Cask Ale Extravaganza Today for PCBW! – April 19, 2015

Head down to Caliente’s in Bloomfield for the Cask Ale Extravaganza today, as a part of Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week! Starting at 1pm, they’re featuring the following beers:

Hop Farm Butler Street Blues w Fresh Raspberries
Weyerbacher Tart Nouve w Fresh Raspberries
Church Brew Works/Draai Laag & Eleventh Hour PCBW Collab King Crimson
East End Joe Melt
Rivertowne Black IPA Dry Hopped w El Dorado & Citra
Full Pint/Apis/Shu Brew PCBW Shu Full of Honey
Four Seasons High Hopes IPA w oranges and Citra Hops
Grist House Fire on the Hill w Mosaic Hops
Fat Heads Head Shrinker DIPA
Helltown/Four Seasons PCBW Collab Seasons of Hell


Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week! April 17 – 26, 2015

Here we go Pittsburgh! Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week (PCBW) is at our heels again! This 10-day-long event (I know, I know, it’s just that Pittsburgh Craft Beer 10-Day Period was too awkward – plus why not extend the party?) runs April 17 – 26, 2015. Many (most?) local craft beer locales, such as bars, restaurants that serve craft, breweries, etc. plan great events for this week. Tappings of rare beers, tap takeovers, beer and food pairings, beer dinners, and all kinds of original events are already planned. Take a look at the PCBW calendar to get a good look at the events and to start planning your days.

Some event highlights:

  • Collaboration beers. Each year, many of our local Pittsburgh breweries get together and brew collaboration beers for PCBW. A full list of the brews will come soon.
  • The Commonwealth Press Beer Barge on Sat. April 18. This event sold out over a month ago. If you already have tickets, you know about it!
  • Blood, Sweat, & Beer Pittsburgh Premiere on Fri. April 17. This documentary features Brew Gentleman of Braddock as one of the breweries they followed through the start-up process. Brew Gentleman will be there for beer tastings starting at 6pm, screening at Row House Cinema at 7:30pm, and a Q&A afterward. Call for tickets, (412) 904-3225.

Stay tuned to for up-to-date event coverage!

Bars/breweries/restaurants, submit your events to the PCBW Calendar here.

East End Brewing Co’s Gratitude Barleywine Release Party – March 14, 2015

This year’s Gratitude Barleywine release party is tomorrow, March 14, 2015, 12pm – 8pm at East End Brewing in Larimer. They are offering bottles of this year’s Gratitude and Bourbon Barrel-aged Gratitude. Often times, these bottles sell out at the release party, so even though the time span is that of the party, the Gratitude may sell out prior to the end time.

They’ll also have a bunch of other great bottles for sale, include past years’ vintages of Gratitude, as well as bottles from their recent releases of HOMEWOOD RESERVE, OLD NEBBY, OLD KNOBBY, CRYSTAL SCHIP, SKETCHY, AND BRETT HOP. They’ll have some funky beers on tap for growlers or pints.

Table will be set up for some BYOfood action (potluck!) and also for BYObeer, if you want to bring any commercial or homebrew beer to share.

Chillwave Pittsburgh Release Party Tonight! – March 13, 2015

Great Lakes Brewing co. seems to be having a bit of an issue getting this year’s batch of Chillwave Double IPA (formerly known as Alchemy Hour) out, but they’ve promised to have some available for its Pittsburgh release party tonight! Head over to Harris Grill in Shadyside during happy hour to get your first taste of 2015 Chillwave. They are starting at 5pm.

THIS JUST IN: Beer Distributors in PA are Now Allowed to Sell 12-Packs!

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has ruled that beer distributors are now allowed to sell 12-packs. Previously, distributors in PA were only allowed to sell cases or kegs of beer or malt beverages. This quantity has remained on our law books since the post-Prohibition days, thus making this ruling significant as it’s the first major progress in changing the antiquated liquor laws here in PA.

