The 2014 Pittsburgh Real Ale Festival UPDATE

The Pittsburgh Real Ale Festival that was originally planned for Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 has been cancelled and postponed to the fall. Fear not, as there’s a very good reason, which the owner of Piper’s Pub, Drew outlines below. Check out what he has to say and let’s get ready for some firkin fun this fall.


 Real Ale Festival Announcement


Well…I guess there is really no simpler way to say it – we suck.

After days of debate and conversation between myself and my staff we have decided that it is best if we postpone the Pittsburgh Real Ale Festival, scheduled for this Saturday May 3rd at Highmark Stadium, until this fall. We are not happy to have to make this announcement, and the decision was not taken lightly, but given the choices we had we felt this was the most fair thing to do.

The driving force behind this decision is poor ticket sales. The high cost of the ticket coupled with the fees from the ticketing agency we were required to use due to a contract for the venue made the ticket price far too high; this was made painfully evident to us shortly after ticket sales started on April 1st and we started to get feedback. At that point it was too late to make many changes, the contracts were signed; our hope was that we would be able to sell at least 60% of our goal in order to give you all the festival we had promised. After this weekend, a bunch of amazing press from multiple media outlets and social media pushes we still remained at less than half of what we needed to throw the festival. We were left with 2 choices – pare down the festival to be a more appropriate size given the ticket sales, not delivering on our promise and what the ticket holders paid for, or postpone the festival until fall and make the necessary adjustments to the venue and ticketing that will allow us to lower the price of the festival tickets and throw the festival we want to throw. We decided on option 2 as the lesser of 2 evils; our desire is to throw an amazing Real Ale Festival and deliver on our promise, that just isn’t possible with the low volume of ticket sales and we weren’t willing to sacrifice the quality of the experience, we felt it best to refund & reassess.

We have personally contacted all ticket holders and sponsors to apologize and explain our decision. We will be reissuing all PCBW Sponsor tickets and giving people who bought the original tickets ‘dibs’ with a pre-sale exclusively for them to make sure they get tickets to the Redux version of the festival. Once details like date & venue have been worked out we will be in touch with an update and more information via email.

There was one facet of the festival that we cannot postpone – some of our local homebrewers worked super hard to brew us beers to be judged at the festival in order to get their beer brewed by Helltown. We still want that to be a thing and these folks want you to sample their beers and vote on your favorite so we talked to Dan at Commonwealth Press and he has kindly given us permission to throw a free BBQ at his warehouse (2315 Wharton St South Side 15203)  on Saturday 5/3 from 1pm-5pm, same time as the fest was scheduled. We are going to have the 5 homebrew firkins, plenty of other beer, Piper’s Pub & The Pub Chip Shop are going to hook up some treats, we have a grill… We know that it isn’t on the same scale as the Festival, but we would really love it if you came down to the Warehouse, tried and voted on the beers, grabbed some food and some high fives. No cover, no tickets, no strings attached – just a fun time, great beers and good food.

Thank you for your support and for buying your tickets, we really do appreciate it. We can’t wait to let you know about the festival redux and sincerely hope to see you Saturday afternoon at Commonwealth Press warehouse so we can apologize in person. Thank you, again, for the patience and understanding, we really can’t apologize enough.


Owner, Piper’s Pub


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