Grill and Beer Dinner, Bella Sera, Canonsburg – Friday, May 29, 2015

Kick off your grilling season in style with a fun-filled, unforgettable evening. Join Chef/Owner Jason Capps and Executive Chef Giuseppe DiGristina as they demonstrate a 5 course meal and teach you how to grill like a pro. Expert beer specialist Lee Schmidt will pair a hand-selected set of craft beers with each course. Live music by local Americana talents – The Weathered Road.

Price: $75

Friday, May 29

6:30 p.m. Doors

7:00 p.m. Grillin’

For reservations: 724-745-5575 ext. 111

This is an outdoor rain or shine event – dress accordingly.


Bella Sera, 414 Morganza Road, Canonsburg, PA

American Homebrewers Association (AHA) Big Brew Day Review – May 2, 2015

Several years ago, May 7 was announced before the U.S. Congress as National Homebrew Day. Each year, the AHA celebrates the day by announcing a Big Brew Day. All over the nation, homebrew clubs gather their members and, well, brew! Pittsburgh’s two large homebrew clubs, TRASH and TRUB, joined together to do Big Brew Day Pittsburgh-style. The event was hosted by the MoreBeer Distribution Center in Ambridge. MoreBeer recently opened this distribution center, which is their second location (the original one is in California), in order to have quicker delivery to the East Coast. What it meant for Pittsburgh homebrewers, however, is that many of their homebrewing supplies could be delivered from MoreBeer the day after they ordered! MoreBeer setting up this huge distribution center in Pittsburgh was a great boon for the beer lovers in this city. All the homebrewers at this event were very glad to have MoreBeer right here in our hometown.

MoreBeer provided water from their taps for the homebrewers, who brought giant kegs and kettles and got to work. Folks were brewing out of the back of pick-up trucks and under canopies that they set up in the MoreBeer parking lot. It turned out to be a great day as the club members shared their own homebrews and some commercial beers as well.


Homebrewers doing magic




Brewing out of the back of a pick-up truck. Pittsburgh-style!

MoreBeer also offered a tour of their distribution center. To my Pittsburgh homebrewers out there reading this, let me tell you, they take good care of their product there. Check out the photos of the HUGE line of glass-fronted coolers where they keep their yeast and hops. Each bin was marked with an expiration date, and when that date comes, they throw it out. There was no old or expired stuff coming out of this facility. They also have a great method of boxing up items such that their supply is always fresh (it’s a first-in, first out (FIFO) distribution system in case anyone else signed up for that economics class in college).


Coolers of yeast and hops at MoreBeer in Ambridge


TRASH and TRUB members on the MoreBeer tour

This turned out to be a great event. The homebrewers, as always, are friendly, laid-back, and love to give you beer to drink. Which I accepted. Tough gig.

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!