International Beer Day: Guide to Pittsburgh breweries and more


Even though today is International Beer Day, it’s a great chance to go local with these Pittsburgh businesses that know and love beer.

Brew Gentlemen
Coming soon to Braddock, this promising venture is a collaboration between two CMU grads. They’re working on getting a full production brewery set up, and are eventually planning to add a taproom and lounge. Even though it’s not open yet, it’s totally worth keeping an eye on!

church brew works interior

church brew works interior (Photo credit: calamity_hane)

Church Brew Works
While their beer is tasty and their food menu interesting, the most impressive thing about Church Brew Works is the building. Located inside an old church in Lawrenceville, the beautifully restored architecture steals the show as you sip on one of their award-winning beers.
Church Brew Works on Urbanspoon

Copper Kettle Brewing Company
This place is truly unique: as the only brew-on-premise in Pennsylvania, customers can use Copper Kettle’s equipment, ingredients, recipes, and expertise to brew and bottle their own beer. Perfect for people who may be intimidated by home brewing or simply don’t want to deal with the hassle, Copper Kettle is located in Greenfield as an extension of craft beer bar Hough’s.

East End Brewing Company
A small microbrewery, East End isn’t exactly a pub where you can sit down for a beer. However, you can fill up growlers of their delicious home brews at their daily growler hours, at both their brewery and in the Strip District at the Pittsburgh Public Market. You can also find many of their beers at your favorite bar or restaurant– check out this list of places that have dedicated a tap to East End beers.
East End Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

Full Pint Brewing Company
Located in North Versailles, Full Pint is both a brewery and a pub. Go on a tour of the brewery or stop by for a pint or growler of one of their many craft beers, plus check out their newly launched food menu. Fellow Yinztern Ian wrote a great, more in-depth review of the pub.

PA Brew Tours
If you want to skip the hassle of organizing your own trip or designating a driver, then these beer tours are for you. They provide a ride to local breweries and pubs, a behind-the-scenes tour (when possible), and good food for the ride. Best of all, a portion of their profits is donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Penn Brewery
Penn BreweryModeled after the traditional beer gardens of Germany, Penn Brewery (aka the Pennsylvania Brewing Company) features craft beers, homemade food, and a historic setting. Oktoberfest in September is a roaring good time with music, dancing, German food, and, of course, tons of beer.
Penn Brewery on Urbanspoon

With several restaurants located in and around Pittsburgh, Rivertowne sells lots of different beers including their own that they brew locally. You can check out any of their restaurants (which feature full menus), take a tour, or grab a six pack, case, or keg at the brewery.

South Hills Brewing Supply
Ready to tackle brewing your own beer at home? South Hills Brewing Supply has everything you need to get started with your first home brew, to perfect that recipe, or to get crazy with experimental beverages. It’s definitely your best bet in the Pittsburgh area for home brew supplies.

National Hot Dog Day: The Hot Dogs of Pittsburgh

It was quiet morning in the super secret iheartPGH headquarters until one intern abruptly cried out “It’s National Hot Dog Day!” The Yinzterns rejoiced and it was decided that they would take a crawl through the various hot dog vendors of Pittsburgh. Here, we share our ups, downs, and general stomach aches after consuming multiple dogs.


Name Hours Cost Fun Fact

Steve's New York Hotdog Shop on Urbanspoon

Breakfast & Lunch


$ The proprietors of Steve’s were on vacation at the time of the crawl. We will be back for you Steve…
Yovi's on Urbanspoon

 Lunch & Dinner


 $ An interesting hybrid of Chicago and Pittsburgh, they serve up a mean hot dog. They are also located in a basement, so keep your eyes peeled or you will miss a delicious spot. It’s also cash only.
Franktuary - Lawrenceville on Urbanspoon Lunch & DinnerMonday-ThursdayLunch, Dinner & Late NightFriday-SaturdayBrunch


 $$ Franktuary is now offering a Sunday brunch at its Lawrenceville location. They also have trivia Tuesday nights!
Station Street on Urbanspoon

