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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

Helicon Brewing by Terry Kish

Terry Kish

Terry Kish

Growing up in South Fayette Township in the 70s, most everyone knew about the Joy Dog Food factory in Oakdale. So, when I heard about the site’s recent transformation to brewery, I was eager to learn more. With its gleaming stainless steel tanks and friendly staff, Helicon Brewing did not disappoint!

Taking its name from Oakdale’s history – the borough was originally named Mt. Helicon – Helicon offers a nice selection of craft beers. Since it was our first visit, we decided to try a sample of each of the six offerings available that day: American Blonde Lager, American Pale Ale, American India Pale Ale Citra & Mosaic, English India Pale Ale, Amber India Pale Ale, and Oatmeal Stout.

Each selection was very good, making it difficult to pick a favorite. The Blonde Lager and Pale Ale were clean and refreshing, perfect for a warm summer day. The IPAs were crisp and unique, and the stout was full bodied and flavorful.

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Not normally a stout fan, my husband’s choice that day was Helicon’s Oatmeal Stout, which he thought was possibly the best he ever had. For me, the American IPA Citra & Mosaic’s citrus notes slightly edged out the smokier finish of the English IPA.

In addition to beer, Helicon also offered a white blend wine and a red blend wine from Pittsburgh Winery, and Moscato from PK Winery in McDonald, PA.

Helicon’s taproom does not offer food (other than chips), but on Fridays and Saturdays, a different food truck is in the parking lot. The day we visited, Driftwood Oven was there making thin crust, brick-oven pizzas – it doesn’t bet much better than pizza and beer!

Located at 102 Union Street, next to the Panhandle Trail, Helicon Brewing is a great place to stop after a bike ride on the trail, or on the way home from the Mall at Robinson!

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