Craft beer destinations in Pittsburgh

As we get ready to kick off the 3rd Annual Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week, there’s no question enthusiasts across the region will be vamping up their excitement and looking for great locations to partake in the crafts. Our 10-day celebration is certain to feature memorable moments from locales all over the Steel City, with tap takeovers, sampling events, craft beer education and fun ready to rule the realm.

Are you in search of  great destinations to enjoy Craft Beer Week at? Search no more! Take a look at this compilation from Breaking Brews that includes some of our proud sponsors for PCBW 2014.

Craft Beer Destinations in Pittsburgh

Getting Excited for Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014

With Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014 almost here, I felt it only appropriate to start talking about it over on my own beer blog, CraftBeerAcademy.com.

Big events like the Beer Barge and the Real Ale Festival are just the start to more than a week of festivities, so if you have a minute, head over to my site and check out my post on hyping Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014.

We’re planning a lot of coverage for this year’s PCBW and for the first time, that will include some coordinated efforts from your favorite Pittsburgh beer Podcasts and beer blogs. Check back for more on the events of PCBW before, during, and after this year’s craft beer week, and get out and get some good beer.

10.8 Gallon Full Metal Firkin – The Pittsburgh Real Ale Festival

real-ale-festival-header

Hosted by Piper’s Pub and taking place at Highmark Stadium on Saturday May 3rd from 1pm-5pm, 10.8 Gallon Full Metal Firkin is Pittsburgh’s only festival dedicated strictly to serving real ale.  This is the second year for The Pittsburgh Real Ale Festival; after the success of our first festival, Release the Firkins, during Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2013 we decided to expand the event with more space, more beers and more fun for 2014. This year’s event will benefit the Pittsburgh Craft Beer Alliance and Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week with a portion of proceeds benefitting both organizations.

04_25_Firkins

What is real ale? More than just your regular beer, real ale is a living thing. A style of beer that Piper’s pub specializes in, it’s truly a special type for a beer festival. The beer is made following all of the same steps any brewer would follow, but instead of being filtered and/or pasteurized then kegged or bottled it is left to condition in its serving vessel, a firkin in most cases, where the yeast is left alive to ferment a second time. This allows the flavors and aromas of the beer to naturally develop in the ale, but it also means much greater care must be taken in its storage and service – real ales have a short shelf life and are best when drank shortly after tapping. All ales served at 10.8 Gallon Full Metal Firkin will be real ale, gravity poured from custom-built cradles. It is for this reason that we are happy to share our list of participating breweries, but won’t know until we vent the firkins the night before the festival what is going to be served…things alive aren’t always the most predictable. A more in-depth primer on firkins and cask ales is coming soon to www.pghrealale.com

real ale festival

This year’s Real Ale Festival will be host to at least 65 firkins of real ale. These beers will be available nowhere else, as vall were kegged just for this event. Included in our firkin madness will be the 5 winners of the Piper’s Pub homebrew contest. Our local homebrewers were asked to submit an ale for judging last October, winners were selected by a panel of professional beer geeks and the 5 best are being brewed, firkin-ed and will be poured at 10.8 Gallon Full Metal Firkin by their creators. Along side our homebrewers will be at least 60 other firkins from local, regional and national breweries. A full list of the breweries participating and the winning homebrewers is available at www.pghrealale.com

 

READY FOR TICKETS? Get them here while you still can.

 

Beer is most definitely the focal point of our festival, but man cannot live on ale alone! Included in admission are specialties from both Piper’s Pub and The Pub Chip Shop along with a buffet of foods meant to pair perfectly with the ales you will be sampling. We needed more space, so we are taking over all of Highmark Stadium for the event and will have food and beers available inside and out on both floors of the event space, all with amazing views of our gorgeous city! We are working out some details and may be adding a couple local food specialty vendors in the coming weeks, details will be posted to our website as we are able to confirm.

highmark stadium real ale festival

Beer? Check. Food? Check. Entertainment? CHECK! We will have a local DJ spinning some music for the afternoon, Commonwealth Press will be on site screening t-shirts and the Tartan Devils, Piper’s Pub football team, will be taking the pitch for a league match at 3pm – should be a great match to watch while sampling real ales. We are working on some other fun stuff, a rumor of a photo booth is floating around, more details will be posted as we confirm them.

