in that there was a large stream crossing with no stepping stones. We went for it, not wanting to give up so soon, and got our feet completely soaked. Not 0.1mile later the trail veered over the stream again and we had to turn around. No trail is worth getting feet completely soaked multiple times in 40F weather! So instead we went up the road to the small Devil’s Hollow area which is managed by the Allegheny Land Trust. It’s a short trail but it was beautifully peaceful and had a great hill that got our blood pumping! And it’s conveniently very close to the newly opened Fermata Brewing in Ambridge!

THE HIKE: Devil’s Hollow Conservation Area

https://alleghenylandtrust.org/green-space/devils-hollow/

Length: 1.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 346 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Time:  45 minutes
Trail use: hiking, leashed pets, trail running
Parking: Small lot for three cars
H&H: 4/5

With all the lingering winter weather (why is it always crappy on the weekends?!) we’ve been finding it difficult to get out and hike! I’m so ready for those warm spring days. This past weekend, we decided to check out a small trail in the Leetsdale area. It had great reviews on AllTrails and looked like the perfect Sunday hike! Well it started out alright, we parked at one of the picnic shelters and used the stepping stones to cross the little creek. The first 0.5 miles traveled along the creek in a very peaceful woods. But then we hit problems. The trail meandered over the creek again but this time there were no stepping stones. The creek had gotten wider and there was no easy place to cross so we just picked a spot and went for it. Annnnnd got wet up to mid-shin on a 40F day. Not ideal. So then a few minutes later when the trail crossed the creek again, we decided to turn around. It just wasn’t the right kind of day for soaking wet feet! 

Easy stepping stone on this crossing, not so later on!

So we went back to the car after only getting about 1.5 miles in and decided to go up the road to Devil’s Hollow Conservation Area. This is a 97 acre area managed by the Allegheny Land Trust and there is parking for about 3 cars at the trailhead. This area was donated to the ALT in 2016 from the Little Sewickley Creek Watershed Association. It’s surrounded by private lands, so be aware that some trails may split off into private property. Try to stay on the main trail marked by ALT signs. 

I really enjoyed this trail! We did the loop counterclockwise which I highly recommend because it starts with a steep incline and ends with a long gentle downslope. I feel like the opposite way would make for a rough descent at the end! This trail does gain over 300ft in elevation in the first 0.5 mile so be prepared! Some areas of the trail were muddy at the very end but nothing impossible to navigate. 

Because this trail loops along a steep hillside, it creates a really interesting “silent” area. The hills block out any surrounding noises so it feels completely silent as you hike, broken only by squirrels rustling in the leaves and birds chirping in the trees. We didn’t see another person the whole time on the trail! I highly recommend this trail, and if you’re looking for a longer route, just complete the loop more than once! You might find something new along the way. 

THE BEER: Fermata Brewing Company

Address: 918 Merchant St, Ambridge, PA 15003
Distance from Trail Head: 5 miles, 12 mins 
Website: http://www.fermatabrewing.beer/
Food?: Food Truck or Local Restaurants or BYOF
Details: Indoor Seating only (Unsure about pets)
H&H Rating: 5/5

I was so excited to go to this brand new brewery in Ambridge! They had only been open 7 days when we visited and the place was THRIVING. Fermata Brewing Company joins Altered Genius as resident brew masters on Merchant Street in downtown Ambridge. 

The name Fermata is actually a musical term, which is fitting since all of the partners are music lovers! In written music a fermata is a “pause of unspecified length over a note or rest”. This is a fitting name for the brewery because it invites everyone to pause and stay for a while. Fermata wants to be a place of community in Ambridge where everyone is welcome to come and enjoy great beer and great community. Sign me up! Fermata also pays homage to the history of Ambridge and the American Bridge company from which the town gets its name. The brewery incorporates both the fermata symbol and a bridge in their logo as a shout out to their origins. 

