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Sharp Edge Beer Emporium
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
302 S. Saint Clair
phone: (412) 661-3537
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Reviews by falloutsnow:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Every time I visit my friend in Pittsburgh, we make it a point to go here at least once. It's a fantastic tradition. Of special note is their happy hour, when you can get half-off Belgian drafts.
The interior is of an older establishment with booths, a bar, and tables scattered throughout. A few LCD TVs (on sports stations) that have the sound off. It's a comfortable feeling overall: there's no harsh lighting and it's quiet enough to carry on a good conversation, which is something I really value in a pub.
Quality is excellent. The taps are fresh and the bottles must do a fair turnaround as well.
Our servers have always been attentive, and while we've never asked for suggestions or help, I imagine we could get a decent tip from them.
Selection is awesome. This is the only place I know to get certain Belgians on tap, and the bar now has its own beer "Over the Edge," which is an enjoyably hoppy take on the Belgian trippel. Numerous micro drafts, too, and a variety of bottles from around the globe.
The food ranges from fries to pizza to expensive and fancy meatloaf. I've tried all, and all are well above average.
03-30-2011 03:08:16 |
More by falloutsnow
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
This should probably should be a must-visit for anyone new to town, or visiting. There certainly are enough taps to keep you entertained for numerous visits. I kind of wish they'd have more local brews available. I'm not really sure why they don't or wouldn't focus on this more. I am sure it's because the whole Belgian thing is their...thing. Service here is usually pretty standard. Of all the times I have visited, I have never really had anything besides "pretty good, yeah" service. Food is typical bar grub.
01-03-2013 16:39:18 |
More by RblWthACoz
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
What struck me most about the emporium is its neighborhood location, and how small and unassuming it appears on the outside. However, once you go inside you realize the place is good size, even with all the current remodeling (in addition to the modest size dining area up front, there looked to be a sizeable dining area in the back as well). The vibe is very relaxed and low key, and the "in the back" bar area a very nice place to hang out with a beer. As was fairly typical in Pittsburgh, there were several flat screen TV's over the bar, turned to the Pirate game (naturally).
The selection here tends to focus on Belgians, both in bottles and on draft. Over all, I think they had around 42 or 43 beers on draft, with a couple of tap handles for cask as well (no cask on this day though). In addition to the roughly 20 or so Belgians, there were several beers from Great Britain and Germany, as well as roughly a dozen or so domestic crafts. Macros were available I believe, but only in bottle. The selection was definitly pretty solid, and I appreciated the option of getting 4 sample size Belgians (4 or 5 ounce pours) for $15.
As others have noted, prices were undenialy high (though one thing I thought interesting was that they'd fill a growler of anything here - some of the Belgians were in the $35 to $45 range). Aside from the Belgians in the $9 to $10 a glass range, pints of craft beer were in the $5.75 range (before tax I believe), and the stein of Ayinger weisse I got was $7.50 I beleive. I don't know how serious they are about this, but I believe they had SA triple bock available for $300 a bottle (either 94 or 95), as well as some Thomas Hardy vintages that were similarly priced (depending upon how far back the vintage).
Service was OK. My bartender was friendly and seemed pretty knowledgeable, though she was a bit distracted when some of her friends came in (fortuantely, there were other staff to help out while she was socializing). In any event, I thought this a pretty solid place, and probably a beer bar I would visit from time to time, at least if I was in the mood for Belgian beer. Pretty sure I'd go elsewhere for craft beer or imports.
07-05-2011 15:49:30 |
More by johnmichaelsen
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Part of the 'Burgh Beer Tour 2011.
Atmosphere: It doesn't look like much from the outside, but when you get in it's a pretty clean and well-kept bar. Lots of beers on tap and in the bottle, and a pretty attentive waitstaff.
Quality: Nothing but good things to say about the quality -- TONS of imports (particularly Belgium) on tap; they also had a lot of bottles that they would open for you in there as well. The menu was also well-written and had a lot of attention to detail about styles and breweries. Also, they were very attentive to details and were sure to use proper glassware (see "selection").
Service: Our waitress was cool and attentive. She seemed to know the beers as well and I always appreciate that. She was quick, and able to break bad news with a smile on her face and make other recommendations (they had St. Bernardus ABT 12 on the menu but it was kicked), so I thought that was an admirable trait to have.
Selection: It was impressive. TONS of beer on tap as mentioned, and this place was recommended by my buddy who is a Delerium freak. They seem to specialize in imports, but know them as well, so they're not just selling them because they think they can. They used proper glassware from top to bottom -- my Augustijn came in a goblet, my friend's Framboise came in the tall flute, my buddy got a Delerium in a tulip... All good!
Food: Decent set of appetizers, and their buffalo sauce was certainly spicy (and I love me some hot food). It didn't seem like it was the main point of their business, so I don't think it got some of the focus that it could -- I would really expect a place like this to have some higher end food items to pair up with those higher end beer offerings. Part of me is glad that it didn't cost a ton because the beer was certainly expensive enough, but it seems that they could make a real dining experience with the quality of beers they have.
Value: Definitely on the higher side of things, but when you're serving the quality of beers they had on tap, you're going to pay more. A glass of the St. Bernardus (had it been there) would have been $12... eep! But again, the chance to have it on tap would be worth it every once in a great while.
