Back for its seventh iteration, Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week kicks off 10 days of sudsy celebration on April 20.
“It seems like every major brewing city has a craft beer week,” says Gene Ribnicky who’s been in the beer business for about 25 years and works for Vecenie’s Distributing Company. Ribnicky joined the event board last August. This year’s theme is comics, driven by the excitement of board member Todd McDevitt, owner of New Dimensions Comics. A beer-toting superhero is one of the official logos.
Whether your goal is to low-key drink tasty brews with your friends or get a little more active while you sip, Craft Beer Week has got you covered. The festivities kick off April 19 with a pre-party that spans all Caliente Pizza & Draft House locations where they’ll be tapping kegs of the much-beloved beer, Founders KBS Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. If stout isn’t your style, Caliente will also host an IPA challenge. Grab a scorecard and follow along with the IPA “flight of the night” until the last Saturday of PCBW. Then each night’s winners will square off to be crowned the week’s winner.
Feel like getting active? Join East End Brewing on the morning of Saturday April 21 as they deliver their first kegs of Pedal Pale Ale by bicycle to a secret location. You can also run with the Pittsburgh Hash House Harriers [“a running club with a drinking problem”] for the PCBW Fun Run.
Other events throughout the week include brewery tours with City Brew Tours, bottle releases and a cornhole tournament. There will also be a “If You Like it Hot!! Spicy Beer & Food Night” held at Caliente Pizza & Draft House in Aspinwall on April 28 that puts the classic pairing of spice and beer together by serving spicy food alongside beers made with peppers and spices.
In the friendly spirit of the craft-beer community, many brewers elected to brew collaborative beers. These offerings are Ribnicky’s favorite part of the event.
“The collaboration beers are really what capture the zeitgeist of what a craft beer week should be. It’s collaboration and solidarity,” Ribnicky says. A few collaborations beer lovers can expect to sip are Born and Raised Pennsylvania IPA by East End Brewing Company and Troëgs Independent Brewing Company, Bred (a reference to black and red Air Jordans) dark pale ale with cherries from ShuBrew and Drinking Partners, and the on-theme Kryptonite Imperial Margarita Gose, from Butler Brew Works and New Dimension Comics.
For a complete list of events, visit www.pittsburghcraftbeerweek.com.