The 12-packs must arrive from the brewery or manufacturer as 12-packs in order for distributors to sell them. In other words, distributors cannot take a case from a brewery and split it up on their own, selling it as 2 12-packs. This gives an edge to Pennsylvania-based breweries, as they will most likely deem it worthwhile to order new-sized boxes to hold 12-packs in order to be able to sell smaller quantities at distributors. A brewery in California or Colorado is less likely to create an entirely new packaging design just to sell in PA, unless we happened to be a huge market for them.

Props here to our Pittsburgh-area warriors such as Pistella Beer Distributors in Friendship and Save-Mor Beer in Squirrel Hill who sued the PLCB last year over a similar issue, pushing the PLCB to update their laws.

12-packs will allow beer drinkers to purchase a greater variety of beer without having to commit to the price of a full case, or paying the marked-up price of smaller quantities at bottle and 6-pack shops. This should also help small PA brewers in that more drinkers could sample their beer at a reasonable price. Ideally, I think it’d be great to see PA breweries offer a variety pack – 3 4-packs of 3 different beers – bundled into a 12-pack box.

Local Pittsburgh breweries, take advantage of being small and being able to adapt quickly to change. Please order up some new 12-pack-sized boxes and use this opportunity! Let’s get our awesome Pittsburgh breweries known all across the state!

Upcoming Bottle Releases at Voodoo Homestead and East End Brewing

Voodoo Homestead

Starting today (Feb. 23) at 3pm, Voodoo will begin offering allotments of our Barrel Room Collection Release III at our Homestead location. Information here (their Facebook page).


Old Jive Turkey- 10% ABV – 22oz, $20- Limit 2- A traditional Old Ale aged in Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrels.

Bourmuda Triangle IPA- 10.1% ABV – 22oz $21- Limit 2- Imperial West Coast-style IPA 50% aged in Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrels, 25% in Caribbean Rum Barrels, 25% in Extra Anejo Tequila Barrels. Blended once removed from the barrels and double dry hopped with Apollo, Galaxy and Simcoe. Make no mistake about it, this is an IPA through and through, not just a hopped up barleywine. We’re working our hardest to bottle this as close to the release as humanly possible, so please, DO NOT AGE- DRINK FRESH!!

Taco Flavored Kisses- 11.2% ABV – 22oz $20- Limit 2- Wheatwine brewed with organic blue weber agave nectar and aged in Extra Anejo Tequila Barrels.

Blackbeard’s Delight- 12% ABV- 22oz $21- Limit 2- Imperial Brown Ale brewed with blackstrap molasses and aged in Caribbean Rum Barrels with locally roasted coffee, cocoa nibs, and Madagascar vanilla beans.


East End Brewing (Brewery Only):

This one is for the sour lovers out there. Saturday, March 7, 12 – 5pm. Info here (their website).


You may have heard about this one, as we had it in draft form at theGOOD WOOD Fest, and at Weird Beer Night. Or not. We’ve been describing it as “A wine barrel aged sour brown ale”, but you can get the full backstory on it here if you like, including the part about where the name came from. You may have even seen some on tap at the brewery lately too – in fact, we’ve got a keg of it on tap right now (2/23/15) if you’d like to stop in a Growler or a pint.  But this release is for the bottled form of this beer.


A little over a year ago, we took an entire batch of Illustration Ale and transferred it to wine barrels, dosed them with a Brettanomyces culture, and parked them under our chalkboard in our tap room. You may have leaned on these same barrels while perusing the draft list. Doing this was a pretty sketchy prospect from the start, especially given the nature of everything involved. But the culture eventually took hold in each barrel (the photo on the top of the Weird Beer Nightpage is actually the view into one of these barrels), and it added another layer of flavor complexity to an already complex beer. Wine like, with a light tartness and some spice, dry finish.


It’s our flagship BigHop that was fermented 100% with Brettanomyces. It also picked up a bit of lacto-tartness along the way, as it too spent a bit of time in wine barrels. The result is a roller coaster of flavors: fruity, tart, bitter, and sweet with a dry finish of grapefruit pith. There’s really a lot going on in this beer, and we’re VERY pleased with the results. Which is great, because with a devoted open fermenter, we can definitely brew it again someday.