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The Church Brew Works - Pittsburgh , PA
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December 22, 2014 @ 06:57 AM EDT
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NAVIGATION: Home > Beer Place Search > PA > Pittsburgh > The Church Brew Works
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Type: BrewPub
The Church Brew Works
Overall: Great    Score: 78.1 / 100
3525 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh , PA 15201
United States
(412) 688-8200
Listed Since: October 1996
Last Updated: January 2006
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157 Reviews / 13 Photos
hours of operation
Sun 12:00PM - 10:00PM
Mon 11:30AM - 11:45PM
Tue 11:30AM - 11:45PM
Wed 11:30AM - 11:45PM
Thu 11:30AM - 11:45PM
Fri 11:30AM - 01:00AM
Sat 11:30AM - 01:00AM

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Overall Average User Rating
Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Great Great Great
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Individual User Reviews
Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great N/A Great Awesome!
Worth a visit just to see the beer works up on the old alter area and the stained glass windows. The beer was quite good also, had the IPA and was impressed. Did not eat but menu was large and many people were dining.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from MARK MARK, palm harbor, , FL

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Awesome! Great Awesome! Awesome!
Found this place while on a business trip. Took a 25 minute drive, but was worth it! I tried the Pipe Organ Pale and the Thunder Hop IPA (including the cask). The couple pints of cask I had were a little warm, but still superb. After trying junk they had at the Penn Brewery, this was truly heaven!!

The bartender Gene was excellent, and an additional reason for plans to go visit again when I’m in Pittsburgh in the future.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Shane Cherry Shane Cherry, Torrance, CA

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Good Lousy So So
Stuffy and uptight! Felt like I was really in church.

I think breweries are supposed to be fun and a little more laid back.

We were the only customers for our waiter and it still took forever to get drink refills. The only thing he was fast about was trying to take away our plates. At one point somebody stopped eating for 2 minutes (while talking) and he walked over and started to clear the plate. Didn't ask if the person was done, just started to pick it up!

Never asked if the food was okay or if we needed anything.

Another family complained that the place was too dark ("I'm sorry, we don't want to sit in a dark corner") and the manager told them that the restaurant was in dinner mode and they couldn't turn any of the lights back on.......this was at 4 in the afternoon!

Nice place to see and a neat concept, but I can think of plenty of better places to spend my money!

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review Johnson City, TN

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
So So Good So So So So So So
Sorry but this place is turning into a tourist trap. On my last visit I got a $28 steak that was just OK. For that price it should be memorable.

I love barleywine but what they served me was almost undrinkable.

Service that in the past was always great was also substandard.

Too many changes to what was a great place. New brewer, new beers but they often miss the mark.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review Pittsburgh, PA

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
So So So So N/A So So So So
The setting is what draws you here. It is a spectacular setting. Unfortunately, the beer is totally uninteresting.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from chris chris, philadelphia, PA

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
N/A So So N/A Lousy N/A
My party was seated on 03/14/2008 at approximately 8:50 PM. At 9:20 PM, we decided to leave after not one server greeted us or asked us for our drink order. Every server we stopped as they passed said the same thing "that's not my table, I'll find your server for you." They must have all been in the confessionals or too repenting for what they put in your food. When I tried to tell the hostess that we would no longer need the table, she replied "excuse me, I'm busy." I alerted the parties waiting that if they would like to eat (or drink) that night, they should go elsewhere and they took the advise. I will be sure to tell my friends and family about the unpious treatment toward clients at this establishment.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review Pittsburgh, PA

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good So So Good Good
First, my quesdilla was burned. Had 3 of the seasonal beers. The Anchor Hammer was very good but the other 2 seasonals (one was a porter, can't remember was the other one was) were medicore. Have been to this establishment many times over the last few years and I really believe the overall quality is sliding downhill. Even though I live in Pittsburgh, places like John Harvards, Rivertowne Pub and North Country are better choices.

It also really bugs me that the one seasonal I had (7% a.b.v.) was served in a small snifter glass? Come on!

Bill Caraway

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from bill caraway bill caraway, pittsburgh, PA

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!
Always a regular stop on a trip to the burgh, yinz need look no further then the Church n'at! Thw cask is typicaly always a good choice, the food is top notch and there is no better bartender than the rigth reverend Gene. slainte!

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from gary gary, somewherein, CT

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!
As far as how this place looks, it is incredible. The church is huge with a very tall ceiling and ample seating. The windows were stainglass and all the equipment rested on the alter area, how sacred!

