We arrived at about 6:15 pm for Caliente Pizza’s The Bruery Tap Takeover event, which started at 7:00 pm. Even with arriving 45 minutes early, there were wall-to-wall
beer drinkers both upstairs and down! We got lucky when another Burgher offered his table to us. To hold us over until the tap takeover began, we tried a new-to-us beer
called The Bollocks from Brash Brewing Company (Imperial IPA). We had been at Caliente’s a few days ago and this one was not on tap then. That was true of a lot of the
beers at Caliente’s. They were having fast tap turnover, which is especially awesome if you’re a frequent customer. We got the list of the five Bruery Beers for the takeover. It was mostly The Bruery’s year-round beers: Rugbrod (Danish-style Rye), Mischief (Golden Belgian Strong), Humulus Lager (Imperial Pale Lager), Saison Rue (Farmhouse Ale), etc. Since the event was so packed, we offered a table share to a couple of standing folks
(we’re all Burghers here!). The tasting went smoothly and was a nice opportunity to get some Bruery beers all in once place.
The best part about this evening turned out to be 1) finding some new-to-us brews, and 2) the comraderie of the Pittsburgh craft beer drinkers. Everyone was offering chairs and sharing tables at this packed event. The owners of Caliente’s came out and talked to everyone as well. It again ended up being one of those nights where we planned to stay for an hour, and didn’t leave until almost 11:00 pm! It was really nice to see all the craft-drinking Burghers collaborating and being the community that we are.
Although not for any specific PCBW event, we decided to head out to Full Pint Brewing in North Versailles. Some of the folks with me had been anticipating the Gus IPA release. Plus, it is PCBW, and I love to support our local breweries. The Gus did not disappoint, with a great citrus taste. There was chatter that it might stay on as a regular at Full Pint, which sounded like good news to us. They also had two of the PCBW collaboration beers on tap, Burton upon Brett (Full Pint and Lavery) and Roggen Weizen (Full Pint and Four Seasons Brewing, the new brewery in Latrobe). Finally, we had to try their Rye Rebellion on tap, which was even better than you would think it could even possibly be. The fresh pizza dough (also excellent as pretzel bites) at Full Pint is a delicious touch.
Lastly, we headed out to House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington for their Voodoo Barrel Room rare beer tasting. As promised, they had some pretty rare Voodoo beers here, such as K13 Barleywine aged on Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels and Grande Negro Voodoo Papi (with vanilla, cinnamon, chili peppers, and maple syrup, then aged on on brandy barrels). Also on tap were some of the more common Voodoo beers such as Love Child, Gran Met, and Cowbell. This was a great selection of beers and resulted inprobably the busiest day we’ve ever seen at the House. It was great to see so many people supporting our neighborhood craft bars!
As Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014 winds down, I’m reflecting on the week-ish (OK, 10 days). It turns out that the best part of PCBW wasn’t the beer, per se (although, I mean, it’s all about the beer at the core) – it was the people. I loved seeing folks come out not just for big events like the Beer Barge, but also at the local level, supporting our craft beer bars in all of our Pittsburgh neighborhoods. It was great to see folks sharing tables and offering up chairs in standing-room-only events. The bars and breweries really showed up by setting up great events, bringing in extra staff, and getting their hands on some great beers. The community feel between the bars, breweries, and patrons in the craft beer scene of Pittsburgh is unreplicable. We all share one love of craft beer, and we all just get along.