Well, I’ve successfully made it through 4 days of Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2014. Not the ideal training regimen for a marathon, but probably the most fun one I’ve followed!
I only attended one event for the 4th day of PCBW, but it was a very special one. Anyone who’s listened to my Podcast should remember my good friend Andy from Sessions 14 and 20 where we talked all about home brewing success. In those episodes I called Andy a “Semi-Pro” brewer, which is someone that is technically a home brewer but has the skills to work at a professional brewery.
Just like any other home brewer, Andy dreamed of making a career out of brewing and earlier this month his dream came true when the guys at Hitchhiker Brewing asked him to come on board as their head brewer. Andy obviously accepted the job and started making beer and getting paid for it.
Fast forward to last night, and the first keg of Hitchhiker Brewing beer was officially in the wild. Rivertowne on Pittsburgh’s North Shore hosted a local tap takeover Monday night and the first keg to kick was of course Hitchhiker Brewing’s Tumbleweed Oatmeal Brown Ale. Thankfully I got there early so I was one of the lucky few that got to try the new beer. I’ve never been a fan of brown ales, but I was very surprised by their beer. Tumbleweed was nutty with a slight oatmeal taste and a solid malt bill. Overall, a great beer and a fantastic first release for a new brewery.
Some More Beers
Like I said, I stayed at Rivertowne all night because, well, everyone else was too. With as many local beers on as there were, at least one brewer from all the local breweries were in attendance to talk beer and try everyone else’s offerings. It was a great night that was filled with friends, professional beer folks, and some pretty killer local beer.
After the Hitchhiker brown, I tried Rock Bottom’s Red Of Tooth And Claw, a 6.2% sour beer that was pretty nice. After that, it was time for a solid IPA and Four Seasons Brewing High Hopes IPA was just the one I needed. Balanced with a solid hop profile, it’s a beer I haven’t had the chance to try yet and I’m glad I did.
Capping the night off perfectly was a series-winning game from the Penguins. Geno had a hat trick that helped win the game 4-1 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Great beer and winning hockey make for a really good time.
All in all, it was a great night that, above being a great #PCBW2014 event, was a way to support a new local brewery and best of all a good friend that finally gets to live his dream. If that’s not what Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week is all about, I don’t know what it is.