THE CORE

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Welcome to THE CORE. These two beers are precisely at the center of what we do, the gravity that keeps all the planets and moons of beer we make in orbit, moving at their own pace and course around a common anchor in space, time, community, and mindset. Hops and lager, invisibly pulling on each other across blank space, cosmic dancing hand in hand.

In time, you change, your tastebuds evolve, the world around you shifts, but these beers that are here now--we hope and expect--will be here much the same in the future, burning just as bright. They're a constant, a steady hand, an anchor in a world where beer--and everything--shifts so fast. The rotational inertia and appetite for new need a counterpoint; this is our hold steady. These beers present themselves as genial, satisfying, and crushable now as we think they ever and always will. So here's to the beginning. It's our sincere hope that Squish and Tracks enjoy long, deep runs that bridge and tunnel across these three rivers and our very lives. Let's meet back here in THE CORE from time to time to see how far we've come and how it feels to get pulled back in.

Squish - Pale Ale - 5.2%

Our beloved, hyper-crushable house pale ale designed to be just as satisfying three squeezes deep as the first sip. Brewed with Vienna and oat malt for a soft, fluffy base on top of which we load in two huge dry-hop charges of Citra, Simcoe, Amarillo, and Crystal. Fermented with our house kveik and finishing fairly dry. Notes of candied orange, dried mango, squeezed lemon, and ripe pineapple.


Tracks Again - Unfiltered Pilsner - 5.2%

Our reverential take on a classic German pils, brewed with beautiful German pilsner and specialty malt, hopped with Spalter Select and Saaz, and fermented cool with our favorite German lager yeast. Crisp and refreshing with a dry, hop-forward finish. Notes of honey, hay, water crackers, lemon oil, and geranium. 

Public Announcement: Revised Warehouse Hours Today 5/11

REVISED WAREHOUSE HOURS TODAY
BAR: 11:30 AM - midnight
KITCHEN: opens 5 PM


Wow, Pittsburgh! We are floored by the warm reception you’ve given us at the Cinderlands Warehouse this week. It’s been an honor to share our beer, food, and new space with you. You’ve been so hungry, in fact, that you nearly cleared us out of food.  The kitchen at the Warehouse will be CLOSED today until 5 PM so we can catch up and prepare for what we expect to be a busy dinner service. The Warehouse will still open at 11:30 AM with beer, wine, cocktails, and cider, but no food until 5 PM. We are truly sorry to disappoint you if you had plans to have lunch with us today and will do our best to make it up to you with happy faces, good vibes, and tasty drinks. We’re grateful for your patience and grace with us as we give our kitchen a chance to catch up overnight and through the day. Their team has been working incredibly hard and can’t wait to get food in front of you again. 

A few notes if you plan on visiting:
Our new location, the Cinderlands Warehouse, is located at 2601 Smallman St. Validated parking is available in the Hub parking deck next door. 

At this time, all tables on the first and second floor, inside and outside, are seated by the host. You can seat yourself at the bar on each floor. We are not taking reservations or call-aheads at this time. 

The Warehouse will be closed as planned on Sunday and Monday and back open on Tuesday, 5/14.

The original Cinderlands brewpub at 3705 Butler Street is open 11:30 - midnight today with all-day kitchen service. 

The beer lists for each location are on our website.

A letter from the brewer...

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We are a brewpub first and foremost, so it matters that we have a solid selection for you to drink at our pub, alongside our food. We love the whole range of beers we make: hop-driven ales, saisons, pale easy-drinkers, fruited sours, stouts of all kinds, tea and coffee beers, and our signature Tartshake IPAs. While we try to keep something from each category on tap all the time, lately you've been drinking them faster than we can make them. The outsize demand means that we're pouring our beer as fast as we can make it, and the variety available at any given time has been tighter than we'd like, sometimes slipping down to just three beers on tap. We've suspended canning, halted distributing beer to our friends at a handful of bars and restaurants in town, and pushed our production schedule as much as possible to try to keep as many beers on draft as possible. We're still going to be short for awhile, and we're sorry for how that affects your experience with us. 

