Today’s special edition of ABV walks through Cinderlands Beer Co’s new location in the Strip District (inside the former Spaghetti Warehouse). This weekly series will return to its previous format (highlighting ONE Pittsburgh-area craft beer) next week.
Check out our past editions of ABV, here.
Everyone has been talking about Cinderlands
It’s no secret amongst Pittsburgh’s craft beer community.
In December 2017, Cinderlands made a splash when they opened a brewery, taproom and kitchen space at 3705 Butler Street in Lawrenceville.
The relatively small capacity (3.5 barrel) brewing system began cranking out beers that caught local and national attention. A 2019 USA Today poll ranked Cinderlands 8th overall in their “Top 10 Best New Breweries” category. No other Pennsylvania breweries made the list.
Hop Culture magazine interviewed head brewer Paul Schneider – before Cinderlands even officially opened.
The Untappd tribe (approximately 20,000 users have ‘rated’ Cinderlands) has propelled them to a 3.86 out of 5 on their rating system.
And the kitchen, in particular, has piqued the interest of Pittsburgh’s blossoming food faction.
Everyone, it seems, has been eagerly awaiting for the expansion announcement.
Here’s our walkthrough of what you can expect at Cinderlands new location in the Strip District.
When will Cinderlands Warehouse open?
Located at 2601 Smallman St, the Cinderlands Warehouse is soft launching today (Tuesday, May 7) with a grand opening set for this weekend (Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11).
Expanded brewing and seating capacity
Per Sara Daversa, assistant general manager at Cinderlands, this is an expansion in every sense of the word.
“We are keeping the same core values from our Lawrenceville space. The beer hall vibes are communal; there is a focus on sharing and being together.”
“Our new location’s brewing capacity is nearly 5 times larger. We can also seat 3 times as many guests.”
Pro Tip: there’s also a lovely outdoor space on the second floor.
Understanding the Cinderlands naming conventions
Pick up a menu at either Cinderlands location and the naming conventions will finally make sense.
After a year and a half in Lawrenceville, mentions of  – indicating the Lawrenceville address – will be paired up with mentions of , the new Strip District space. Both spaces will remain open. Their website refers to the two spaces at Cinderlands 3705 and Cinderlands Warehouse.
: Cinderlands in Lawrenceville // 3.5 barrel brewing capacity // small kitchen // seats ~90 people
: Cinderlands Warehouse in the Strip District // 15 barrel brewing capacity // large kitchen // seats ~300 people
The Cinderlands Vibe
“Our continued focus is on excellent service,” Daversa says. “We’ve been hearing from our neighbors in the Strip who’ve been wanting a cool lunch spot. So, we will be serving lunch every day except Monday. And we’ll eventually begin brunch service on weekends, but not right off the bat.”
Cinderlands 3705 (Lawrenceville) WILL continue taking reservations for groups of 8 or less on OpenTable, with the Cinderlands Warehouse accepting reservations in late May. Groups larger than 12 are encouraged to correspond via direct email for arrangements at the Warehouse.
A Tour of Cinderlands Warehouse
Heading to the grand opening? Scroll through our pics for a sneak peek of what to expect.
Cinderlands’ gastronomical adventure
Cinderlands won the hearts (and stomachs) of Lawrenceville with its made-from-scratch, farm-to-table kitchen, led by Joe Kiefer (formerly of Meat & Potatoes).
Beer-pairing dinners and super secret burger nights propelled Cinderlands into the foodie conversations happening all over town. The food here is the real deal.
Folks visiting Cinderlands Warehouse can expect a radically expanded kitchen offering. Snacks will include:
- steak n’ egg, served on an English muffin;
- pierogies with spinach, kohlrabi, lemon zucchini and dill;
- fried pig ears with blue cheese mousse;
- goat cheese curds with spiced honey mint;
- and, of course, their unique take on spent grain chicharrones taken directly from the brewing process and served with double Gloucester beer cheese.