One thing I really loved about this place was the immediate sense of chill when we walked in. There were so many places to sit and relax and we felt welcomed by the staff. The decor is so cool, with photos and maps harkening back to the old days of Ambridge side by side with classic music records and memorabilia. I also love that the brewing area is right out in the open! We sat with our beer and watched as the guys cleaned up from a brewing day. How cool to have a front seat to the beer making process? And if you’re a music lover, this is gonna be the place to be! There will be open mic nights, live music and much more so keep an eye on their social media to stay up to date! 

And of course, the most important part: How was the beer? It was pretty dang good! My fav of the day was definitely the Living in the Limelight. It was a crisp pale ale that really hit the spot after working up a sweat out in the woods. I also liked the surprising Cold Brew Collusion, which gave me all the lovely wheat flavors with a smooth coffee finish. Delightful! 

Our Beer:

  • Living in the Limelight – Pale Ale – 5.7%
  • Cold Brew Collusion – Coffee Wheat Beer – 5.6%
  • Wayward Son – Wheat Beer – 5.6%
  • You Too – Dry Irish Stout – 3.9%

SUM UP: Devils Hollow Conservation Area is managed by the Allegheny Land Trust and offers a 1.6 mile loop. But don’t be fooled by the length! This trail has a steep incline that really gets the blood pumping and bumps this up to a moderate hike . This is a low traffic area and there are three parking spots at the trailhead. The trail is so peaceful and quiet plus you can see a lot of birds! After your hike, check out downtown Ambridge’s brand new brewery: Fermata! They’ve got a great beer list in a huge, yet homey taproom. They don’t have a kitchen but they’ve got QR codes for all the local restaurants so you can order in or see if a food truck is on the schedule! This is an awesome addition to Ambridge and keep your eyes open for their music schedule!

Robin Hill Park & Cobblehaus Brewing Company

Coraopolis, PA

In the midst of house hunting and unpredictable weather, it’s been hard to get out and hike! Thankfully we were able to snag this fun little hike in between rain last weekend. I’ve passed Robin Hill park a ton of times (we even looked at having our wedding there), but I never knew that there were so many trails to explore! We were able to get a great trek in and then relaxed at Cobblehaus Brewery in Coraopolis. They had an Irish Red Ale that was perfect for the St. Paddy’s Weekend!

THE HIKE: Robin Hill Park Loop

Length: 3.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 400 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Time: 1-1.5 hours
Trail use: Hiking, nature walks, leashed pets
Parking: Lots of parking. May fill up when house is rented out for events
H&H: 4/5

Robin Hill Park is a 140 acre park found in Moon Township right off of Thorn Run Road. It is maintained by the Moon Township Parks and Recreation. It’s most well known for the gorgeous Georgian Manor onsite that is used for weddings and other events. The house was built in the 1920s by the Nimick Family and was left to the Township in 1971 to be a place for “Nature Lover’s”. But this beautiful house is only one part that this park has to offer! Surrounding the house are meticulously maintained gardens that look especially gorgeous in Spring. Sady, we were a few weeks too early to catch them in their prime! Also on the property is a log cabin from the 1800’s. This cabin originally was home for a family about 7 miles away from what is now Robin Hill Park. It was carefully dismantled in the late 1970s and brought to its new location by the Moon Township Historical Society. It was originally built in 1825 for the Coventry family who lived there for 50 years before it passed along to the next family, who stayed there for three generations. 

