On Monday, December 8th, the next step in the mission I embarked upon a little over a year ago goes live. The Pittsburgh Craft Beer Network website goes up and my vision for PCBN is to provide craft beer enthusiasts with a single, unified online destination for craft beer knowledge, discovery, and direction. PCBN is designed to be fun, informative, and put all the incredible places in Pittsburgh doing remarkable things with craft beer, wine, cider, whiskey, rum, and more, center stage for all to behold.
Why? Because each and every one of them deserves it.
It was the summer of 2013 when the ignorant comment of how could a bar specializing in craft beer possibly think it could survive without selling the swill of the “big three” first entered my ear and provided me with a new mission. My goal from the first day I published a post on Breaking Brews was to be a voice of craft beer advocacy and be a contributing factor in the overall growth of craft beer, not just in Pittsburgh, but as a whole.
With a rise in the supply of craft beer, there has to be demand to meet it. This means more people have to enter into the revolution and buy-in to the idea of craft beer, and this only happens through education. At the same time, those entering said revolution need to know where they can go to enjoy these unique libations, as well as pair their drink with the education that helps them understand what makes their drink so special. With the uprising of craft beer, more bars have answered the call and solidified themselves as true craft beer destinations that serve the best beers around while educating their consumers at the same time.
Breaking Brews was, is, and will continue to be, a celebration of that. The Pittsburgh Craft Beer Network will be all that and more.
Since my first Breaking Brews post on February 10th, I can’t even begin to explain how thankful I am for everything I’ve had the opportunity and privilege of experiencing. I have met some of the most incredible, forward-thinking people that have truly inspired me to continue building on my mission and have been part of some of the most fun, entertaining, and worthwhile beer events a supporter of craft beer could ever ask for.
The Pittsburgh scene has become one of growth and abundance thanks to the hard work and dedication of all those who strive to constantly evolve and create something new at every juncture. As an enthusiast, I’m blessed knowing there’s so much happening that will shape and mold the future of craft beer in Pittsburgh, and PCBN will be here to promote the hell out of it!
To ANY of you who I’ve had the privilege to work with, chat with, learn from, or tip a pint with over the last 10 months, I have only one thing to say: Thank You.
It hardly seems possible that, after five months of work and preparation, the Pittsburgh Craft Beer Network is ready to go. My passion to raise craft beer awareness and create a unified platform for all of the Pittsburgh craft beer scene has only gotten stronger as PCBN has come to life. The amount of support I’ve received regarding both the Breaking Brews and the Pittsburgh Craft Beer Network projects has been absolutely overwhelming and humbling. To have a stranger introduce themselves and tell me they love what I’m doing and thank me…that’s all the justification I need to know I’ve chosen the right path.
Now, do I expect to set the world on fire the very first day the site goes live? Of course not! We’ve got a lot of work to do going forward. But, I truly believe in my vision and will stop at nothing to ensure PCBN is #1. For all those already involved, and all those who will be jumping on board…get ready for a wild, hop-fueled ride!
Before I wrap up, I’d like to take a quick second to mention some individuals who have truly helped me with this launch. They have pointed out the good, the bad, and the ugly with my ideas…and I want to take this opportunity to let them know, collectively, every piece of insight was taken to heart and appreciated.
Nick Bogacz, owner of Caliente Pizza & Draft House in Bloomfield and Hampton Township, has become a great friend and true mentor with this project. It was Nick’s vision that helped spawn what the Pittsburgh Craft Beer Network will become, and I can’t thank you enough for all the insight.
Chris Dilla, owner of Bocktown Beer and Grill in Robinson and Monaca, has always helped me look at both sides of the equation with anything we’ve ever worked together on, and PCBN has been no exception. Thank you, Chris, for never holding anything back!
The crew at Grist House Brewing…each and every one of you have been awesome since we first met when I wrote the Craft Beer Spotlight for you. Your support has been tremendous, and your beers continue to be as good as anything I’ve ever drank. Thanks for the use of your facilities for videos and networking throughout this process.
The Brew Gentlemen…Asa, Brandon, and Matt, I couldn’t be happier for all the success you guys have enjoyed and I can’t WAIT for Blood, Sweat, & and Beer to hit the theaters! I’d put some of your offerings up against beers that have reached national distribution and feel confident drinkers would choose yours. Your support has been exceptional. Keep doing what you’re doing, because I know you care about what Pittsburgh’s beer scene will be.
Danny Castriota from Hal’s Bottle Shop, Matt and Cassie Hough from Hough’s Taproom & Brewpub, Tim from Pittsburgh Smokehouse, Tim and Devon from Pennies, Pints, Pittsburgh, Kevin and Kim from GM Innovations who’ve worked with me through CONSTANT design changes to PCBN…the list of people goes on and on, but know I wouldn’t be where I am with this project if it weren’t for your help! If I left anyone out, I apologize…I’ll owe you a beer. 🙂
So…what’s next? Simple. I’m going to put the final touches on PCBN, kick back, have a beer, and get myself ready to celebrate Craft Beer, All Year!
CHEERS…to ALL of you!
Here’s a quick video I put together for the Pittsburgh Craft Beer Network, in case you missed it…