Butler Brew Crawl - Stop 1: Cellar Works
Butler Brew Crawl
Typically when you're looking to go out on a Saturday night and visit a few breweries, you head downtown. A lot of times they can be found nestled into nooks throughout the city and many are in places that are being revitalized. With the amount of new breweries popping up in the Pittsburgh area there are also some other routes to enjoy. For a change of pace, we decided to head in the opposite direction and went north to Butler.
We traveled to four different breweries in one night, all located in Butler County. As with any voyage like this you'll want to make sure that you have a designated driver because there are some miles between some of them. One perk is that won’t find yourself driving in circles looking for a place to park or fighting crowds. Some have their own parking lot and others have ample parking close by.
Stop 1: Cellar Works Brewing Co.
The first stop and meeting place for our brewery crawl is at Cellar Works Brewing Co. in Sarver, PA. They are a relatively new brewery that opened in March of this year. We pull in and immediately find a spot in the freshly paved parking lot. Once we open the door we instantly focus on the large metal sided bar with a concrete top, and take a seat. There's plenty of other seating at a group of small tables through the front and middle of the room as well. The windows along the front wall light up the taproom with a refreshing natural light. A stack of board games sits in the corner for anyone who feels up to the challenge and one couple is enjoying a game of Connect Four. Unfortunately it has just finished raining, so we aren’t able to take advantage of the outdoor seating just in front of the main entrance.
We take a look at the beer list and find a nice selection available with mainly American and Belgian influences. Fifty Foot Robot is their hazy pale ale loaded with Citra and Amarillo hops. It has an ABV of only 4.9% so it makes a great first beer of the many we'll enjoy tonight. A few of the others in the group opt for the Aurea Belgian Blond. This truly balanced beer takes a unique approach by providing a spicy Belgian character to a blond ale, while keeping it completely approachable. There are plenty of options as far as serving size goes. If you'd like to taste a few, you can get 4 ounce tasters. There are also half pints and full pints available if you are a bit more decisive on which beer you plan to enjoy.
A wide range of additional options are available like local ciders, wines, craft sodas and even root beer on draft. Though they don’t have a kitchen, you can order some food right from the bar. They work with their neighbors Smoking’ Toads BBQ to provide food directly to the taproom. We enjoy the small plate offerings of Angus Bacon Sliders, Taco-Taco-Taco (including pork belly, pulled chicken, and brisket tacos), with a side of fries. Everything’s great and helps set us up for a successful evening.
There are racks of wine and bourbon barrels both in the taproom and viewable from a window into their cellar, showing their serious plans on barrel aging beers. Peaking into the actual brewery you'll see kegs, fermenters and their brewhouse waiting on the next brew day. Another thing that you’ll notice is a small door labeled “Lab” showing their focus on getting things right. When we are ready to move on to the next stop we have the option of getting some beer to go. They offer both 750mL or 2L swing-top growlers so that consuming Cellar Works beer doesn’t have end here.
Our next stop is Butler Brew Works in downtown Butler, PA. Stay posted for the tale of the next stop!