Admission is $65 and includes all the beer and a logo taster glass to drink it in, the food, and all of the woos and high-fives we can pack into 4 hours.  Tickets are on sale now and full details about the venue and event are available at www.pghrealale.com

 

Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014 Media Day

Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week (PCBW) 2014 Media Day will take place on April 16, 2014 from 11:30AM to 1:00PM at Penn Brewery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week begins on Friday, April 25, 2014 with many events in store for the Pittsburgh region. After two successful years, Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week is back for a third year of events and activities.  PCBW will begin on Friday, April 25, 2014 and conclude on Sunday, May 4, 2014. Thanks to the help and involvement from the community, Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week in both 2012 and 2013 brought nearly $4 million dollars to the Pittsburgh region with over 400 events each year.  We encourage all local media to attend our media day event to learn more about the events, taste our collaboration beers, and interview the local craft beer community.

The Pittsburgh Craft Beer Alliance (PCBA) is the organization behind Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week. The Pittsburgh Craft Beer Alliance is a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization overseen by a board that consists of brewery managers, restaurant managers, craft beer industry employees, and others to help promote and raise awareness for Pittsburgh craft beer. Overseen by this board, the PCBA was created to promote and enhance the thriving Pittsburgh craft beer scene with the creation of Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week. The inaugural event for PCBW was held in April of 2012 and since then the week and the alliance have continued to grow in their ability to share craft beer knowledge and awareness throughout the Pittsburgh area.

Download a copy of the official press release here.

A View Into the Life of Pittsburgh Brewers

As a city, we are going through so many awesome changes and growth spurts that 20 years from now we will look upon this time as Pittsburgh reinventing ourselves. Focusing in on beer alone, it is amazing that we have a brewery in just about every part of town. We are also extremely lucky to have these folks who decided to brew beer doing it here share their stories with us.

It seems that the 90′s were a hot time to get started in the brewing profession, the booming industrial phase if you wish. Andrew Rich, from Penn Brewery decided to start brewing beer with a former rugby teammate (the former rugby teammate is Matt Cole and the brewmaster for Fat Head’s, go Matt!). They brewed A LOT of bad beer, but they’re knowledge improved with each brewing batch. Andrew did a stint with Erie Brewing Company before coming to Penn Brewery.

The other Pittsburgh brewer that started brewing in the 90′s is Steve Sloan from Roundabout Brewery. After spending a few summers over in Lansberg, Germany, he fell in love with all sorts of types and styles of beer. He also got to go to plenty of beer gardens. After Steve graduated from the University of Florida, with a Masters in Chemistry (what other beer brewers can say that they have a Masters in Chemistry?), Steve went to Hawaii and got his first brewing job at Kona Brewing Co. That was 1996. Steve is rather well traveled and we’re a lucky town to have caught his eye and now get to enjoy his beer in Pittsburgh.

Now Megan Seastedt, brewmaster at Rivertowne, at the ripe age of 21, decided that brewing beer was going to be a passion. Her friend was in a home brew club that met monthly in New York.  She tagged along one time and that was all she could think about afterwards, “I want to make beer.” It was just a small scale at first, but the owner of the home brew shop offered to teach her!  She knew she wanted to get a job in brewing, but job hunting back and forth between New York State and Pittsburgh was proving difficult. She started in NY with a local brewery gluing boxes and labeling beer, but soon moved up to the bottling line.  Trying to focus in on commercial level brewing, she decided to take the bull by the horns and applied to the Fermentation Science program at Oregon State University. She was accepted and after just 1 term got a job.  She was a cellar-lady at Southern Tier, but now the brewer at Rivertowne Brewing Brewpub in Monroeville. Megan always wants to challenge what she knows about beers and emphases “DRINK LOCAL & DRINK OFTEN”. We have the same motto here at Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week!