 Lunch & Dinner


$$$ Station Street has been open since 1915.
Packs & Dogs on Urbanspoon

Lunch, Dinner & Late Night


$ Decent beer collection, pop in for a hot dog.
D's Six Pax & Dogz on Urbanspoon Lunch & DinnerSunday- WednesdayLunch, Dinner, & Late NightThursday-Saturday $$  Over 1,000 types of beer with a wide offering of food beyond just hot dogs.
Dormont Dogs on Urbanspoon

Lunch & Dinner


$  This dog joint packs in a lot of character. Cash only.
Wiener World on Urbanspoon

Lunch & Dinner

Monday- Friday



$  Beyond selling dog hots, Wiener World is known for its fish sandwich.


Steve’s New York Hot Dog 

This place has great reviews on Urban Spoon. Unfortunately, Steve decided it was a good idea to go out of town during one of the most important hot dog related holidays on the year. We yelled out in agony as we drove by, vowing to return at a later date.


Unassumingly tucked into a basement right outside of Market Square, Yovi’s brings Chicago dogs to Pittsburgh. It’s simply decorated with both cities’ memorabilia and they also offer sandwiches and deep-fried pizza puffs. The token all-beef Chicago dog was topped with mustard, green relish, diced onions, tomato wedges, a pickle spear, sport peppers, and celery salt, on a poppy-seed bun. It’s a great, cheap, and friendly place to pop in for a quick lunch while downtown.


The new Franktuary location in Lawrenceville is charmingly rustic and beautiful, not to mention very spacious compared to the original downtown location. They have a variety of unique hot dog styles (including vegan tofu dogs), plus salads, poutine, pierogies, desserts, and more. We loved the Memphis dog (slaw, barbecue sauce, and crunchy potato sticks) and the Pittsburgh dog (smooshed pierogi and slaw). Their bar is fully stocked with tasty cocktails and craft beers, and you can sit at the open garage door windows when it’s nice out.

Station Street 1069151_10152063507612892_425551302_n

This hot dog joint has opened and closed a few times since it’s creation in 1915. The latest version is run by restauranteur Kevin Sousa. Bringing food science down to hot dog level, Sousa includes a couple crazy combinations on the menu. I went out on a limb and ordered the Kimchi Dog, topped with seaweed, kimchi, and tangy mayo. I was pleasantly surprised how delightful the tastes were together. The beef hot dog is delicious stand alone, but I’m anxious to try a few more combinations. Station Street also offers Vegan doggies for those less inclined to meat  The only downside? It’s a bit pricey for your everyday hot dog–save this spot for special lunch occasions (like National Hot Dog day).

Packs & Dogs

The first thing you notice when you enter this shop in Mount Washington is its expansive beer collection. The bar is lined with bottles and two plasma screen tvs.  You have to go to the far back to order your hot dogs.  The varieties have canine-themed names, such as the German Shepard (sauerkraut and spicy mustard) or the Chihuahua (chili, cheddar cheese, and onions). Beer is definitely Packs and Dogs’ forte.  There was not much outside seating, as there were only two tables outside, but there are a nice number of booths and bar seating.

D’s Six Pax & Dogs992822_10152063996622892_1121186585_n

Located in Regent Square, D’s is the perfect place to pop in for a dog. While you are there, make sure to check out the legendary Beer Cave, where you will find over 1,000 different brews. The Chicago Veggie dog was a classic that didn’t disappoint with relish, onions, pickles, tomatoes, sport peppers, and yellow mustard. D’s offered some interesting varieties, such as the Big Ben with fries, creamy cheddar and coleslaw and the Angry Tiki loaded with fries, creamy cheddar and coleslaw.  We can’t forget to mention how great the poppy-seed buns were, which can also be substituted for whole wheat.

Dormont Dogs

Dormont Dogs was one of our favorite stops of the day. Located a bit out of the city, it was worth the voyage. When you first walk in, you are taken back in time with the lovely decor. The hand written menu and little colorful tables added to the character at Dormont Dogs. The dogs were very good, as well as the buns. The menu featured hot dogs styled after different states (and streets in Dormont), from Louisiana in the south to Wisconsin in the west to Connecticut in the north. We also learned that in addition to being a hot dog shop, the area used to be a barber shop and a waffle/pottery shop.

