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Making Spirits Bright

By December 17, 2021Blog

Festive cocktails from the Krampus, Baby pop-up bar at Lorelei, Photo: Tom O’Connor/ Lorelei Instagram @loreleipgh

By Brianna Horan, Manager of Tourism & Visitor Experience

Brianna Horan

Making Spirits Bright—A Tasty Holiday Happenings Guide

In this companion piece to our Ultimate Holiday Happenings Guide, we share local restaurants, breweries, and distilleries that are capturing the spirit of the season with special menus and offerings. Raise a glass of cheer, or take a warm meal home to go and and be fueled by the holiday spirit!

Holiday Happy Hour Hike through Downtown Pittsburgh

Looking for the best of the holiday sights, bites, and sips in the city? NEXTPittsburgh’s Sally Quinn created a 12-stop jaunt through downtown to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Take a Holiday Happy Hour Hike.

Hop Farm Brewing Company, Photo courtesy @hopfarmbrewing Instagram

Hop Farm Brewing’s Hip-Hop Holiday

5601 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

This Lawrenceville Brewery’s holiday party on December 17 features throwback hip-hop jams from DJ Femi & DJ Big Phil, along with a beer release, cocktails, and holiday fun. Pfeffernusse Stout, inspired by the traditional German spiced cookie, debuts this evening. Portions of the proceeds will be donated to Alle-Kiski Hope Center. Event Details.

Holiday Pop-Up Bars

Various Locations

An array of festive spots appear for the holiday season, with the halls decked and cozy cocktails at the ready. Many pop-up holiday bars collect donations for charities or contribute portions of their profits to organizations in need.

NEXTPittsburgh has a round-up of five favorite spots to celebrate the season.

Kingfly Spirits image by Rachelle Horning

New Offerings at Kingfly Spirits

2613 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Warm up the holidays with a special treat from Kingfly Spirits. Stop by their Strip District distillery and tasting room to get your hands on a bottle of Nocino, their take on the classic Italian liqueur, featuring hand harvested green walnuts, clove, Tanzanian dark roast coffee beans, and panela. It’s a limited run—one not offered via their website—so perhaps it’s just that something special you’ve been looking for to gift this season. If walnuts are not your thing, Kingfly has a plethora of tasty, new spirits to try, including Chamomile Liqueur, Orange Liqueur, Coffee Liqueur, Rye Whiskey, and Gin. Info about each of these spirits is available on their website.

Lorelei Pittsburgh is getting in the spirit with their Krampus, Baby pop-up bar
Photo: Lorelei Pittsburgh Instagram, @loreleipgh

Krampus, Baby Holiday Pop-Up Bar at Lorelei

124 S Highland Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Those on the “naughty” list will feel right at home in this seasonal pop-up inspired by the horned character from Alpine folklore! Leave it to Krampus to deal with the children who have misbehaved throughout the year, while you enjoy wood-fired pizzas, cocktails, and mocktails—and resolve to be better next year! Website and more info from Good Food Pittsburgh.

La Prima Espresso Co.’s Buon Natale 2021 Blend

Various Locations

To celebrate the winter holidays, La Prima’s head roaster crafts a cozy coffee blend each year. Buon Natale 2021 enters the palate as smooth dark fruit, mellows with a hint of rosemary, and finishes with comforting cacao—a friendly medium roast. Website.

Penn Brewery’s St. Nikolaus Bock

800 Vinial Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

This rich, strong, malty lager is a seasonal tradition at this German-style brewery. Website.

Puppuccino Boutique’s gift boxes have you covered if you need to deliver some puppy love!
Photo: Puppuccino Boutique’s Instagram, @puppuccinoboutique

Puppaccino Boutique Gift Box

Four-legged friends deserve something sweet this time of year, too! Pittsburgh-based Puppuccino Boutique has you covered with their gift boxes, which include two dozen baked treats, available in flavors like baked sweet potato cinnamon, or baked peanut butter bacon. Website or Instagram.

Seasonal Sipping at BrewDog Outpost Pittsburgh

144 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Cozy up at this local outpost of Scottish Brewing Company BrewDog, and enjoy festive beers like Hoppy Christmas, Ginger All the Way, and more on tap. Website.

Shell’s Sweets & Treats’ Sweet Potato Red Velvet Pies

500 Pine Hollow Rd., McKees Rocks, PA 15136

Can’t decide whether you want to serve sweet potato pie or red velvet cake at your holiday gathering? Shell’s Sweets & Treats has combined them both in one delicious dessert!

Threadbare Cider House & Meadery’s holiday flavors make a great gift for friends—or yourself!
Photo: Threadbare Cider House Instagram, @threadbarecider

Threadbare Cider House & Meadery’s Frost & Sip Events

1291 Spring Garden Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Frost festive Christmas-themed cookies at Threadbare Cider House & Meadery in Spring Garden, where you’ll learn how to make and color royal icing, and then practice techniques like outlining, flooding, and wet-on-wet decorating. Events on December 16 & 22. Threadbare is also serving up seasonal ciders, like Pomegranate, Sweet Cranberry, and Gingerbread. Event website.

As the manager of tourism and visitor experience for Rivers of Steel, Brianna Horan is always discovering new things to do throughout the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area—and getting to know its people! Check out her Ultimate Holiday Happensing Guide.