The Celestial Gold- refreshing with a mild sweetness and mild hop feel. It was not the greatest gold out there, but an overall good attempt.

Pipe Organ Pale Ale- a refreshing ale with a mild hop feel to it. Kent Goldings do not ussually make a bold hop statement. It is an easy to drink ale.

Pious Monk Dunkel- This was my favorite beer on the list. I am not much of a German lager person and this one really stood out amongst the line of dunkel's I have had. It had a very rich lingering malt flaver and a minimal hop feel to balance it out.

Imperial Pilsner- an overhopped pilsner that boosted its flavor. It was very enjoyable and served in a flute glass. It was very easy to drink. Ussually pilsners really have no flavor, but this one had a refreshing hop feel.

Seasonal Thunder Hop IPA- This IPA tasted much better then the other pale ale on tap. You can defintaley feel the strong hop taste of Chinook due to its dry hopping.

Heavenly Hefeweizen- This was an above average attempt at a hefe.

I picked up a 22oz of the triple which i wish they had not stored in the fridge due to me wanting to properly give it some age.

The service there is very fast and efficient. There was a mistake with our pizza order and the bartender gave it to us on the house and gave us another pizza. They also have a nice cask of one of the ipa's available. I was in Pittsburgh for the weekend and made it to this place twice and definately intend to stop in again.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from thomas sup thomas sup, schnecksville, PA

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Awesome! Great Great
this was my second visit to church brew works, i love the use of the church space. we should convert all of them to brew pubs. :) a lot of free space over head maybe we could do something with that so it's not wasted space. kept clean here too. the food was very tasty, southwestern pizza. not pretty looking but delicious. the salad was crisp and fresh and green, one of the best salads around and i eat them a lot. ranch dressing is made in house. to drink i first had the blast furnace stout, perfect appetizer. next i had the belgian-style abbey dubbel. very pleased, wish i would've brought a growler home. maybe would have if i was offered one. my one gripe is when it was time to pay the bill, i didn't receive correct change back.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from amanda amanda, pittsburgh, PA

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Good Good Great Good
I've been here several times before but just could never seem make The Church a regular Pittsburgh stop once the novelty of the location wore off. Honestly, I was one of the many hopheads that just felt unwelcome due to the fact that they never seemed to have any hoppy beers on. Then... I read about the ThunderHop IPA Anniversary Beer and I determine that it is time to give the Church another try. Good call on my part. This was by far the best beer that I have ever had at the Church and I finally felt welcome. Even though this was a special brewed by the recently departed brewmaster, I can only hope that someone there figures it out that it needs to be made year round and added to the regular beer menu. Then I can say that the Church is a must stop.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Jim S. Jim S., Wayland, NY

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Great Great Good
The managers and brewer need to look at the last several reviews. Four out of the last five have not been flattering - and I see why to some extent. The good? The service was very good and the Pizza is some of the best around. I enjoyed the Blast Furnace Stoudt and the Cask Conditioned Ale was decent. However, the Heffe Weizen and the Wit tasted kind of ackward. Very citrus like and frankly, you couldn't tell much difference between the two. The waiter basically said it wasn't surprising and there had been some problems with the Yeast. To be honest, I opt for John Harvards, North Country or Four Sons (even though the two are much farther to travel) because the Church Brew Works is overpriced and the beer quality (and choices) are not up to these other places. And when they have a good beer that's over 6% - you're charged more and it's given to you in a much smaller glass. To have basic Pizza, a kids meal, 2 beers and a growler refill came to almost $50 - a good $10 - $15 (or more) above a similar selection at the locations mentioned.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from bill caraway bill caraway, pittsburgh, PA

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Great Great Great
Arrived Thursday 12:30 lunchtime. It's a big beautiful place, not overcrowded while we were there. Parked directly in front of the place (no meters, little traffic, plenty of parking out back too).

After taking many photos of the outside - building and gorgeous flowers, we enjoyed a beer sampler and buffalo meatloaf. It came with a side of tasty bread, with ?garlic?herbed? butter to spread on it. DELISH.

On the plate was a generous serving of yellow squash & zucchini (grilled? in butter?, had a fresh healthy taste), a nice amount of garlic?mashed potatoes (fresh taters!) and on top of the meatloaf was a huge glob of fried potato string. I guess that's what I'd call it. Fingers came away nice and greasy, which my sis didnt like, so to appease her I ate the entire serving myself. See, with the leanness of buffalo, you need sides with some grease to it, no? ;)

This one dish easily served two of us (late 40s) for lunch. We had bread pudding for dessert, and it would serve 3. It was dense, not too rich, and a few raisins. We took half of it to go and ate it later in the hotel room.

