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cooking with beer • homebrewing • upcoming beer events • style profile • have you tried...

our pick six Ah, September. The anticipation and hope of the new season is finally here. Is there a better way to spend a day than to cheer on the best teams in the world? We don't think so either. Cheers to cheers!

table of contents editor’s notes upcoming events style profile - smoked beer handcrafted - brewed 2 burn no dig, no ride is beer art? back to school artist alison hertweck trippin’ to tröegs the art of tröegs hoppy couple - all saints brewing

chef sit-down - brandon gerthoffer have you tried ... labeled? brewer sit-down - justin viale cooking with beer - boozy brunch home brewing - oktoberfest

what’s brewing? - southern tier warlock



5. 6. 10. 12. 14. 17. 20. 22. 24. 30. 32. 34. 36. 40. 42. 44. 54.




P•Scout Media, LLC


Rob Soltis


Mike Weiss

COPY EDITOR Kristy Locklin


Tom Garzarelli


Brian Meyer, Beth Kurtz Taylor, Joe Tammariello, Brian Conway, Amanda Stein, Mindy Heisler-Johnson, Hart Johnson, Ian Mikrut, Jack Smith, Lois Sanborne Kristy Locklin, Nathan Stimmel


Tim Burns, Mike Weiss, Buzzy Torek, Brian Conway, Rob Soltis, Ryan Haggerty


Soltis Design


Illustration by Joe Mruk -

CraftPittsburgh | issue 33



Craft Pittsburgh is issued bi-monthly by P•Scout Media, LLC for readers of legal drinking age. All information and materials in this magazine, individually and collectively, are provided for informational purposes. The contents of this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of P•Scout Media, LLC., nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without expressed written permission from the publisher. Advertisements are subject to the approval of P•Scout Media, LLC. P•Scout Media, LLC. reserves the right to reject or omit any advertisement at any time for any reason. Advertisers assume responsibility and complete liability for all content in their ads.




editor’s notes

YOU’VE BEEN JUICED • This is our second annual art issue, which is starting to be my favorite issue of the year. Our feature story is about road tripping across the state for the Art of Tröegs Gallery opening, above the Splinter Cellar and all the shenanigans along the way. The story wouldn’t be possible without the hospitality of everyone at Tröegs and my four traveling companions; Buzzy, Brian, Ryan, and Joe. I’ve never been around a group that could work just as hard as we partied. You guys are awesome, I can’t thank you enough. • We added a new column this issue called, Chef Sit-down. It’s kind of like the Brewer Sit-down but with local chefs. We’ve enjoyed watching the local food scene explode over the last few years almost as much as the beer scene. So we thought it was time to get to know some of the chefs at beer-centric spots or those who just really enjoy a good beer. If there is anyone you’d like us to talk to, send us an email. • The Drinking Partners recorded a podcast with Chris & John Trogner while we were at Tröegs. You should definitely check it out.

• Remember this hazy, New England-style IPA from last issue? It’s actually just a glass of orange juice. I wanted to see if anyone would notice. No one did.


• By the time you read this, 11th Hour Brewing in Lawrenceville will be open for business. The space looks great and if you’d like a reminder of how much work went into their remodel, revisit the Under Construction article from Issue #28. • Also opening this month is Washington Brewing Company in downtown Washington. A recent Instagram post stated they’re opening September 8th. • Happy 25th birthday to our friends at Fat Head’s and congratulations on breaking ground on the new brewery. The 75,000-square-foot facility in Middleburg Heights, Ohio will include a new bottling and packaging operation, distribution center, plus a 250-seat bar and restaurant.


