Palate Partners Classes Offer a Dive into the World of Wine

If you've read other articles on our site, you'd likely know by now that we are a bit wine crazy. Not only are we visiting all of the best Pittsburgh wine bars and local wineries, but we also have taken many wine certification classes through the global program WSET (Jeremy is working on Level 4, Angie has completed WSET Level 2) and even run our own wine blog as a side project.

We trace this love affair with wine back to one particular source, the wine school Palate Partners in Lawrenceville where we've visited for many of their informal First and Third Friday tastings over the years (it is also where we took our WSET Level 2 class as they are authorized instructors for some levels of the program).

The informal tastings are great for those who want to get into wine because they are relaxed and take a somewhat high-level discussion into the wines you are sampling. You don't have to know anything at all about wine to have a great time at these. But for those who want to go a bit deeper, but perhaps not into certification level, Palate Partners offers a number of other themed classes to try out each month as well.

We recently were guests of Palate Partners for a Super Tuscan class, and thought it'd be fun to share a bit more about what the focused lessons are like!

Read more

Mike’s Beer Bar Celebrates All Things Locally Made Beer

When we go out to bars in the city, we are often dismayed about how little our Pittsburgh brewery scene is represented on draft lists. In the many, many bars we have visited, it seems like local brews are generally overlooked for larger and more nationally known craft brewers.

This is, on its own, not necessarily a bad thing- we still can find a great craft beer either way. But this viewpoint comes about as we live in a region with nearly 100 breweries within an hour of downtown, and with that kind of stock, you would think more places would carry them as a focal point on the menu!

Enter Mike's Beer Bar on the North Shore. This one may look like just another bar near PNC Park, but is one that elevates their offering with over 80 beers on tap, a monster can selection (500+ bottles), and, perhaps the best part, almost all of them are local!

Read more

Lawrenceville Distilling is a Hidden Gem in the Neighborhood

Lawrenceville Distilling started making craft spirits in their namesake neighborhood in 2018. Since then, their popularity increased quite a bit to the point that they were awarded the title of Pennsylvania's Gin Distillery in 2019 and Absinthe Distillery in 2020 by the New York International Spirits Competition.

Unfortunately for us, we only made it into this gem of a distillery (tucked away off of the booming Butler Street) in late 2021. While we would still say that this one only has a few spirits available to purchase, their cocktail program and resident food pop-up make for a delightful night out all around.

Read more

Drink the Cookie Table is the Kind of Pittsburgh Beer Fest We Love

When it comes to Pittsburgh beer festivals, for a while it felt like we had seen it all. We've been to Beers of the Burgh (100% Western PA focused), Rose All Day (all things rose- beer, wine, and other spirits), and even the Good Wood Festival (where everything must have seen the inside of a barrel) to name a few.

It wasn't until the local beer website and podcast, Fueled by Hops, launched a beer festival in 2021 that we realized we were missing a category. Drink the Cookie Table was focused on all things dessert beer and brought both local and popular national breweries together to share their most devious sweet creations all under the branding of Pittsburgh's favorite wedding tradition- the cookie table. 

We were fortunate enough to attend Drink the Cookie Table as guests of our friends at Fueled by Hops, and share a bit more about what it was like in this one to get you excited for when it (hopefully) returns next!

Read more

Bar Botanico is the Cocktail Bar that Lawrenceville Needs

I know what you're thinking- another bar in Lawrenceville?!

For the longest time, we thought this neighborhood was already at its max of bars. But it wasn't until we were able to get in and experience Bar Botanico that we realized Lawrenceville was missing one specific kind of bar that we thoroughly enjoy- a higher-end cocktail bar. And if there is anything you know about us, we love good cocktail bars in Pittsburgh.

From the drinks to the vibe and the food (presently provided by Troy Hill-based Scratch & Co), Bar Botanico really knocked things out of the park- not just on drinks, but the entire package.

Read more

10 Great Pittsburgh Distilleries to Check Out for Libations

We can think back to a time in the not-so-distance past when there were no distilleries in Pittsburgh at all (distilleries in the form we know and love, at least).

Yes, it seems unusual to think that the region known for the historic Whiskey Rebellion from 1791-1794 would somehow ever be devoid of distilleries outright. This all came about thanks to an arcane law that prevented distilleries from having on-site sales and as such only a few operated in the state- mostly for commercial sales direct to bars, the state store, and other indirect consumers.

It wasn't until the founders of Wigle Whiskey lobbied to get the law change that our distillery scene really started to take off with the on-site bar programs we know and love. For reference of time scale, this was only in 2012, and with the change in laws, Wigle became the first distillery to open in the city limits and only the third to open in the state at all!

As such, Pittsburgh's distillery scene can only be defined as young but growing rapidly. Distilleries, like Wigle, that were founded around the start of the rule change are only recently starting to get aged products that rival other regions that have been producing for decades, and not a year goes by that several new distilleries pop onto the scene as well.

In this one, we want to briefly share a bit about all of the distilleries we've been to so far!

Read more

Lorelei Review – Bringing Alpine Cocktails and Beer to East Liberty

Lorelei is another stellar bar concept operated by the team behind Independent Brewing Company and Hidden Harbor in Squirrel Hill.

But rather than adding into their collection of bars at the corner of Forbes and Shady Avenue, this one is located in the heart of East Liberty– bringing a much welcomed addition to the neighborhood's drinking scene.

We were recently invited out by the team at Lorelei to check out the new space, and share our thoughts in this full review! (Note that this review has been updated to reflect additional visits that we made on our own as well.)

Read more

The Summit Review – Mount Washington’s Neighborhood Cocktail Bar

Cocktail bars have a weird way of chasing us whenever we move to a new Pittsburgh neighborhood. When we left Squirrel Hill to move to Mount Washington, Hidden Harbor opened up one block away from our former apartment. When we left Mount Washington, the same happened with an old bar there turning into The Summit.

While we lament the fact that we could've lived just one block away from either of these wonderful cocktail bars, we have returned time and time again to enjoy their stellar creations all the same.

In this one, we wanted to share a bit more about what you can expect from The Summit as it is truly the premier cocktail bar on top of Mount Washington!

Read more

The Roundabout Popup is a Relaxing Beer Garden on the Ohio River

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 (now former) 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. 

Read more

Quantum Spirits Review – Delicious Libations and Food in Carnegie

With the liquor laws easing in Pennyslvania, many brewers, distillers, and alcohol aficionados have been looking at getting into the business of helping appease a thirsty population.

In Carnegie, Quantum Spirits has been improving the libations game one spirit and cocktail at a time.

While this one is still young by distillery standards, with each passing year they are getting better and better with their spirits, bar program, and now even a full kitchen with a stellar food menu as well!

Read more