Ep. 22 East End Brewing’s Scott Smith on the state of Pittsburgh craft beer during the coronavirus pandemic

On this episode of The Slaw, we talk about the transformation from taprooms to take-out.

by Lindsay Patross
April 7, 2020

Scott Smith is the owner of East End Brewing, a mainstay of the Pittsburgh craft beer scene. In this episode, he shares the story of their first beer release at Kelly’s Bar and Grill over 15 years ago. We ask some of the hard questions about the current state of things in the craft beer community, as breweries have had to rapidly modify their business models and transition from taprooms to take-out and delivery. Plus, while lots of folks know that Church Brew Works used to be a church, we highlight some of the lesser-known breweries in repurposed buildings. Plus: a Pittsburgh pro tip for getting some questions answered by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Scott Smith: order online, pop your trunk, and we will wave at you through the window

With the outbreak of COVID-19 and mandated social distancing, Pittsburgh’s local craft beer scene has, pretty much almost overnight, switched from busy taprooms and special beer release events to preordering online and take-out-only beer. Some breweries are offering delivery. There are some parallels to the early days of the craft beer scene, when PA state law had many rules for new breweries. Scott shares some of East End Brewing’s origin story, as well.


For more info:

  • We wrote about East End Brewing in our ABV column. You can read it here.
  • East End Brewing has held a keg ride event each April for the past 15 years. While everything is currently on hold for the 16th annual event, check out our video to learn more about this unique group bike ride.
  • Wanna keep up with all of the breweries in Allegheny County? Check out the Pittsburgh Brewers Guild.
  • To connect with East End Brewing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @eastendbrewing

Some Pittsburgh breweries set up shop in repurposed buildings

Did you know there used to be a polka bar where Allegheny City Brewery is now? That Grist House’s Millvale location used to be a butcher/meatpacking facility? Curious about the history of some of your other favorite Pittsburgh breweries? Check out our ABV column.

Pittsburgh pro tip: check out the library

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh might have shuttered its physical doors, but they are still able to help. While lots of folks are aware of ebooks and audiobooks, the library also has a librarian available to answer questions and virtually assist its patrons. Plus, be sure to check out (get it?) their Stay In and Read challenge.

More of our Pittsburgh coronavirus coverage:

Header image of Scott Smith, founder of East End Brewing. Photo by Cory Morton.

Pittsburgh born and raised, Lindsay has been writing about the people who love Pittsburgh since 2008.

More Local Stories

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Sanford

On this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando explore what’s new in the Northern part of town. Sanford has a plethora of breweries, bars, and delicious dining options to choose from.

Hometown Tragedy: The Pike County Massacre

On this episode of Hometown Tragedy: Missing in Milwaukee, we’ll explore what happened to Jerica Banks, her children, and how it impacted their community.

Six New Orleans parks that are perfect locations to celebrate 4th of July

Head to one of these six New Orleans parks to celebrate Independence Day in the city.

Cheap Date Orlando: Punk Rock & Pooches

Two Orlando couples shop vintage, search for the perfect slice, visit a post-apocalyptic saloon, and take the stage on blind dates in Orlando.

Fit and Fab: Free summer workouts in Boston

Cover photo courtesy Getty Images Looking to get fit for the summer? Still wary of COVID-19 or just looking for some sunshine while you sweat? Here are some Boston free summer workouts across the city so you can keep moving all season long! Seaport Sweat May 2 to Sept. 29 Boston’s biggest free workout series…

What’s On the Menu?: Farm-to-table

The farm-to-table movement brings locally grown foods to your plate. Not only will enjoying farm-to-table meals allow you to indulge in fresh, nutritional, seasonal dishes, but farm-to-table dining helps the environment and supports the local economy.  Check out these delicious farm-to-table restaurants in Greenville, South Carolina on the latest episode of What’s On the Menu?. …

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

A guide to Pittsburgh’s summer events must-do list

Check out our roundup below for the can’t-miss events happening in the city over the next few months.

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Tarpon Springs

In this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando you’ll be transported to a thriving Greek community nestled on Florida’s gulf coast. From sponge diving to flaming cheese to a Greek bakery that supplies a ginormous amount of baklava to the entire country, you’re sure to fall in love with Greek culture in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Dorchester doughnuts that pack a paczki

These traditional Polish pastries are the real deal.

Exploring the history of Pittsburgh’s Chinatown

At one time, there was even an informal Chinatown mayor to act as a community liaison.

Painting My Way Through Life: Pittsburgh (And Beyond) Through The Eyes of Artist Ron Donoughe

Ron Donoughe has spent over 30 years painting the Pennsylvania landscape, especially Pittsburgh. When you don’t find him capturing the spirit of his paintings on location, you’ll likely find him in his Lawrenceville studio – where he’s watched the neighborhood transform through his windows.

With a potential sale of his building looming in 2022, we chatted with Donoughe about his artistic journey thus far, what might come next, and Pittsburgh through his eyes.

“Better than a tent” this Greensburg Airbnb is only $15/night 

The accommodations are minimal, but the price can’t be beat. This Airbnb shed is available just outside of Pittsburgh in Greensburg for just $15/night.

A grab-and-go food guide to the MSY New Orleans terminal

Time. Most of us don’t have a lot of that. Even less so when we’re rushing to make a flight. There are still plenty of tasty options for the less leisurely travelers among us, though it helps to know where to find them.