Craft beer is rapidly becoming synonymous with Pittsburgh. More and more, people are leaving the bland, yellow lagers of the mass-producers behind in favor of unique, flavorful, and creative beer options brewed by artists who have the beer drinker in mind at all junctures. In Pittsburgh, there’s a lot to celebrate when it comes to beer. We are blessed with a bevy of brewers, wholesalers, enthusiasts, and bars and restaurants fully behind the craft beer movement. This ultimately gives us a variety options when it comes to our drink of choice.
On April 12th, 2014, a new event kicked off that featured these elements under one gigantic roof. Beers of the ‘Burgh took place in The Warehouse on the Corner of Willow and 4oth Street in Lawrenceville and aptly sported the tagline “Three Rivers United by Beer.” Without question, the event lived up to the statement.
If you’re new to craft beer, or simply unaware of local offerings, events like Beers of the ‘Burgh provide an excellent platform for local guys to showcase their wares, educate the public about their practices, and ultimately, give you plenty of reasons to support locally-born craft beer. Well over 20 local breweries were on-hand, pouring samples and bringing smiles to the faces of those in attendance. Porters, stouts, IPAs, ciders, ales, and more flowed like the Allegheny and the Monongahela into the Ohio, accompanied beautifully by music, games, food from local vendors, and the always-present camaraderie you’ll only find at a gathering such as this.
Proceeds from the festival went towards Neighborworks Western Pennsylvania. Their mission is to financially empower individuals and families so home ownership and stable communities become reality.
An element that stood out at Beers of the ‘Burgh was the collection of up-and-coming breweries, sampling beers typically hard to come by because they haven’t reached that full distribution stage. I was particularly intrigued by a gluten-free beer that’s sure to make a tremendous impact for those who avoid gluten, either by force or by choice (stay tuned to Breaking Brews for more on this in the near future). Other varieties and brewer’s takes on IPAs, ciders, brewing processes, and how to get the most from their creations helped make this festival a big success.
As craft beer continues to grow in the Steel City, an important piece of the puzzle is what’s happening locally. Craft beer options are abundant across the nation and have made their way into our market for us to enjoy, but what’s happening at a local level is undoubtedly enhancing the overall culture for beer enthusiasts. Events like Beers of the ‘Burgh are great showcases for collaboratively showing you what the local brewers are creating, while at the same time helping a great cause. But it’s up to us to show continued support for our local breweries by making an effort to drink their offerings when available, thus keeping the wheels moving in the direction of success and abundance.
A big thanks goes to Mark, Grace, and the entire team who made Beers of the ‘Burgh possible! I’m sure I speak for many people when I say the three years you put into developing this festival and doing it right paid off. We look forward to reconvening in 2015!