Wiener World1075327_10152065147047892_1440397719_o

Wiener World is located in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh on Smithfield St. and you can’t miss the giant neon sign. This place is a hot dog shop. This is a take out spot or stand-at-the-counter-and-eat-your-hot-dog place, no tables, chairs or restrooms, just hot dogs (or a hoagie). We ordered the all beef hot dogs with all of the fixings, well ok most of the fixings, which was more than filling enough. We’ll have to try the fries on a return visit. The beef hot dog was great and next time I’ll limit the fixings to one or two and let the hot dog take center stage.


We know there are a ton more hot dog spots in Pittsburgh, but we couldn’t stomach another after a full day of chowing down. Where do you think the best dogs are in Pittsburgh? Check out our Facebook album for more pictures of our day-long crawl.

Guide to Pittsburgh’s Independent Movie Theaters

When the weather starts heating up, sometimes the only thing to do is go inside. This season many of us will take to the air-conditioned refuge of our local megaplexes. To switch things up, I offer you a list of local independently owned theaters. Many of the theaters screen the same new releases, but also provide character and unique programming.

Hollywood Theater475193_275212485896001_1501098987_o

1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont


The Hollywood plays a wide variety of movies as well as special film events. Known for its Rocky Horror Picture Show performances, as well as its “Breakfast and a Movie” series (just what it says, breakfast, and a movie) there’s something for everyone. The single-screened theater is a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing Potomac Avenue and Dormont by providing a theater and community center.

The Strand

119 North Main St., Zelienople


The Strand offers a variety of films as well as live performances. The Rocky Horror Picture Show screens regularly (17 & over only) and yes, you can throw things at this performance. The theater screens classics like Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, but you can also find live shows at The Strand. The nonprofit theater was restored in 2002, and wants to expand the project.

The Manor

1729 Murray Avenue, Pittsburgh


The Manor theater screens both wide-release and independent movies, at often lower prices than the megaplexes. The Manor also boasts “The M Bar” in the lobby where patrons can bring alcoholic drinks into the theater. Check out the “Manor at Midnight” series, when the theater screens classic movies Saturdays at midnight.

Harris Theater

a little history?

a little history? (Photo credit: macwagen)

809 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh


Owned by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and programmed by Pittsburgh Filmmakers ,the Harris Theater is a classic movie house in the heart of the Cultural District. The theater screens foreign and contemporary independent films, and is also part of the Three Rivers Film Festival.

Oaks Theater

310 Allegheny River Blvd., Oakmont


The single screen Oaks Theater screens both new releases and cult classics. Check out the summer series “Moonlit Matinees”, where Oaks screens a cult classic every Friday and Saturday night. Once a month, the theater hosts the “Cine Bruch”, where movie fans can watch and munch on a delicious Oakmont Bakery brunch.

Regent Square

Regent Sq Theater

1035 South Braddock Ave., Pittsburgh


Owned and operated by Pittsburgh Filmmakers, this single screen theater plays limited release independent movies seven days a week. In addition, every Sunday night the Regent Square theater hosts “The Sunday Series”, a monthly series of film screenings based around a theme, era, or director.

Melwood Screening Room

477 Melwood Ave., Pittsburgh


Located within the Pittsburgh Filmmakers building, the Melwood Screening Room is the youngest of the independent theaters on this list. The screening room plays independent features, and hosts “Film Kitchen” on the second Tuesday of every month.“Film Kitchen” is a series featuring local short films. The filmmakers are present at the screening and available for discussion after the show.


View Independent Theaters in Pittsburgh in a larger map

What’s your favorite theater in Pittsburgh? Seen any good movies lately?

Guide to Pittsburgh public pools: hours, cost, locations, rules

Image courtesy of Citiparks.

Image courtesy of Citiparks.

