Beer of the week: Allegheny City Brewing and Dancing Gnome’s Quintessence | Drink | Pittsburgh

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CP photo: Owen Gabbey

Allegheny City Brewing and Dancing Gnome’s Quintessence

Beer of the week: Allegheny City Brewing and Dancing Gnome’s Quintessence
Allegheny City Brewery: 507 Foreland Street, north side. alleghenycitybrewing.com


To say I moved to Pittsburgh by the seat of my pants is an understatement. It was in 2018. It was a Friday. I was supposed to start my new job on a Monday. And I didn’t have a place to live yet.

My dad and I moved down from Rochester, NY anyway, with an apartment visit scheduled for later today with my future roommate. We walked in, checked our Airbnb, then went to visit the apartment on East Ohio Street. We liked the place (and we were running out of options and time) so I signed the lease that day. Like I said, whirlwind.

And just like that, I had a neighborhood, a community. I had a place in a new city to call home. So my dad and I naturally looked for a place to kill time before we went to see a Pirates game later that night. It was a beautiful fall afternoon, and we saw that there was a brasserie just behind my apartment. And that’s how we ended up at Allegheny City Brewing, he and I had a symbolic moment together, one of the last before he had to leave me to myself, in my own home.

My beer of the week is Quintessence, Allegheny City Brewing’s five-year collaboration with Dancing Gnome, a triple IPA that’s beautifully juicy and dangerously sweet for a 10% IPA. But really, it’s a celebration of those little token moments that the brewery provided me with, and how much that was anchored in my experience in Pittsburgh.

I am moving from this apartment at the end of the month, but to a location five minutes from the current location. But when you leave a place, you start to think about what that community has meant to you, and Allegheny City Brewing is undeniably a part of it. From that first trip there with my father, it brought me comfort. Sitting outside working and distracted by all the dogs. I have a very early date with my girlfriend, hoping she would like to go as much as I do. Greeting friends during the pandemic in the parking lot, all of us sitting next to each other as a weekly way to connect. Allegheny City Brewing brought it all to me, whenever I needed it.

This is all probably too dramatic, praising a place I will still be going frequently. However, I think a significant part of the Pittsburgh brewing community is what a place means to you. Allegheny City Brewing may not have the hype of some other breweries. They may not be the recommended place on all “places to go” lists. But they were my place. Everyone has one in their community. It could be a brewery, restaurant, gym or store. But it’s yours. Allegheny City Brewing was mine. So kudos to Allegheny City Brewing for a beer that kills, kudos to five and kudos for finding your niche in Pittsburgh.

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