• Make sure to take a look the calendar on the next page, September and October are amazing months to be a beer drinker. Cheers,

1805 E. CARSON STREET • SOUTHSIDE PITTSBURGH, PA 15203 • 412.431.7433 Rob Soltis



upcoming events

September • 5 Britsburgh Ale “Tony Knipling Cask” tapping @ East End • 8 ACPF’s Pour at the Park @ North Park Boathouse • 8 Zoo Brew: Oktoberfest @ Pittsburgh Zoo • 8 Washington Brewing Grand Opening @ Washington Brewing • 9 Brewtal Beer Fest @ Mr. Smalls • 9 Steel City Big Pour @ Construction Junction •9C  aptain Sean M. Ruane Memorial Corn Hole Tournament @ Greater Pittsburgh Aquatic Club

• 10 25th Anniversary Brunch @ Fat Head’s - South Side • 11 25th Anniversary Celebration @ Fat Head’s - South Side • 15-17 & 22-24 Penn Brewery Octoberfest @ Penn Brewery • 15 Craft Beers & Classic Cars @ The Frick Pittsburgh • 16 The PGH Pancakes & Booze Art Show @ Spirit • 17-20 Brew Like a Monk @ PGH Theological Seminary • 22 Hilltopolis @ Grandview Park • 21 Rhinegeist Beer Dinner @ The Crafthouse Stage & Grill • 23 2nd Annual Craft Lager Fest @ Lavery Brewing Company • 23 Breaktoberfest 2017 @ Breakneck Tavern • 23 Rocktoberfest @ Rock Bottom Brewery • 23 Pumkingfest @ Southern Tier Brewing - Lakewood, NY • 23 Brews in the Park @ Kennywood • 23 Harvest Brew Fiesta @ Mad Mex - Robinson • 28 Neshaminy Creek Beer Dinner @ Ease - Regent Square • 30 All Saints Oktoberfest @ All Saints Brewery

CraftPittsburgh | issue 33



• 1 Juicy Brews Fresh Fest @ Dancing Gnome • 6 HomeBrewer HoptoberFest @ Rivers Club • 7 Haunted Brewery Tours @ Rivertowne Brewing - Export • 7 Drunkin Punkin Fest @ Hough’s • 8 Smoketoberfest 2017 @ Roundabout Brewery • 9-15 Greensburg Craft Beer Week @ Greensburg • 13 Ales on the Allegheny @ Kittanning • 14 Pumpkin Fest 6 @ Under the Bridge - Homestead • 14 Zelie on Tap @ Zelienople Community Park • 21 Adult Trick or Treat @ Beer Express • 21 Boo & Brew Bash @ Downtown Pittsburgh • 21 Brewing Up a Cure @ PPG Wintergarden • 21 2nd Annual Barrel Bash @ Bierport • 27 PGH Whiskey & Fine Spirits Festival @ Rivers Casino


TONYKNIPLING On Wednesday, July 26, 2017 we lost a legend. His contribution to Pittsburgh beer and the lives he touched is immeasurable. Thank you for everything, Tony, you will be missed.


Crafting Pittsburgh’s Beer Scene Since 1985 with the best tools in the business



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style profile

SMOKEY THE BEER The Curiously Amazing World of Smoked Beers Words Brian Meyer

Water, malt, hops, and yeast. Together these four seemingly simple ingredients combine to make a wonder of fermentation that, in one form or another, has been enjoyed by humans for roughly 10,000 years. While the first brewers didn’t exactly know what it was they were doing, it was those first magical combinations of sugary liquid and yeast that started the forward march to the beer we know and love today. When people began to understand what was going on with making beer, brewing practices began to take shape and actual work was put into preparing ingredients to make the resultant beer as good and consistent as possible. Part of this process involved the drying of malt to allow for its storage, milling, and more consistent brewing.

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Looking back through beer history there weren’t many industrial methods for drying malt, even though it’s a crucial step in making good beer. The first attempts to dry malt for the use in beer came by way of charcoal. As any grilling aficionado will tell you, cooking burgers over a charcoal fire is a great way to add a nice smoky flavor to the finished product. While we try to add this smoky flavor to food today, there was a time when it was just part of the cooking process and went mostly unnoticed. The same goes for malt used in beer. Charcoal was burned to heat and dry the wet malt, which it did as well as give the grain a characteristic smoky flavor and aroma.