All 18 Pittsburgh city pools are officially open for the summer, until September 2! Check the Citiparks website to make sure your local pool is open for the day.

While none of the locations provide refreshments, guests are welcome to bring their own food and drinks (no alcohol).

Don’t forget to check out the water carnivals, hosted by a different pool every few days in July. Basically an open pool party for the neighborhood, the carnivals feature unique themes, fun games, raffle prizes, and free food and drinks (normal admission prices apply).


Mondays – Fridays, 1:00- 7:45 p.m
Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays, 1:00- 5:45 p.m.

Adult Lap Swim:
For individuals 16 years old and older.

Mondays – Fridays, 5-6 p.m.
Every pool

Mondays – Fridays, Noon – 1 p.m.
Highland, Moore, Schenley and Sue Murray

Saturdays – Sundays, Noon – 1 p.m.
Bloomfield, Highland, Jack Stack, Magee, Moore, Ormsby, Phillips, Ream, Riverview, Schenley, Sue Murray, West Penn and Westwood

Family swim:
Any individual under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult 18 years old or older.

Monday- Friday 5pm-close
Every pool

Payable by cash, check, or money order only.

Year-long pool passes
Year-long (June-June) pool passes can be purchased at outdoor pools (except Ammon) during operating hours, or at the Citiparks Office on the fourth floor of the City-County building (414 Grant Street, Downtown Pittsburgh).

City of Pittsburgh residents (proof required)

  • Family of four: $60; each additional family member: $10
  • Adult (16 years old and older): $30
  • Youth (3-15 years old): $15
  • Kids (2 and under): free

Free pool tags are available for City residents who are disabled veterans, plus families of active duty military and activated reservist/guard members. Proper ID is required.

City of Pittsburgh residents who receive welfare benefits can buy tags at a 50% discount. A case print-out and proof of identity are required to receive the discount.

Non-City of Pittsburgh residents

  • Adult or youth: $45

Daily pool pass

  • Adult (16 years old and older): $4
  • Youth (3-15 years old): $3


View larger map


Ammon (Hill District)
2217 Bedford Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

One of the biggest pools in Pittsburgh, they get a lot of camps during the day but quiet down after about 4pm.
Water carnival: July 23

408 Ella Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Water carnival: July 9

Highland Park -good for families -one of biggest
151 Lake Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

With a kiddie pool and a mushroom spray fountain, plus handicap accesible features, this pool is great for families. It’s also one of the biggest and busiest in Pittsburgh and has sand volleyball courts
Water carnival: July 13

540 N. Lang Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15208

Another pool that gets a good amount of camps during the day but is very quiet in the evenings.
Water carnival: July 2

Magee (Greenfield)
745 Greenfield Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217

Known for having one of the best swim teams in the program, this pool next to the recreation center gets decent crowds.
Water carnival: July 9

Schenley Park
1 Overlook Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

One of busiest, this pool is favored by the college-aged and young adult crowd, with not a lot of kids swimming here. It is a walk-in pool though, which is great for kids and new/apprehensive swimmers.
Water carnival: July 13

West Penn (Polish Hill)
450 30th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Water carnival: July 20


Jack Stack (Brighton Heights)
600 Brighton Woods Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

This newer walk-in pool (great for kids and different swim levels) also has a smaller kiddie pool.
Water carnival: July 4

Riverview (Perry North)
400 Riverview Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15214

Water carnival: August 6

Sue Murray (North Side)
301 Cedar Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Although it gets busy with camps during the day, this walk-in pool with slides is much more quiet in the evenings. It’s also handicap accessible with a lift chair.
Water carnival: July 6


1461 Crane Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15220

A great (yet quiet) pool for families, this facility has a kiddie pool and fountain, baseball fields, playgrounds, an attached pavilion available for rent, and a brand new deck hockey rink sponsored by the Penguins.
Water carnival: July 11

McBride (Lincoln Place) – good for families
1785 McBride Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15207

This pool is handicap accessible.
Water carnival: July 23

Moore (Brookline)
1801 Pioneer Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15226

