Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Talk of The Tahn: City of Beer

There are plans afoot for a international museum of beer to be built and staffed right here in Pittsburgh.




photo illustration by chuck beard

 

For no good reason anyone can explain, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland.

An Ohio DJ in an awful ’70s film yells, “You can’t stop rock and roll!” So what?

When you hear spoken the proper name of the Mistake by the Lake, you might think of a lot of things: Irish mobsters being blown up in parking lots, rivers on fire and, until recently, complete athletic failure — but Rock and Roll?

Not.

NYC. LA. London. Minneapolis. Detroit. Hell, even Boston, but not Cleveland.

To quote Chrissie Hynde, an Ohio native and one of rock’s great lyricists: “My city had been pulled down. Reduced to parking spaces. Ay, oh way to go, Ohio.”

But, when you think of beer … well, you can pretty much think of any city in America. But for good reason, Pittsburgh comes to mind, high on the list of quaffing capitals.

We drink a lot of beer. We always have. Many of our neighborhoods brag they’re home to the most bars per capita in the nation. Or were.

Anyhow — there are plans afoot for a international museum of beer to be built and staffed right here in Pittsburgh. Brew: The Museum of Beer (BrewMuseum.com) aims to tell the 10,000-year-old story in a destination complex envisioned as comparable in size and scope to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 50,000 square feet of beer glory and beer history.

200 beer employees. Beer lovers from all across the nation coming to us, like chocolate freaks to Hershey, for beer summits, beer research, beer school, beer weddings and beer camp. The place will give new meaning to trickle-down theory.

Beer, beer, beer. What’s not to like? Humans ceased their nomadic wanderings to grow a steady supply of grain. To make beer (and bread). The toiling masses who built the pyramids were paid in an early version of company script. Which they exchanged for beer. In the Middle Ages, if you wanted to avoid the bubonic plague or cholera, you didn’t drink water, you drank beer. And after being a pious little citizen on Sunday, after Mass you’d get something nice from Father Theodoric: Beer. The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock because if they’d gone all the way to Virginia, they’d have run out of beer.

A nation founded on beer.

In America, in the middle of the 19th century, there were thousands and thousands of independent breweries. (“Drink local” ain’t new.)

By the middle of the 20th century, there were Bud, Pabst and Miller controlling half of the market.

This is why the museum should be in Pittsburgh.

As the Industrial Revolution achieved its dizzying heights of power and wealth, what people ate and bought and drank and even lived in became just another thing that came off the assembly line. As went the country, so went beer. Mass marketing for the masses. Price per unit. Mergers, buyouts, homogenization, “take care of the costs and the profits will take care of themselves.” Sadly, this took care of the flavor as well.

As we became the American empire, 4,000 local tastes and styles and malts and porters and ales became … Bud.

And nowhere in America did the footprint of Industry fall more heavily than right here at home. Pittsburgh.

But wheels turn and local breweries have returned with a vengeance, with 70 thriving or under development right now in western Pennsylvania — 22 in Allegheny County. Independent breweries now account for 12 percent of the national market, and the Indie beer business is growing at 17 percent each year. Wall Street forecasters think it could garner 50 percent of the market.

The scales of beer justice righted once more. The story told. Right here at home.

So as the fall season sets upon you and beer hour gets earlier and earlier, tell your congressman, tell Rich Fitzgerald and tell the Mayor, over a beer, that you wouldn’t mind one more museum coming to Pittsburgh. One that might be able to pay for itself, pint after pint.  
 

Read more from David Conrad on his blog and and follow him on Instagram.
 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Electric Scooter Rideshare Launching in Pittsburgh

Scoobi will offer an eco-friendly alternative to cars and a speedier alternative to bikes beginning in June

Is Kennywood's Phantom’s Revenge Best Coaster in USA?

The fastest amusement park ride in Pennsylvania is currently in the running for best roller coaster — and it’s gained plenty of speed.

Director and “Mr. McFeely” Discuss “Won't You Be My Neighbor?”

The director of the forthcoming Mr. Rogers documentary sits down with the longtime Mr. McFeely and Pittsburgh Magazine.

Pittsburgh Teen Chess Phenom to Host Her First-Ever Tourney

Chess enthusiast Ashley Lynn Priore hopes to enrich the Steel City’s involvement in one of the most classic and challenging of board games.

Hungry for Something Good, Pittsburgh? Where We're Eating in June

We're obsessed with Greekfreez vegan frozen treats, taking a first look at the new menu at Independent Brewing Company and traveling to The Tavern on the Square. Plus, we talk to Poulet Bleu pastry chef James D. Wroblewski II.

Working in a Steel Mill Turns Fantastical in 'The Glass Lung'

Pittsburgher Anjali Sachdeva’s first book blends the normal with fantasy in nine short stories.

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.