I bring up the log cabin not just because it’s a really cool piece of history, but also because it’s where our hike begins! The best way to find the majority of the trails at Robin Hill is to start on the 0.6 miles Log Cabin Trail that starts just behind the cabin. You’ll pretty quickly find yourself in the peacefully quiet woods with not much activity around, except for the birds and chipmunks! Robin Hill trails are a little hard to follow since there are several short trails that you have to link together to get a decent hike in. There are trail signs through but not all of the trails are well blazed so you sometimes have to guess where you are. However, it’s not a huge park so I wasn’t too worried about getting woefully off track. I generally think we took the following trails: Log Cabin → Christmas Fern → Ravine → Thorn Run (Turn around), Thorn Run → Ridgeback → W Beech → Manor House and parking lot. All together it came to about 3.5 miles. There were a couple dicey spots to be aware of though! Firstly, one of the trails looked like it was freshly cut and not in a good way! It seemed like someone had come through with a backhoe to clear out so the trail was very wide without proper drainage. Also the Thorn Run trail follows a small creek which was beautiful but the trail often meandered over the creek without bridges or easy stepping stones. Since it wasn’t very cold, I didn’t mind getting my feet wet but I know J disliked the frequent crossings. 

Overall, I really appreciated how quiet this area was. We only saw one other group of people out and it was easy to find space for ourselves. I would really like to come back here when the greenery is coming in! I can’t wait to not walk through boring brown woods anymore! I also think this would be a fun hike to get younger kids interested in the outdoors without being too strenuous. Just be prepared for some pretty muddy boots at the end!

THE BEER: Cobblehaus Brewing Company

Address: 1021 5th Ave, Coraopolis, PA 15108
Distance from Trail Head: 2.3 miles, 6 mins
Website: http://www.cobblehaus.com/
Food?: BYOF or Food Trucks
Details: No Pets, Indoor Seating Only
H&H Rating: 4/5

I’ve always had a soft spot for Coraopolis. I went to high school in the area and I’ve always hoped the business district would take off. When I heard there was a brewery going in, I had high hopes that this meant a new era for Main Street! Now several years later, it’s so nice to see how Cobblehaus has become a staple of the community. I love how they support the nearby restaurants by encouraging their patrons to get dinner delivered to the brewery. Also Coraopolis has some really great little antique and thrift shops if that’s your thing! Anytime I’m in town, my mom and I have to stop in Off the Avenue for some unique finds. Also if you finish up your hike and beer isn’t your thing, I highly recommend the Anchor and Anvil coffee shop. They do great lattes and breakfast sandwiches! 

Okay so back to our brewery. Cobblehaus has been making their old-world styles since 2017. In fact, their tagline is “Old World styles, New World Twists”. This a great place for anyone that craves those old European-style beers like Belgian Tripels and German Hefeweizens. I don’t usually seek out those robust Belgian styles, but J loves them! I also really wanted to get my hands on the DogHaus Red, a collab between Cobblehaus and our friends at BrewDog Pitt. I’m glad we made the trip because the DogHaus Red definitely was my favorite brew of the day! J also really liked the Denny Got Evil. It has a very subtle spice in the aftertaste. 

Cobblehaus is a really unique venue because it has a bunch of separate little rooms in addition to the main taproom space. I think the building used to be a doctor or dentist office and they’ve kept all the original exam rooms which now make for cozy spaces if the bustling taproom isn’t to your liking. Also be sure to check out Thursday Trivia Night, it’s a fan favorite and the place can be packed! 

Our Beer:

  • Lucky Me – Belgian Tripel- 9.9%
  • Denny Got Evil – Black Cherry Habanero Brown Ale – 6.6%
  • Secret Society – Belgian Dubbel – 7.1%
  • Fireside Charmer – Doppelbock – 8.2%
  • DogHaus Red – Irish Red Ale – 5.5%

SUM UP: Robin Hill Park is a small park in Moon Township that boasts surprisingly peaceful trail systems along a small stream. There are plenty of small connector trails if you’re only looking for a short stretch of the legs or for a longer afternoon hike. The trails are fairly flat with a few sections of steep inclines, so I would rate it moderate overall. Be careful in the Spring, the trails can be rather muddy! Afterward, head down the road to downtown Coraopolis and check out Cobblehaus Brewing. They focus on old world style, so if you like doppelbocks or Belgian tripels, this is the place for you! Order some food from a local restaurant and stay a while!

