Pittsburgh boasts plenty of craft breweries where you can get your favorite beverage straight from the source. But if you’re looking to do more than just wet your whistle, many local taprooms also offer a slew of fun activities that pair perfectly with a pint.
Here’s a six-pack of our favorites:
Couch Brewery, 1351 Washington Blvd., Larimer
Couch Brewery looks like a ’70s-era rec room, making it the perfect place to play retro games. Every Wednesday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., people pack the place for bingo, which is often emceed by drag queens. It’s free to play and can lead you to some cool prizes. Couch also hosts Thursday movie nights and regularly offers Happy Little Trees painting classes inspired by the work of Bob Ross, a man who turned relaxation into an art form.
Full Pint Wild Side Pub, 5310 Butler St., Lawrenceville
Full Pint’s beer is brewed in North Versailles, but the company’s Wild Side Pub in Lawrenceville is always bumpin’ with new brews and events. Along with live music every Friday and Saturday nights, the Butler Street bar is a hotspot for writers and poets, including Pittsburgh Poetry Collective’s biweekly Steel City Slam and the Hell’s Lid Reading Series hosted by Sheena Carroll. The pub recently partnered with local artist Amber Coppings, whose monthly “Work in Progress” classes offer hands-on art instruction on everything from floral printmaking and growler painting to figure drawing and embroidery.
Helicon Brewing, 102 Union Ave., Oakdale
Helicon Brewing is the go-to place for beer gurus and pinball wizards. The Oakdale establishment has an arcade with more than 35 machines, including limited edition releases. Pints & Pinball Knockout tournaments are held every third Saturday of the month and there are competitions that coincide with the arrival of each new game machine. The Helicon Open, a large, multi-day battle, is waged at the end of each year. All of these events are sanctioned by the International Flipper Pinball Association and open to all.
Enix Brewing Co., 337 East 8th Ave., Homestead
When the owners of Enix gutted an old building to make way for their brewing equipment, they decided to keep the eight-lane bowling alley located on the second floor. The public is invited to roll Saturdays, Sundays and every other Friday. Monday is Service Industry Night from 7 to 11 p.m., featuring drink specials and all-you-can-bowl for $5. In mid-April, the lanes will open to the public on Wednesdays.
Threadbare Cider House & Meadery, 1291 Spring Garden Ave., Spring Hill
Like games? You’ll definitely be “board” at Threadbare. On the first Thursday of each month from 6:30 to 9 p.m., the cider house breaks out old favorites and the latest board game titles to hit store shelves. The events are hosted by Pittsburgh Casual Games, but attendees are also invited to bring their own diversions they think others will enjoy.
Abjuration Brewing, 644 Broadway Ave., McKees Rocks
Hops! Barley! Action! Nestled in the back of the Parkway Theater in McKees Rocks, Abjuration is a great place to go for inventive brews and thought-provoking films, including indies, documentaries and foreign flicks you won’t see anywhere else in the ‘burgh. In addition to great cinema, the Parkway Theater also hosts Comedy on the Rocks, an open mic night for jokesters every Friday at 9 p.m.
Have we mentioned your favorite taproom in Pittsburgh? We’d love to hear about the places you go for more than just great beer. Post in the comments below, let us know on Facebook or e-mail us.