Oh, the beers? They were tasty, well enough crafted with something to satisfy most. I dont recall specifics (4 days later), but I will return soon and try them again more critically.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from jay jay, rockville, MD

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Good So So Good
I've been to, and reviewed on this site, the Church before. It is still true--the real draw here is the building. The beer is not bad but nothing exceptional. The food is reasonably priced--till you see the small portions. The day I was there I ordered the special. I got a piece of grilled chicken about the size of a Bic Lighter on top of 2 tablespoons of corn salza with about 2 tablespoons of mashed potatos for about $9. The service this day was really disapointing. I was the only person at the bar there was one party setting in the "congregation." The bartender was not pleased at my post-lunch rush arrival and certainly let me know. Everything she said to me was said with a condescending tone of voice and a fake smile. I finally stopped trying to be pleasant and just left. If I lived in Pittsburg I'd probabaly visit a lot, but it's a long way from Hornell, NY and now that I've been there a few times, its not worth going out of my way to get there.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Bill Laubert Bill Laubert, North Hornell, NY

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Great Great Great
Have to echo the sentiments of other reviewers. This is one of the wildest establishments I've ever visited. They could be pouring nothing but Budweiser and it would be worth a visit. I was there on 7/27 and got in the door about ten minutes before a healthy thunderstorm. Nice special effects. They had four regular taps running and four seasonals along with a cask conditioned ale. Started off with a pint of the Celestial Gold which was okay then went to the Pious Monk Dunkel. Much better. The food menu is fairly decent. Opted for one of the wood-fired pizzas, pepperoni. Put a serious dent in it but still had enough left over for breakfast. Had room for a couple more beers so I tried the cask-conditioned ale. It was good but not great. Finished off my stay with the Blast Furnace Stout. The best of the four beers I tried. Wanted to try their seasonal stout but the ABV was up around 9%. After getting lost/misdirected driving around the city a few times already even before imbibing, figured caution was the catch word of the day. As I settled up my tab, the late afternoon sun came out from behind the storm clouds illuminating the stained glass windows. Took that as a sign.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from J. King J. King, Campbell, CA

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Good Good Great Great
I visited The Church Brew Works on July 13 while visiting Pittsburgh for the All-Star Game. I found the beers clean and certainly drinkable. The Imperial Stout (a specialty beer) was quite good. They only had about five of their beers available. Coming from Oregon, I guess I'm spoiled, bout I would've hoped for at least two or three more to choose from.

The untraditional Pittsburgh pierogies were a tasty, if small, appetiser. The chicken cordon bleu sandwich was only so-so, though far from terrible. I guess uninspired would be the word I'd use. The seven onion soup was definitely the best food I sampled. It was robust and enjoyable.

All of this said, much of the experience to be savored at The Church Brew Works comes from the building itself. It's a former church, for God's sake (pun intended). The stained glass windows are a hoot as is the brewhouse/altar. If you're religious there's a slight chance you'll be off-put by this unusual re-use of a former house of worship. But for most of the rest of us, it's just a cool place to down a couple near downtown Pittsburgh.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Ken Kane Ken Kane, Portland, OR

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
So So Good So So So So So So
I moved to PGH about a year ago. People told me I should check out the church brew works. The set up is a great. It was packed so I thought the food and beer would be great (with out that all you have is a church). The service was very slow because of the amount of people eating.

FOOD The food was ok but it was nothing to write home about however the food in Pittsburgh is not great compared to cities like New York, Boston, Phildelphia, Toronto and Montreal. I have eaten in all these places so I am not making this up. If you like wings and steak salads with French fries this is the city for you. Anyway the food was OK but I could eat the same food futher up Liberty ave and it would be 40% cheaper, but I guess they have to pay to heat the place. The Food was not bad nor is it the worst food in Pittsburgh.

