Lincoln Avenue Brewery hoping to be ‘Cheers’ of Bellevue
Grant Saylor learned to brew beer on his back porch.
Now he helps run Lincoln Avenue Brewery in the once-dry borough of Bellevue, where a May 2015 referendum overturned the longtime ban on liquor licenses.
“We know it’s a leap of faith to try this business in a once-dry town,” Saylor said. “But it’s been so well accepted. Bellevue is home for us. We want to be the ‘Cheers’ of Bellevue.”
All the beer is made on-site by Saylor. He and his wife, Lisa, co-own the place with Amy and Joel Haldeman, all Bellevue residents.
“It is incredible the support from this neighborhood,” said Amy Haldeman. “We want this to be a place for the community to come and experience good beer and good food.”
The Haldeman couple purchased the building in November 2017. They met the Saylors through mutual friends.
Lisa Saylor, who has a full-time job as a nurse, helps wait tables on her off days and after work. Their son, Shane, helps brew the beer.
The brewery, which opened in July, offers a craft selection of England IPA, Just a Porter, Bulldog Dipa, Blind Pig Rye, Sa’Wheat, I Don’t Get It, That’s Deep Amber and Auroch’s Gluten Free Session IPA. Customers can buy a taster for $2.50, a flight of four 5 oz. choices for $9, a half-pour for $3.50 and a pint for $6.50. The venue is 2,000 square feet and seats 65.
Many volunteers dedicated time and materials for construction, Amy Haldeman said.
On a Thursday evening last month, the place was full with adults and children.
“We want this to be a family-friendly atmosphere,” said Amy Haldeman. “We will have things for the kids to do.”
Grant Saylor’s passion for beer and his connection to the Bellevue community has already been evident with the popularity of the brewery, Joel Haldeman said.
“We are not just a taproom,” Joel Haldeman said. “We have good food too, many unique items.”
Albert and Mallory Ciuksza live “40 steps” from the establishment. “This is great because the owners are committed to being a part of this neighborhood,” Albert Ciuksza said.
“We are delighted,” Mallory Ciuksza said. “Grant makes the best beer.”
The Ciukszas sat at a table with friends Erika and Sean McAfee and their 4-year-old son, Dominic, who also live in Bellevue.
“We really like the beer,” Erika McAfee said. “Dominic loves it as much as we do. It’s easily accessible for us and they treat our son well.”
Tim Braun and his wife, Kaitlin Caviston, agreed that the youngsters are as welcome as the adults. They brought their 2-year-old son, Michael.
“They have delicious beer and food,” Caviston said. “We really like the atmosphere and they put a lot of work into it and they are so accommodating. We love the community here.”
The food choices include starters such as the old world giant pretzel, cheese or pepperoni flatbread and a charcuterie board as well as salads. There are five panini sandwich selections.
Several wines and cocktails are also available.
They have a brewery license, which means they can sell their own beer and other Pennsylvania brews as well as wine and liquor from the state.
Lincoln Avenue Brewery is located at 538 Lincoln Ave., at the corner of Hawley Avenue.
Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .