Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Beginner’s Guide to Pittsburgh Craft Brew Week

A guide to PCBW for local-brewery newbies.


As a 21-year-old college student, I won’t pretend to be a beer expert (unlike most of my contemporaries). My palate is pretty limited and the chief factor determining my drink of choice is price.

But I have to admit that the upcoming Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week (PCBW) intrigues me. I may not have a favorite IPA or know what makes the perfect brew — but after hearing about the event, I wanted to tap into beer subculture in preparation for PCBW. The rabbit hole must go pretty deep; a look at Wikipedia exposed me to zythology, the formal study of beer.

During PCBW — ten days of craft-brew celebration — there are tons of events for beer connoisseurs but also some interesting experiences if you’re new to beer culture. Below is a newbie’s guide to some gems among this year’s 42 featured events. If you’re not already an expert planning on attending, here are the festivities you should consider checking out to get a taste of life as a Pittsburgh beerhead.

“Pancake Apocalypse”
10 a.m.-2 p.m., April 23, Caliente Pizza & Draft House Mt. Lebanon
“All you can eat pancakes.” Few can resist the allure of those words. But Caliente is offering a little something extra during PCBW.

While enjoying Caliente’s unlimited supply of hotcakes, taste their collection of breakfast beers, (a subcategory which, prior to this writing, I had no idea existed). Apparently brews like Founders KBS and Weyerbacher's Sunday Morning Stout are socially acceptable while the sun is still rising.

“Between Two Fermenters: Collaboration” Panel Discussion
7-9 p.m., April 25, East End Brewing
If you want to discover what beer culture is all about, there’s no better way than to listen to a talk between leaders in the field. This panel discussion will be addressing the artistic side of brewery, and how two beer makers collaborate to build a different, distinct concoction.

Panelists include Scott Smith of East End Brewing, Al Kominski of Pizza Boy Brewing and Caroline Moore, author of “Punk Rock Entrepreneur.”

Plus, this talk is monitored by our very own food critic Hal B. Klein. Believe me, Hal’s a smart guy. Unlike me, he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to beer.

“Battle of the Breweries”
6-9 p.m., April 27, Pig Iron Public House
If you’re interested in broadening your palate, this is a great way to taste the best of the best. Breweries submit their proudest craft offering and a one-off wildcard brew in a taste test to crown the year’s best beer.

If nothing else, you’ll be able to add voting in the 2017 PCBW Best Beer competition to your portfolio when applying for your eventual licensure as a certified beer sommelier.

“Unofficial Sendoff of PCBW 2017”
4-11:30 p.m., April 30, Caliente Pizza & Draft House Bloomfield
Say goodbye to Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week in style by heading to the unofficial send-off party at Caliente’s in Bloomfield. There’ll be 24 unique beers to try out, and by the end of the week, you may even be able to match wits with a few beer nuts.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Munhall Native Auditions for American Idol

A rising Pittsburgh star vies for her chance at fame.

Lack of Empathy Leads to Uncivil Discourse

A panel discussion at Duquesne University focused on the tough task of teaching empathy in the digital age.

How Making Juice Changed Sharif Rasheed's Life

The owner of Safi Juice in Garfield left a job he hated to tap into something from his childhood.

Pittsburgh's Can't Miss Concerts in April

This month's lineup includes Rick Astley, Billy Price, Christopher Cross and Ronnie Milsap.

Pittsburgh Flicks and Nightlife in April

Tour local social clubs with the Roaming Social Club; expect changes at AMC Waterfront

April: Best of Culture in Pittsburgh

Check out some of the finest stage plays, dance performances and exhibits taking place this month in Pittsburgh.

Undercover: What We're Reading in April

A look back at "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" as it turns 30, plus two literary events coming up in April.

Perspectives: ‘This Is Us’ Is a Story of Us

A former Pittsburgher finds more than a few similarities between his own life and that of the siblings on "This Is Us."

Spare Change: A New Way of Giving

A local group is using music and some spare change to help charities — and filming every step of the way.

Look How Mighty This Bellevue Garden Has Grown

Last season, the Rosalinda Sauro Sirianni Garden produced 4,862 pounds of food; the harvest was donated to three food pantries.

When and Where to Dump Your Junk (including old TVs)

A state environmental agency wants to help you recycle your hard-to-dispose-of household clutter.

Watch: Trailer of “Won't You Be My Neighbor”

The documentary about Mister Rogers' iconic show takes viewers beyond the cardigan collection and into “the heart of a creative genius.”

On a Lark: Pittsburgh Mom Creates Activewear for Babes

Unable to find cute, environmentally friendly gear for her newborn son, Lark Adventurewear founder Pallavi Golla launched her own line of moisture-wicking clothing for kids.

Pittsburgh MultiStories: The Beacon's Perch – The Grant Building

When it opened in 1929 as the city’s tallest structure, crowds of sightseers paid a quarter to visit the rooftop observation deck of the Grant Building — named for the street, which was named for the hill, which was named for the somewhat hapless general.

Rick Sebak Digs Up Distant Carnegie-Trump Connection

Research into Andrew Carnegie’s marriage reveals an unlikely, albeit tenuous, connection between the Pittsburgh icon and the 45th President.