My PCBW – Days 4 & 5: Pick Up a Hitchhiker; Pumkings and Gobbleritos

So I told a fib. At the end of My PCBW Day 3, I told you guys I was taking a day off. But there’s something Godfather-ish about Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week. With so much going on, even when you think you’re out, they pull you back in!

I will say the past two days were a bit more toned down activity-wise, but definitely not lacking on the fun and acclaim that we’ve all come to know and love as PCBW. As I prepare to recap the past two day’s events, I find it crazy we are already halfway through this whirlwind week. But there’s that age-old saying about time flying and fun and what not…let’s abide by that.

Without further adieu, here’s a peek at Days 4 & 5 in the chronicles of My PCBW:

Day 4: Hitchhiker Brewing Debut at Rivertowne in the North Shore

Hitchhiker BrewingI came down to give my man Andy, the new Head Brewer at the soon-to-open Hitchhiker Brewing, some support and try the first batch of Hitchhiker brew to be released into the wild. Turns out, so did many, many others. My late arrival led to me missing my chance as the keg of Tumbleweed Oatmeal Brown Ale kicked in record time. While I’m sad I missed my early chance, I’m happy Andy’s beer got such great reviews from other craft beer enthusiasts and I look forward to seizing my opportunity to consume it when they open shop in Mt. Lebanon in a few short weeks.

Despite missing my first chance to ‘Pick Up a Hitchhiker’ (bad ass slogan, right?!), I did get my hands on some other great local brews. My personal favorite of the night was the High Hopes IPA by Four Seasons Brewing Company. A nice floral hop aroma and a very drinkable beer overall. These guys are rising quick…keep your eyes peeled.

Oh, and let’s not forget…the night also included the Penguins closing shop on their first-round opponent, the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was not an easy series, and even this game almost slipped through their grasp. But, as we’ve learned, the NHL Playoffs are all about overcoming adversity. The Pens did it in Round 1, and they’ll almost certainly need to do it in Round 2 and beyond. Let’s hope this hard-fought series win is the spark they need to propel them towards another dance with Lord Stanley at center ice. Let’s Go Pens!

Day 5: Pumkings and Gobbleritos and PCBW2014, Oh Hell Yeah!

So I fibbed again. After spending this past Thanksgiving curled up in a heap on my friend’s couch after eating a whole Mad Mex Gobblerito, I swore I’d never eat another full one in a single sitting. Then I sat down tonight and did it anyway. Maybe it’s increased metabolism, maybe it’s supernatural causes, but I surprisingly still have a spring in my step and don’t feel like I got hit by a tranquilizer dart. ‘Tis the magic of Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week, I tell ya!

Pumking and Gobbleritos at Mad Mex

The Southern Tier Pumking/Gobblerito party at the Mad Mex locations across Pittsburgh is one of my favorite events. I try to keep myself away from Pumking in what we USED to know as the offseasons for pumpkin ales, mainly because I’ve found the perfect pairing for a Pumking to be the crisp, Fall air. But I had to break down and enjoy one tonight just to savor the full ambiance of Mad Mex’s annual Craft Beer Week event.

More important than the Gobbleritos and Pumking was the opportunity to meet Tim and Devon Murdoch, who co-write the Pennies Pints Pittsburgh blog. This husband and wife blogging duo are two great people who I had a blast with, covering the spectrum from craft beer to blogging to Pittsburgh and beyond. Pennies Pints Pittsburgh is just one of several up-and-coming beer blogs in the Pittsburgh region and I encourage you to check out their site and subscribe to their posts. It’s very informative content and they’re both passionate about the articles they deliver.

My PCBW Day 6 will be taking me to Smokin’ Joes for the Full Pint Tasting and Food Pairing, and possibly Carson Street Deli as well, because it’s pretty awesome there. Hope to run into you kids on the craft beer scene as PCBW rolls on. Cheers!





Jason Cercone

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