Pittsburgh Flicks and Nightlife in June

PM Nightlife Editor Sean Collier explores the popularity of Coughlin's Law on Mt. Washington and the future of Jump Cut Theater.

Pittsburgh's Can't Miss Concerts in June

The Pittsburgh music calendar is packed this month. Check out some of our suggestions for the best ways to spend those steamy summer nights.

June: 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 June

Reviews of Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance by Mark Whitaker and Abandoned Pittsburgh: Steel and Shadows by Chuck Beard

Perspectives: How Cold Is Too Cold for Spiders to Live?

A former Marine and Pittsburgh firefighter comes face-to-face with his biggest fear.

Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Faces Centennial Challenges

This year marks a milestone anniversary — and questions regarding the emerging digital economy — for the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh.

Highmark Stadium Struggles To Accommodate Music Fans

The Station Square venue could be a good place to see a concert. It's not there yet.

CMU Launches America’s First Degree in Artificial Intelligence

Starting this fall, undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon will have the option to earn a degree in one of the world’s fastest growing fields.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Electric Scooter Rideshare Launching in Pittsburgh

Electric Scooter Rideshare Launching in Pittsburgh

Scoobi will offer an eco-friendly alternative to cars and a speedier alternative to bikes beginning in June

Comments

Is Kennywood's Phantom’s Revenge Best Coaster in USA?

Is Kennywood's Phantom’s Revenge Best Coaster in USA?

The fastest amusement park ride in Pennsylvania is currently in the running for best roller coaster — and it’s gained plenty of speed.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Lorelei Will Open in the Former Livermore/Pines Space

Lorelei Will Open in the Former Livermore/Pines Space

The owners of Independent Brewing Company and Hidden Harbor plan to bring a beer hall and cafe to East Liberty.

Comments

An Inclusive Community Breaks the Ramadan Fast at Salem's Market & Grill

An Inclusive Community Breaks the Ramadan Fast at Salem's Market & Grill

The Strip District restaurant draws a diverse community to its nightly ifṭār buffet.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places to Introduce Children to the Performing Arts

Best Places to Introduce Children to the Performing Arts

When you see a show at one of these organizations, you may enjoy it as much as the children.

Comments

The 4 Best Sports to Try This Spring in Pittsburgh

The 4 Best Sports to Try This Spring in Pittsburgh

Looking to switch up your physical activity now that it finally feels like spring? We found four sports you can play locally that you may never have considered.

Comments


Highmark Stadium Struggles To Accommodate Music Fans

Highmark Stadium Struggles To Accommodate Music Fans

The Station Square venue could be a good place to see a concert. It's not there yet.

Comments

Take a Tricky Trip To Mars at Escape Room 51

Take a Tricky Trip To Mars at Escape Room 51

The new escape room in Pleasant Hills is a great game for newer players.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Here We Go? Steelers Have More Than a New England Issue This Time

Here We Go? Steelers Have More Than a New England Issue This Time

At this time last year the Steelers perceived themselves, and rightfully so, as a team that was a mere win over the Patriots away from returning to the Super Bowl. This year, the focus is elsewhere.

Comments

Surprising Pirates Proving to be an Acquired Taste This Season

Surprising Pirates Proving to be an Acquired Taste This Season

For the time being, at least, fans continue to send owner Bob Nutting a message wrapped in apathy.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

The 400-Word Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

The Star Wars series experiments with telling an origin story, with mixed results.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Pope Francis: A Man of His Word

The 400-Word Review: Pope Francis: A Man of His Word

The careful documentary is a valuable document of the pontiff's philosophy. As a film, there are issues.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Wine Classes Keep the Pre-Wedding Celebration Classy

Wine Classes Keep the Pre-Wedding Celebration Classy

Palate Partners School of Wine & Spirits offers a chance for brides- and grooms-to-be to explore libations before (or instead of) a night on the town.

Comments

He Recovers from Stroke to Officiate Granddaughter's Wedding

He Recovers from Stroke to Officiate Granddaughter's Wedding

It was always Ashley Watkins’ dream to have her grandfather perform her wedding ceremony — but a serious illness almost got in the way.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
From Milan to Pittsburgh: These are the Kitchen Concepts of the Future

From Milan to Pittsburgh: These are the Kitchen Concepts of the Future

Local interior designer Lauren Levant traveled to Italy for the influential Salon del Mobile show featuring the latest innovations in the furniture and design industry. With an emphasis on quality over quantity, these are the kitchen concepts she says will be making their way stateside.

Comments

Get Creative: Pittsburgh Podcast Inspires 'Girl Bosses'

Get Creative: Pittsburgh Podcast Inspires 'Girl Bosses'

Thinking about starting a creative business but don't know where to start? From photography to interior design, Gamechangers, the new podcast from local textile designer Savannah Hayes, gives a behind-the-scenes look at the design industry from the female perspective.

Comments