As much of the world began the transition from charcoal to actual coal and coke, the smoky character imparted by the charcoal started to go by the wayside. Coke, a byproduct of coal used as a purer fuel source than coal itself, was used in large drying kilns that shunted smoke away from the wet malt, giving the malt no smokiness. One could say the Industrial Revolution ushered in the first of the non-smoked beers to the world. While more efficient, this change in flavor meant the smoky flavor beer drinkers had grown accustomed to was soon to go the way of the buffalo. Some breweries decided that they liked and appreciated the smoky flavor their beers had, and as such took it upon themselves to continue making beers with a smoky quality. Since this was not being done on purpose, a new style of beer was formed.

The Rauchbier The idea of smoked beers held on most tightly in the German brewing industry. Most notably, the town of Bamberg, Germany is home to multiple breweries, two of which that have brewed smoked beers, or Rauchbiers, for more than 200 years. Schlenkerla and Spezial brewpubs are still in operation today, and still brew their own historically accurate smoked beers by drying their malt over fires stoked with beechwood logs. Each brewpub produces a few different varietals of smoked beers. (Rauchbier in German literally translates to “Smoke Beer”) History aside, smoked beers today are brewed out of a want for their unique flavor profile far more than the original need to use charcoal to dry malt with. Instead, today’s brewers utilize several tricks to get exactly the right type and strength of smokiness in their own Rauchbiers, giving us not only a look into the history of beer, but into the future of revitalizing original styles of beer. Much liked smoked meat, not all smoked beers are created equal. There is a wide array of not only levels of smokiness in these beers, but in the type and flavor of smoke, too. Smoked beers can range in flavor from a light hint of smoky character to full-on campfire with bacon on the stove flavor and aroma. True German Rauchbiers are typically darker in color and feature similarities of a Marzen/Oktoberfest-style beer. Today’s craft brewers however have experimented with adding some smoke to nearly every major style of beer out there and thanks to this dedication to innovation, we have a diverse collection of smoke-inspired beers to choose from. Speaking of styles, today porters are the most commonly smoked beer, and for good reason. The taste profile of a porter goes exceedingly well with the flavor that smoked malt imparts. Expect these beers to have chocolate and coffee notes with a dark malt character that pairs perfectly with the smokiness. Depending on the level of smoke the brewer is going for, you can plan on experiencing anything from the feeling of sitting by a campfire while you drink a regular beer to tastes and aromas of ham, bacon, and intense wood fire. Just like flavor, aroma, and body of smoked beers, alcohol content is impossible to nail down as well. Smoked beers typically fall into the Specialty

Beers category of beers, which means that color, bitterness, ABV, and just about anything else you can think of is totally varied. While that may make it hard to talk about smoked beers, it’s great for drinking them. If you’re into pairing beer with food (and if you’re not, you really should be), smoked beers are even better. Grilled vegetables, parmesan cheese, and even gingerbread cookies are all high on the list of foods that pair well with smoked beers. For those of you still not won over to the idea quite yet, all I can say is that you really need to try a few to see what you think. Just like IPAs, the range of flavors and aromas found in smoked beers is varied in both type and intensity, which means there’s a good chance of there being a smoked beer out there that’s perfect for you. Looking locally, an excellent example of smoked beer comes to us from Roundabout Brewery and their annual Smoketoberfest. This year Smoketoberfest will be held on Sunday, October 8th and as with previous years, will feature smoked beers, meat, and (probably not smoked) live music. East End Brewing also has a great example of a smoked beer with their Smokestack Heritage Porter. This smoky, malty beer is a dark beer that’s released seasonally starting in July and typically running through September. There’s many more local versions of smoked beers as well as many from national brands, too. As we get into autumn these beers tend to be more prevalent, making the inevitable campfire beer drinking that much better.

