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Church Brew Works
Active Beers: 68
Beer Ratings: 1,043
Beer Avg: 3.66
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
3525 Liberty Ave
phone: (412) 688-8200
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 123 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
I'm glad I finally went here. I've had the basic CBW beers and was underwhelmed, but I had a few specialties here and was very impressed. They have a ton of different beers (all their own) available and rotate a lot of them. The food is pretty excellent and the service is friendly. The location is an old converted church so the interior architecture is really something special, and the restaurant style is something approaching a German beer hall. Overall it's something everybody who comes to Pittsburgh ought to try. I now understand why everyone thinks so highly of them.
10-06-2012 19:44:41 |
More by Cylinsier
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
A really cool place, and a must for visitors to Pittsburgh. There are few brewpubs that can match this place in terms of setting: a 100+ yr-old church, lovingly converted to a brewery and restaurant. The altar area houses most of the brewing equipment, and the original stained glass windows still adorn the building. Truly a stunning place.
Some reviewers term the beer "mediocre," but I'd say they're missing the point. This place seems to have chosen to brew good, solid interpretations of a wide variety of styles. I had a sampler, with 10 of their beers, and every last one was clean, close to style, and drinkable. That alone puts this place in the top 20% of brewpubs, most of which have at least a couple of stinkers. The Golden Ale was outstanding for a beer of that type; the English pale was really lovely, the oatmeal stout was very satisfying... I could go on-- every beer was well done and solid. Sure, none of them knocked my socks off, and none of them were "extreme" beers, of the sort which are prominent in many BA's esteem. But NONE OF THEM WERE BAD. And that's saying a lot. I also appreciated the serving temperatures, which were considerably warmer than average, even for a craft bar or brewpub.
Food only average. Service was fine. Prices seemed about right.
The unique venue and very good beer make this a must-see for any visitor to Pittsburgh.
06-23-2012 02:36:59 |
More by mtullius
vibe: 5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Ate lunch and had a sampler flight of 8 beers.
Very cool building and atmosphere - a huge church, and they kept all of the stained glass, stone arches, wood beams, etc. some of the seating is the old pew benches.
The beer was mediocre, really the only beer I liked was their Dunkel Lager. They had about 10 beers available, the sampler didn't include the Quad or Tripel.
Food was good but nothing special. I had the jambalaya, and my wife had a pierogi dish.
The service was a bit poor, our waiter was seemed like he hated to be there, and be had to wait forever for our check. We overheard another waiter going over the specials with another table, our never mentioned any of that.
Prices were a bit high for the quality that you got.
06-17-2012 13:10:58 |
More by jmdrpi
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
One word: SACRILICIOUS!
So on a trip from Philly to Pittsburgh, I visited a brewpub in a converted mansion (Selin's Grove), a converted mill (Gamble Mill), and now a converted church. All three great and unique and highly recommended.
Prime location in a relatively non-bustling section of town on a road with plenty of street parking, the Church is a full blown refurbished Catholic cathedral. The only really "sacred objects" remaining are the architecturally impressive building itself and the stained glass windows. Tables and booths replace the pews, and mash tuns replace the altar. What's not to like? I have a penchant for small, intimate, dimly lit pubs with a bit of dank, but the glorious charm of this place was not lost on me.
Beer selection was pretty great. I rarely rate a brewpub's selection over a 4 when they serve nothing but their own beers (which is of course not a bad thing, and often quite expected), but with 12 (or maybe more) options available here, you really can't go wrong. And all the beers were solid, with even the blonde ale pleasing my senses. Not to mention the best wheat beer this side of St. Bernardus (aka the Herbal American). Lots of merch, as well as beer for sale, including, 4- and 6-packs, bombers, cases, and mini-kegs.
Food menu was pretty impressive, with plenty to chose from, including pizza (though the oven was shut down during our visit). Everything we had was tasty, i.e. BBQ wings for the wife, and a smoked turkey/brie/cranberry sandwich for me. The sauteed pierogies with broccoli, bacon, and cream sauce almost reeled me in, but I really didn't feel like anything that heavy. (Though they can't stop me from trying to recreate it at home.)
Service was decent. Our bartender seemed a bit inattentive and uncaring, but she was at least on the ball and never left us waiting. Not the kind of person with whom I'd want to strike up a conversation about craft beer, more of a "I'm at work" kind of attitude. But I can't really complain, as the service itself was just fine.
On the surface, this place might seem like a tourist trap. I prefer to look at it more as a solid brewery with a really great idea that worked. Definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Pittsburgh.
05-19-2012 21:20:56 |
More by Rifugium
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
A must visit for any person planning a visit to Pittsburgh! We visited during the summer of 2011 before a Pirates game. Reletively easy to get to and plenty of parking. We sat at the bar and sampled several of thier beers and ordered a few appetizers. Bar tenders were both friendly and knowledgeable. I had a few drafts and then tried thier bottled IPA, ThunderHop. Our food arrived promptly and was great. While we did not order any entrees or burgers, the food looked good. All of the brews we tried were good and I really enjoyed their rotating stout. Defintely recomended.
12-21-2011 14:54:32 |
More by DrKnoskelson
vibe: 5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
I have been to Pittsburgh several times in the last few months. My girlfriend discovered this place on our first visit. It is very cool to have a brewery in an old church! Atmosphere is definitely very good. Food was very good as well. The service was kind and pretty knowledgeable. The quality was not as good as other breweries I have visited. Even fresh, most beers I tried were just a little short in one way or another. All were good, but not really standouts.The selection was a little disappointing as well. They had plenty to choose from, but nothing really radical or different and interesting.
