Photo courtesy of Recon Brewing.

Sit. Stay. Sip. Good beer lover.

As summer inches closer, taprooms are turning up the heat with new locations and a post-Covid return to business as usual.

Recon Brewing

Like the reconnaissance vehicle it’s named after, Recon Brewing is on the move.

After debuting its Cranberry location in April, the Butler-based brewery is opening a satellite spot in South Fayette.

The third beer base will be located in The Crossroads at Hastings, a Charter Homes & Neighborhoods development at 1502 Orion Road. Construction is underway on the facility, which is expected to open later this year.

Last summer, Over the Bar Bicycle Café’s third eatery opened at Hastings, which boasts 500 homes, green spaces and a central shopping area. Recon’s Cranberry spot in The Crossroads at Meeder is also nestled in a Charter community.

“Everyone’s looking for a place to belong, and when I take a walk through the neighborhood at Meeder, the homeowners go out of their way to make me feel like it’s my home, too,” says Dave Bestwick, co-owner of Recon Brewing. “So, when the opportunity presented itself to be a part of The Crossroads at Hastings community, we jumped at the chance.”

Photo courtesy of The Leaning Cask Brewing Company.

The Leaning Cask Brewing Company

The courtyard is ready to seat you now. The Leaning Cask at 850 Pittsburgh St. in Springdale hosted a soft opening for its outdoor spot last weekend in conjunction with the brewery’s fourth anniversary. The 2,000-square-foot, four-tiered space has seating for 50, but there’s enough room for 100 beer lovers (and their dogs).

Co-owner Stefanie Lipke says they’re currently putting the finishing touches on the space by adding fireplaces, ambient lighting, decor and outdoor games, so folks can kick off summer in style.

The Riverside Stage at Allegheny Overlook Pop-up Park. Photo by Randal Coleman courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Brew Gentlemen

Throughout the pandemic, Brew Gentlemen’s taproom has been empty.

While the popular Braddock spot continued to churn out cans for distribution and curbside pickup, on-site beer consumption was suspended.

Now, 15 months after tapping out due to Covid, the dapper dudes are setting up a temporary beer garden at Allegheny Overlook, a new pop-up park on Fort Duquesne Boulevard.

From June 24 through September, they will serve beer and other beverages at the Downtown site seven days a week. Situated between Stanwix and 7th streets, the pop-up park will also offer food and live entertainment. When the outdoor stint is over, Brew Gentlemen will head back to 512 Braddock Ave. to prepare the building for visitors once again.

Ben Butler, co-owner of Necromancer Brewing Co., pours a beer for a thirsty customer. Photo by Kristy Locklin.

Taproom openings

After more than a year, Grist House welcomed people back inside its Millvale location at 10 E. Sherman Street. It will operate from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. A rotating lineup of food trucks will supply the grub.

Another North Hills beer stop is allowing on-site consumption: Necromancer Brewing at 2247 Babcock Blvd. in Ross Township is selling suds by the can, along with to-go four-packs, from 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday, noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. There’s a small selection of light snacks for sale and guests are welcome to bring in their own food.

Over in Garfield, Two Frays Brewery is preparing its taproom for visitors. You can be one of the first people to belly up to the bar at 5113 Penn Ave. starting June 17 from 3 to 9 p.m. The doors will be open from noon to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Caliente Pizza & Draft House takes over Sharp Edge

The owners of Caliente know a beer and a slice make the perfect meal; that’s why they’re bringing pies and pints back to two former Sharp Edge locations.

The title-holders of the Best Pizza in America accolade announced its plans to open new eateries in Sewickley (510 Beaver Street) and Crafton (288 W. Steuben St.), bringing the company’s total to seven restaurants.

Each Caliente site features a unique beer selection that rotates monthly, along with gourmet pizza, including vegan-friendly options.

“In 2019, we announced our plans to open a new location in Green Tree, but the pandemic had other plans for us,” co-owner Nick Bogacz. “We were honored to work with Jeff Walewski on taking over the Sharp Edge locations, both of which offer optimal kitchen spaces and tap systems so that we can offer our full menu and more than 24 beers on tap at each location.”

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.