A big, popular walk-in pool, there’s slides onsite and a large shallow area that’s good for kids.
Water carnival: July 16

Ormsby (South Side)
79 S. 22nd Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

This pool gets crowded with a wide variety of people, from teens to families to random passersby, and is right on the busline.
Water carnival: July 27

Phillips (Carrick) -good for families
201 Parkfield Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15210

This quiet, mostly neighborhood pool has a spray pad for kids not quite ready for the actual pools, making it great for families with young kids. There’s also an attached rec center.
Water carnival: July 6

Ream (Mt. Washington)
321 Merrimac Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15211

Right on the busline, this pool has a lot of programs and a playground.
Water carnival: July 20

1071 Adon Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15204

Water carnival: July 25

100 Guyland Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15205

Water carnival: July 16


The pool promotes a family-friendly environment at all times.

  • Pool tags must be worn at all times.
  • Swim suits are required for the pool and deck area.
  • Patrons must shower before entering the pool.
  • No running, dunking, horseplay or profanity.
  • No diving on the shallow side of safety line.
  • Smoking is prohibited inside the facility, including e-cigarettes.
  • Food and drink are permitted only in designated area.
  • Swimmers under six years of age must be accompanied by an adult 16 years or older.
  • The Head Lifeguard must approve all flotation devices. Inflatable flotation devices are prohibited.
  • Lounge chairs & strollers must be kept at a minimum distance of ten feet from poolside.
  • Patrons with medical conditions should inform the Lifeguards.
  • Citiparks is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged property.
  • Complaints – see the Head Lifeguard for procedures.
  • Lifeguards are responsible for your safety, so please follow the rules.
  • Violations of above rules may result in disciplinary action up to and including loss of pool privileges.

Click the links for more information about the four spray parks the city operates, swim lessons, and other swimming programs.

Got information to add? Dying to know an answer to a question about the pools? Facebook us, send us a tweet, leave a comment below, or email

The Beginner’s Guide to Port Authority: Using the Bus

Whether you are someone who just moved to the ‘Burgh, a first year student at one of the city’s colleges or universities, just visiting for a day, or your car broke down and the bus is your last resort, here are a couple of things to know to handle your Port Authority of Allegheny County experience like a pro.

The Bus Stop and Boarding

A typical bus stop sign in Allegheny County.

A typical bus stop sign in Allegheny County. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To makes sure you are at the right stop, each stop can be identified by the blue sign that says “Bus Stop”. Under most of these signs, there is a list of the bus routes that  belong to that stop. Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop and let all of the passengers that are exiting off first. Need to know what bus to take? Use Port Authority’s Trip Planner to find buses and times.


One way fare within Zone-One is $2.50 and Zone-Two is $3.75. Need a transfer? Just let the bus driver know before you pay, it’s only a dollar more. Make sure you have exact change, too. The bus drivers and fare-boxes do not give change. If you are paying with bills, check that they are as flat as possible. A crumpled dollar bill can jam the fare box and also makes for a grumpy bus driver.

Don’t forget, service within Pittsburgh’s Gold Triangle (Downtown Business District and the Cultural District) is free!

When to Pay

Knowing when to pay your fare is important, too! Before 7 p.m., if you are getting on a bus headed outbound, pay when getting off the bus. If you are on a bus headed in-bound, pay when getting on. After 7 p.m., always pay when boarding.

While Riding

Once you board, find yourself a seat. For some, sitting by a stranger can feel awkward, but that is part of the fun of public transit! Don’t be a seat hog either. If you have an open seat beside you, move closest to the window and make sure you do not place your belongings there so someone else can sit down. When there are no open seats, go as far back as you can on the bus and hold on to a rail. During busy hours, chances are you will be smushed with fellow passengers.

Most times at the front of the bus, an illuminated signed will read the stops as they are being approached (some older buses do not have these unfortunately). When you see your stop approaching, pull the yellow cord to signal your stop.


After you have signaled your stop, wait for the bus to come to a complete stop. Pay your fare if the bus is headed outbound before 7 p.m. Finally, don’t forget to thank the bus driver!