There are good things coming on the other end. We have a pilsner that we're very close to having fully dialed in that we plan to offer year-round on draft and in cans. That beer takes time in tank and it's important for us to do it right, over and over again until it's perfect. We have our first brett saisons in process and will have those available, conditioned in package when they're ready. Those are also beers that matter to us and take time. Despite the pressure to accelerate production, we've held a hard line with beer quality across our whole range. All of our beer moves forward in process based on controls designed around the very best beer quality. We will not sacrifice the flavor, aroma, mouthfeel, or appearance of our beer for the sake of having more of a subpar product faster. Our IPAs get enough time cold to drop hop solids and eliminate polyphenolic astringency. Our fruited beers ferment out completely and we drop the fruit solids with time and temperature. Our fermentations continue at adequate temperature and time to eliminate diacetyl and acetaldehyde. Our lagers condition long enough to drink clean and showcase the finest malt and hops we can access. None of this is worth sacrificing to produce beer more quickly, even at the expense of limited variety. We would rather have three stellar beers for you to choose from than six rushed, flawed beers, or a menu of only IPA, which we can produce faster than just about anything else. 

We ask for and appreciate your patience and understanding with our high standards for ourselves and the impact of the attendant considerations on the variety you see when you come in. Soon, the Cinderlands Warehouse location will be able to produce enough beer to keep us in ample supply at both locations, and our fermentation program on Butler Street will evolve to offer more nuanced, complex, and harmonious beers than we can currently make with our current cellar configuration. We're firing the new brewhouse for the first time this week and you'll see the impact on variety on Butler Street in about three weeks. It has always been and will continue to be our top priority to offer a range of beers with stylistic and sensory diversity for you to enjoy at our locations. We look forward to being able to better accomplish that soon.

Sincerely,

Paul Schneider

(Cinderlands Head Brewer)

Musings on Muir and Stickeen

Cans of Stickeen, our double IPA dry-hopped with Simcoe, Eureka, and Idaho 7, will be quietly stocked in the pub cooler at open on Tuesday (7/31). This beer hits home for us in so many ways.

High on my “if you could have a beer with anyone” list is John Muir. He sublimated his naturalistic spirituality into visionary conservation efforts, creating a template for us to protect, manage, and--most importantly--experience the wild lands that connect us to the primal world whence we came.

Muir’s exploits are a model for living. He climbed a hundred-foot-tall spruce in a winter storm to better hear the music of the wind and feel the tree’s experience of the gusts. He climbed to a ledge behind the tallest waterfall in North America in the middle of the night to see the moon through its tumbling gauze. He made the first ascent of Cathedral Peak, a steep and exposed peak that today’s climbers don’t stand on without the air of ropes and protection.

Later, Muir explored the glacial inlets of Alaska on a canoe-based expedition. He took advantage of a day on shore to traverse a glacier that spilled into Taylor Bay. His expedition partner’s little black dog, Stickeen, foisted himself on the journey. Stickeen had a strange aloofness, independence, and idleness that made Muir cool to him, but the dog had also shown a keen interest in excursions on land, demonstrating great endurance, curiosity, and bravery. He turned out to be a natural adventurer out on the glacier, climbing footholds that Muir cut with his pickax and leaping easily across crevasses.

When a violent storm of wind and rain came ripping upslope, Muir and Stickeen found their retreat back to shore halted by a yawning fifty-foot-wide crevasse with no seeming terminus in either direction. Stickeen’s confidence and poise peeled away as Muir descended the crevasse to a narrow ice bridge he intended to take across. He cut steps into the ice to assist his descent, made a careful embrace of the slippery bridge as he worked his way across it, and repeated the step-cutting on the other side, now some thirty feet deep in the crevasse. He carefully climbed out and called for Stickeen to come across, but the dog was trembling and resisted venturing out on the wind-whipped ice bridge. Muir tried walking away to induce a crossing to no avail. They went at this for some time before Muir forcefully commanded Stickeen to cross and the weary dog finally snapped to and obeyed. Muir reached down to grab Stickeen as he worked his way up, but the dog flew joyously past him and proceeded leaping a few hundred yards across the glacier’s surface, rolling around and panting in complete exultation.

