Golden Age Beer Co. is a new brewery in Homestead from the owners Independent Brewing Co. in Squirrel Hill.
For years, craft beer enthusiasts have been in a haze.
Demand for cloudy IPAs forced traditional lagers into the shadows. Homestead’s Golden Age Beer Company is in business to shine a light on the time-honored brews.
“Eighty-five percent of people who drink beer despise IPAs,” says owner Pete Kurzweg, who also runs Independent Brewing Company, Hidden Harbor and Lorelei. “We are just lagers. It’s a really accessible concept, it’s good, old-fashioned fun and it’s working in our community.”
The brewery’s beer garden opened in November 2021 while the team put finishing touches on the interior of the building at 337 E. 8th Ave. The former hardware store was renovated and briefly occupied by Enix Brewing Company. Golden Age went with a mid-century modern décor, with wooden surfaces and a blue-and-white color scheme reminiscent of the Bavarian flag. There’s an eight-lane bowling alley on the second floor that will eventually reopen to the public.
What’s on the menu @ Golden Age Beer?
The small food menu, which features items such as smash burgers, a chicken sandwich, buffalo wings and pierogies, also boasts a bratwurst sandwich that’ll make you feel like you’re dining at Oktoberfest in Munich.
The company’s German-made, 15-barrel BrauKon brewhouse and a reverse osmosis water purification system allows head brewer Aaron Dahl to make crisp, clean beers, including Kölsch, dry-hopped pilsner, Czech pilsner, pale ale, Helles, Vienna and Schwarzbier. The approachable lager styles are a hit with craft beer lovers as well as fans of macro breweries such as Anheuser-Busch.
The folks at Golden Age don’t bash people who swill Budweiser; in fact, Dahl is gearing up to brew a similar kind of adjunct lager brewed with corn.
Although the company offers crowler fills, they don’t can their beer or make it widely available outside of Homestead (find it on draft at Independent Brewing Company, Lorelei, Roundabout Brewery’s pop-up beer garden and Allegheny Wine Mixer). It’s best enjoyed on-site with friends. Hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Hoisting a stein of malt-focused Helles, Kurzweg takes a sip and smiles. The taste, he says, is like white bread with a little bit of honey.
“When lager is at its best, you get to focus on the one ingredient; a pilsner malt with a light touch of German hops over top of it,” he explains. “If you spend all of your time describing the beer, you’re not enjoying it much.”
📺 A delicious look at Pittsburgh
Check out three great shows that highlight the best places for food, drink and treats in Pittsburgh. All three shows are available to stream for free on Very Local.
- Ed and Day in the ‘Burgh – explore Pittsburgh neighborhoods and sample the best beer from local breweries with the hosts of the Drinking Partners podcast.
- Plate It, Pittsburgh! – Pittsburgh chefs race through a local farmer’s market and compete to see who can create the most Pittsburgh-inspired meal.
- What’s On The Menu Pittsburgh – A look at local restaurants, farmers and food trucks. From sweets to vegan eats, meet some of the people who are contributing to Pittsburgh’s vibrant food scene.
Looking for lager? Golden Age to Host Lager Fest on May 14
Of course, Golden Age isn’t the only area brewery churning out lagers.
Allegheny City Brewing Co. in Dutchtown recently hosted Logger Jam: a celebration of local lagers.
Allegheny City Brewing, which recently debuted its new beer garden off of East Ohio Street, will be one of more than 20 local, national and international beer-makers pouring their lagers at Golden Age Lager Fest on May 14. Tickets are available for $50 online.
The event will be held in two sessions at This Is Red, a creative agency located in a former Homestead church. Musical acts Sierra Sellers and Buffalo Rose will entertain the first from 1 to 4 p.m., while Natural Rat and The National Reserve provide the soundtrack to the second half from 6 to 9 p.m.
Dahl’s former employer, Chicago’s Alarmist Brewing, will be on hand. His girlfriend grew up in Glenshaw, and he met Kurzweg during a family visit that included a trip to nearby Grist House Craft Brewery. The couple moved to Pittsburgh last August so Dahl could helm the tanks at Golden Age.
“I felt pulled to this city,” he says.
Kurzweg hopes to make Lager Fest an annual event that’ll draw people to Homestead. In the meantime, he wants Golden Age to be a gathering place for local residents and lager lovers from around the world.
“We want to start a golden age of craft lager and help realize a new golden age for Home
Know before you go: Golden Age Beer Co.
Follow Golden Age Beer Co. on Instagram @goldenagebeer for updates on hours, specials and events.
📸 All photos courtesy Golden Age Beer Company