Independent Brewing Company Review – Go for Beer, Stay for the Food

Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on July 6, 2020.

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Independent Brewing Company is making a name for itself in Pittsburgh's drinking scene for its unique beer selection.

But did you know this one also serves a full menu that could go toe-to-toe with most restaurants? After hearing about a menu overhaul in early 2018, we made our way out to this one to have them give us their best shot!

Independent Brewing Company Has a Stellar Beer Bar

Independent Brewing Company in Squirrel Hill

When it comes down to it, the restaurant at Independent Brewing Company is only half of what you need to know. Where it truly shines is in its beer list, which is perhaps one of the best in all of Pittsburgh.

The reason for this is because the draft list at Independent Brewing Company is an interesting mix of local Pittsburgh beer, national favorites, and international gems you are unlikely to find anywhere else in the region.

Want to try an unusual Belgian sour, an ale from Japan, or a Saison from New Zealand? These are the kind of beers that you could potentially find on the highly curated list at Independent Brewing Company.

Independent Brewing Company in Squirrel Hill

Going further, one thing we really appreciated was the knowledge our server had on all of the beers, as he not only accurately described the flavors of the beers we were considering he also guided us to options based on what he thought would pair well with our food.

You just don't get that everywhere!

A Restaurant Menu on Its Own Right

Pimiento Cheese at Independent Brewing Company

Although the awesome beer program might be what brings you in to Independent Brewing Company, you should definitely check out the food as well.

The chef here is the superstar Jamilka Borges who has made a name for herself previously as the executive chef at Bar Marco and Spoon (now closed). The food menu is quite small, but it's the kind of menu where you can tell each dish and even each ingredient is so carefully and creatively thought out.

Snacks like beef empanadas and chicken liver mousse, seasonal salads and soups, and larger plates like sandwiches, gnocchi, and ribs are all tantalizing.

We started with the fried pimiento cheese- several delectable cornmeal-encrusted fritters of comforting, rich cheese. To offset the richness a sweet red bell pepper jelly was spooned on top.

Korean Fried Chicken at Independent Brewing Co.

Korean fried chicken was also on the menu and intrigued us, although it was a lesser favorite dish of the evening.

Although there was a nice crunch to the outer coating, we wished the sauce was spicier, and the chicken could have been juicier and more tender.

Scallops at Independent Brewing Company

The seasonal scallop dish was quite impressive, though. The scallops were cooked to tender perfection and a creamy rhubarb sauce was a beautiful tart but rich counterpoint. Pungent grilled ramps on top punctuated the dish nicely.

Artwork at Independent Brewing Company Pittsburgh

Although we were quite tempted on ordering dessert (lemon mousse! peanut butter s'more tart!), we decided to indulge in a more, ahem, liquid dessert. We made our way to Independent's sister bar next door, Hidden Harbor, for some tiki cocktails to round out the evening.

A good night out indeed.

Independent Brewing Company is located at 1704 Shady Avenue in Squirrel Hill.

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