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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!

Coal Tipple Brewery by Terry Kish

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With the return of flowers, greenery, and warmer weather, it’s only natural to start making plans for summer fun. If those plans include a trip to KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, consider a stop at the Coal Tipple Brewery before the show.

Actually, our first visit to the Coal Tipple Brewery was on our way to Burgettstown High School’s spring production of Into the Woods. My great-niece was playing Granny, and her mom suggested that we meet there and pick up our tickets. What a great decision!

My niece was seated at one of the picnic tables on the covered patio, waiting with two flights of beers, which was ideal for the four of us. The selections we sampled were Fossil Fuel English Pub Stout, Long Wall IPA, Dunkard Amber Ale, Pigear Pilsner, Pit Pony Wheat, Nippy Tipple English Ale, and Drag Lime.

As you may have noticed by the names of the beers – and of the brewery – part of their mission at Coal Tipple Brewery is to honor and preserve the mineral heritage of this part of the tri-state area. For example, one of my niece’s favorites, the Pit Pony German Wheat (with blueberry, orange, coriander and apricot tones), refers to the pit pony class of pony commonly used underground in mines from the mid-18th until the mid-20th century.


I liked all of the beers we tried, but my favorites were the hoppy Long Wall IPA, the mellow Dunkard Ale, and the Drag Lime, which tastes like summer in a glass. Drag Lime would be an excellent beer to take to a Fourth of July picnic!

In addition to beers, the Coal Tipple Brewery, located at the Racoon Creek Winery at Kramer’s Greenhouse in Burgettstown, also offers wine, baked goods, and seasonal bedding and garden plants, all grown on premises.

Prior to my next visit, I plan to call ahead and order one of their freshly baked fresh fruit pies, which can be ready in 90 minutes. The drive from Upper St. Clair to Burgettstown is about an hour, which will give me time for a beverage – not sure if it will be beer or wine! I also plan to visit the greenhouse and get some plants for my garden before heading home.

To learn more about this family-owned business, visit their website at

Coal Tipple Brewery, is located at Raccoon Creek Winery at Kramer's Greenhouse, 1905 Steubenville Pike, Burgettstown, PA 15021.  Phone: (724) 899-3344. Business Hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Wednesday; 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday.

Terry Kish is a freelance writer in the Pittsburgh area. She has been an integral part of  the writing team for This Awful-Awesome Life since September 2017.

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