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
Posted in Brewfests, Out and About in the Burgh
Tagged Allegro Hearth Bakery, anderson valley brewing, Artspace and Coffeehouse, beer and food parings, beer festival, beer nutz, Big Pour, Big Pour Four, Bocktown, craft beer, Craft PGH, Dogfish, east end brewing, erie brewing, Fat Head's, Founders, Founders Brewing, Full Pint, futhermore, Great Lakes, Heavy Seas, Mountain State, New Holland Brewing, Ommegang, Penn, Pipers, pittsburgh, Point Brugge Cafe, Roy Pitz, should i drink that, Sidney Crosby, Southern Tier, Southern Tier Brewing, Sprague Farm, Stone, Stoudt's, TDY, Terrapin, TRASH, Troegs, Victory, voodoo, Voodoo Brewing, Weyerbacher Brewing, Yard's brewing
Over the next couple months we will be turning a full size fridge into a 4 tap kegerator. Don’t worry we will keep you on top of the situation. Thanks to CL for making the purchase a possibility and now reality. Last night during the storm Mark and I moved the fridge into the house. And of course it couldn’t be simple.
8:43pm We show up to view the fridge.
8:48pm Realize the fridge is perfect and start taking doors off hinges to get it out of the basement.
9pm Fridge is loaded into the back of the truck. First flash of lighting is spotted. Also, low fuel light comes on in truck.
9:10pm Stop to get gas. Mark checks iphone for weather…….big red spot approaching downtown.
9:19pm First sprinkles of rain appear when we are about 3mins from house.
9:23pm Park truck and start to get fridge out of the bed. It starts to pour! Did I mention the lighting yet?
9:30pm With the use of headlamps, plywood (that will evenly be used for a cornhole set) and a little muscle we get the 24″ wide fridge past the 24.1″ gap between the house and the neighboor’s cinder block retaining wall.
9:40pm Using the plywood we push the fridge up over the basement threshold and into place in the basement.
9:41pm Rain stops…………
So if you have experience with kegerator construction and maybe fridge painting drop us an email.
Despite the rain, Jake and I made the trip out to the Pittsburgh Zoo for last weekend’s Brew at the Zoo fundraiser for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. Apparently a large part of the city of Pittsburgh also attended as lines were pretty long, but there was beer and exotic animals so we still had a good time. There was a good mix of beer and several live music acts. Interestingly, there was plenty of free food from chips/pretzels to mini pulled pork sandwiches to a chocolate fountain in the main atrium of the PPQ aquarium.
Several homebrew clubs were in attendance lending another dimension to the brewfest experience. Sixth Circle Brewing offered a variety of homebrews including Piss Water (American Cream Ale), a well rounded Dunkel, and a nice stout (which they use to make ice cream too!). Shubrew was also in attendance with several selections including a creamy stout with some hints of chocolate and coffee. The final tent boasted several Belgian selections including a framboise, Piraat, and St. Bernadus.
As we ran into a few great old friends we kept tabs on all the beer gossip . The homebrew tents kicked quickly and lots of people missed out, bummer dude. Same thing happened at the last tent. Did anyone else get Dragon’s Milk? I’m pretty sure we drank most of it. Others really enjoyed the Framboise served from Beet Nutz. A few had high praises for McSorley’s, Sierra Nevada Summerfest (Pilsner) and the range of fruity wheat beers. In talking with a few co-workers I heard a terrible terrible terrible rumor. Can anyone verify if Miller was present? I understand their beer is triple hopped brewed, but seriously WTF?!?! Can’t you also triple hop brew piss? Riddle me that Miller!
Brew at the Zoo attracts a wider audience than the typical brewfest, and it is nice to see people getting out and trying new beer. However, this can result in a bit more of a mob mentality, without much order in the lines. Additionally, the sheer number of people (and the downpour) make it difficult to get many discussions going with brewers/pourers. With this in mind, Brew at the Zoo is a fun night out complete with zoo animals, good beer selection, and live music. Where else can you sip on a glass of mead and watch a polar bear take a swim?
Posted in Brewfests, Out and About in the Burgh, Weekend in Review
Tagged brew at the zoo, craft beer, homebrew, Meade, PGH, Polar Bear, PPG, six circle, TDY, Yuengling
Vacation was a blast, but like most good things it had to come to an end. No lie Montana is BIG SKY country!! Glacier boasted one of the best landscapes I’ve ever seen, hands down! While in Montana TDY hiked all over Glacier National Park and even swam with a few iceburgs. Pictures are up on our Flickr account if you care to browse. In addition to hiking we sampled a ton of great Montana/NW beer. Below is a list of what we tried. Over the next few weeks we will post reviews of beers you see below. If you have tried any of the beers on the list let us know what you thought of them. More importantly if you know where to get any of these beers here in the PGH area give us a shout (I am most interested with the Deschutes beers).
Harvest Moon Brewing Company:
- Pig’s Ass Porter = This would be a “gateway” Porter in my book
- Charlie Russel Red
Glacier Brewing Company:
- Slurry Bomber Stout
- North Fork Amber Ale = Very typical amber ale, with a slight sweet malt taste…..can’t go wrong with this one
- Flathead Cheery Ale = Think Erie Derailer, but better
Big Sky Brewing:
- Moose Drool Brown Ale = You need to drink this beer to experience Montana
- Scape Goat Pale Ale
- Trout Slayer Ale = Miller/Bud clone……stay clear
- Big Sky IPA
Coeur D’alene Brewing Company: Best Nachos of the trip!!! All the beer here was great!!
- IPA = Typical NW IPA, with tons of hop taste……maybe ~70IBUs
- Brown = Great take on an English Nut Brown, went really well with the Nachos….better then Newcastle
- Black Butte Porter = One of my top 5 beers of all time
- Inversion IPA
- Mirror Pond Pale Ale
- Hop Czar IPA = Great logo on bottle and about 90+IBUs OH YEAH!!!!
Blackfoot River Brewing:
- Black Widow Oatmeal Stout = Great minus the over carbonation
- Pilsener = Just like home brewin, Penn Pils!
Madison River Brewing:
- Copper John Scotch Ale
- Irresistible Amber Ale
- Sawtooth Ale
- Nut Brown = Best Nut Brown ever! How do I brew this?!
Great Northern Brewing Company:
- Going to the Sun IPA
- Good Medicine Imperial Ale
- Believer Double Red Ale = One of the tastier Red’s, nice bitter hop overtones
- IPA = Great solid NW IPA, great hop balance, can I have another?
Tamarack: Sampler all around, plus two freebies
- Yard Sale Amber Ale
- Seasonal Amber Ale
- Bear Bottom Blonde
- Hat Trick IPA
- Rye IPA = Seasonal, very hoppy, with a rye bite
- Wakeboard Wit
- Dockdays Hefe
- Coffee Stout = The coffee smell over took the sampler, very good coffee stout
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged bayern brewing, big sky brewing, bitterroot brewing, black butte porter, blackfoot river brewing, bridgeport brewing, coeur d'alene brewing, craft beer, deschutes brewing, glacier, glacier brewing, great northern brewing, harvest moon brewing, hops, local beer, madison river brewing, montana, moose drool, ninkasi, penn pils, pigs ass porter, pittsburgh, tamarack brewing, TDY, yellowstone brewing