By Brianna Horan, Manager of Tourism & Visitor Experience
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’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
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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.