As Pittsburgh's food and drink culture continues to develop, comparisons to Brooklyn — the hippest of hipster enclaves — are bound to pile up. Now, Brooklyn Brewery is helping to make that connection a little more overt by bringing its nationwide "Brooklyn Brewery Mash" tour here, from Oct. 21-27.
Pittsburgh is one of 11 cities on the tour, which promises "Adventures in Food, Film, Music, Books & Beer," and offers events that range from free to fancy. (Details are available at brooklynbrewerymash.com/Pittsburgh.) Brooklyn Brewery house chef Andrew Gerson will team up with several local chefs for beer-focused dinners, for example. He'll also do a cooking demo on Saturday morning at Slow Food's Farmers@Firehouse market.
"We're bringing some of our favorite people and partners from Brooklyn ... and localizing it to Pittsburgh," says Brooklyn Brewery marketing manager Maia Raposo.
"We're celebrating the same thing they're celebrating: local. We share a very similar philosophy," says Susan T. Barclay, a Slow Food Pittsburgh co-leader who helped coordinate local events with Virginia Phillips and Amy Rosenfield. (A portion of the proceeds from most ticketed events will go to Slow Food Pittsburgh.)
Lawrenceville's Industry Public House will serve as "Mash HQ." In addition to a full line of the Brewery's bottled beers (and a selection on tap), expect to find a rotating array of rare Brooklyn beers, plus drop-ins from some of the brewery's touring team.
Do we need a brewery from Brooklyn to celebrate what's unique about Pittsburgh? Slow Food's Barclay sees the benefits of partnering with a nationally known, and highly respected, craft-brew house. "We'll get to meet new people, and talk to people [about Slow Food] that we wouldn't have met through other means," she says.
"It all goes back to beer being about camaraderie," says Raposo. "It's a celebration of what's already happening in Pittsburgh, looked at from our lens of what we love about Brooklyn."
Of course, she adds, it doesn't hurt that "you get to enjoy our beer along the way."