Pittsburgh (Steel City) Brewery & Taproom Tours
The local beer scene of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has taken off during the last decade, along with everywhere else in America.
Tours offered by Pittsburgh Breweries
Sometimes all you want is to casually tour a brewery on your own. Low key, accessible, highly informal, just showing up to a brewery at the tour time is always a fun time. The downside is that sometimes tours fill up. Here are a few Pittsburgh breweries that offer in-person tours. The fix must be in because a lot of these breweries charge the same fee ($25) for a tour of their production facility. That said, some of them are well worth it.
East End Brewing Company
East End Brewing comes out swinging with a tour of their "bigger, better Brewery". You start in the Brewpub with beer before you are guided through the brewery, all while discussing the history of EEBC. That means 4 samples of current brews, followed by the educational "nature" walk, followed by a filled growler's worth of East End craft beer. The tour lasts an hour, but the memory lasts a lifetime. 21+ on the tour, no exceptions.
Grist House Craft Brewery
On occassion, Grist House will offer custom tours every hour on the hour on Saturdays. Limited to 10 people. Post-tour, or perhaps pre-tour, guests can load up on Hazedelic Juice Grenades and Solar Submarines. You can also walk about of Grist House several dollars lighter courtesy of the sweet merch they have available. Wearing their striped windbreaker will give you permission to tell complete strangers that you like the cut of their jib.
Hitchhiker Brewing Company Brewery Tour
You can enjoy a tour on the first Saturday of the month in the Sharpsburg taproom. It includes an in-depth tour of the brewery, a beer tasting, and, some glassware you can take home. Note - it is a paid tour ($25). Hitchhiker may be a dog friendly brewery, but we're not sure they let your [puppers](/puppers-beer/) around the beer, so it's best to check with management before bringing Fido to the brewery for a tour of the premises.
"Pittsburgh's Microbrewery" offers guided tours at 1:00pm on selected Saturdays. The tour will run you $25 per person. Included is a 16oz beer and a t-shirt or filled growler. No, those aren't typos. A pint plus merch or more beer. We're sold!
Penn Brewery also offers VIP sessions and Private tours. The VIP session upgrades you to more beer samples and a meet-and-greet with the brewer. It's going to run you an extra $20 dollars. Private tours run up to a max of 25 guests. There is a $200 fee that covers the first 10 people, with an additional $10 per head after that. You need to book a private tour a few weeks in advance.
Threadbare Cider House & Meadery
Threadbare offers both Private Adult Tours and Private Family Tours. For the former, a certified tour guide will take you through the cider creation process. This includes how Threadbare sources apples and yeasts, as well how they produce bottle-conditioned hard ciders. For the latter, parents and children get to enjoy some non-alcoholic cider to accompany their walk through the Cider House. Threadbare may even spin a yarn about the Steel City's own Johnny "Appleseed" Chapman.
Both tours run all week, with weekday availability from 11am-7pm, Saturday from 5:30pm-8pm, and Sunday from 11am-3pm. Min and Max guests range from 6-22. You need to make contact with Threadbare Cider House & Meadery first for a reservation.
Multi-Stop Guided Beer Tours in the Steel City
Pittsburgh Brew Tours (City Brew Tours Pittsburgh)
"You drink, We drive" is quite the tagline for City Brew Tours a regional/multi-state brewery tour company. City Brew Tours in Pittsburgh promises an unforgettable craft beer journey around the Steel City that for $70/person, feels quite worth it. Especially so given the range of beer sampling over 3 stops, comfy transpo, and guided lessons steeped in beer culture and the local craft beer scene. Tours are offered Wednesday through Sunday.
Porter Brewery Tours
If you're down to take a mini school bus around to a few brewpubs, Porter Brewery Tours is down to be your guide. Standard set up of 3 brewery stops, complete with music, snacks, and water. Porter Brew Tours feels slightly more casual in their approach, giving you time to enjoy 2-3 samples of beer at each brewery, while generally staying out of the way. An arrangement is generally made to enable you to get a tour from the owner/operators of a select brewery on the tour. Always good to meet the craft artisans and get insight into their brewing process and methods.
Steel City Brew Tours
SCBT is a full service party bus that, in simple terms, connects residents and tourists with craft beer in Pittsburgh. Birthday party guests, bachelorette's, and daydrinkers alike can enjoy a multi-hour, multi-brewery tour around the Steel City for reasonable prices. They even rent out the bus for maximum fun, like tailing at a Steelers game. Common stops include Grist House, Couch Brewery, and the Allegheny City Brewing Company.
Brewery, Bits and Bites Tour
'Burgh Bits & Bites Tours are more centered around food, but that doesn't mean they can't collaborate with PA Brew Tours to throw a solid beer tour to introduce folks to the local craft beer scene. The tour rolled through Bloomfield and included a stop at Church Brew Works as well. Hopefully this tour will resume again at a future date.
Brew Tours in Nearby Pennsylvania Cities & Counties
Liberty Brew Tours (LBT)
Liberty Brew Tours conducts business in Philadelphia along with Montgomery and Bucks county. Typical story of friends coming together with a love for and appreciation of craft beer. Breweries included on their tours are Crooked Eye Brewing, Tower Hill Brewery, Sacred Vice Brewing, Punch Buggy Brewing Company, and more. Tours run on the weekend and cost about $95 per person. LBT also books private tours. If that's what you're looking for, get in touch with them.
Tastings and Tours
T&T covers Lehigh/Berks County, Bucks County, and Cape May for craft beverage fun. We say craft beverage because Tastings and Tours hits breweries, distilleries, and wineries alike. Included in their tours are VIP access to the facilities and a lunch.
Brew Tour FAQs
What are brew tours good for?
Brewery tours are great for Bachelor/Bachelorette parties, Club Outings, Corporate Team Building events, Engagement Parties, and of course, pub crawling in general. It's best to keep the group manageable, so 6-12 people is ideal. If your party is larger, see if you can book a second (or third) Party Bus.
You could [throw your good buddy a super soft birthday party](/super-soft-birthday-party/) by chartering a brewery tour where every craft beer sampled was a kettle sour with added sugar making it taste like a funfetti cupcake. Despite it's hard name, the Steel City has it's fair share of breweries brewing sour beers
What do you "tour" in?
A typical brewery tour will be conducted in a Party Bus. Up in Portland, Maine, some folks run walking brew tours. Either is fine and both have benefits and drawback.
How long does a typical tour last?
In general, brewery tours take approximately 3 to 3.5 hours.