ABV: Conversion // Hitchhiker’s refreshing, sessionable blonde ale

Pick up a Hitchhiker? Don’t mind if I do. Here’s a lightweight, rainy day beer to channel our Steel City springtime vibes.

by Aadam Soorma
April 2, 2019

ABV is our weekly series that highlights a different beer from a local (Pittsburgh) brewery every week. Check out our past picks here.


I’ve been there before. And I’ll be there again.

Sitting and staring at the muted video screen.

Every time I visit Hitchhiker, my eyes are enamored by their signature looping video reel. If you’ve been, you know what I’m talking about. The television mainstay greets guests upon entry at their Sharpsburg-based brewery.

Hitchhiker Brewing Co. Promo from Daniel Pipitone on Vimeo.

 

“Pick Up A Hitchhiker” feels so on-brand for these fiercely independent dudes churning out some truly unique beers.

Let’s get to it.

ABV, volume IX

Conversion – available now at Hitchhiker Brewing

Beer Name: Conversion

Style / ABV: Dry Hopped Blonde Ale, 4.5% ABV

Photo: Hitchhiker Brewing

Why we recommend it: I read ‘Blonde Ale’ and felt intrigued. It was the ‘lightly dry hopped’ descriptor that drew me right in. The Conversion is brewed with Pilsner malt and, per Hitchhiker’s website, hopped lightly with Amarillo (a hop strain) and dry hopped with a touch of Amarillo as well.

Hitting the fermenter with a continuation of (light) dry hopping brings out the IPA vibes, but don’t be fooled. You’ll be amongst ALL the aromas and tastes in Conversion, including lemon peel, fresh bread, crackers, and blossoms. This is an excellent beer.

Fun Fact: Conversion is light and feathery at 4.5% ABV. The array of flavors are easy on the palate and, to be honest, this beer feels as though it should have more gravity. The aftertaste is pleasant. The first few sips felt subtle; as I worked my way through the pint, a palpable crescendo emerged. It left me (gently) wanting more.

Where is it available: Hitchhiker Brewing (Sharpsburg and Mount Lebanon).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVDtUwLhr54/

When is it available: Conversion is available right now

How is it served: Enjoy a fresh pour (at either location) on draft. It’s best to ask about growlers (or crowlers) for carry out, as Hitchhiker’s policy is to evaluate their yield of (existing) 4-packs before making a decision. Conversion is a mainstay at Hitchhiker and generally available year-round.

Honorable Mention Beer: Literally everything Hitchhiker brews is honorable and worthy of mention. Their taproom’s style diversity is awe-inspiring.

No surprise here, your resident hipster recommends either the Barbarian (NEIPA, 7.5%) or the Internet Vacation (Smoothie Sour, 7.0%). Both are rad and significantly different from Conversion (most notably in strength). Ka Pow.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvhkE0KBkqr/

Visiting Hitchhiker in Sharpsburg (or Mount Lebanon)

First Time Visitor to Hitchhiker?

Parking (Mt Lebo): two free lots on either side of the building AND free on-street parking all around the brew pub.

Parking (Sharpsburg): free on-street parking on most of the adjacent streets as well as the municipal lots just a couple blocks away on 13th Street.

Pro Tip: both Hitchhiker locations are tucked among residential areas. It’s best to be mindful of families and residents of their respective neighborhoods. In other words, you might need to walk a few blocks because “all the good spots” will usually be taken by folks whose houses are proximal to the brewery. #Etiquette 🙂

Food?

Mount Lebanon: Yes, food is available at the taproom

Sharpsburg: not in-house, but they rotate through a collection of food trucks most days of the week.

Interior?

Mount Lebanon: very cute, cozy and a lovely outdoor space too.

Sharpsburg: Hitchhiker built their (Sharpsburg) production facility INSIDE a former brewery. It’s a huge space featuring a 25-foot-long, steel-topped bar and mega high ceilings. You can peek through a window into the actual brew space (it’s also huge). Or, on the first Saturday of every month, you can sign up for their in-depth brewery tour: it’s $25, includes a beer tasting AND you can take home the souvenir glassware.

Getting to Hitchhiker
Sharpsburg: Super easy ride on the 91 bus. Pick up / drop off is just a couple blocks away on Main Street. You can also take the 1.

Mt Lebo: Two T lines service the brewery. If you can, catch the T (red line) outbound and hop off at Poplar. Bingo, you’re a 4-min walk to the brew pub.

Uber / Lyft: per usual, always a smart move after some beers.

 

Hitchhiker Brewing - Brewery & Tap Room
Getting there
1500 S Canal St #2541, Pittsburgh, PA 15215, USA
Hours
Mon Closed
Tue-Fri 4–10pm
Sat 12–10pm
Sun 12–8pm
More Info

In 2012, Aadam moved to Pittsburgh. He's currently parked (sans chair) in Lawrenceville and plans to stay a while. On the weekends, you'll find him driving a small green bus (Porter Tours) as he leads tours at local breweries. Got a fun story idea? DMs are open: @asoorma.

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.

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.

Not your typical Asian takeout — a guide to international takeout food in Pittsburgh

Let’s talk international food from Korea, Thailand, India, Uzbekistan and more! This isn’t your typical takeout box.

Homestead’s Golden Age Beer Co. is ushering in a golden age of lagers

Homestead’s Golden Age Beer Company is in business to shine a light on the time-honored brews.

What’s On The Menu?: Pittsburgh Staples

Pierogies Plus, Salem’s Market & Grill, Big Jim’s, and Max’s Tavern and staples in the Pittsburgh community. Find out what it takes to create a business that lasts in the Steel City.