PCBW Mashup, known last year as “My PCBW,” is a recap of the places my Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week travels took me. Enjoy!
Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2015 is in full swing and, so far, the happenings have lived up to the expectations. Events are rolling, collaboration beers are flowing, and PCBW moments and memories are being made at every juncture. These 10 days mean something different to everybody, but the one commonality you’ll find that makes this time of year so special is the simple fact that, no matter where you go and what you do, you’re going to have a damn good time!
As I sit down to collect my thoughts on this beautiful Sunday morning, I can honestly look back on the first two days of this 10-day celebration of beer and know I’ve gotten my money’s worth so far. This first PCBW Mashup is a look back at the highlights of my first two days. As you know, getting everywhere is impossible. But it certainly didn’t stop me from trying.
Friday, April 17th: Day 1 – Blood, Sweat & Beer Pittsburgh Premiere
The long-awaited arrival of Chip Hiden and Alexis Irvin’s craft beer documentary Blood, Sweat, & Beer finally came to pass at the Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville. This documentary gives you a first-hand look at the beer industry from the people who make it great and tells the story of two start-up breweries doing everything they can to survive and get on the map. One of those breweries is Pittsburgh’s own The Brew Gentlemen and the story of their plight is one that will make you truly appreciate everything it took for them to get off the ground.
We were honored to record our 10th episode of Over a Couple of Beers with Chip, Alexis, Matt Katase and Asa Foster of The Brew Gentlemen, as well as have a special appearance by Braddock Mayor John Fetterman. His dedication to reviving the Braddock community is top-notch, and The Brew Gentlemen are playing a major role in spearheading Braddock’s comeback from collapse.
I’ve said it a hundred times already, but I’ll say it again, THANK YOU to Chip, Alexis, Matt, Asa, and Mayor Fetterman for coming on the show and helping us record our best show to date.
Saturday, April 18th: Day 2 – Yeah…there were lots of stops today…
STOP 1: It wouldn’t be Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week if there weren’t countless activities to get you through the day. This particular Saturday started off with me guiding a beer tour via PA Brew Tours that gave attendees the ability to see brewing from a variety of perspectives.
Our first stop was at the Three Rivers Underground Homebrewers Demonstration at the Pittsburgh Public Market where Gregor Bender of Soul Bender Brewing showed everyone his home brew setup and allowed volunteers to help him start the brewing process for his pumpkin peach saison conjured up to poke fun at the infamous Budweiser Super Bowl ad.
From there, the tour went to Milkman Brewing in the Strip District for samples and a tour by owner Kyle Branigan. Next, the bus stopped at Grist House Brewing in Millvale where owner and brewmaster Brian Eaton took everyone through their 15-barrel brewhouse and showed them brewing on a professional scale.
If you’ve ever been curious about how breweries bring to life these awesome adult beverages you enjoy so much, take a Saturday and join us on a tour through PA Brew Tours. Stay close to your PCBN Mobile app for an update on upcoming tours in the very near future!
STOP 2: With today’s tour in the books, it was time to kick back and enjoy some more of the festivities. And what better way to unwind than with three of the best B words in the world: Beer. Bourbon. Bacon.
Hough’s in Greenfield’s unique event tied together these three wonderful creations and provided a blueprint for pairing specific bourbons and beers with four different styles of bacon. I went with a double shot of Knob Creek Bourbon on the rocks, a Deschutes Obsidion Nitro Stout, and savory bacon. Then I had a party in my mouth and didn’t invite anyone. I’m pushing for this event to be held every day, year round. Stay tuned…
STOP 3: When you think Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week, one of the first things that comes to mind is Caliente Pizza & Draft House. Why? Because these guys use these 10 days to bring you some of the coolest events in town. Tonight was the 2nd annual tapping of Kentucky Breakfast Stout, aka KBS, by Founders Brewing. This rare beer had people lined up out the door last year and kicked in 17 minutes! This year’s scene was about the same, but the 17-minute mark wasn’t exceeded. The beer, however, was spot-on as always!
STOP 4: Back to Grist House I go. The night was absolutely perfect for great beer and great music. Juvenile Characteristics took the stage and absolutely lit up the night sky with their set. Fire on the Hill IPA and For Wheat’s Sake, Grist House’s PCBW collaboration beer with Hitchhiker Brewing and Hop Farm Brewing filled my glass and provided the perfect nightcap for an action-packed PCBW Saturday.
What will Day 3 hold? Check back in soon and find out!
Where have your PCBW travels taken you so far? Share in the Comments below and share your photos on Beer Memories on PCBN Mobile!