Isn’t the beer industry going through its own icy trial, making the leap from a demographically proscribed subculture to becoming relevant to all? Doesn’t any particular brewery in a market of 6,000 have to work its way into a dark, cold, windy hole of self-discovery and climb its way out? Isn’t our city trying to do much the same? These are the questions traversing my mind as we roll out Stickeen.

I’m also thinking about the spirit of awe and adoration Muir had for the natural world and the conservation ethos he channeled that into. Our location on the western aspect of Appalachia and the arc of colonial, revolutionary, and industrial history means that our natural ecology is heavily shaped by patterns of the human hand: settlement, agriculture, transportation, and extractive industry. Penn’s old woods are well-kept in small stands here and there, but we inhabit a world largely alien to nature. Subdivisions outnumber hemlocks, and skyscrapers and furnaces tower over them.

Still, there’s a growing sense of the value of the natural order in the way we eat, drink, recreate, and go about our lives. We strive to build into this ethos as much as we can. Our kitchen sources local, seasonal, responsibly grown and raised ingredients whenever possible. We partner with a local farmer to ensure our brewing waste ends up in the food chain rather than a landfill. We seek partnerships with local conservation organizations like Tree Pittsburgh to support their missions. We are proud of our gold certification with Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants for water conservation, waste reduction, energy efficiency, and responsible sourcing.

How wild that humans actively seek to loosen their grip on the world around them these days; that we strive to make it less in our own image? Or is just that that image is changing into one where we draw benefits from the revival of natural landscapes rather than the subjugation of them. Aren’t we just trying to make possible locally what Muir extolled over a century ago? “Keep close to Nature’s heart,” he urged, “and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”

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Stickeen - Double IPA - 8.2%

Our extra-resiny double IPA returns with a gentle pruning to crystallize sappy gobs of Simcoe, Simcoe Cryo, Idaho 7, and Eureka into the fluffy flaked oat substrate. No lactose this time and the slightly drier finish means there's more punch in the myrcene. Drinking dank and pungent at 8.2%, these are basically just sugar pine cones masquerading as pounders ready to stick your icky. Inspired by the crevasse-crossing type-two epic John Muir and the eponymous adventure dog had on Brady Glacier in an Alaskan squall way back in 1880.

Catching Rays on the Celestial Shore

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This week we release Celestial Shore on draft. We're calling this a TartShake IPA brewed with peaches, lactose, vanilla beans, and Citra and Amarillo hops. This is a super exciting beer for us because milkshake IPAs are a heady, relatively new style with a lot of room for exploration and we're eager to dig in. This will also mark our entry into cans. 

If you've had Stray Radiant, our sour, hazy strawberry IPA with lactose and vanilla beans, you have a sense of where we're headed with this. I learned a few things from making and drinking that beer, and decided to soften any rough edges by omitting hot-side hops entirely and slightly reducing the acidity, and to supplement the body and mouthfeel with an even higher mash temperature and the addition of raw wheat. 

The result is a peaches-and-cream, Bellini, cobbler-esque beverage that marries the mango, tangerine, and apricot flavors of Citra and Amarillo hops with a nearly ridiculous amount of peach puree added during fermentation. Half of the batch was lightly kettle-soured for brightness, structure, and balance without making this beer what you might consider sour. I find that a touch of lactic acid really helps support fruit flavors from the hops and puree. We double-dry-hopped this beer, then conditioned it on real Madagascar vanilla beans. The vanilla adds a perceived sweetness and combines with the lush, creamy mouthfeel for a cake-batter-like experience.

This will also be the first beer we put into cans. We pride ourselves on being the best brewpub we can be: offering modern, bright beers and elevated, scratch--but un-fussy--pub food in a warm, comfortable space with on-point, relaxed service. That part is intimate, and really all on our terms. But we want our beer to walk beyond our doors and into yours: your beer fridge, your buddy's bottle share, your first kayak outing of the season, maybe in your thermos at your kid's soccer game. Hey, who knows? We're not here to judge. To make that egalitarian offering possible, packaging in cans is a no-brainer.

