What is the Brew House?
The Brew House is a place for art. It is a place where a residency artist can work when inspiration strikes at two in the morning, a place for a third grade field trip to see what the community is doing, and a place to rediscover your love of creation and appreciation of art on a day off. We’ve separated this site into three main places: Live, Work, and Play because the Brew House is something different for everyone.
Our goal is a place where the community can feed culture, and culture can nourish the community. The Brew House idea is to create a place where artists can not only live and work at an affordable rate, but also thrive with the help of the programs we offer. The Brew House supports emerging artists by providing opportunities for collaboration, interaction, and professional development. In return, our artists give back to the community through classes and workshops that are open to the public, gallery shows, and other public services. It’s a great way to attract culture to the area and energize the community.
History – Building and Association
The Brew House began life as a brewery, where it gets its name. With the Industry and steel boom of the Nineteenth century came a need for all kinds of new businesses and manufactories; in this case, the need for beer. The building we know as the Brew House opened in 1899 under control of the Duquesne Brewing Company and was producing beer by mid 1900.
The Brewery thrived for the majority of its 73 years of production, surviving several changes in ownership, Prohibition, and two World Wars. Financial woes and stiff competition led the brewery’s closing in 1972. After sitting dormant for over a decade, the late 1980s saw the vacant buildings of the Duquesne Brewing Company become the homes and workspaces for local artists in the South Side. Those artists started organizing in 1990 and in 1993 officially became a non-profit group, the Brew House Association.
In 2001, the Brew House Association (BHA) purchased several of the former Duquesne Brewery buildings including The Stock House, The Boiler House, and main building—The Brew House—from the City of Pittsburgh in an effort to further expand their already dynamic public programming, enhancing the cultural map of both the city and the region. Since then, the BHA has been using the buildings as the core hub for all of the on-going cultural programming initiatives, and housing for its residential tenants. The Brew House has become a cornerstone in the South Side community, offering the community diverse cultural activities while providing a valuable resource for working artists.
Even before the revitalization plans were drawn up, the Brew House was a home for plenty of artistic talent and naturally became a staple of the Pittsburgh arts scene. In the last twenty years the Brew House building, under the management of BHA, has been used for personal studio space, community studio spaces, educational space, a gallery, and a theater. There have been collaborations with groups such as Quantum Theatre, Black Sheep Puppet Festival, and the Pittsburgh Opera. The Brew House as also hosted community classes, meetings, and over a dozen gallery exhibitions in the last five years.