Thornburg Conservation Park & Insurrection AleWorks

Heidelberg, PA

There’s nothing quite like a good local hike. A place that you can pop over to on a weeknight for some quick nature time. Even better when there’s a great brewery nearby too! J and I are super lucky that the Thornburg Conservation Park is very close to our home! I love to walk the grassy trails in the Conservation Park area and then add on Johnson’s Trail along Chartier’s Creek. This is a really nicely maintained trail that runs in between the creek and the railroad trails almost all the way to Carnegie. It’s very quiet and peaceful and the perfect place to unwind on a Friday after work!

THE HIKE: Thornburg Conservation Park and Johnson’s Trail

Length: 3.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 75 ft
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 1-1.5 hours
Trail use: Hiking, nature walks, biking, leashed pets (Note: no pets on Wednesdays or Sundays)
Parking: Lot for about 10 cars at entrance.
H&H: 4/5

The Thornburg Conservation Park was built on the site of the Former Crafton golf club. This 9-hole course opened in 1923 and operated for decades until the family sold the property in 2001. After a years long legal battle, the Borough of Thornburg was able to crowdsource the funds to purchase the nearly 40 acre park and turn it into the beautiful place that it is today! 

There are two main sections to this greenspace. First is the Conservation park which features about 2 miles of flat trails laid out in the grid. The park is perfectly located at a bend in the Chartiers Creek so it is bordered on two sides by the water. The trails are wide and grassy, separated by large areas of trees and shrubs. This is a great park for family walks as the ground is very flat and there’s no difficult inclines. This is also a great park for birdwatching and I’ve even heard of people seeing bald eagles along the Creek! 

The second part of the park is Johnson’s Trail which follows along the Creek towards Carnegie. This trail is not maintained by Thornburg. Quite honestly, I wasn’t able to find out any information about who originally made the trail or maintains it now but I wish I could give them a shout out because it’s a very nicely cut trail. There are several small bridges made of railroad ties over stream crossings that are very solidly made. Due to the nature of the area, the trail can get a bit muddy so use caution! I really loved exploring this trail but don’t be surprised if it seems dirty. Because it’s on the creek’s floodplain, trash often gets washed up along the shore. I’d love to organize a cleanup day soon, who’s with me?! 

Johnson’s trail is about 1.5 miles one way and leads all the way to the railroad tracks near Carnegie. I’ve heard rumors about wanting to extend this trail into Carnegie and eventually meeting up with the proposed Panhandle Trail extension into Carnegie. I’ll keep you posted on this project because I’m highly intrigued! Johnson’s Trail is a simple out and back but I found it to be quite beautiful and extremely peaceful. It was surprisingly remote for being in the middle of suburbia and I just felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders while walking along the water. 

I especially recommend this park to locals of the Crafton, Thornburg, and Carnegie areas. It’s so great to get out in your own backyard! But of course, this is a great place for anyone wanting to explore the greenways of Allegheny County. Afterwards, may I suggest a trip to our favorite local brewery? 

THE BEER: Insurrection AleWorks

Address: 1635 E Railroad St, Heidelberg, PA 15106
Distance from Trail Head: 4.8 miles, 12 mins 
Website: http://www.insurrectionaleworks.com/
Food?:  Full Menu
Details: Covered Patio, No Pets
H&H Rating: 5/5

Insurrection AleWorks has been our local brewery ever since it opened in 2015! They’ve now got two locations, the original taproom with a full menu in Heidelberg and the weekend taproom in the Strip District. I’ve been to both locations, but I will always love the original taproom. Fair warning though, it’s a VERY popular little place and tables can be hard to come by! Although their menu is delicious, we usually just grab a corner to have some beer instead of waiting for a table. 

I know I say this all the time, but Insurrection makes exceptionally good beers. They are for certain in my top 5 favorite Pittsburgh breweries, if not my top 5 overall! They always make a really wide range of beers, but I feel that their pale ales and IPAs are really where they shine. I have to give honorable mention to their dark beer offerings too. They don’t make a whole lot of dark beers, but their Dark Star Crashes has got to be one of my all time favorite oatmeal stouts. On this particular visit, my favorite beer of the night was actually the ONIP. This was originally a Russian Stout but to show support for Ukrainians, they re-named it the Ukrainian Anti-Imperial Stout and are donating $1.00 from every beer sold to Red Cross efforts in Ukraine. Way to go Insurrection! Nothing like supporting a great cause while also having a delicious beer. 

Overall, Insurrection is a fantastic local brewery where you’ll feel like family. They’ve got a cozy taproom with good food and good beer! And if you’re just in for a beer, might I suggest grabbing some takeout from Brick N Mortar just down the street. These guys make some of the best sandwiches ever and you have to try their homemade tortilla chips. Insurrection and Brick N Mortar is honestly my favorite date night combo!

Our Beer:

  • Casting Hypnotic – NEIPA- 6.5%
  • Buddha’s Intelligent Design – Imperial Stout – 8%
  • Finsternis – Bavarian Dark Lager – 5%
  • ONIP – Ukrainian Anti-Imperial Stout – 9%

SUM UP: Thornburg Conservation Park is a large greenspace located just outside of the city limits, off of Route 60 in Thornburg Borough. It’s open for hiking, birdwatching, and leashed pets, although pets do need a permit and are not permitted on Wednesdays and Sundays. The wide, grassy paths make this a great spot for families or an easy nature walk. Off the park is Johnson’s Trail which meanders along Chartier’s Creek for a peaceful hike. Afterward, grab a beer and food at Insurrection AleWorks in Heidelberg which always has some high quality brews. If you go soon, try the ONIP Anti-Imperial Stout which they’re donating some proceeds toward Ukrainian relief.

South Park & Spoonwood Brewing

South Park, PA

‘Tis the Season for frigid hikes! That wind chill can be killer out there, but it doesn’t stop us crazy people from a ramble in the woods. This week, we’re heading south of the city to feature a hike in Bethel Park. South Park is a HUGE park that has something for everyone! We did the White/Buffalo Ridge Trail and I highly recommend you have a trail map because there are very few signs or blazes on the trails and it’s easy to get turned about. After your hike, there are several local breweries to choose from! We went with an old favorite, Spoonwood Brewing which has excellent beer and pretty spectacular pizza!

THE HIKE: South Park – Buffalo Ridge Trail

Length: 6 miles (We did 4.5)
Elevation Gain: 800 ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Time: 2.5-3 hours
Trail use: Hiking, Mountain biking, Leashed pets
Parking: Large lots throughout park
H&H: 3/5

South Park covers a huge 2,000 acre space in Bethel Park. It has something for everyone, including an ice rink, pool, golf course, skate park, picnic shelters, and miles of paved and natural trails. South Park is one of the nine parks managed by Allegheny County Parks and it is the second largest. The land for the park was acquired in the 1930s and the park has been a local favorite ever since! It used to be the site of a huge county fair that attracted over half a million people. Another fun history fact is that the Oliver Miller Homestead, where the first shots of the Whisky Rebellion were fired, is also located within South Park. There’s a small house museum dedicated to this historical event. 

South Park is a pretty big place so we had a bit of a hard time figuring out what trails to tackle. There aren’t too many detailed trails on AllTrails (my go-to trail app). According to the County website, there are several different paved or wooded trails. We wanted to get a decent workout in so we opted to combine the Buffalo Ridge Trail and the Red and White Loop from AllTrails. The day we went out hiking was bitterly cold so we had a feeling that we wouldn’t be making it the whole 8 miles. So we parked in the middle of the park near a trail entrance. Well we thought it was near a trail entrance. We quickly found out that the trails in South Park could use some TLC. There are few, if any, trail signs and almost no blazes. We had to rely heavily on the AllTrails App to find the Buffalo Ridge trail. Even once getting to the right place (after several false starts), I had to have my phone out almost constantly to make sure that we were going the right way. Usually I don’t mind just finding my own way but in a park this size, I didn’t want to end up 4 miles away from our car when it was 20°F!

