Brewing ‘Burgh is an inside look at craft beers created, consumed, and celebrated right here in the heart of the Steel City. With the rise of the craft beer scene in Pittsburgh, these beers bring brand new meaning to the term “City of Champions.”
If you’ve read the background as to why I started Breaking Brews, you’ll understand why the debut edition of Brewing ‘Burgh features East End Brewing’s flagship beer, Big Hop IPA. For those unfamiliar with the story, here it is in brevity: the night the guy wandered into The Beer Market and adamantly stated that no place would ever survive if it didn’t serve Miller and Bud products and inadvertently sparked my idea for this site, I was enjoying a Big Hop while he filled my ears with his less-filling, triple hops brewed diatribe of absurdity.
Coincidence? Absolutely. But being a guy who embraces sentimentality, I’ll always remember Big Hop being the beer I consumed when Breaking Brews was born.
My own attachments aside, Big Hop is one damn good beer and is brewed in Pittsburgh at East End Brewing. As stated on East End’s website, Big Hop is brewed with loads of Centennial and Cascade hops to create a truly American IPA. It is meant to be a very hoppy offering but not bitter, balanced with a solid Munich Malt backbone. Big Hop sports a 5.8% ABV, making it close to a “session” IPA you can enjoy without a heavy knockout punch.
In my inaugural ‘Defining The Craft’ post which tapped into IPAs, Big Hop made my Top 5 list to try (of course, you have to be local to the Western PA region, but if you are…seek Big Hop out today.) It makes that list because it’s one that instantly gained my affection, but also because it offers just the right amount of hops to not overwhelm the palate. I proved that theory last week when I recommended Big Hop to a couple co-workers visiting Pittsburgh, and both enjoyed their choice.
East End Brewing is primarily a ‘draft only’ operation, although they do offer roughly a dozen hand-bottled specialty beers throughout the year at their brewery. They brew over 35 different beers, Big Hop being the most popular, that are distributed to bars and restaurants through the Western Pennsylvania region by Venencie Distributing.
The best way to get your hands on Big Hop is to visit one of East End’s locations for a growler fill, fresh-filled while you wait. Or, if you’d like to make a bigger commitment, you can wrap your arms around a keg as well.
East End Big Hop offers a solid IPA option for the hop lover in us all, making it one of the top options of local craft beers in the Pittsburgh region. Next time you find yourself perusing a draft list and you come across Big Hop, do yourself a friendly favor: have your bartender pour you a pint, consume, and smile.