Last Updated on July 26, 2021 by Jeremy
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We regularly lament the lack of riverfront drinking options in Pittsburgh, and whenever a new space comes out onto the scene we try and get as much of it as we possibly can.
One of the longest-running riverfront beer gardens comes from the Lawrenceville-based brewery, Roundabout, and is the kind of urban oasis we absolutely adore. But to enjoy this one, you're not going to be heading to the Allegheny River in Lawrenceville, but rather the Ohio River in Chateau (just steps from Bicycle Heaven)!
It really is hard to beat this one on a hot summer night.
Industrial Riverfront Space Meets Brewery at the Roundabout Popup
Over the years, we've come to love Roundabout's popup for a number of reasons.
First is, of course, for their delicious brews. We are suckers for the Ginga Wheat which seems to be on draft at the popup more often than not. Beyond this, we have also stumbled upon many seasonal gems from the brewery like a margarita gose in the summer, spiced stouts in the fall, and more (plus a good staple list of brews of various styles). While the draft list here changes slowly over the course of a season as opposed to an entire overhaul each week, we've often had enough variety within the five or six beers available to be happy every time we go.
Second is the ambiance. The brewery leases an outdoor patio at what appears to be an old warehouse that is located right on the Ohio River. On one side you have an old industrial building and on the other you have a gorgeous river view that faces in the direction of sunset. Is there anything more Pittsburgh than old industrial buildings right on the river? This comes together for a rather unique vibe that is amazing at golden hour, even better at sunset, and perfect if the Gateway Clipper or a river barge passes by at that time too (see below).
Third is a tangent of the location as the prime river trail lot makes it a great spot for those who want to start (and subsequently end) a long bike ride on the North Shore River Trail or the Great Allegheny Passage. You can take the trail the popup to Millvale and back for a nice, roughly eight-mile ride or you can extend the ride as long as you want by crossing the Fort Duquesne Bridge to connect up to the GAP. No matter what you do, if you start your ride from the popup you can then end it there with a refreshing beer!
We've honestly lost count of how many times we do this and sometimes just go on a long bike ride as a means to justify the beer. (We actually have a number of breweries accessible via bike trails that we ride regularly for the combo. Click the previous link to check out that article!)
Then there is the food, as the popup regularly attracts some of the best food trucks in Pittsburgh. While these can rotate quite a bit (including some nights without food altogether) we've noted that Alberta's Pizza, Blowfish BBQ, and La Palapa tend to be somewhat regular guests to name a few. Pizza, barbecue, or tacos with a beer on the water? Yes, please.
Finally, there are one-off events as well. One day we saw a bagpipe troupe was scheduled to play live music and of course we had to make our way down to hear a few songs with a beer. While these events are not terribly frequent, you would do well to follow the popup's Instagram account just to make sure as they have had some fun things throughout the years.
So on the surface what sounds like a rather simple popup comes together for something that just works greater than the sum of its parts. Great beer, gorgeous views, a relaxing vibe, and one-off events? If you've ever wanted to know what place we spend the most time in any given month when the weather is nice, well, look no further than the Roundabout popup!
Roundabout's Popup is located at 1836 Oxline Street on the North Shore River Trail just around the corner from Bicycle Heaven. Free parking is available at the trailhead right in front of the popup. Note that the popup is seasonal, weather dependent, and does not typically have fixed hours so it is worth checking their Instagram to ensure they'll be open on any given day (and what food truck may be there, too!).