Scott Smith’s story for East End Brewing is short, sweet, and to the point.  He left his perfectly good job at a Fortune 500 Company to see if brewing would work. You only live once, so why not?! Hey, we’re really glad Scott took the plunge. Scott’s on the same page about the revolution of beer within Pittsburgh. Like us, Scott is expecting big things and can’t wait to experience all the beer this city will have to indulge in, right at our fingertips.

Andy Kwiatkowski is not just a part of the board as a home brewing rep., but has just got a professional brewing job. His father is a home brewer and Andy’s been around brewing since a young boy. Andy’s father let him draw labels for his brews since he wasn’t yet able to enjoy the fruits of his labor quite yet. It was always interesting to him and in 2009 a close friend had brewed a beer specifically to celebrate his college graduation and it blew Andy away! Making something in your kitchen that could taste so delicious is what jump started Andy into brewing beer on his own. He did some research for home brewing and 4 months later got hooked.

Now that you are all officially beer geeked out, let’s talk about how these brewers start their day, re-energize, or just when they feel like making eggs. Steve from Roundabout has perfected a soft boiled egg. Megan doesn’t care as long as her eggs are served with bacon. LOTS of bacon. Scott wants his eggs from the hens that have been fed on spent brewer’s grain.  Andrew from Penn Brewery takes after Dr. Seuss with some Green Eggs & Ham. Finally, Andy enjoys them scrambled with some sriracha. Scratch that, he likes some eggs with his sriracha. If you all get a little star struck meeting these fine folks, you can now strike up some egg-cellent conversations starters.

Now don’t forget to stay connected with us here for Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week (#PCBW). Check out our Twitter  pageFacebook shenanigans and of course here for all the latest news!

#PCBW2014 is less than a month away!

There are going to be a lot of events that the brewers above and many more of our amazing sponsors are creating for us to enjoy this year during Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week. Make sure to stay current with our calendar. Events will be posted very shortly. Some of the events that our featured brewers are most excited about include the Collaboration Brews, Beer vs. Cocktail Dinner, The Keg Ride, The Real Ale Fest, Beer Barge, and many more.

Thank you to Carly Lunoe for writing this post.  Give her a follow on Twitter!

Calling All Pittsburgh Beer Bloggers!

With Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014 quickly approaching, events are being planned, media day has been scheduled, and sponsors are falling into place.

The one missing piece, as far as I can see, is you, the Pittsburgh Beer Blogger. In the past two years that PCBW has been active the one missing piece to our media coverage has definitely been the inclusion of beer bloggers, especially those in the Pittsburgh area. As a fellow blogger and owner of CraftBeerAcademy.com, I feel that we as bloggers have a lot to offer and can provide some of the best coverage possible for the week of events that are being planned.

I would like to get as much help as possible so as many beer bloggers can help cover as many of our events both big and small as possible and act as a unified front to not only help build up Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week, but to also help one another gain readership, traffic, and maybe even have some fun along the way.

I propose that we have a meeting on Sunday, April 13th at a meeting place to be determined for some lunch beers and talk over some plans on what to cover, how to cover it, and how we can get your posts more visibility via Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week’s social media and site.

Please fill out the form below with your information if you’re interested in joining in and want to do some blogging for PCBW2014. The only requirements are:

  • You already have an existing blog that is beer-centric.
  • You are serious about posting multiple (more than 2) posts in and around PCBW 2014.
  • You can enjoy yourself and write without purposefully bad-mouthing any establishments, beers, companies, etc. We’re about building a community of craft beer, not knocking it down so while you don’t have to be chipper and cheery about everything, we won’t support outright negative or derogatory posts or comments. Have fun and be nice.

Podcasters and bloggers are welcome, and since this is a new thing, we look forward to any input you have on how to cover the week and events.

For submissions must be in no later than Wednesday, April 9th. Spread the word and I hope to see you there.

