Allegheny City Brewing: Where community is as important as craft beer
By Anna Yoder, Membership Director – North Side/Shore Chamber of Commerce
Photo: Allegheny City Brewing owners Al Grasso, Amy Yurkovich, and Matt Yurkovich by Jeff Geisler
It was late Fall of 2016 when my husband and I were on a self-guided walking tour of the Northside and discovered a quaint craft brewery in Historic Deutschtown called Allegheny City Brewing. A super friendly redheaded woman welcomed us in, and we immediately felt a connection. On subsequent trips to the Northside, my husband and I found ourselves stopping at ACB, as it is typically referred to, for a beer after Pirates’ games. Today, most Northsiders (and many out-of-towners) have discovered ACB, which just celebrated their five-year anniversary on Sept. 28, 2021. Serving up delicious craft beer isn’t all they do, though.
ACB owners Al Grasso, his girlfriend Amy Yurkovich (the friendly redhead whom my husband and I previously met) and Matt Yurkovich, Amy’s brother, were determined to create a brewery serving quality craft beer and a neighborhood space, bringing all types of people together to build friendships and share their stories. The owners’ passions include community relations, animal welfare initiatives, and improving the environment. Here are just a few of the numerous ways they fulfill them:
From heading up Historic Deutschtown’s “First Freitag,” providing individuals with an opportunity to experience the neighborhood and connect with each other, to partnering with neighbors to develop the concept for their Nyami Nyami beer—a yam stout brewed to celebrate Black Lives Matter (profits from the sale of the beer were donated to 1Nation Mentoring)—ACB takes community involvement seriously. They are hugely supportive of animal welfare groups: Whether it’s by providing a venue to hold (and donate to) animal group fundraisers, e.g. Pittsburgh Doodles, or collecting donated items from patrons to support Joey’s P.A.W. yard sale, ACB is always there to help. Their desire to improve the environment is currently taking shape through an initiative to plant trees on Foreland Street to further beautify the neighborhood. They’ve hand-picked serviceberries for their “wild ale” beer recipes; sourced coffee from Abel Coffee Co. to make a peanut butter cup coffee stout called “Boom, Roasted!”; and used tea from Allegheny Coffee & Tea Exchange and Tupelo Honey Teas for an amber ale called “Think Fall.” The brewery’s spent grain is used by two local farms: Birch Creek Farmery in Burgettstown, Pa., and a family farm in the city’s eastern suburbs.
ACB works hard to be a place where Northside neighbors feel welcomed and part of the community. During “pre-COVID-19,” various meal “cook-offs” brought neighbors together for a shared meal and made for exciting (and tasty) Sundays!
ACB is also the happening place for local food and entertainment. A different food truck is available there most nights and various music from bluegrass to reggae can be enjoyed. ACB offers open mic nights, card tournaments, free comedy nights, and an assortment of community-driven events such as community garbage pickup. ACB’s contribution to the community is endless!
What do the next five years hold for ACB? Grasso suggests a permanent outdoor space. This is for certain, though: Serving and connecting to the community along with creating a wide selection of tasty craft beer will be at the forefront of their continued success.
The next time you are thirsty for a fine craft beer, stop by to support ACB. In turn, you are supporting the Northside community.
ACB is located at 504 Foreland St.
Anna Yoder is the Membership Director of the North Side/Shore Chamber of Commerce. Established in 1897, the Chamber’s mission is to “promote, connect and support the growth and success of businesses.” If you have questions about the Chamber or are interested in becoming a member, contact Anna Yoder at [email protected]