We both had mixed feelings about this park. At times the trail was very woodsy and peaceful but then suddenly you would have to cross a road. We had to cross the main road twice and it was very busy, making it pretty dangerous to cross. Overall, it was pretty easy to get lost and the trails intersected roads far too much for my liking. However, we did manage to see some nature, including a pileated woodpecker and some fungi! Oh and Justin found a tree friend. 

I would recommend South Park more as a place for a picnic or for playing sports. It’s trails are poorly marked, difficult to find entrances to, and often suddenly spit out onto a road. Either way, I’m glad we came out here if only as an excuse to go to Spoonwood!

THE BEER: Spoonwood Brewing Company

Address: 5981 Baptist Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Distance from Trail Head:  1.7 miles, 4 mins 
Website: http://www.spoonwoodbrewing.com/
Food?: Full Menu
Details: Outdoor seating, but no pets
H&H Rating: 5/5

A lot of breweries make good beer. Not so many have a stellar food menu too. Thankfully, Spoonwood excels at both! They’ve been churning out beer and pizzas since 2015 in Bethel Park. Since then, several other breweries have joined the ranks in the South Hills, but Spoonwood continues to be a very popular place! In fact, we had a hard time getting a seat on Sunday afternoon! 

Spoonwood has a huge space inside and a nice patio out back too. A centerpiece of the space is the huge pizza oven that churns out so many delicious types of pizza. We split a BBQ chicken pizza that pretty much changed my life. It was made with in-house smoked chicken (oh yeah they have a whole range of smoked meats too!). It’s so refreshing to go to a brewery and get delicious, handmade food. I’m all for a food truck, but sometimes your girl needs some table service! The one bad thing about the full kitchen though is that your four legged friends have to stay home 😦 

Okay onto the beverages. One of our reasons for heading to Spoonwood (aside from it being amazing) is that they were participating in East End Brewing’s Day of Gratitude. We love a barleywine so we definitely had to try it. It was smooth and full, almost like a boozy syrup. We only got a taster and savored it all evening. Spoonwood had a really good tap list and we tried to get a variety of things. My favorite of the night was the Fruit of Another which was a ginger-lime pale ale. What an interesting combo! It worked so well and was refreshing with a wintery twist. J loved the chili pepper pale ale Secret Alphabet. It seriously left your lips burning, but we liked it! In the dark beer world, we got the Strategic Cocoa, which reminded me of a chocolate covered pretzel. Another unique beer was the Espresso Change-o, an IPA with a coffee aftertaste! 

We had a fantastic time at Spoonwood. The food was amazing, we loved trying out all of the unique beers, and the atmosphere was great. We 100% will be back here, fingers crossed that we can snag a table! 

Our Beer:

  • Fruit of Another – Pale Ale – 5.8% 
  • Gratitude – Barleywine – 11.5% (Guest Tap: East End Brewing) 
  • Secret Alphabet – Pale Ale – 6% 
  • Strategic Cocoa – Brown Ale – 6%
  • Espresso Change-o – IPA – 6.5%

SUM UP: South Park is a large park south of the City of Pittsburgh and is managed by the Allegheny County Parks Department. There are tons of things to do here to satisfy every type of person. There are many miles of trails but we had a hard time finding them! Trails were not well marked and signage was nonexistent. If you go, be sure to have a map handy as it is easy to get lost. After we were done freezing out in the woods, we went to Spoonwood Brewing which was by far the best choice of the day. We had delicious pizza and really tasty, unique beer. I wish we could have hung out all evening!