Annual BIG HOPPY IPA Roundup! Where to Find February IPAs in Pittsburgh

Hop Cone

Every year, hopheads in Pittsburgh hold grit their teeth through winter’s chill in anticipation of one thing: February’s crop of big, amazingly hoppy IPAs. Read on for this year’s annual roundup of where to find these winter gems. This page will be continuously updated as we find more beer. Did you see one of these beers at your local shop or bar? Or are you carrying it at your bar or shop? Drop me a line and I’ll add yours!

I’d also recommended CALLING before you drive somewhere far to make sure they still have it! Some of this stuff is selling super fast.

We’ve also added a following of Full Pint’s HOPism this year, as requested by popular demand.

Bell’s Hopslam

Brentwood Distributing, W. Mifflin – in cans

The Saloon of Mt. Lebanon – on tap

Bellevue Beer, Bellevue – cans

Save On Beer, McKnight Rd. – cans

Mad Mex, McKnight Rd. – on tap

Save-Mor Beer, Browns Hill Rd. – cans releasing on Sat. Feb. 6 at 12 noon

Carson St. Deli, South Side – on tap (tapped 2/12)

Packs and Dogs, Mt. Washington – on tap (tapped 2/12)

Doublewide Grill, Seven Fields – on tap (tapped 2/19)

3 Rivers 6 Pack, Delmont – bottles

 

Troeg’s Nugget Nectar

Allegheny 6 Pack, Cheswick – on tap

Brentwood Distributing, W. Mifflin – in bottles

The Saloon of Mt. Lebanon – on tap

Carson St. Deli, Southside – on tap

House of Brews, Robinson – bottles

Atlas Bottle Works, Lawrenceville – bottles

Giant Eagle, multiple locations (New Kensington, Shadyside) – bottles

Mellinger Beer, Oakland – bottles

Caliente Pizza, Hampton – on tap

Fat Head’s, Southside (ON FEB. 19) – firkin

Save On Beer, McKnight Rd. – bottles

The Modern Cafe, North Shore – on tap

Giant Eagle Shadyside – bottles

 

Fat Head’s Hop Juju

Giant Eagle Shadyside – 4 packs

Mellinger’s, Oakland – Cases

Lohmans’s Beer, Wexford – Cases

Babcock Beer, North Hills – Cases

Fat Head’s, Southside – bottles

3 Rivers 6 Pack, Delmont – bottles

 

Full Pint’s HOPism

House of Brews, Robinson – bottles

Beer Express, Crafton – bottles

Save-Mor Beer, East Side – bottles

The Saloon of Mt. Lebanon – bottles

Lohman’s Beer, Wexford – 12- or 24-pack bottles

Giant Eagle Shadyside – bottles

Industry Public House, N. Fayette – on tap

Hitchhiker Brewing to Add a Production Facility and Taproom on the South Side

Hitchhiker Brewing, currently located in Mt. Lebanon, is planning to add a location on the South Side of Pittsburgh. They plan to move all of their craft beer production to the new South Side facility, which will be a block or two off Carson St. on Muriel St.

It sounds like they plan to keep their taproom in Mt. Lebanon as well. It’s more that they’ll move their beer production (which takes up a ton of space) to the South Side, which will free up a bunch of room in the Mt. Lebanon location.

In addition, the South Side location is set to have its own taproom, too. I’m loving that Hitchhiker Brewing will now have two Pittsburgh locations! I’m daydreaming of smelling that special sweet beer-brewing smell when walking in the South Side.

Food Menu from the Proper Pronto Truck at the Good Wood Festival – Saturday, January 16, 2016

For anyone headed to the Good Wood Barrel-Aged Beer Fest this weekend, here is the food menu that will be available from the new Proper Pronto food truck. Proper Pronto was just rolled out (see what I did there?) by Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room, a great pizza and craft beer place to check out in downtown Pittsburgh.

In addition to the pizzas on the menu, they’re also gearing up to offer a special wood-oriented pizza since it’s the Good Wood Fest. Think smoked cheese, smoked meats…mmmm.

Good Wood Barrel-Aged Beer Festival – Saturday, January 16, 2016

First event of 2016! And it’s a good one… a good wood one. The Good Wood Barrel-Aged Beer Festival is coming back! The last time we saw this even was in late 2014. Local breweries brought out their delicious barrel-aged swill, which included everything from sours to stouts to big barleywines. The event is hosted by Wigle Whiskey and East End Brewing.

Good Wood Barrel-Aged Beer Festival

Saturday, January 16, 2016

6:00 – 9:00pm

Location: East End Brewing Co., 147 Julius Street, Pittsburgh PA 15206

Tickets are $45 each and include a snifter with your beers to taste. Wigle will also have some spirits there to sample. East End Brewing is planning on doing a bottle release earlier in the day as well. See you there!