06-08-2011 20:54:03 |
More by bamadog
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Stopped in several times of the years, finally took notes on the place....
A: It appears quite 'old and run down' as far as decor, but it is spacious, with a large bar to the left when you walk in. I personally enjoy this kind of setting.
Q: Have never had a bad bottle or pint.
Service: Never ever had a problem with the service. Servers are prompt and helpful and the bartenders are extremely knowledgable about the beers.
Selection: Lots and lots of Belgian Beers on tap, also some craft beers on tap. There is a ton of bottles that come from all over the globe. There is also a mystery beer....
F: Bar food! Tasty but nothing overly exceptional. But that is not saying it is bad, because it is not.
This is a wonderful place to kick back and relax!
08-19-2010 19:42:13 |
More by IronCitySteve
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Visited before the Pittsburgh BA Gathering at the Library with Glowczewski.
Atmosphere: The Sharp Edge runs perilously close the neighborhood bar territory, replete with a woefully outdated decor. A long bar, punctuated with multiple tap stations, stretches along the far wall. Tables are spread out around the rest of the restaurant. Our section had a few pinball-type games.
Quality: Overall positive. Beer was good , as was the service. Per-glass prices were high.
Service: Our waitress Alex was by regularly for drinks, food amd water. On entering, despite being the empty, we needed to wait to be seated. Didn't seem necessary.
Selection: Excellent selection. Draught beers included Belgian, UK and American craft offerings. I went with the proprietary Over the Edge; it was okay. Bottled offerings were plentiful but equally expensive.
Food: Pub grub. My boneless wings were good.
Come for the beer but be prepared to pay higher prices for it.
03-07-2010 02:40:35 |
More by akorsak
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$$
Well, its the Sharp Edge, legendary Belgian Beer Bar we are lucky enough to have in Pittsburgh. Several locations but this is the original.
A--Spacious with a large bar and plenty of seating. Old school feel to it.
Q--Beer is always fresh and of high quality.
S--Always treated well and promptly.
S--Selection is very good but maybe a tad overrated. Tends to be the same rotation of beers and rarely many surprises. Rarely any Saisons or Quads which I wish they would get more often. Usually a good selection of micros on draft and a very solid bottle list. Everything is expensive but hey, they cornered the market and you get what you pay for!
F--Excelllent. Great burgers and Pizza is solid. Chicken bites are fantastic. Have dinners available but always end up with sandwiches and aps
12-02-2009 00:36:51 |
More by garbercury
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
I have a long history with the Sharp Edge & feel I owe it a lot. This is the place that launched me into beer geekdom. They have a great draft list, yes with plenty of Belgian offerings & some craft standouts. The food is frequently very good, & there are some alternatives to the typical pub grub you find at good beer joints. The service is usually great. The place knows their beer & has been a beacon in the 'Burgh for beer geeks for many years. For this I applaud Sharp Edge.
Lately, though, it seems like each time I come back that relationship sours a little. A large part of this is due to the prices, which are head & shoulders above any other good beer establishment in the area (Orval for $10? Peche Mortel for $10? Hmmm...). Sharp Edge has a well-deserved reputation, but it seems like they exploit it for the scads of grad students & yuppies who come to experience the "creme de la creme" of what a good beer establishment should be. And as much as the place's history has earned it its reputation, these days there are plenty of places that offer what Sharp Edge has to offer without the price tag. I think they would be well-served to lose the hubris.
As you can tell, my history with Sharp Edge has left me with mixed feelings. I'll iterate that that I owe a lot to the place, but am disillusioned by what I perceive as complacency. The same thing seems to have happened to Brickskeller in D.C., an establishment that continues to thrive on its reputation despite real threats from pretty solid competition.
10-03-2009 12:38:17 |
More by OneDropSoup
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
best selection of belgian beers i've seen in one place, hands down. all kinds of pink elephants and shit i've never even heard of. also what seemed like an endless number of taps, all belgian. DT, chimay, maredsous, draak, corsendonk, their website lists em all. some from bell's, great lakes, and dogfish as well. also a scotch ale made in belgium. unibroue, german stuff, a mystery beer that isn't labeled (i didn't tryi it) which was interesting. the bartender knew her stuff, too. as far as bottles they have even more than on tap with a full line of english, german, and american micros. again, they have a website with a list of everything. i heard the food was sub-par but i don't know cuz i didn't eat. only drink.
05-04-2009 04:23:32 |
More by hustlesworth
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
The Sharp Edge is the place to be if you wanna really impress a new date or an old advesary that made claims of your lack of taste in the past. The beer selection is amazing, on both draft and bottles. You have the option to buy authentic glasses for the individual beer that you drink. If you do go, try the Belgian Burger, made with lamb and scalions, it is perfect with a glass of Gulden Drakk...don't even think about forgetting the Pom Frites...it would be a crime. I also wanna give major props to the Sharp Edge for the way they've handled the TOTALLY BOGUS drink tax in Allegheny Co...they actually split the tax with you so you don't screwed for the whole 10%...now thats classy!
01-19-2009 06:18:06 |
More by steelcutoats
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Sharp Edge Beer Emporium in Pittsburgh, PA