Tag Archives: Southern Tier Brewing

That was AWESOME! Big Pour 4 Review

Wow!  What a great time!  The Big Pour Four knocked it out of the ballpark further then Sidney Crosby ever could.  This was TDY’s first trip to the Big Pour since moving back to town.  Mixed emotions confronted us leading up to Saturday.  All the hype surrounding the event got us excited, and it seemed liked the rest of Pittsburgh was along for the ride.  At the same time we hoped it wouldn’t be overly hyped, feature wicked long lines, or be too unorganized.

From the very start on August 2nd I had a good feeling about the Big Pour, even if it didn’t start out so smoothly.  After failing to get through, on-line or on any of my thousands of phone calls, I almost caved.  I had almost given up, but decided to try one more time……..ring ring ring ring “Hi This is ShowClicks can I help you?”  Oh YEAH!!!  My name was placed on a waiting list as it was received and waited to hear back all evening.  While dinner was on the grill and I was drinking a Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA the phone rang.  Yep we got tickets!!!

Let’s fast forward now to the fun part, follow TDY’s path through the big pour.  You really couldn’t have asked for much better weather.  The line to get in was long, but the doors opened around 11:30am and things moved really well.  The first room had a nice mix of food and beer.  This trend followed suit throughout the festival.  Among our first beers were:

  • New Holland Poet Oatmeal Stout, Mad Hatter IPA
  • Furthermore Knot Stock – a wonderful pale ale that is light and crisp but really gives a kick in the teeth with black pepper flavor, Fatty Boombalatty
  • Anderson Valley Hop Ottin’ IPA
  • Erie FallenBock, excellent fall beer!, Heritage Alt Beer.
  • North Country Red, try it on Cask next time you are out

One of the highlights out of this group was talking to Joel from New Holland while pairing the Poet with brownies from Artspace and Coffeehouse.  We also caught up with the Should I Drink That guys.  They were serving brews from Erie Brewing including a dark German Alt Bier, Heritage.  In addition to serving for Erie and giving away occasional prizes, they came prepared for a podcast direct from Big Pour 4.  Allegro Hearth Bakery also had amazing baked goods there.  All of this was just in the first room: an excellent start to the festival!

The Belgian Beer Cafe was our next stop where the Beer Nutz fellas were pouring Unibroue’s Maudite and Ephemere. Ephemere is certainly an interesting beer brewed withe the juices from green apples.  It’s not too fruity but light and drinkable with a nice balance of sweet and tart flavors.  The Belgian Cafe was also serving New Holland Golden Cap Saison, Furthermore Make Weight, and Victory Golden Monkey Trippel. We also stopped to check out the kegerator art.  I really liked the one with the beer cans trying to break out of jail.  I will never look at the Allegheny County Jail the same.  Weyerbacher Brewing brought an awesome Double Simcoe IPA at 9%.  This beer was hoppy without the overly sweet malty or high alcohol taste that usually accompanies this style.  The Point Brugge fries were perfectly salted for beer consumption and served with flavored mayonnaise!  The band was also situated in this area.  They sounded great without being over powering, allowing for great conversation with friends and other beer lovers!  Next to the band we sampled:

  • Southern Tier 2XIPA, PumKING one of my new and only favorite Pumpkin beers.  Southern Tier is one of my favorite breweries of 2010, great showing again at the Pour!
  • Stone Levitation
  • Bell’s…..they really didn’t bring their A game at all…
  • Yard’s IPA and Brawler

After some wonderful Bocktown sausage meatballs, we had an amazing bowl of stew from Piper’s!  I could eat at Piper’s every meal of every day for a long long time.  Now that we got a little food in, time for more beer.  Voodoo Brewing was excellent again!  They stole the show for us at the Ohiopyle Beer and Gear Fest and had another strong showing at the Big Pour.  The Love Child is a very complex fruit beer but not too sweet, and it was on tap this time too.  Their Wynona’s Big Brown Ale is one of the top 3 brown ale’s I’ve ever had (No, New Castle is not in the top 3).  They are a great group of guys too.  Other beers back in this corner of the warehouse:

  • Thirsty Dog Old Leghumper – – I just can never pass this one up.  Smooth and drinkable with nice hints of chocolate and roast malts.
  • Sprague Farm; best dressed award goes to Sprague Farm for the kilt, and kick ass mustache…….he is also in charge of the hop farm
  • Mountain State Brewing; another fine showing with the solid Amber and IPA
  • Penn;  Penn Octoberfest coming very very very soon

TDY hit the two hour mark and nature called quickly.  On the way out we stopped at East End Brewing.  On cask we had the Homewood Reserve.  We can’t say enough about East End.  They always have a great showing at beer festivals and are really pushing Pittsburgh’s craft beer movement forward.  The Homewood Reserve reminded us of the cask Blackstrap stout at the Penn beer fest, but with a more bourbon taste.  Very smooth and strong with a complex flavor profile of alcohol and roasted malts.

