Duquesne Brewery Clock

Duquesne Brewery Clock

It is difficult to convey a sense of the scale of this enormous clock, but seeing it looming behind the rowhouses of 21st Street gives us some idea.

Duquesne Brewery in Evening Light

Duquesne Brewery

The Duquesne Brewery mushroomed into a titanic operation after the Second World War, and then rapidly collapsed in the 1960s and was gone by the 1970s. At its peak it took up three blocks on the South Side, and of course it was famous for the largest clock in the world. This 1899 building, the center of the empire, was abandoned for some time, then taken over by artist squatters, and finally, as the Brew House, became lofts and studios. It is an architectural curiosity, added to over the course of the brewery’s history with some regard for consistent style but no regard at all for symmetry.


Duquesne Brewery

In the late 1970s, artists began to take over the vacant Duquesne Brewery. Now (after many battles over ownership) it has been renovated as artists’ lofts and studios.

Eberhardt & Ober Brewery, Dutchtown

Eberhardt & Ober was one of Pittsburgh’s favorite beers for many years—E & O, for “Early and Often,” as the advertisements put it. (What a cheery slogan—and yet one that would probably not be tolerated today.) The building is a fine example of German-American brewery architecture.

Mr. Eberhardt and Mr. Ober were not only business partners, but also friends for life—and even beyond life.

Though Eberhardt & Ober conscientiously brewed beer to the strict German standards of purity, the beer that comes out of this building now is probably better than anything E & O ever produced. This is now the home of the Penn Brewery, which—in addition to making some very good beer—operates a restaurant serving the kind of German food that makes beer sing.

The buildings you see here are on Vinial Street, which is the arbitrary dividing line on city planning maps between East Allegheny and Troy Hill. No sane Pittsburgher would call this Troy Hill, though, or say that the brewery is in a different neighborhood from the bottling plant a few yards across the street. By any reasonable standard, the brewery is in Dutchtown—which, fortunately, is not an official neighborhood name, and so can have any arbitrary boundaries common usage would like to assign to it.