Feeling hungry for something a little bigger? Their large plates will include:
- banh mi with fried pig ear, lemon ginger chili, pickled veggies pate and cilantro;
- the smashed burger made using local Jubilee Hilltop beef, caramelized onion and whole grain mustard;
- brisket with pimento and pickled green tomatoes;
- beer can chicken which is half a bird served with dirty beans & greens, chorizo, bacon and cornbread;
- and, in a fitting throwback to the building’s first restaurant concept, spaghetti with pig skin, bolognese, meatballs and Parmesan garlic bread.
Other handheld goodies will include:
- grilled cheese with kimchi;
- and Cinderlands’ take on a crunch wrap with beef cheeks, Fritos and queso.
They’re planning to roll out some desserts as well, including:
- Rhubarb in a lemongrass panna cotta with granola;
- Swiss roll, which comes as a coffee pudding with chocolate roulade, whipped mascarpone and bacon cashew praline
- And Key lime pistachio foie fras meringue with white chocolate milk crumb
Our beer recommendations for the Cinderlands Warehouse launch
Out of the eight beers Cinderlands Warehouse plans to debut upon launch, we have four recommendations – arranged by increasing order of gravity.
Recommendation #1: Tracks Again (unfiltered pilsner, 5.2% ABV)
- A zero fuss Dad Beer that hearkens back to the homebrew generation. Any beer novice can start here and have a straight-forward beer.
Recommendation #2: Guava Whipper (berliner weisse, 5.8% ABV)
- When I visited Cinderlands Warehouse to research this write-up, I LOVED the Guava Whipper. I’m also slightly biased and undeniably in love with sours. Every iteration of the Whipper (served at Cinderlands 3705 in Lawrenceville) has left me wanting more. This particular Whipper was especially tart, with a slightly acidic, sticky feeling that lingers on the mouth. The glassware this beer is served in is gorgeous. (see header image)
Recommendation #3: Skydog (IPA, 6.6% ABV)
- The Skydog was my second favorite beer (after the Whipper). This IPA is packed with aromas of mango syrup, lemon peel and berries. It’s soft on the mouth but carries a sweet undertone. Supposedly the name Skydog was inspired by a nickname for American soul and R&B singer Wilson Pickett. Highly recommend this one for non-hazy IPA lovers. Look for Skydog in 4-packs of cans as well.
Recommendation #4: Pancake Galaxy: Blueberry (tartshake double IPA, 9.5% ABV)
- This beer is literally crazy. I’m not sure how these guys came up with the tartshake series, but ALL of them are brewed using lactose, and this one in particular tastes like a blueberry pancake breakfast. It’s a big boi at 9.5% ABV, watch Yo Self.
Non-Beer Options at Cinderlands
Not into beers? Cinderlands boasts an on-staff sommelier trained in PA-based wines. You’ll find wines from Lancaster, Lehigh, Erie and everywhere in between.
Cinderlands has also curated eight local-to-Pennsylvania cocktails on a menu that features entirely in-state spirits. The Trolley Car Punch with Maggie’s Farm Pineapple Rum sounds like a real treat.
Know Before You Go
Parking in the Strip can be exceptionally difficult. If you plan to drive to Cinderlands Warehouse, they will validate a limited number of parking tickets from the garage next door called “The HUB” (at 26th and Railroad St). There are also some street spots (but not many). It’s a good idea to bus here on the 91 or 88 line. Or just catch a ride share / Scoobi.
Also, Cinderlands will release more information on can releases soon (keep an eye on their social media or subscribe to their email newsletter). During launch week, they plan to fill 64-oz (clean) growlers and 32-oz crowlers for folks to take home (per their normal policy). Rumor has it there MIGHT be a limited run of Skydog IPA 4-packs in cans (to-go) on opening day as well.
And finally, when you’re walking through the massive build out of this former Spaghetti Warehouse…enjoy this fun fact. The Cinderlands Warehouse building was originally built in 1871 as Pittsburgh Steel Casting.
How Pittsburgh of Cinderlands to take a massive, rumbling space and breathe new life into it. Literally from the cinders up.
All photos by Pat Hogan.