Cheers,

Brian Meyer

Craft Beer Academy

Five Things You’ll Find During Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week

For centuries, beer has served as the lifeblood behind some of the world’s most remarkable creations (not even including the evolution of the drink itself), thus making it a beverage worth celebrating. In a big way. Throughout our great country, festivals are held year-round to celebrate the world’s most popular and important drink.

As the craft beer scene has grown, so have the events that bring its creators and advocates together. More and more people are expanding their horizons, ignoring the watered-down advertisements, and trying new beers that challenge the palate with every sip.

While the craft beer revolution is prevalent all over the land, Pittsburgh has become a hotbed for craft beer over the past decade and change. Each day, a new consumer picks up a unique beer for the first time and increases their intrigue. Each day, bars and restaurants across the Steel City tap a new IPA or special offering from one of the hundreds of craft beer breweries or, equally as significant, one of the several local craft beer breweries like Helltown, East End, Full Pint, and others. It’s led to a scene that’s spread like wildfire 365 days a year in our fair city. But for 10 of those days, craft beer is given center stage to further its stake.

In 2012, the first ever Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week was held to collectively pull together the efforts of everyone behind the craft beer movement. Craft beer continues to grow, both in revenue and popularity, and the movement is sweeping its way through Pittsburgh and pulling people into its wave of unique beer choices in an epic way.

As we approach the 3rd Annual Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week starting April 25th, us on the good side of craft beer advocacy are anxiously awaiting the events, collaborations, camaraderie, and all-out fun the week entails.

And for those just hopping on the bandwagon, here are 5 Things You’ll Find During Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week:

  1. Increased Awareness - If you’ve joined us for any events over the past two years, you know full well craft beer awareness is up when the clock strikes Beer Week. This week provides a unique snapshot of enthusiasts who enjoy craft beer from many different walks of life, for many different reasons. But, despite who they are and what they do, craft beer is the common thread that ties them all together.
  2. Enhanced Beer Education - If you’re just tapping into the craft beer scene or looking to give your palate the push it needs, Craft Beer Week is the perfect opportunity to make it happen. Education is a cornerstone of these events and highlights many of the scheduled events. Regardless of what event you choose, you’re guaranteed to find other like-minded beer fans to learn from.
  3. Social Connectivity - As Craft Beer Week has evolved, so too has the way its many events are shared. It’s impossible to be at every event at once, but through the power of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites, you can be enjoying a hopstrong IPA at Bocktown in Robinson while tweeting with someone toasting a collaboration beer at Piper’s Pub in the South Side. The power of Social Media allows you to enhance your Craft Beer Week experience and you’ll see even more of this in 2014.
  4. Collaborations - Craft Beer Week brings together our local craft beer constituents and the results always leads to collaborative beers that will make you wish they brewed together every day! Even breweries outside of Pittsburgh have contributed, like Southern Tier Brewing’s Craft Beer Week rollout last year, Pittsburgh Left. The 10-day event is normally the only time these beers are available, so don’t miss out!
  5. If You’re On the Fence About Craft Beer… - Whether craft beer stole your heart some time ago or you’ve just begun flirting with entering a relationship with it, Craft Beer Week is a great time to interact with other beer fans and discover what style of beer is right for you. We all reach a point where we demand more from our beer. If that statement weren’t true, Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week wouldn’t exist.

First Full Meeting of 2014

The first full Pittsburgh Craft Beer Alliance meeting of 2014 was held on January 20th at James Street Gastropub in Pittsburgh. The meeting was a huge success with a crowd of craft beer fans filling the upstairs meeting space provided by James Street.

The meeting itself was not very intensive, as it’s main purpose was to bring everyone together and start the ball rolling for #PCBW2014. Among the topics covered included committees and signing up new members for 2014. Remember, if you were an individual member in 2013, your $20 membership fee is waived for 2014, all you need to do is sign up.

Business membership is still $100, but the fee is deducted from any sponsorship package you purchase.

Thanks again to everyone that came out and made the meeting great, speaking for the rest of the board, we’re looking forward to the next meeting and getting things done.

Cheers