Brian Meyer is a beer journalist located in the greater Pittsburgh area. Find him on twitter @thebriandrinks & hire him via his business Fresh Brew Media, Inc.


handcrafted Words Beth Kurtz Taylor




Like many Pittsburgh food and beverage businesses, Michelle Arnoni’s is family based and has a story to tell. In 1956, her grandfather, Fred Dangelo, Sr., a home trade beer distributor in Wilmerding, opened for business. Eventually her father Fred Jr. and aunt, Debra Strittmatter expanded the business, moved to the South Hills and became Brentwood Distributing. For over 10 years, Michelle has served as the vice-president of sales and has expanded the business to provide non-alcoholic beverages, plus more than 2,000 brands of malt. Newly married with four stepchildren, we can surmise that she is nonstop-busy. But, no, she has added another dimension to her life: a candle business!

CraftPittsburgh | issue 33

Launched in May of this year, Brewed2Burn® is cranking out beautiful soy based candles that light and infuse the home with the essence of craft beers for up to 60 hours per candle. Currently, she offers six signature scents: Oatmeal Stout, Vanilla Coffee Porter, Nutbrown Ale, Gingered Apple Cider, Cherry Wheat and Amber Ale. Michelle pours the candles in shiny brown vessels that resemble the bottom half of a beer bottle. Many beer lovers have encountered candles made by home crafters contained in an actual craft beer bottle (with an intact label) that was cut and polished. There are a couple of issues with this method, the first is trademark infringement and the second is safety. If a bottle has any type of fracture or flaw, it is risky to burn a candle in it, it could shatter from the heat.


Valuing relationships with Pittsburgh businesses, Michelle strives to use local products and services. She offers six-packs of candles with an option of purchasing custom holders from Puzzle Pax. All label and website design were done by Fame 15 Creative from Allentown. Laura Early, Fame 15’s co-founder is a longtime friend of Michelle’s. The pair came up with a label that looks like it could actually adorn a craft beer, complete with an ABV of “Pure Bliss”. Sharing her success with a wider community, Michelle donates a percentage of all sales to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The nonprofit holds special meaning to her as two of her stepchildren have the disease. The possibilities seem endless for business expansion. Michelle offers customized candles for special occasions such as weddings. Working

with brewers such as Penn Brewery and the local representative for New Belgium, she produced signature beer candles with the “Penn Dark”, “Tangerine Swirl” and “Citradelic” labels. With autumn upon us, she will offer a Spiced Pumpkin Porter candle, and for the winter holidays, Winterberry Wheat and Fireside Ale. Locally, the product line is available at Love Pittsburgh on Mt. Washington, Rosebud’s in Aspinwall, Silver Horse Coffee in Donegal and Lucy Rae Gifts & More in Indiana. With plans to grow the company to a national presence, you can also purchase the candles directly from the website, Brewed2Burn is on the verge of spawning a sister company with test candles in the works. Look for an announcement after the details are hammered out.


No Dig, No Ride Green Flash Brewing Partners with Local Mountain Bikers Words Ian Mikrut Photos Nate Levi

It’s normal to see breweries partner with local organizations, but it never stops being unique in the way that it sheds light on community groups that otherwise wouldn’t get as much exposure. Craft beer is so often a bridge between two seemingly unrelated parties, but for Nate Levi at Green Flash Brewing Co. and the Laurel Highlands On & Off Road Bicycling Association (LHORBA), beer has literally helped build bridges. Levi, a Regional Sales Manager with Green Flash, is an avid mountain biker. His work gets him the coveted access to free beer, so he’d often bring a case with him to share with other riders after outings. While getting to know other people in the Pittsburgh area’s mountain biking community, he connected over beers on the trail with members of LHORBA. LHORBA has been around for nearly two decades, and in that time volunteers have logged almost 11,000 hours maintaining approximately 230 miles of mountain biking and multi-use trails throughout nearby state parks, state forest, county and municipal parks and private land. Many of their fundraising is made possible through bike gatherings, picnics and volunteer work days.

CraftPittsburgh | issue 33

Currently LHORBA is involved with the construction of the Quemahoning Reservoir mountain bike trail system. Levi was asked to host a pint night similar to the post-ride picnics, but with volunteers needed for upcoming work, the idea came to have a Green Flash “hosted” Trail Work Day this past July.