BEER The Beer was Ok. I have had various micro brew beers from London, New York, Montreal, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Paris to compare. I was a little disapointed. The beer was not horrible and it is much better the brewery across the street (Pittsburgh Brewing Company). However there a very few beers that are worse than that. The Beer was unmemorable.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Phil Phil, Pittsburgh, PA

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great N/A Awesome! Awesome!
So we are enjoying our beers and I am looking around for the best spot to take a photograph. I see a balcony above the main entrance. I ask the bartender, "Can I go up there to get a picture?" "No", he says, "But we do sell these postcards that were photographed from that very spot". I was laughing too hard to be upset. Very unique place with great atmosphere and staff. Beers were above average. Well worth the trip to go there. Finally, a reason for me to go to church.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Rob Rob, romeoville, IL

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Great So So So So Good
Brewery in an old church, hence the name, awesome! Blast Furnace Stout is pretty good stuff... Check out the confessionals while you are there. Neat place to drink....

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from TOM TOM, ST. CLAIRSVILLE, OH

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Good Good Awesome! Great
I went saturday night with my boyfriend to the Church Brew Works. The IPA was delicious, and so was the stout. It was really a great experiance, and the service was phenomenal. We had to cutest waiter, I think his name was Adam. If I hadn't been with my boyfriend I definately would have left him with my number. Single ladies of Pittsburgh, you've gotta come check this guy out. While your at it, try the Pot Pie, it's really good.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Jenny Jenny, Pittsburgh, PA

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good Awesome! Awesome! Great
This has got to be the coolest building to host a brewpub! If you haven't been yet, It's worth going just to see it. In my opinion there regular beers are good, but I think are directed more to the dinner crowd. however, they always have one or two speciaty beers that make the trip worth it! The food is beyond description! They also have a great selection of to go's and merchandise. The staff is very friendly and attentive to your needs. You will not be dissapointed with this one.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from BENBREW BENBREW, HUDSON, OH

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
I'm gonna come to Father Foamy's defense in the "gotcha" game someone's trying to play with the Father's "insane amount of hops" statement. Double IPAs are supposed to have an insane amount of hops. Maibocks are not supposed to have an insane amount of hops. Making a great beer necessarily means having some respect for the style of beer you're trying to interpret. Other American craft brewers would do well to note that more IBUs does not always mean better beer, especially those brewers that hop the holy hell out of styles that are supposed to be mildly bitter. I'm glad Church Brew takes note of when an "insane amount of hops" is appropriate and when it's not.

However, voting on your own place is bad form.


-The Enemy

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review Chicago, IL

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
N/A N/A N/A N/A Lousy
So would this beer include that "insane amount of hops" you were talking about earlier?

Don't vote for your own place. That's just bad form.

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review pittsburgh, PA

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
N/A N/A N/A N/A Awesome!
Quick Update from the Church Brew Works.

Look for the Double IPA to come out the 2nd week of November for CBW's 9 year anniversary. Desihned for the hard to please hopheads, A 90 IBU rating will be achieved by the bountiful addition of 9 varieties of hops. 5 Liter cans of the Pious MOnk Dunkel (Gold Medal & Bronze Medal at GABF and Bronze Medal at World Beer Cup) and 5 Liter Cans of the 9.0% Milennium Trippel (our medal winning Belgium trippel)are available for sale "To Go" at the Restaraunt. Our GABF Gold Medal winning Blast Furnace Stout and GABF Gold medal Pious Monk Dunkel are always available on draft as House Beers. Cheers

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review See more reviews from Father Foamy Father Foamy, Pittsburgh, PA

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
I just wanted to comment on Mr. Averill's complaint of how expensive the takeaway sixpacks are at Church Brew. This is the result of Pennsylvania's archaic and silly alcohol retail laws that force retailers to sell by the case. To purchase less than a case (but no more than 192 ounces) of beer for take-home, you have to go to an establishment licensed to sell for consumption on-premise (read: a bar or restaurant). So bars are basically forced to sell take-home beer at a price point necessary to support a tavern business model. This creates sticker shock for out-of-staters who are used to buying sixpacks from package-only retailers that operate on a volume-price model. Considering a six-pack of average craft beer usually costs $13-$16 everywhere in Pennsylvania, $10 is actually a bargain.

(If you want to buy beer at retail rather than tavern prices, you have to buy direct from distributors that also operate as walk-in retail stores, minimum quantity one case. And not "mix-n'-match" cases either. If you want a couple of Sierra Nevada Pale Ales, you have to buy a whole case of the stuff from a distributor or buy a few at a bar and pay bar price.)

It's unfortunate that the steep price prevented you from taking plenty home to share with friends, but it's a statewide problem that Church Brew has no control over so please don't hold it against them.


-The Enemy

Write Your Review Reply to this Review Report Review Chicago, IL

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