When Wigle Whiskey opened their barrelhouse in the North Side in 2014, we weren't entirely sure what to think.
The location on Spring Garden Avenue is a little off-the-beaten-path even for North Siders, and the seasonal operating schedule from May to October gives a limited window to check it out in any given year.
But after visiting this one several times over the years, for themed parties, bottle releases, or to simply enjoy a cheap cocktail with Wigle's stellar spirits, we have to say that this one has become one of our favorites.
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Bottle Releases, Food Trucks, and More
The barrelhouse is, at its core, just that- a massive warehouse where Wigle ages nearly a thousand barrels full of spirits for months or years on end.
Visitors can catch a glimpse of the racks of barrels while drinking, but the true highlight of this location (outside of taking a tour to see the racks in more depth) is for the ambiance and frequent events!
In fact, the events are what make Wigle's barrelhouse an exciting spot to visit as throughout the season they offer many themed festivities, such as:
- Bottle Labelings – Those who help out get free drinks and samples of the new spirit! (Free Entry!)
- Bottle Releases – Tickets often include two cocktails, tons of free samples, first access to buy a bottle, and more. ($15 in 2017)
- Drinking Buddies – A Saturday summer series pairing a food truck, beer, and cocktails for a dining pairing. (Free Entry!)
- Sonntag – A Sunday summer series with a rotating beer samples from North Side breweries. (Free Entry!)
- Festivals – If the above is not enough, Wigle also throws random festivals with themed cocktails and food truck menu items for good measure. (Free Entry!)
Some are low key, others are massive celebrations with live music, food trucks, and free flowing samples.
What more could you ask for?
The thing we love most is that most all of the events at the barrelhouse are free, with the exception of bottle release parties (but at $15 a ticket including two cocktails and tons of samples, you can't beat that price). This means you have more money at your disposal for cheap cocktails, food trucks, and, what gets us more often than not, a bottle!
Throw in the fact that the location is a bit unusual, and you have a great little spot that is still under the radar from the crowds at large.
Yes, events sell out. Yes, the food trucks are quite popular (especially during ticketed events). But even with all that, Wigle's barrelhouse feels like an intimate spot for drinking, socializing, and enjoying an evening out in Pittsburgh.
Just the way we like it.
A Great Seasonal Addition to the North Side
If you are considering a visit to Wigle's Barrelhouse, it is important to note that they have rather limited hours at this location over the Strip District distillery.
First, the barrelhouse is typically only open from May to October each year (starting with a barrel roll from the Strip District distillery to open the season).
Second, hours are only limited to the afternoons and evenings on select days of the week (typically Wednesday to Saturday but varies based on month).
And finally, the majority of seating at this one is outside, so be sure plan your visit according to the weather or else you'll be standing close to several new friends inside their limited bar area!
When it comes down to it, the North Side is very fortunate that Wigle decided to call the neighborhood home for their growing barrelhouse. Limited hours aside, this spot is the perfect place for sampling cocktails made by Wigle's delicious spirits and enjoying a beautiful summer or fall evening in Pittsburgh.
You won't regret a visit here!
Wigle Whiskey's Barrelhouse and Whiskey Garden is located at 1055 Spring Garden Avenue in the North Side.
Looking for more drinking in the North Side? Head a few blocks down the road to Threadbare Cider House (also owned and operated by the folks from Wigle)!