Where the Story Is – GABF 2015/Denver-Bound

I could write from the sidelines. People do it all the time. So much of the web content that we read is from researchers who read articles about said topic, then just regurgitate the information in a different way. These sites just want your attention. They want your clicks. You have read a travel article about Nashville written by a guy who’s never left Bangladesh. (Yes you have). But if you really want to write – meaning, that’s where your passion is – living it, breathing it, failing and succeeding with it, and then trying to communicate it to other people using just these words – you can’t write from the sidelines. If you’re a writer, you need to go where the story is.

I’m a craft beer writer. The story is in Denver.

Cue the suitcase bumping down the attic stairs.

This year, GABF is the largest it’s ever been. They’ve added 90,000 square feet of festival space to their already overwhelmingly humongous hall in the Colorado Convention Center. I am shocked that there is another 90,000 square feet of space somewhere in that building. They are expecting to have over 3500 different beers served. That is the largest selection of American beers ever served in one place. Ever. And I intend on trying every single one of them. Every. Single. One. [Author’s Note: I do not intend on this at all.]

There is also a new section of the festival this year called Meet the Brewer. Here’s why this is important: when you walk around the hall at GABF, you notice straight away about a jillion people [may have overstated that number] wearing bright yellow shirts. These are the volunteers, the brave, hard-working beer lovers of Denver who have the unfortunate task of attending the largest beer festival in the country (for free). Ah, let’s take a minute and give thanks for their sacrifice. These volunteers staff many of the booths at GABF. They are the ones who actually pour the beer. This might be because the brewery employees are out sampling or perhaps the brewery couldn’t even afford to send staff to the event (they can just ship beer). So it’s a bit of a treat to stop at a booth that is staffed by an actual brewer or brewery staff. They are obviously much more passionate about their beer and can answer questions (important to beer journalists!). Mad props to the brewer who stood right in the aisle at the beginning of the event last year and literally flagged us down to taste his beer. Guess what? We did. And otherwise we probably would have just cruised right by. Here’s to you, Mr. In-the-Aisle-Flagger-Downer-Brewer.

Back to the new Meet the Brewer feature. This area will house about 100 or so booths that are completely staffed by brewery team members or the brewers themselves. No volunteer pourers. Some of my favorite local Denver breweries will be in Meet the Brewer (I know, it’s easy for them, they’re right there!). But I was excited to see some of our kinda-localish breweries on the list as well: Great Lakes, Southern Tier, and Weyerbacher staff will all be standing ready to meet attendees (and craft beer journalists who came all the way from Pittsburgh).

So myself and 60,000 other attendees (who sold the event out in an impressive 1 hour, 17 minutes this year) are headed a mile high to where the story is. Because I could read about it and try to regurgitate it, but it would be a disservice to us both. I need to be there. I need to hear the endless din of the massive hall. I need at least 20,000 people to scream “OH!!” when I drop my taster glass and the plastic bounces off the concrete floor and echos like a yodel in a cave. I need to sit in the auditorium when they announce the 2015 medal winners and scream like a nut job when they announce a Pittsburgh brewery. Then, I need to somehow take the intangibles of being there, the feeling of being surrounded by “my people,” and turn it into words, enough carefully selected words that, if only for a moment, I can transport you there too. Because I fancy myself a writer. And I’m going to where the story is.

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Pittsburgh Real Ale Festival – Saturday, October 3, 2015

Ok, do yinz remember the thing with the Real Ale Fest? They were gonna do it, it’s an awesome idea, then it got cancelled, all that? No? Ok, me neither. Let’s just go get some real ale already cuz it’s on like Donkey Kong.

 

2015 REAL ALE FESTIVAL by Piper’s Pub

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2015

6PM – 10PM

HIGHMARK STADIUM, STATION SQUARE

 

Price will include 35 real ales (with a nice brewery list), food from Piper’s Pub (who fought long & hard to bring us this fest!), soccer matches with the Pub’s soccer team, shirt screening from Commonwealth Press, and local DJ spinning.

Oh wait, did someone ask what real ale is? OK, let’s do this. Have you ever had cask ale or a beer that was on cask? That was real ale. Technically, the final fermentation is done in the cask. So the beer kinda finishes up in the cask and also naturally carbonates (so no pumped-in carbonation here). The beer is served from that same cask in which it fermented and carbonated. It was also never filtered and never refrigerated like many beers are. Because of this, real ale can have many unique flavor and texture nuances that can’t be found in other commercial beers. (How totally Wikipedia did that sound?!)

$50 General Admission

Tickets available for purchase at Piper’s Pub (1828 East Carson St.)

or via Ticketmaster

 

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Drunkin’ Punkin’ Pumpkin Beer Extravaganza – Saturday, October 3, 2015

If you love pumpkin beers, my friend, then this event is for you! Hough’s Taproom and Brewpub is once again bringing back their Drunkin’ Punkin’ event.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

3 sessions: 11:00- 2:00 | 3:00 – 6:00 | 7:00 – 10:00

Hough’s Taproom and Brewpub, 563 Greenfield Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15207

Tickets are $50 and include 5oz. samples of over 25 pumpkin beers, light snacks in your “Trick or Treat” bag, a coupon for $2 off a 32oz to go can and a souvenir glass.

Enter through Copper Kettle Brewing Company (right beside Hough’s).

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