The greatest 10 days of the year for a craft beer enthusiast in Pittsburgh has come to a conclusion as the 3rd annual Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week is now officially in the history books. As I said prior to its first day, this year would undoubtedly be better than years before it and I’m happy to report I was correct. The people, the establishments, and the idea of PCBW itself continue to evolve, thus making this 10-day celebration the quintessential standard for the craft beer scene across the region.
Over the past week and a half, I’ve chronicled the events I attended in a series called “My PCBW.” I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. It was truly a pleasure to be present at as many events as I could and see the fun people were having. If you missed any of those recaps, I will post the links at the bottom of this installment.
It’s with a small element of sadness that I conclude this series, as I hate to see it all come to a close. However, the part of me that tapped out last night at my final event is happy for a much-needed rest.
So here’s how I spent send-off Sunday for Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014:
Day 10, Stop 1: Meet the Mayor at Bocktown in Robinson
Guys, I’m sorry. As much as I tried to speak my mind and get these potholes that are overtaking our city addressed, the mayor simply wouldn’t listen. She was too busy pouring samples.
In actuality, this event revolved around my friend Becki Davis and her seemingly untouchable title of Foursquare Mayor at Bocktown. For those unaware, Foursquare is a location-based social media app that allows you to check in at locales in which you frequent. In relation, businesses can offer discounts if you check in at their location, should they choose. Each location also has a “Mayor,” which is the person who checks in at said location the most. People can oust you as mayor if they end up frequenting that locale more than you.
This event was fun, as Becki and owner Chris Dilla poured some samples of local craft beer. The tap selection also featured 16 Pennsylvania-born beers, amplifying Bocktown’s unwavering mission to keep business as local and regional as possible. Chris also broke out some Gratitude from 2006 courtesy of East End Brewing (pictured left), an American Barleywine that’s no longer in production. Aged an additional seven years, it packed a glorious punch in a thicker, almost molasses-like fashion.
I had a great time at this event and, as my theme for PCBW has been, met some more great people who I’m looking forward to hanging out with more.
Day 10, Stop 2: One More Time at Caliente
Easily, the majority of my Craft Beer Week time was spent at Bocktown and Caliente, so it was only fitting I said farewell to PCBW 2014 by visiting each one last time. One thing’s for certain, Caliente knows how to go out with a bang!
20 offerings from Stone Brewing! There really isn’t much more that I can add to enhance that. Stone is one of the top craft breweries in the country and I’ve yet to have a beer from them I didn’t enjoy. This tap takeover featured some of the staples of Stone you know and love, but also was spiced up with some rarities you normally won’t get your hands on.
I was able to take in a Stone Vertical Epic from 2011, a Belgian Strong Pale Ale aged in white wine barrels and finished off my Craft Beer Week consumption with an OAKED Arrogant Bastard.
The turnout for this event was great and, according to owner Nick Bogacz, they were “killing it” all day long. For all the effort Nick, his wife Angie, and their entire crew put into raising the bar during Beer Week, it was great to see their send off party go down in epic fashion!
As I conclude, I’d like to send a personal message. To the board of directors, to the PCBW Sponsors, to the volunteers, to the distributors and wholesalers, to the bars and restaurants, to the bottle shops, to Commonwealth Press for the great t-shirt designs and the Beer Barge, to those who held samplings and tap takeovers, to ANYONE who had their hand in making Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week possible…
There is so much that goes on behind the scenes to make Craft Beer Week a reality. I was fortunate enough to have a tiny part in the event planning/promotion this year and I look forward to added responsibility in future years. More importantly, that small involvement helped me understand how much effort is poured into pulling off an event of this magnitude.
If you happen to run into anyone who served on the board, or you frequent an establishment that sponsored PCBW or held an event, be sure to thank them for what they did. It’s because of their dedication to the idea of Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week that we have these 10 days to celebrate, and their contributions should not go unnoticed.
Can’t wait for #PCBW2015! CHEERS, and THANK YOU for making Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014 the greatest 10 days of the year!
Catch up on the entire series of My PCBW 2014!
- My PCBW – Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week is Live!
- My PCBW – Day 3: A Sunday of Taste Buds Challenged, Dudes Abiding, and More
- My PCBW – Days 4 & 5: Pick Up a Hitchhiker; Pumkings and Gobbleritos
- My PCBW – Days 6 & 7: Full Pints, Good Friends, Tested Taste Buds 2, Helltown Takeover
- My PCBW – Days 8 & 9: Mail Forwarded to Caliente, Home Brews and Bashes!