Beer novice. Beer intermediate. Beer…expert?
Stop in at a brewery, and there’s a good chance you can navigate your way through the offerings and land on a preferred style of (craft) beer.
IPA. DIPA. Lager. Stout. Porter. Wild Ale. Sour. Session.
At the root of every brewer’s funky and creative naming conventions exists a style/type/core ingredient that brings everything back to a relatable flavor pattern.
This week’s edition of ABV takes us to Leaning Cask (in Springdale). It’s a place where English Style beers shine bright. Co-owners Josh and Stefanie Lipke are madly in love with their dogs, and the pupper references can be found all over the menu as well.
What drew me to spotlight their AKA-K9 ale was the way this beer is categorized: ‘OTHER.’
ABV, volume VII
AKA-K9 – available now at Leaning Cask
Beer Name: AKA-K9
Style / ABV: AK Style Ale, 5.9% ABV
Why we recommend the AKA-K9:
To be honest, “mild brown bitter ale” did not jump out and scream “DRINK ME” right off the bat; but this is definitely something to appreciate amongst the sea of IPAs and Sours that are trending right now. I have yet to see anyone else (locally) attempt this particular style of beer. Made in the tradition of “AK” ales from the early 1900s, the AKA-K9 is described on Leaning Cask’s website as malty and easy drinking.
Leaning Cask opened in June 2017 and their steadfast consistency with British Style beer production has been a fascinating learning experience. Every beer they release is naturally carbonated and true to form in the cask-aging process. I highly recommend heading out to Springdale and trying the AKA-K9.
Where is the AKA-K9 available?
Leaning Cask, Springdale
When is it available?
Now. AKA-K9 is on draft and ready to be served up in the Leaning Cask taproom.
How is it served?
Get a fresh pint on draft in the taproom. Leaning Cask has growlers available as well (for carry out).
First time visitor to Leaning Cask?
Parking: yes. Absolutely, you can park (for free) at Leaning Cask. Just hit the lot directly behind the brewery near the ballfields and walk up. You can also park on the street in front of the brewery, just be mindful of the parking meters (depending on time of day).
Food: Leaning Cask does NOT have a kitchen, but they do an outstanding job booking food trucks. Hit their social media or calendar link on the website to see who will be serving up the eats every week.
Interior: it’s lovely, spacious, dog-friendly AND sport-friendly if you are looking to catch a Steelers or Penguins game. They rock with clean, well-stocked restrooms and a super friendly, helpful staff. Also, it’s a deceptively LARGE space (really nice for large groups), and the back room has sliding barn-door style partitions for private parties and group outings.
Getting to Leaning Cask – An easy bus ride to Springdale
Believe it or not, you absolutely CAN take the city bus to Leaning Cask. I know because one day, I did it. And it felt like literal door to door service (amazing). Transfer your way to the 1 (Outbound, toward Tarentum) and voila – there is a stop literally at the front doorstep of Leaning Cask. It’s a fun ride too – you just hug the Allegheny River all the way out.
Driving to Leaning Cask is super easy. Just follow Route 28 out to Springdale. Pretty much a straight shot. Uber and Lyft are easy peasy too.
Honorable Mention Beer
If the AKA-K9 isn’t your cup of tea or you are looking for another beer try. We recommend the War Hound, a collaboration with War Streets Brewery. It’s a black IPL (India Pale Lager) with a heck of a flavor pattern (see below).