Watch Us In Your Living Room
Enjoy Very Local on the big screen.
Visit your favorite app store to download.

2020: The Year in Pittsburgh Beer

Despite pandemic-related difficulties, Pittsburgh has continued to punch above its weight in craft beer with notable moments and memorable stories.

by Aadam Soorma
December 29, 2020

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

For our 2020 grand finale, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite stories from the past year about Pittsburgh beer.

That’s right. It’s an end-of-year recap piece for folks who may have missed some of the notable moments in our local beer scene. From bike quests to virtual beer fests, the pandemic did little to stop Pittsburgh’s vibrant brewing scene.

What else would you add to the list? What was the best beer you tried this year? What are you looking forward to in 2021? We’d love to hear from you!

Drop me an email: [email protected].

Cheers and thanks for reading this 100th edition of our beer column, ABV.

2020 Pittsburgh Beer in Review

ABV, Volume C

Mike Cottle Rides his Bike to 29 Breweries in 10 Weeks

Our Story: Quarantine Quest: Mike Cottle bikes to every brewery in the Pittsburgh Brewers Guild to show support for local breweries during the pandemic

Follow: Mike Cottle on Instagram


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Michael C Cottle (@michaelccottle)

Several Pittsburgh-Area Breweries Begin Offering Home Delivery

Our Story: Local breweries that are now offering home delivery. Plus, take a listen to our interview with Scott Smith from East End Brewing on how they adapted to the changes in March.

Follow: A great local beer resource, the Pittsburgh Brewers Guild has helpful information available on their Facebook page.

Fresh Fest Beer Festival Goes Digital

Our Story: Fresh Fest goes Digital

Our Podcast: Hear Day Bracey, Fresh Fest co-founder, explain the digital pivot in his own words on Ep 34 of The Slaw

Follow: Fresh Fest on Facebook

Brew Gentlemen Expands Brewing Capacity & Unveils Slim Cans for Distribution

Our Story: Brew Gentlemen kicks off slim cans with ‘General Braddock’s IPA’

Follow: Brew Gentlemen on Instagram


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Brew Gentlemen (@brewgentlemen)

Trace Brewing Announces a Paid Vocational Program, Aims to Diversify the Beer Industry

Our Story: Trace Brewing opens in Bloomfield

Follow: Trace Brewing on Instagram

Dancing Gnome Collaborates with Iron City to Resurrect the Robin Hood Cream Ale

Our Story: The return of the Robin Hood Cream Ale from Pittsburgh Brewing Company and Dancing Gnome

Follow: Dancing Gnome on Instagram

Virtual Beer Festival “Cheers, Yinz!” Donates 100% of Proceeds Back to Participating Breweries

Story, via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Cheers, Yinz virtual festival

Follow: Fueled By Hops on Instagram


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Fueled By Hops (@fueledbyhops_)

Pittsburgh-Area Breweries get Creative with Outdoor Seating Options

Story, via Good Food Pittsburgh: Beer Gardens & Outdoor Breweries

Follow: Good Food Pittsburgh on Facebook

Old Thunder Rumbles into Blawnox

Our Story: The final brewery to launch in 2020, Old Thunder Brewing, is now open inside the former Blawnox Post Office

Follow: Old Thunder Brewing on Instagram

All of the new breweries that opened in Pittsburgh in 2020

Quarantines and shutdowns did little to stop the flow of beer in the ‘Burgh. Here are 8 new breweries that opened in and around Pittsburgh this year.

Header Photo courtesy of Nicole Dunlap, Tranquil Fern Photography.

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

Super Punch: The Spirit of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is the only U.S. city that imports Super Punch – a dark, Italian amaro. We take a deep dive into this viscous spirit and its ties to the region.

Pyre Press Makes Its Mark on Metal

Known for their distinctive four-sided band tees—with detailed prints on the front and back as well as the sleeves—Pyre Press now creates merch for many of Pittsburgh’s underground metal bands.

True crime stories from local communities

Two serial killers whose chilling crimes left their communities devastated.

Ed and Day in the ‘Burgh

Comedians, podcasters and craft beer enthusiasts Ed Bailey and Day Bracey explore hot spots, hidden gems and the best places to grab a cold brew in the ‘Burgh.

Beyond Bargain Books: A Peek into Boston’s Oldest Bookstore

Located on West Street, Brattle Bookshop is one of the oldest used and antique bookstores in the country. 

More Than a Cup of Joe: Boston’s Best Boutique Cafes

In Boston, a great cup of coffee is just around the corner. Here are a few special coffee shops you can try. 

12 Binge-Worthy Boston Movies to Cozy Up With This Winter

Pahk yah cah, grab a beer, and escape with these Boston-based hits.

Ain’t Dere No More: Canal Street’s Dime a Dozen store

In 1884, Robinson’s Mammoth Dime Museum and Theatre opened on Canal Street, housing novelties and variety acts daily for a thin dime.

Gov. Esteban Miró: The Man who Remade New Orleans

Esteban Miro, the longest serving governor of the Louisiana colony, implemented numerous policies during his tenure to make New Orleans a thriving port city.

What is Very Local?

Whatcha gifting? The best gifts for Pittsburgh beer lovers

We asked a handful of Pittsburgh beer enthusiasts and insiders (including a beer drinking Santa) what they plan to gift each other this holiday season.

Pittsburgh Oktoberfest beers

🍻 Prost! Guide to Oktoberfest beers from Pittsburgh Breweries

A look at Oktoberfest beers from Pittsburgh breweries.

dog-friendly breweries

🐾 A guide to dog-friendly breweries in Pittsburgh

Our faithful four-legged friends rode out quarantine nestled next us, from the halcyon days of sourdough starters through the long, dark, interminable cold of Pittsburgh winter. And now that we’re vaccinated, the plan is to leave them, home alone, while we sip IPAs in the sun? Better yet, take Fido along: here’s a list of Pittsburgh breweries with dog-friendly outdoor spaces.

Where to Pick Up locally brewed Dad Beers for Father’s Day

Just in time for this weekend – we rounded up 15 of our favorite Pittsburgh dad beers you can mix into your plans for celebrating Father’s Day.