“It just gets people to the trail. There’s a lot of people that ride bikes, but they don’t necessarily work on the trails. It’s a way to promote trail days,” Levi says. “We had a bunch of people drive up from Pittsburgh, and the Trail Day was way out in Conemaugh [Township] reservoir which is two hours from Pittsburgh.” Levi estimates around 30 volunteers turned out for the event. The challenging aspect of working in these parks and public lands lies in coordinating with land managers or local municipalities

“When they cut new trail it involves a lot of working with the park and the state and the land manager to get access to cutting a trail in,” he says. “And what they’ll do, they’ll usually bring a little excavator or something, they’ll plan it all out and they’ll do the initial cuts with these little excavators where they’ll just kind of make a rough trail.” Levi explains that some parks won’t allow heavy machinery, even something as small as a gas mower, making the work of volunteers that much more important. And when new trails are sanctioned and machinery is allowed, the work is far from over. “If you were looking at it you could hike on it, but you wouldn’t be able to ride on it. So what we were doing on the work day is called finishing,” he says. “We’ll get tools, we’ll scrape the trail, we’ll get all the vegetation off the trail and we’ll finish it so it’s almost ready to ride.” After a day of “finishing” work, land or park managers may go in to fill areas of trail with gravel. While the work of the volunteers isn’t necessarily technically challenging, it’s a long day of tedious work. Again, a strong turnout makes all the difference. Something an incentive of beer can usually help with. “People are good at planning trails, people are good at using machinery. I am good at bringing beer. Everyone uses their specialty to come together and make this happen,” Levi says. “It’s pretty fun, at the end of the day we’re just a bunch of shit-talking mountain bikers digging in the dirt with beer.” Organizations like LHORBA and events like this also help bring attention to trail advocacy. While the Work Day was for a trail geared specifically toward mountain biking, hikers will still be able to use it. Levi explains that it’s common for mountain bikers to get a reputation for destroying the trails they use, but groups like LHORBA, Trail Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Off-Road Cyclists and the International Mountain Bicycling Association help to promote advocacy and community outreach as big aspects of their missions. Most of these mountain bike clubs are the ones organizing people to work on, maintain, and build bridges and other physical structures on the trails. If local mountain biking and trail advocacy groups seem oddly specific, then a brewery based in California lending its name and products to an

event in Western Pennsylvania would seem even more strange. What’s the deal? “People would ask me, ‘Well your brewery is in San Diego. How come you’re doing this?’ Well I live here, this is my neighborhood, these are my trails, this is my park. When it comes to mountain biking, I’m a mountain biker and I want to be able to give back no matter where I am,” Levi says. “The beer may not be from there, but I’m a member of that community, so it’s important for me. I mean people like drinking beer. What do I have? Access to free beer. So I think it just kind of makes sense.”

Breweries are often invested in community and charity. Sometimes it’s these odd, specific and unique groups that need a little extra push for more help or attention. And sometimes a case of beer can go a long way in building bridges.



CraftPittsburgh | issue 33

“YES DARLING, BUT IS IT ART?” Words Nathan Stimmel

We may view the beer we love as an artisanal object, in part a reaction to industrial manufacturers churning out a homogenized product, as well as a return to a pre-modern freedom of form. We talk about craft beer, made skillfully, with attention to detail and quality, conveying the vision of the creator to the audience. “Yes darling, but is it art?” The answer to that question is as subjective as the average beer drinker’s personal taste. Brewing incorporates many disciplines: a brewer is, at turns and often simultaneously, artist, craftsman, designer, chemist, microbiologist, engineer, and any number of other specialists. Every beer is a balance of human control and natural entropy, chaos and cosmos. It affords a huge amount of room for creativity and the influence of its maker, while holding tight to its own boundaries.

