(1) THE BREWERY & OUR EXPERIENCE
During our time in Pittsburgh, we received multiple recommendations to visit Roundabout Brewery while in town, so we made our way over there on April 23rd, 2014. Husband and wife, Steve & Dyana Sloan, are running the operation on their own in the Lawrencville area of Pittsburgh utilizing a 6 barrel brewhouse. Steve has been working at breweries for years – one in Florida, one in Hawaii, three in California, one in Colorado, two in Missouri, three in Pennsylvania, plus a winery in New Zealand – and the time came to finally open up his own. Roundabout recently celebrated their one year anniversary in July with an event at the taproom where they had live music, BBQ, and Ice Cream. Their brews can only be found on tap in the taproom, as they made the decision to not distribute off-site in order to have full control over how their beer is served. You won’t want to miss out on the deliciously unique New Zealand & American themed beers that Roundabout is brewing, so definitely make time for a visit to the brewery when you’re in Pittsburgh.
(2) VITAL INFORMATION
Date of our visit: Wednesday, 04/23/2014
Open since: Jul 12, 2013
Approx. Barrel (bbl) Output 2013: not a full year
Projected bbl Output 2014: <500 bbl
Brewhouse size: 6 bbl
Founder(s): Steve & Dyana Sloan
Head Brewer: Steve Sloan
Packaging: On site and growlers
Other things we learned:
* The name Roundabout is a reference to the family leaving Pittsburgh and being drawn back.
* Undergoing taproom renovation during our visit.
* Previously just selling growlers on site, however, on May 18, 2014 a change in license was approved and they began selling beer on site in 12oz and 16oz pours with availability of cheese and crackers. No plans to add a full kitchen but may periodically have food trucks available.
* No distribution to outside accounts as he wants to have control over how beer is served. The goal to keep things circulating – ‘good, clean, and fresh beer’ as a mom-n-pop, neighborhood brewery.
* Goals to work on being as environmentally friendly as possible in the future.
* For PA Beer week they participated in the beer barge kick-off.
(3) BEERS AVAILABLE DURING OUR VISIT
* Ginga Wheat
* Irish Coffee Stout
* Trompe Le Monde (Belgian golden)
* Beers currently on tap
What we learned about their beer during our visit:
* A theme of mixing American and New Zealand hops since Steve is American and Dyana is from New Zealand.
* There are not any flagships. They try to keep 5 to 6 beers on at all times, rotating through various beers but typically have a certain variety on tap including something approachable/ sessionable.
* Utilize an open fermenter so they try to keep a wiess or Belgian beer on tap.
* Collaboration: a Belgian IPA brewed with Rivertown utilizing 100% New Zealand hops.
* Started a barrel aging program. Have Trome Le Monde in a wine barrel with brettanomyces.
* No lagers right now until tank space allows.
(4) EXPANSION PLANS
At the time of our visit, they were under construction to renovate the taproom.
(5) BACKGROUND OF PEOPLE WE SPOKE TO
Name: Steve Sloan
Title: Co-owner & Brewer
Been with company since: Inception
Previous Brewing Experience: A dozen other breweries – Kona, Schlafly, Firestone Walker, Church Brew Works, etc
Previous Occupation(s): Background in Chemistry; Teacher; Brewer
Favorite Superhero: Incredible Hulk
(6) MORE LINKS ABOUT BREWERY
(7) You can find the rest of our photos here
Author: Brandon Wurtz