11-24-2011 02:44:44 |
More by dexterk1
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$
Church Brew Works, a pillar in the Pittsburgh beer community, what a shame.
I'll start with the good so as not to sound too judgmental.
Yes, it is cool to drink beer in a 100+ year old church and watch it being brewed on the altar. The building is fantastic and in pretty good shape, if you go, check out the intricate woodwork on the ceiling.
The wait staff I dealt with was pleasant and speedy, I have heard of some beer snobbery but did not personally experience it.
Now then, what I came here for.
First of all, for a brewpub that is the first name in Pittsburgh beers, the beer is mediocre at best. It looks like they haven't won an award for a few years for a reason, maybe they just crank up the quality for the occasional beer festival. I had their dunkel and brown ale and was decidedly underwhelmed. Both were weak on flavor and the carbonation was off. If I didn't know any better I would have thought they were watered down. Other people I talked to that evening all agreed that the beer was just not up to the hype. If anything it tasted like what one of the macros might try to pass off as a "craft" beer.
Second was the food. Now I"ll admit that in a brewpub the beer should take priority one, but you can't completely ignore the food either. The food was good, but not great. Again, mediocre at best. I can find better sandwiches right around the corner, considering the lack of good beer you'd think they'd ramp up the food quality. Most others in my group agreed that it was nothing worth writing home about.
Lastly I come to my group, this was an event for our beer group as a part of meetup.com. Being a "popular" destination we wound up with a high attendance for this event, somewhere around the tune of 80 people, on a Wednesday night. Of course we didn't just blindside them and show up with this many people, plans were started weeks in advance and the organizer was met with nothing but aggravation. First they informed us "they don't do reservations." fine, we get that you get enough traffic that it's first come first serve, but we're not just a family of four. Then there was the headache of how to handle checks. They say they only break them up by tables, we inform them it's a talkative group that's not going to sit at a table all night. Eventually they relented and agreed that we could do separate checks as long as we kept our name tags on and used the same server. Something we've done many times before. The night of the event the servers had no problem if people switched up servers so long as we gave them a card to set up a tab and told them our names whenever we ordered. You know, like most bars do. Clearly the management needs to get in touch with their staff.
This evening also coincided with a long standing member's birthday so we made it a dual celebration. They tried to charge us $.75 a person to bring a cake in. When it was pointed out that we were bringing them 80 people on a Wednesday evening and maybe they could cut us some slack, they simply replied "we do alright." eventually they caved on the cake issue.
Clearly the management doesn't care about getting repeat business. This is made clear by the shoddy quality of the beer and the way they treated a large group of Pittsburgh native craft beer aficionados. Most every establishment we've been to has been more than accommodating, including the week prior when we had 90 people.
So please folks, if you're look for a real example of Pittsburgh brewing, go anywhere else. For a good brewpub experience, try Penn Brewery.
09-01-2011 22:31:08 |
More by AWS2111
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $$
Great atmosphere inside a 115 year old church. The altar has been revised to hold some of the brewing tanks. Huge space inside. I can see religious folk ahying away from this place but all images of Jesus and crucifixes have been removed except which may be in the stained glass windows. Large restaurant seating but we didn't try the food. Beer selection was pretty standard. About 7 styles, nothing real big. I tried the dunkel and breakfast stout. The beers were fairly true to style, but not very inspiring. Large bar area and high top seating area. Our server knew a lot about beer styles and we had a great conversation. Looks like there were wood fired pizzas as the oven was toward the right of the altar.
The location is a quick ride from downtown and we found parking quickly. I can imagine that when it is busy, you might have to walk a little.
08-24-2011 15:51:08 |
More by bigbeerbrett
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
A= I just recently went to Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh though that the atmosphere was great. The young lady working the bar had great Knowledge about there beers. I also liked that it was in a old church and that they left it the way it was with stained glass and church atmosphere.
S= Service was pretty good got served right away but I was there when they first opened about 11:30 just wish now that I would have seen a food menu.
S= Ten beers where on Tap a lot of different styles I wish I would have been there to try there porter but I was pretty happy with the ones I did try.
F= There food sounds pretty amazing will be trying some of it when I make it out that way.
V= I thought there prices where really good a lot cheaper than what I'm use to but then again I didn't see or taste the food. Would go back and try stuff again. Most fun I've had in a church in years!
08-19-2011 18:00:00 |
More by LiquidBread219
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
A - I went there with the inlaws and my kids. Heard it was a great place for the kids. It would have been had they not been brewing a batch. The smell was a horrid mix of rancid pizza and moldy hops. Brewing snobs may pooh-pooh that comment. I eat steak, I don't kill it. I drink beer, I don't brew it. Thank goodness they had an outside which was very nice.
Q - Beer was good, food was great.
Ser - The hostess commented on how kids do not like the smell of the place and recommended the outside. We had a waiter training an waitress. All three were great and very accommodating.
Sel - Though mathematically it doesn't matter this is a high 4. The beers offered are typical brew pub beers: pils, ipa, stout, triple. But these beers are what I want. They had a few seasonals: Double IPA, Breakfast Stout (weird for August), etc. Under 10 beers total, but a drinkable 10.
F - Great. Grilled cheese, ham and cheese, grilled turkey salad, pirogies special, and southwest wrap were ordered. All were delicious. The salad greens were fresh, turkey was tender and juicy, sweet potato crisps were creative.
V - $70 for three adults and two kids. To me that is completely reasonable.
08-04-2011 18:34:47 |
More by drcarver
Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh, PA
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