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If you've seen the brewery space at 3705 Butler, you know it's tight down there underneath the restaurant. We found just enough room to move a few things around and wedge in a small manual canning line from the exceptionally polite and mechanically expert people at Cask Brewing Systems in Calgary, Alberta. I worked on a Cask line at Solemn Oath Brewery in Naperville, Illinois, where we were putting out over a thousand cases per week while I was there. Our volumes at Cinderlands will be much, much smaller, and the work will be a lot more manual, but pulling wrenches on this seamer sure will feel like coming home. We anticipate a release of sixteen-ounce four-packs of Celestial Shore on Saturday, May 12th, barring any complications in getting our new equipment up and running. Those details are still pending, so keep up with us on Instagram for details. We hope to follow that up with a monthly-or-so offering of typically hazy, hoppy beer, but I'd honestly love to augment that with easy-drinkers like kölsch, cream ale, helles, and pilsner. Drop us a comment or a mention if you would show up for those!

We've got to tip the hat to the folks at Tired Hands, Omnipollo, and Hudson Valley for their frontiersmanship in this foggy realm, for getting weird with adjuncts, acidity, and testing the limits of mouthfeel, memory, and intricate flavor combinations. The beer world is a more interesting place because of the merging of the milkshake and sour IPAs they've invented and popularized. 

I don't do any beer trading, so when I started talking to our Managing Partner, Jamie, about the wacky Tired Hands stuff he was following and sometimes pulling in, I wanted to get a taste of what that was all about. I was still at Solemn Oath and living outside of Chicago, so I collaborated with my friends at Werk Force Brewing to make Farm Juice, what we called a kettle-soured NE Farmhouse IPA with peaches, apricots, lime juice, lime zest, lactose, and Motueka and Mosaic hops. It was a weird, beautiful beer. It drank something like a margarita smoothie. It had me intrigued about what else beer like this could be, so I put together Stray Radiant at Cinderlands. Then I started hearing about Hudson Valley's sour IPAs and their sour milkshake beers they call brunch-style IPAs. I had a chance to try a few of those and--damn, they're tasty. Grist House has since put out a few excellent sour IPAs with fruit that I love drinking too. I feel like the local scene might not be fully ready to embrace beers like Celestial Shore, but I'll be damned if we don't paddle out and wait for this one to roll in. 

SO MUCH ROOM FOR ACTIVITIES!

Hey, friends - Jamie here. Some of you have read and some have asked about our planned expansion into the old Spaghetti Warehouse space at 2601 Smallman Street. Let me first say, we’re extremely excited about this development and all of the opportunities it will present in the future! It will be awesome to make much more of the beautiful beer and food that you have come to expect from us, and it's an opportunity we are absolutely ready to embrace. While I don't want to spoil all of the surprises, I will tell you that our brewhouse and kitchen will be considerably larger, the space will include a barrel room, and the surroundings will be grand, but warm and approachable.

With this expansion well under way, you’re probably wondering what will become of our beloved shop at 3705. First of all - fear not, because our Lawrenceville location is staying right where it is.  Once the Warehouse opens, 3705 gives us a very unique opportunity to try out new ideas and concepts for both beer and food in a space that we are familiar with. Our current location will become an incubator of sorts (more so) for interesting ideas, while still holding true to our commitment to provide an inclusive environment where you can come with friends and family to enjoy some good beer and food. We plan on taking everything that we have learned from 3705 and scaling it up to reach a larger audience at the Warehouse.

I'm not going to lie: the plans we have for the space are ambitious.  Nevertheless, our number one goal is to create an environment for you that is both contemporary and familiar, high quality and inventive, serious and fun, and nods to our past while embracing our future. In the coming months, please stay tuned to our blog and various social media outlets (our go-to is Instagram) for updates. Our team is very excited to share this new space with you, our neighbors, and we promise to keep you all posted on any developments with our new location - check back next week for our first progress journal!

Stack (and more) is Back!

These two West Coast style Double IPAs are back!

