Penn Brewery began brewing craft beer back in 1986, making us one of the earliest pioneers in the American craft movement. We started out brewing classic lagers and German beer styles, adhering to the strict quality standards of the 16th-century Bavarian Reinheitsgebot purity laws. As we’ve expanded our lineup in recent years to include IPAs and other contemporary styles like chocolate and pumpkin beers, we’ve stayed true to our quality craftsmanship, brewing all of our beers by hand with top-tier barley and hops. We’re proud to say that Penn beers have won a total of twenty Great American Beer Festival® and World Beer Cup® medals.
Penn Brewery’s restaurant serves “ethnic-Pittsburgh” fare including wurst, schnitzel, pierogi, and goulash alongside contemporary Pittsburgh favorites, like the "French fry salad," flatbreads, and sandwiches. In the spirit of our classic Pittsburgh theme, our menu emphasizes fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. A lovely cobblestone biergarten is open seasonally. Private party bookings are also available (Visit the Private Parties Page for more info).
You can also enjoy all of our beers, along with a full bar and breakfast, lunch, and dinner at our Pittsburgh International Airport location.
Penn Brewery is also the city’s biker-friendly brewery, and a proud Bike Pittsburgh business member! Our location is a great starting and stopping point for rides along the river trails, which are easily accessible via the adjacent pedestrian bridge over Route 28. We'll be happy to fill your water bottle for free, and we keep a tire pump, patch kit and tools available for quick minor repairs in case of a breakdown.
Penn Brewery is proudly independently owned and operated.
Brewing Craft Before It Was Cool
Although the modern-day Penn Brewery was started in 1986, our roots actually lie far back in 1848, with the Eberhardt and Ober families, Germans who settled in the Deutschtown neighborhood in the City of Allegheny, now Pittsburgh’s NorthSide. Three breweries originally operated on the site where Penn Brewery exists today, and these underwent various mergers, acquisitions, and restructurings over the second half of the nineteenth century. Three of the buildings from the era of the Eberhardts and Obers remain as part of the present-day Penn Brewery complex. These buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and boast many unique architectural features. Perhaps the most notable of these is a labyrinth of stone caves and tunnels which was constructed to chill, or “lager,” barrels of beer in the days before refrigeration became commonplace. Penn is one of just a handful of remaining US breweries that still has lagering caves.
The E&O and the Ober Bros. Breweries brewed beer at this location for several decades and eventually merged with a number of other regional breweries to become part of Pittsburgh Brewing Company in 1899. Beer production continued - with a break during Prohibition - until 1952, under such labels as E&O Pilsner and Dutch Club.
Today’s Penn Brewery beer brand was born in 1986, when the flagship Penn Pilsner variety was contract manufactured, first at Pittsburgh Brewing, and later at Jones Brewing Co. Penn opened its own brewing operation at the E&O site beginning in 1989, in the historic buildings that had been restored with the assistance of the North Side Civic Development Corporation. The restaurant also opened in 1989 as Allegheny Brewery & Pub and was renamed Penn Brewery in 1994. Notably, Penn Brewery was the first “tied house,” i.e., restaurant tied to a brewery, in Pennsylvania since Prohibition.
In addition to being the oldest and largest brewery in Pittsburgh, Penn is also one of the oldest craft breweries in the country. We’re more than just a brewery – we’re a piece of beer history.
(Old architectural photos from Eliza Smith Brown, Landmarks Design Associates)
Original safe from the E&O business office. Photo taken circa 1987, prior to building restoration.
Brewery complex prior to its restoration in the late 1980's.
Penn Brewhouse prior to its restoration in the late 1980's.
Eberhart & Ober Brewery employees, date unknown.
Aerial view of brewery complex, circa 1930
The bottling line
19th-century lagering cave