ABV is our weekly series that highlights a different beer from a local Pittsburgh brewery every week. Check out our past picks here.
From 2014 to 2017, Pittsburgh’s collective craft beer drinker’s palate had grown accustomed to various styles of IPAs, coffee porters and lactose-infused milkshake styles. Each style carried its own respective hype and trendiness that would rise and fall.
At some point in early 2018, something different gained its legs: the fruited sour beer.
Pittsburgh’s fruited sours came with a sense of curiosity and tiered availability. Cherries are in season? Have a cherry gose. Watermelon is available right now? Throw it in; let’s do a watermelon Berliner Weiss.
The fruited sours (of the ‘kettle sour’ variety in brewers’ speak) found a Pittsburgh fan base. They were trendy, approachable and served as a gateway beer for the inaugural sour sip.
What about Pittsburgh’s more serious sour beer fans?
Hardline, strict believers in wild ales that are spontaneously fermented (to create a naturally sour beer) will generally tell you that kettle sours are not actual sours. And they’re not wrong.
i.e. Strange Roots, which operates its Millvale taproom just four blocks from Grist House, will likely never brew a kettle sour beer as their ethos and mantra adhere to the strict Belgian principles around spontaneously fermented wild ales (that taste very sour).
This is a very long-winded way to say, beer is fun. And should remain fun. And if you appreciate a fruited sour for what it is (its own style of beer), then read on.
Grist House has a fun beer coming out this Saturday that you should try. It is a fruited sour beer called Dream Queen.
ABV, volume XXXVII
Dream Queen – a fruited sour beer made with local honey; available beginning Saturday, Oct 19
Beer Name: Dream Queen
Style / ABV: Fruited Sour, 5.5% ABV
Why we recommend it: If you can appreciate the fruited sour as its own style – separate from wild ales – then you can appreciate the Dream Queen. It is not meant to be ultra tart nor pointed, but rather a fun, aromatic experience. At a cool 5.5% ABV, it is controlled and mild.
Dream Queen is brewed with peach, mango, vanilla, and honey from Bedillion Honey Farms.
Dream Queen | Fruited Sour
Saturday, October 19th @ 2pm
We are very excited to announce Dream Queen, a new, irresistible sour brewed with peach, mango, vanilla, and honey from Bedillion Honey Farms!
RSVP —> https://t.co/FUNj2phEWU
*Must be kept cold. pic.twitter.com/9q79a9YmJ3
— Grist House (@GristHouse) October 13, 2019
When is it available: Dream Queen will be released on Saturday, Oct 19. This is the inaugural release of Dream Queen; it is hard to say how long this beer will remain available at Grist House. My best guess: Dream Queen will last about 2-3 weeks before it kicks.
How is it served: On draft and in cans (4-packs of cans for carry out). Cans must be kept cold.
Where is it available: Grist House (Millvale)
Honorable Mention Beer: Dark Shaman (Fruited Sour, 5.5% ABV)
Makes sense to stick with what Grist House has been doing exceptionally well. I was blown away by the Shaman series from the start. Every one of these fruited sours has been easy to drink and uniquely different from one another. I find myself consistently looking forward to each iteration of the Shaman.
Visiting Grist House
First Time Visitor?
Parking: Plan to park across the street from Grist House in the long, free parking lot adjacent to the canal. You may be able to find some street parking along Sherman Street as well.
Food: The food truck lineup at Grist House is very good and generally VERY accurate. Although the brewery does not maintain a kitchen or any in-house food program, their team does an excellent job booking food trucks that are on-site every single night the brewery is open. Few local breweries can boast such an amenity. Check their food truck schedule here (scroll to the bottom of their homepage) before you go.
Interior: More like exterior, am I right? Grist House is super pup-friendly and MOSTLY outside. Dress weather appropriate and enjoy your beers under a tent outside. If you must head inside, be advised that it can be tight, cramped and small (depending on the crowds). The outdoor experience here is where it’s at.
Also, it’s fall and – therefore – it is the season of sport. Grist House is deeply supportive of the Penn State student-athletes of sport. Be advised that game day (generally Saturdays) are exceptionally spirited and passionately packed with sports fans of Penn State sports.
Getting to Grist House
Bus: it’s not optimal, but you can take the 1 (or the 2) to Millvale and walk a hefty distance to the brewery.
Bike: If you find yourself cycling through town, I highly recommend biking to Grist House. Plenty of bike parking near the front entryway and you’re guaranteed to make friends with others who have pedaled their way to the brewery. There exists a laid back, relaxed cycling community vibe at Grist House on the weekends.