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Stack - West Coast-Style Double IPA - 9.5%

American 2-Row and a 20% helping of light Munich malt supply a light but bready platform for the tangerine aromas of Amarillo, mango juiciness of Citra, and pine resin of Simcoe. A slightly fruity and dry fermentation with a hop-accentuating American ale strain leads to a mid-palate of candied orange and a firmly bitter finish true to the style. This beer might drink easy, but it packs a serious punch. 

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Stack Overflow - Coffee Double IPA - 8.7%

This beer is a study in harmony and contrast. The bready base of light Munich weaves its flavors together with the palate-drying, roasty flavor of the Intelligentsia Coffee Karyenda - Burundi we add at a rate of twelve parts beer to one part coffee. The coffee's brighter notes--tamarind, tangerine, dried cherry--complement and buttress the fruit aromas from heavy whirlpool and dry-hopping. The biggest payoff here is the finish: it's a mouth-smacking blend of robusto cigar and chocolate-covered tangerine, bringing together high fruity notes with mid-range toffee and milk chocolate, and deep, drying earthy roast underneath it all.

Some old friends - Stickeen, Gorgeous George, and Stellar Peak

These three favorites came back for our beer dinner last night and there is still a little bit left for today.  Get down to 3705 early though, there are probably about 15 pours left of Stickeen but you can never be too sure.

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Stickeen - Double Dry-Hopped NE DIPA - 8.3%

This is our biggest, juiciest, softest IPA yet. We used especially dank, odiferous hop varieties for an unapologetically intense aromatic experience. The grist is composed of American two-row, malted white wheat, rolled oats, and carafoam for a grainy, cereal sweetness to support the fruit flavors from intense hopping with a total of over four pounds per barrel of Simcoe, Idaho 7, and Eureka.

Vermont ale yeast softens everything up with its peachy bubble gum and cotton candy fermentation character, but the palate is all syrupy pine sap, dank earthy musk, and a long chew on grapefruit skin. Worthy of celebrating near-fatal unplanned overnights on glacial ascents with adventure dogs.

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Gorgeous George - Belgian-Style Quadrupel - 9.5%

We love and revere the Belgian brewing tradition, even as today's most popular styles (IPA, pale lager, and stout) hew towards German and English origins. You can count on catching classic takes on Belgian styles here at Cinderlands, just as you did with our witbier and saison over the past few months. The Quadrupel, or Belgian dark strong ale, is the most potent of the monastic beers, though the recipe is fairly straightforward. We start with a grist comprised mostly of floor-malted pilsner, then layer in the bready notes of light Munich, the deep raisiny tones of Special B, and the vinous sweetness of CaraRuby. We ferment with a famous trappist strain known for its bright, fruity esters, delicate spice, and crisp finish. Expect a beer full of the aromas of brown sugar, bubblegum, and puréed raisins. On the palate, there's fig, tobacco, and mild clove. This beer is decidedly sweet on balance, but with above-average effervescence and a dangerously dry finish for its strength. Copper-brown in color and perfectly bright with a mousse-like off-white head. This is a big beer, not quite inconspicuous like a set of car keys. We suggest not losing your chance to try one.

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Stellar Peak - Double Dry-Hopped Sour NE IPA - 6.0%

Acid brings a new dimension to the typical flavors encountered in a new-fangled IPA. While brewers seek to absorb as much fruity flavor and aroma as possible into hazy IPAs and support those oil-derived aromas with enough residual extract and grain texture to make them sing, inviting the sharp tang of lactic acid to the party presents an interesting opportunity. We love New Zealand hop varieties largely because of how fruity and weird they can be. Two of our favorites, Motueka and Nelson Sauvin, present huge flavors reminiscent of key lime/vanilla and sauvignon blanc, respectively. Both of these absolutely begging for acidity to really pop, so we kettle soured our standard NE IPA wort and made it so. Fermentation occurred by way of Vermont Ale yeast and we laid on the hops heavy with a combined total of nearly four pounds per barrel of Motueka and Nelson Sauvin, including a hearty dose of the highly concentrated lupulin powder from Ekuanot. This is an intense, bright beer that opens up exciting new paths for future acid-forward, hoppy beers. More coming your way soon.