Lost in Lawrenceville: Hop Farm Brewing Company

IMG_0030I don’t think I’d ever been past 52nd street along Butler before. I never really had a reason to. That was until I decided to make a visit to Hop Farm Brewing Company.

We bought  tickets for the 7:15pm showing of the Royal Tenenbaums at the Row House Theater but wanted to grab dinner nearby. I had never been to Hop Farm before and knew it was only a handful of blocks away from the theater so thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make a visit.

The venue is on the smaller side, but the beer packs a big taste. Several picnic tables fill the building around the bar. Nature scene photos hang above each table for you to admire as you sip your hoppy brew.IMG_0034

We grabbed the wooden picnic table by the front window and scanned the brew list. There was little surprise that most of the brews were of the hoppy nature. We decided to take advantage of the hoppy happy hour, (available weekdays 4:30 – 6:30p.m.) and quickly ordered a few beers.

My friend selected the Hop Farm IPA, the breweries flagstaff IPA. It is a combo of Cascade, Columbus, Apollo and Bravo hops. It poured gold with a scent of citrus and a touch of fruit. The flavor also had a hint of citrus and a bitter finish. It was a really good IPA.

IMG_0031My other friend selected the first brew on the menu – the Fuggin Fuggle. It was an English Mild Ale brewed with Fuggle and Styrian Goldings sitting at 4 % ABV. It pours dark and had an aroma of toasted malt and citrus. It had a medium body, bready malt caramel and a light finish.

I’m a huge fan of the blonde ales, so I selected the Butler Street Blonde. It’s a blonde Belgian ale that poured golden with a white head. The aroma was light Belgian yeast with fruity esters. It had a clean and nice taste.

I think out of the three, the Hop Farm IPA took home the gold medal and was my favorite.

In total, they have 14 taps and they focus on sustainability and local sourcing while producing their various ales. Aside from drafts, Hop Farm is very pro can while manufacturing their beer. They have several reasons to back their decision:

– Cans go where glass can not.
– Cans have the highest recycling rate of any beverage container in the U.S., far higher than glass and plastic.
– The average aluminum can is made from 68 percent total recycled content, the highest of any beverage container.
– Cans provide long shelf life by protecting products inside from light, oxygen and other factors which can affect taste and even product safety.
– Cans don’t shatter and are among the lightest beverage packages to transport, reducing their environmental footprint.
– Cans go from the recycling bin to store shelves within 60 days.
Making cans from recycled aluminum takes 95 percent less energy than using new metal or recycled glass.
– The aluminum can is the only package that more than covers its recycling costs, helping to finance the collection and recycling of other materials such as glass and plastic.

We were in a bit of a rush to make the movie in time, but the kind bartender reassured us that it would only be 15 minutes for any food order. The nice man lived up to his word.IMG_0032

I placed an order for the Greekish flatbread. It arrived shaped like a pizza pie topped with spinach, feta, olive oil and lamb sausage. It was crispy and the lamb was juicy and delicious. It hit the spot.

My friend Anna looked at the menu and knew there was only one thing she could order – the Kris and Anna. It was a buffalo chicken sausage sandwich topped with blue cheese and thinly sliced celery with chips and a pickle on the side. All she needed now was her Kris. I was impartial to the celery, but the sausage was awesome.

IMG_0035We continued with the Greek cuisine and lastly placed an order for grape leaves. Available in orders of 2 or 4, the locally made grape leaves are served hot or cold and sprinkled with seasoning and lemon.

The menu already has some great options, but I got some inside intel that burgers are coming soon. It gets even better people.

Experience Pittsburgh, One Bite at a Time.

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