500 James St.
Verona, PA 15147
Rivertowne Inn is just minutes from downtown in the small town of Verona. A quick drive down Allegheny River Boulevard takes you to this unassuming, very affordable local bar with an enormous menu and even bigger draft beer list. In the fall, Southern Tier Pumking, an imperial pumpkin ale takes over some of the taps. Settle in with a huge sandwich and a glass of Pumking on draft. Reminiscent of the pumpkin pie you’ll be eating at Thanksgiving, this beer is like dessert in a glass and a favorite at Rivertowne. Be sure to ask for cinnamon and sugar on the rim of your pint glass to enhance the pumpkin and spice flavors, and consider buying a growler of it to take home as this seasonal ale sells out quickly.
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D’s SixPaxs & Dogz
118 S. Braddock Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15218
Summer picnics may be over, but hot dogs and beer taste good all year round, especially at this always-packed joint in Regent Square. D’s menu is like a celebration of summer: specialty hot dogs and unique draft beers will keep your spirits up even as the days get shorter. The wide variety of drafts can be dizzying and the seasonal selections are in constant rotation, but the Great Divide Rumble oak aged IPA is a great place to start. Hoppy, heavy and slightly bitter, this beer will get you ready for fall and winter with its pine and vanilla flavors.
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Sharp Edge Beer Emporium
302 S. Saint Clair St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Known to beer drinkers as heaven on earth, Sharp Edge in Pittsburgh’s Friendship neighborhood has so many beers on tap and in bottles that it would take a lifetime to taste them all. The beer selections are balanced out by a fantastic food menu that is heavily influenced by Belgian cuisine. Don’t miss out on the pomme frites. The draft list can be daunting, so starting with a bottled selection can help ease you into this place. Try the Gulden Draak triple, a triple brown ale that will be a nice contrast to the Coronas and wheat beers of the summer. This beer is actually considered a barley wine and is so heavy you might want to skip dessert and just order this beer instead. Though it is high in alcohol content, the slightly sweet malty taste balances it out. If you’re feeling adventurous, now is the time of year when the mystery beer on draft can be fun to try because special seasonal selections sneak in.
5747 Ellsworth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
In Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood, Harris Grill is a fantastic hangout that resides in one of the old, huge houses in this upscale area. With outdoor seating on the porch and deck, and indoor seating upstairs and downstairs, this place always has room even when it should be crowded. Blue Point Brewing Company’s pumpkin ale is right at home in the fall with the funky homestyle feel at Harris. Unlike Southern Tier’s bold Pumking, Blue Point’s pumpkin ale is light and crisp. There’s still a healthy dose of the pumpkin flavor you’d expect, but it doesn’t overpower you. With just a hint of spices, this lighter fall beer pairs well with some of the heavier offerings on Harris’s food menu. Don’t forget, Harris Grill is home to bacon night on Tuesday. Instead of a bread basket, you’ll get a bacon basket with your meal. Plan your beer selection accordingly with this lovely, light ale.
800 Vinial St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
A tour of Pittsburgh’s best brewpubs isn’t complete without a stop at Penn Brewery. With its beers microbrewed right on site, you know seasonal selections will abound in fall and winter. On the top of the seasonal selections list is always Oktoberfest Bier, a nice, crisp fall beer you’d expect from a microbrewery. This beer pairs best with the Brewery’s German food menu. Get the Oktoberfest with some schnitzel and you’ll feel like you’re in Bavaria instead of Pittsburgh’s North Side Germantown. Take a few trips back to Penn Brewery throughout the winter months for more seasonals that are released around the holidays. It offers a brew called Nut Roll ale. Do it.