The last few beers were:

  • Founders Backstage Series Double Barrel Bourbon IPA; awesome mix, great taste, hoppy with a little bourbon after taste, one of the top beers of the festival
  • Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale
  • Troegs Porter
  • Roy Pitz Hefe
  • New Holland Brother Jacob Dunkel, Imperial Mad Hatter.

Time ran out before we could try all the amazing food, but it all smelled great!  Hats off to everyone involved with the Big Pour 4.  And we were glad to meet a lot of great people.  Tim from Craft Pittsburgh was there and it was great to hear about his big plans for spreading the passion and excitement about the craft beer movement in PGH.  We have been to tons beer festivals all over the country and this one was AWESOME.  Someone asked this weekend why we still go and if we get the same energy at every festival.  The answer is, oh yeah!  The atmosphere is excellent, you get to try rare/festival only beers and can shoot the breeze with other beer lovers.  We leave you with our top beers in no particular order.  What were your top beers?  Have any good pics?  What was your favorite kegerator?  Did you win a kegerator?  Keep checking YouTube for our videos from the Big Pour.

  • Founders Backstage Series Double Barrel Bourbon IPA
  • Voodoo Wynona’s Big Brown Ale
  • Voodoo Love Child
  • East End Homewood Reserve
  • Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA
  • New Holland Poet
  • Southern Tier PumKing
  • Furthermore Knot Stock

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Brew at the Zoo Preview

Let’s not forget that this is for a great cause.  The Brew at the Zoo is a beer-tasting fundraiser benefiting the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.  Tickets are SOLD OUT!!!  It promises to be a great evening of beer, animals, music, food (whatever that might include) and other shenanigans.

We’ll start with the music.  Four bands will be performing at various points along the beer tasting walk.  The first band listed is “5 Alarm Flood”.  Their website is under construction, but thanks to YouTube it appears they are a fun live act with lots of covers……..Two Princes anyone.  “Seven Saturdays” is the next band on tap.  Myspace describes them as an acoustic/alternative/indie band.  Following “Seven Saturdays” is a band called “Rich Mahogany and the Leather-bound Books”, a soul/Motown/R&B type band.  Lastly its a rock/blues/jazz act, “The Drew Bentley Trio“.  All live music is fun to drink too, especially when you throw in wild/exotic animals.  If you want to see Donnie go to the RibFest.

Now for what we have all been waiting for……..the BEEEEEER!!!!  I am still trying to find a beer list.  The Brew at the Zoo website has a list of breweries that will be represented there.  I hope a few brewmasters are present to chat it up.  I have a feeling it will be mostly representatives from local distributors (I somehow think a brewer from Rogue in Newport, OR will not be at the Zoo, bummer!).  Anyhow, here is a list of breweries I am excited about.

  • Ballast Point Brewing = Give me something Hoppy, never let me down at the Library
  • Boulder Brewing = Sweaty Betty or the Brown IPA please
  • Ommegang Brewing = Need I say more
  • Conney Island Brewing =  Would love to get to know them better
  • Colorado Brewing = Brewery from the west, math says they should be decent at worst
  • Duck Rabbit Brewing = Give me something dark and good
  • Erie Brewing = almost anything other than Derailer……sorry not a huge fan
  • Founders = Fell in love after the beer tasting at the Harris Grill
  • Rogue = Cross your fingers for Shakespeare Stout
  • Ithaca = bring some Brown
  • Rust Belt = These guys are a lot of fun and very talkative about their craft
  • Southern Tier Brewing = One of my favorite east coast brewers other than East End…..speaking of which I didn’t see East End on the list, wtf?!?!
  • Terrapin Brewing = Lot 17 was one of the first I knew of that carried their Brown IPA
  • Troegs = remember when PCN toured the old smaller brewery?  Great stuff for PCN
  • ShuBrew = check out the website, very cool

I didn’t list it above, but there will be a ton of HOMEBREW samples as well.  As a homebrewer myself, I think this is so awesome that they invite homebrew clubs to join the fun.  I may never leave the homebrew area of the festival.  Please check out the Brew at the Zoo website for a full listing.  Ahhhh homebrew!!  Cheers to all the homebrewers reading!!

If anyone has more info on the Brew at the Zoo give us a heads up.  Last year there was a beer/walking map of the zoo on the website.  This year I am unable to find that.  You can contact us via twitter, thedrunkyinzer, or email thedrunkyinzer@gmail.com

I would also like to invite everyone to send in their top 3 beers from the festival.  TDY will share our top 3 as well in our Brew at the Zoo Review.  Extra bonus points (aka a free pint) if you spot TDY out and about at the Brew at the Zoo.

CHEERS!!!!