Erie Beer Society

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My wife and I went to the Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh on Saturday. Church is located in the old St. John's The Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, across the street from the ‘now closed’ Pittsburgh Brewery. I had two beers there –the Pipe Organ Pale Ale and a seasonal called Sleigh Wrecker.

I love a strong hop flavor in a craft brew and usually ask for the hoppiest thing on tap. If the wait staff knows their stuff, they usually will serve a tasty mug of just what the doctor ordered. Our waiter was superb. She knew the product line inside and out. She suggested the Thunder Hop as Church’s hoppiest drink. But because TH is only served in a bottle, I defaulted to the next hoppiest, Pipe Organ. Pipe Organ is now labeled as an APA – American pale ale. I thought Mad Anthony’s was the only APA. I guess our Erie secrets are getting out. The Pipe Organ was great – full bodied, strong flowery flavor and aroma. Low ABV and high IBU.

The Sleigh Wrecker made me nervous. The waiter told me (batting her eyes) it was her favorite; it had a vanilla (yuck), chocolate (yuck), and caramel flavor (yuck). So I don’t know if it was the eye batting or the fact that “Crown of Love by Arcade Fire was playing on the stereo, but I ordered a Sleigh Wrecker. What a surprise. What she brought was a very robust porter with a very nice hoppy-bittery finish. Yummy - Church Rocks!

And as good as the beer was the food was better. I try and follow a vegetarian diet when my wife and I eat out. I ordered the Asian Vegan Stir Fry - marinated tofu, seared vegetables and rice noodles tossed in a soy-ginger-garlic sauce. Awesome – awesome with a side note. There may have been a bit too much sauce.

For me Church is a thumbs up 4 star-fun!

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Comment by Lisa on January 19, 2010 at 1:26pm
Nice review! I am going to have to head to Church and check it out. Is the Sleigh Wrecker seasonal?

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