Full Pint By Sean Creevey
In the unassuming town of North Versailles sits a friendly little brewery that doesn’t’ get the recognition it deserves. Don’t let the façade of the building fool you; there’s more to Full Pint than their hidden location, once inside you will discover a brewery that brews world class beers. The brew master’s are down to earth people, with a good sense of humor and an even better taste in beer. To prepare for this article, I spent an afternoon at the brewery surveying the facility, talking to locals and tasting the local fair. And by surveying, talking and tasting I really mean walking around talking to Sean Hallisey (brewer and part owner) while drinking beer. Even though I technically went there for work, it was a fantastic afternoon, and I already can’t wait to go back.
Nestled up a hidden road in an industrial park is a prototypical hidden gem in the rough. Established only three years ago in 2010, Full Pint is still in the growing stage, but they’re growing fast. Contrary to popular belief they actually don’t brew out of their basement. In fact, they have a peak output of 8,000 barrels a year and distribute to Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. Why Florida, you ask? Well to be frank, they’re just that good, and Florida was lucky enough to figure that out before all the other states between here and there. And they pay more, what’s your excuse? As with any business, they’re always looking for ways to grow and improve in the most uniquely fashionable way possible.
One of their main goals for the brewery in the future is to enhance the pub side of the business. What they currently have is not too shabby as is; they have the standard brew pub fair of their beers on tap. Now you might be thinking, “what’s so special about that?” Well, not only do they do the standard of sixers, growlers, cases, kegs, etc., but they have all of their beers on tap, and I’m not just saying the ones you can get in your local retailer, but special in-house only brews. So for those of you who want to try something new and interesting that you can’t get anywhere else you must visit the brewery. They colloquially refer to these brews as “Nerds Reserve,” and they’re each crafted by a single brewer on a rotating schedule. Some of these brews include Gus, an IPA, an elderflower saison, and a weizenbock.
But wait, there’s more: for your stomach-filling needs they also make pizzas to order so you can stay longer and enjoy more. Is there really a better combination? There might be, and it’s happening soon. They’re still ironing out the details, but expect to see some meat and cheese platters from Wild Purveyors that will have you thinking you’re in the original Versailles. With an amazing relationship between Wild Purveyors and Full Pint (meat, cheese and beer) something unique will certainly come from this; meat beer? Cheese beer? These guys just may have enough cahones to pull off a prosciutto IPA…keep your fingers crossed. Adding to the authentic feel of the pub side of Full Pint is the handmade bar. The bar is a beautiful piece of work of cherry, handcrafted, and complete with malt right in the top of the bar. Jake’s (another brewer/owner) father was the mastermind behind the creation; you might recognize him from the Hobnobber label.
Now what you all came here for, the liquid gold, the social lubricant, the brew. I’m only going to cover a sampling since, with over ten brews, you might get a contact inebriation just from reading about them. Strap yourself in, from the Whiskey Rebellion to Zeus, and 4-10% ABV this’ll be the ride of your life.
All In Amber
This is the brew that started it all. The name isn’t just a name but also representative of what the fellas at Full Pint did to start it all: a few guys pooling their life savings and going all in to do what they love. This amber ale is a favorite among the locals in the pub, a smooth, satisfying beer to satiate that five o’clock thirst. 25 IBUs and 5.8% ABV.
One of their most popular brews and for a reason: wheat, sweet and a little spicy, this brew coats your pallet like a warm bath. No, not warm and soapy, but relaxing, calming, and the perfect thing after some physical labor. And for further enjoyment take note of the label, there’s an Easter egg, an homage, if you will, to their astrological cousin. Hint: Zeus doesn’t particularly enjoy this other brew… 18 IBUs and 5.5% ABV.
A playful brew with a playful name, loaded with Chinook hops, four times during the brewing process and then dry hopped some more. Even though there’s Magnum, Warrior, and Centennial as well, Chinook is what makes this IPA so special. At 103.1 IBUs you will be happily surprised at how drinkable it is. So chin up with someone close and enjoy some ‘nookie. 7.2% ABV.
Perc E Bust
A robust coffee porter brewed with Percolated Guatemalan coffee from the Commonplace Coffee Company in Squirrel Hill. I’ll just let you figure out the humor in this name (check out the label). This robust porter is made with ten different types of malts that creates a pallet so complementary to the coffee that you can’t help but think that it was meant to be. 52 IBUs and 5.8% ABV.
A personal favorite of mine, the name, the label and of course, the flavor. In case you’re like me and never heard of the word hobnob, you will surely use it now. Hobnob: v. 1. To associate with on friendly terms. 2. To drink socially. A session IPA that keeps you coming back for more, perfect for your inner hobnob. It pours a hazy golden yellow and smells like a venerable IPA, hoppy, but laid back enough to enjoy time and time again. At only 4% ABV that means only 129 Calories, so have yourself a couple and save yourself from another lap around the block. So pick up a few Hobnobbers and hobnob the night away! 50 IBUs.
Rye, rye, and some more rye is what makes this imperial rye stout so special. In honor of those brave souls who stood up to the man, Rye Rebellion is aged in rye whiskey barrels from Wiggle Whiskey in the Strip District. In case the rye flavor didn’t come through enough from the aging process Full Pint used four different types of rye malt: rye, crystal rye, flaked rye and, chocolate rye. Now don’t be scared, you don’t have to be able to enjoy a glass of rye whiskey to handle this brew, but it does taste like rye. With a little alcohol in the nose and whole lotta rye in the mouth, Rye Rebellion is remarkably smooth for being 11% ABV. That being said, take it slow with this one; you don’t want the brew you rebel on you. 55 IBUs.
Full Pint is distributed by Wilson-McGinley Co Beer Distributors in Pittsburgh so if your favorite bar doesn’t have it, be sure and tell them to order it for you. You can visit the Full Pint pub – Daily Mon-Wed 5-9, Thur-Fri 5-11, Sat 12-11. Hours are subject to change if pub is empty after 9. Located in North Versailles – at 1963 Lincoln Highway, 15137 – visit them on the web at www.fullpintbrewing.com or call them up if you get lost at: 412-467-6414.