The word “independent” has come into vogue for craft brewers and fans, as a means of distinguishing the beer and those who produce it. It has a political significance related to ownership, but holds creative connotations as well. “Independent” implies that an artist/artisan/craftsman has the power to create by the rules and goals that they establish for themselves, rather than external interests and pressures. They are autonomous and call the shots for how their beer will look, smell, and taste. Does the philosophy of “art for art’s sake” apply to beer? It’s hard to isolate beer from its utilitarian function (i.e. gratifying the senses), but that end can be attained through a balance of pleasing and challenging elements - consider the pucker of a lambic or the palate assault of a resiny IPA. How much can beer serve as a vehicle for the expression of the brewer’s personhood? The world of beer is still prone to coloring inside the lines, even if it uses odd colors at times, and innovation is often tempered by restraint and a swing to normalcy and approachability. Does the beer world have an avant-garde? Before all this navel-gazing sends us to the chiropractor, let’s get the perspectives of some of the local brewers who are on the ground, doing the work day in and day out. Some thoughts on the creative process in brewing, and beer as an art form:

The word artisan was born of a blend of the Romance languages, and can be traced to the Latin verb artire, meaning “instruct in the arts”.


Matt Gouwens

Chief Executive Hopster/Head Brewer at Hop Farm

“I truly believe that brewing is the ultimate combination of art and science, which is where it becomes a craft. Science is extremely important if you want a good, solid foundation. Without the science, you can be as artistic as you want, but it might not turn out great. “There are parallels with the culinary arts, in the kitchen, and I think that pairing beer with food is one the highest art forms. There are parallels with music: you change one thing in a beer—fermentation temperature, ingredient, addition time—and you have a completely different beer. Make a significant enough change in music —a note, a chord, an instrument—and you have a different song. Some brewers go so far as letting yeast listen to different kinds of music as they ferment!”

Jeff Bloom

Owner/Head Brewer at Bloom Brew

“The limitations with our brewhouse are good and bad. We can experiment on our one-barrel system and not have to commit to making a ton of beer. Also, we’re not indebted to funders and investors, which leaves us more open to create and experiment. “The only creative limitation that we have right now would be ingredients that we have to run by the federal government. A few years ago, there were only a few ingredients that were pre-approved for use in a beer, and every time we wanted to use a new ingredient, they’d have to review the recipe from start to finish. One example was lime - we were surprised to find that the TTB [Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau] considered lime an exotic ingredient! After that time they broadened the pre-approved ingredients list, and I’d like to think we were part of that expansion.”

Meg Evans

Head Brewer at Rock Bottom, Pittsburgh

“I look at my position as one that falls under the ‘Science’ umbrella. We are always questioning processes, hypothesizing on different topics, and testing out these hypotheses. I view science as the process. “The art and craft of our job really comes in when we talk about creating recipes. Each brewer has an opportunity to use an incredible variety of ingredients that can create an unlimited amount of flavor options. This aspect of brewing allows the brewer to hone the uniqueness in their own craft. We then can apply our craft to a standard process. “Working with musicians through Brewtal Beer Fest was a great way to see parallels between music and brewing. We create our own finished product by combining a set of knowledge learned and our own vision.”

Brad Primozic

Head Brewer/Co-Owner at Insurrection AleWorks

CraftPittsburgh | issue 33

“If you just brewed a beer based on the science aspect, you’d have a wellbrewed beer. Probably nothing too exciting, but a solid beer. That is the canvas for a brewer to paint their masterpiece.


“Now, when it comes to the art aspect of brewing, this can a double-edged sword. This is where brewers have their philosophies. Some are heavyhanded with ingredients, some are minimalist, and some just throw in the kitchen sink and there are no rules for them. But what is important is having a solid, well-made base beer. “We are from the school of thought that less is more. Each ingredient should accent the beer, not dominate it. Old Belgian brewers will tell you that the moment you can pick out a particular ingredient, you used too much of it. You should keep the palate guessing. This is where the brewer’s creativity comes through in the beer. This is where they paint their masterpiece.”

