My #PCBW: Wrap-Up


Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014: Closing Time

Wow, what a week. From firkins to t-shirts to breakfast cereal, it was a pretty good time.

But, as with all good things, it has to come to an end at some point. Just like the last pint out of a keg, PCBW will be missed, but that shouldn’t stop you from reliving it by going to the venues and sponsors of PCBW 2014 and making your own fun the entire year.

Check out my review of PCBW 2014 and, as an organizer for Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week, I thank you all for coming out and supporting the craft beer scene in Pittsburgh. While it’s a good time, it’s a lot of work for us, but it’s all worth it when I see people out at an event or talking about how much fun they had.

So thank you for doing your part and making Pittsburgh one of the best beer cities in the country. Cheers!

Closing Time: Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014 Wrap-Up


My PCBW – Days 6 & 7 – Great Friends, Great Experiences, and More

As I sat down to put together this installment of My PCBW, reality hit me, both bad and good.

The bad is that only three more days remain in Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014. And yes, it will bring a much-needed rest for all those involved, including myself. But you still hate to see it go.

But the good is that I’ve packed so much into the last seven days, learned so much, carved out so many experiences, and forged so many new friendships, I’ve created a journal of memories that will last a very, very long time.

To me, this is the true essence of what Craft Beer Week is all about. Sure, we all love our beer. But the social element that comes with the events that beer inspires, as well as the relationships that form, truly makes it all worthwhile.

So strap in and read up as I recap my experiences through days 6 & 7 of PCBW 2014!

Breaking Brews

Craft Beer Showdown Podcast Session 23 – ShuBrew



Craft beer is all about small, local breweries producing some amazing beer. With a sense of inclusion surrounding just about every craft brewer, it’s this sense of belonging that brings everyone together for Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week.

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With this idea in mind, I went out to ShuBrew in Zelienople, PA to talk to co-owner Zach Shumaker about craft beer, how he got ShuBrew off the ground, and what keeps it going.

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Small batches, great beer, and an awesome brewpub, ShuBrew is what craft beer is all about. Check out Session 23 of the Craft Beer Showdown Podcast to hear my interview with Zach and learn all about ShuBrew.


The Craft Beer Showdown Podcast Session 23: ShuBrew

Create your own Beer Week event

Inside Korner Pub, looking out.

Inside Korner Pub, looking out.

We’re deep into the #PCBW2014 calendar and there still are more events than are humanly possible to go to.  You don’t even have to look at the calendar. You can organize your own personal Craft Beer Week event, at the bar, and with the beer, of your own choosing.


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


My #PCBW: Days 5 and 6 – Cereal, Beer for Breakfast, and ShuBrew


We’re passing the halfway mark for Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014 and so far it’s easily been the best one yet. My Tuesday wasn’t too much to talk about, but Wednesday more than made up for it.


I got to do the Quintessential Breakfast Cereal and Beer Pairing with Piper’s Pub in the morning (see: 8 AM) and later that night I got to sit down and record a Podcast episode with Zach from ShuBrew. What better way to celebrate PCBW than to drink beers for breakfast in the morning and interview a small, local brewer in the evening.

Check out my full post on what I did for days 5 and 6 in Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week, and check out my current Podcast episodes over at Craft Beer Academy to see when Zach’s episode comes up.




Beermuda Southern Tier Tap Takeover Event Review

Another wildly successful PCBW local neighborhood bar event occurred over at Beermuda in New Kensington. It was just one of those evenings where the surprises keep coming. It was one of those nights where you find so many new favorites, you strongly hope you remembered to write down their names. Luckily, beerPittsburgh surrounds herself with just those types of drinkers. Want to read the details? Check out the full review over at my site,

My #PCBW: Day 4

craft beer academy pcbw


Day 4 of Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week is in the books, and a better Monday couldn’t have been had. From the release of Hitchhiker Brewing’s first beer to the Pens winning their series, it was a great day in Pittsburgh.

Check out my post on my experiences in day 4 of Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014 and see what a Hitchhiker, The Penguins, Four Seasons, and a local tap takeover all have in common. (Hint, it’s craft beer)

We’re just about halfway through the week and things are starting to get really interesting, so check out my post and let me know in the comments how your Day 4 went.

My #PCBW Day 4: Hitchhikers, Pens, and Sours, oh my!

My PCBW – Day 3: A Sunday of Taste Buds Tested, Dudes Abiding, and More

It was an eventful weekend across the Steel City as a variety of events went down to kick off Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014. Without a doubt, this 10-day celebration offers something for everyone. From bike rides to video games to tap takeovers to blind samplings, Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week is off and running and making history as it goes.

My third day of Craft Beer Week travels had me wishing every day was like Sunday, as my entire day was jam-packed with craft beer fun.

Click the link below to get the full scoop on Breaking Brews about my blind taste testing at Bocktown Beer and Grill, the Great Lakes Beer Brunch at Hough’s, and The Big Lebowski/Lagunitas Festival at Arsenal Lanes!

My Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week – Day 3


Event Review – Allegheny 6 Pack & Doghouse Finch’s Beer Homemade Chili Pairing

To get Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014 underway, we started off at Allegheny 6 Pack & Doghouse over in Cheswick. They did an awesome pairing of Finch’s Beer-infused homemade chilies with the Finch’s Beers. This was the type of local neighborhood bar event that makes PCBW the great concept that it is.

Want the full scoop on Allegheny 6 Pack, Finch’s Beer, and the event? Curious about the “special ingredients” in the chilies? Check out the full post over at my site, beerPittsburgh.