It was a chill October evening in Millvale, PA! This small Pittsburgh neighborhood is the proud home of Grist House Brewing. This craft beer powerhouse opened its doors in 2014 when two childhood friends and brothers-in-law took their homebrewing passion to the next level! They took an old slaughterhouse, remodeled it into a brewery, packed it with equipment, and opened for business. With an outdoor Biergarten, picnic tables, a fireplace, string lights, rotating food trucks, and even dogs, you may be asking yourself “What doesn’t this place have?” Well I don’t have an answer to that because Grist House tops my list of favorite Pittsburgh microbreweries! Fellow HopShockian Jayme, HopShock contributor Brandon, and myself visited this hop-forward hotspot on a Friday night (along with TONS of other brew lovers). The casual music was enjoyable, the cool temperature was ideal, the numerous staff were inviting and knowledgeable, and the beer…don’t worry, we will get to that! The lively atmosphere alone was enough to entice me for the entire evening. You can even get a first-hand look at their brewing equipment from the taproom itself. It is impressive! But it’s time we get down to the real deal: let’s talk beer.
Red Shaman Lemonade Sour
To start, how about we check out the flashy standout: Red Shaman Lemonade Sour. This bright red body is only outdone by the sweet combination of raspberries and cherries that stimulate your taste buds. The balance of sweet and sour remind me of only one thing: Sweet Tarts! That playful candy we used to eat a whole pack of in one sitting is now flourishing in this unique craft beer experience. At only 4.5% ABV, I could down these like juice boxes! The sour was not too overpowering, the sweetness was on point, and the creamy texture made this brew truly one to remember.
KevMal’s Rating: 4.75/5
Double Vice Coffee Porter
Now it’s time to darken things up a bit! The Double Vice Coffee Porter is brewed with Indian Mysore Coffee from Allegheny Coffee and Tea Exchange. This brew gives off that scent of fresh brewed coffee in the morning (not Folgers…), and I couldn’t get enough of it. One taste and then the chocolate hit. A sweet and dark flavor that meshes beautifully with the coffee. A hint of vanilla sat in the aftertaste as well. This was the ideal beer for sitting outside on a fall evening, I couldn’t wish for a better pairing! Sitting at 6.3% ABV, it provides a good kick that will have you feeling good without taking it overboard. Porters are not my preferred beer, but I still really enjoyed this one.
KevMal’s Rating: 4.25/5
Ridgeback Rider IPA
Take a ride on the wild side, because here is Grist House’s famous International IPA: Ridgeback Rider. Recommended by the bartender, we made sure to include this brew in our flights, and it did not disappoint! The classic hazy body was our first indicator that this was going to be one juicy beer. The next foreshadowing was the strong citrus scent it was emitting. To my amazement, this brew looked and smelled even juicier than their Hazedelic Juice Grenade! The taste agreed with me. One sip and I knew this was my new favorite beer. It had barely surpassed my previous favorite: Rollin with the Puncheons by Strange Roots, which is conveniently located right down the street from Grist House. The Ridgeback clocks in at 7% ABV to give it just the bite it needs to make an impression on you while its lack of bitterness is welcoming to any style of beer lover. This standout brew was fermented hot with Voss Kveik yeast accompanied by El Dorado, Idaho 7, and Denali hops, making it complex with a smooth finish. The El Dorado and Denali hops make it burst with tropical sweetness, really focusing on the pineapple, mango, and grapefruit; while the Idaho 7 give it just a touch of pine. The crisp citrus and creamy body meld together to bring you a one-of-a-kind experience that I would recommend to anyone. Its biggest challenger in our flight was the Double Edged Sword, an imperial IPA that boasts ripe tangerine, pear, and grapefruit flavors. The duel between these two brews was no easy match, but after finishing my tasters of each I had to declare Ridgeback Rider the victor.
KevMal’s Rating: 5/5
Our flights were finished, our thirst was quenched, and we were more than satisfied. With a large variety of unique beers, solid prices, and a comfortable environment, Grist House was everything our group wanted in a microbrewery. There’s no doubt we will be back for more!
One trip to Grist House is never enough for HopShock; so on a Sunday in November we made our second trip to this enticing craft brew experience. Not only did we enjoy a refreshingly sweet and sour draft of Red Shaman, but we picked up a 4-pack of their newest can release:
Lucid Liger Double IPA
Napoleon Dynamite would be proud of this elusive creature’s captivating can art and utterly satisfying flavor. The Lucid Liger is a combination of the Lucid Pelican and Lucid Manatee, this bitter beverage clocks in at 8% ABV and gives you a little bit of everything. The body of this brew exemplifies the haze craze you see in New England IPA’s but do not be fooled, this mythical beast will bite. The initial aroma gives off a sweet scent with floral hints in the background. Brewed with flaked oats and wheat, I got a significant grain-y vibe from the Liger as well. The first sip was full of citrus flavor, from which I assumed was possibly orange and pineapple. What separates this from the Ridgeback is the strong bite I got with that citrus. I would have to guess some pretty substantial IBU’s from this creature. The hops really stood out and proved this brew’s worth as a double IPA. Grist House continues to brew top quality beer with unique ingredients and a comforting environment. The Lucid Liger fits that mold with a wonderfully hazy body, sweet aroma, and a flavor-filled bitterness in every sip. The result: a truly satisfying experience for all IPA fans.
KevMal’s Rating: 4.75/5
So go ahead and check out gristhouse.com to see what’s on tap and drive on out to Millvale to experience it all for yourself!