t s e v r a H ! e Tim











leader of the

PACK When Alison Hertweck needs a little artistic inspiration, she just empties a six-pack. Although she’s not a big drinker, the McCandless native uses the cardboard carriers to make intricate collages. “I like the idea of working with six-pack holders because there’s such a variety,” she says. As an employee in the Pine Township Market District’s beer department, Hertweck is surrounded by brewery branding. The bold colors and eye-catching logos of last fall’s pumpkin beers intrigued her inner-artist, so she decided to make a collage celebrating the Halloween season. She put the canvas on display at work. Customers noticed and asked her to make more. With over 600 beers on the shelf, Hertweck had plenty of packs to choose from. She’s created fruit- and Hawaiian-themed collages and is now working on a commissioned piece for a local beer-lover. And while she can’t estimate how much time goes into each collage (it’s a labor of love), she takes pride in the fact that she’s recycling materials that would otherwise be thrown out. She’s also learning about different beer styles, which helps her better engage her customers. “People are adventurous,” she says with a laugh, mentioning the popularity of Evil Genius Beer Company’s Purple Monkey Dishwasher Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter. “It’s cool that we have so many beers to choose from.”

CraftPittsburgh | issue 33

For more information on six-pack collages, e-mail Alison Hertweck at



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Words Lois Sanborne

It’s that time of year again! In just a few weeks, Oakland will be in full swing again, with thousands of new and returning students ready for a fresh school year. College students have a reputation for drinking some of the more budgetfriendly alcohol, but with the ever-growing selection of craft beers, I’m here to give you suggestions for suds to cover almost every angle of campus life! This would be a good time to grab a Southern Tier Nu Skool IPA 6% ABV, available in your favorite campus bar on draft, in a 12 oz. bottle or can, or, with patience being a virtue, 16 oz. cans available in early September. The everyday IPA from our friends at Southern Tier is approachable and well-balanced, with slight herbal and pine notes. Bursting with brightness and a slight malt backbone, this guy adds a nice addition to the Southern Tier family, offering the little brother vibe to revered alumni, 2X IPA. Unlike your 8 a.m. class, this isn’t super bitter and hard to swallow.


Time for some school spirits! In addition to the campus activities recommendation, give these pep-worthy brews a go! Here are some options for your local campuses mascots, so find the person in the big foam suit, give them a high-five, and crack one of these open!


Voodoo Brewery H2P - IPA Grab something blue to compliment this golden-hued beer from Voodoo. Robust fruit and resin flavors lace through this 8.6% ABV campus hero.


Rhinegeist Cougar - Blonde Ale Versatile, yet mighty, Cougar roars in with complex and clean notes. Balanced and nuanced, this beer boasts a low ABV at 4.8% with a lot of flavor, almost certain to get the job done on those all nighters.

CraftPittsburgh | issue 33

Campus Life


If you’re joining Greek life, starting an intramural team, tailgating for the game, or part of a club, you’re probably looking for some beers that’ll keep you full of school pride, or at least something evenkeel for beer pong. This would be a good call for Sierra Nevada’s Nooner, because this offering goes from parking lot tailgate to grass intramural field to karaoke, regardless of time of day. Gold in color, and an excellent example of the style, this beer would make the Dean’s list for sure. Clean and crisp, this easy drinker weighs in at 5.2% ABV. The name may scream “common hour”, but it works pretty well for any time of day.


Rivertowne - Scottish Ale Laced with toffee, brown sugar, and caramel notes, this kilt-lifter is perfect for cool, fall nights, or a wellneeded study break. On the more sessionable ABV scale, this true-to-style offering calculates in at 5.1%.


Victory Hop Devil - IPA As far as IPAs go, this one’s a classic! Hop Devil was chosen as the draft pick for the Dukes, as the logos bore a striking resemblance. With a nice malt presence, perfectly balanced body, and availability in a variety of formats, this 6.7% ABV option lends years of experience to those in need of it


North Country Station 33 Firehouse - Red Ale Malt-forward with subtle, nutty hints of caramel, this brew is akin to traditional Irish Red ales. At 5.5% ABV, you can add this to your tailgate rotation, your beer pong cup, or your late-night study session.


I once took a three-and-a-half-hour long Russian history night class with the smartest man on campus, who refused to use an overhead or PowerPoint, and, after that, my brain was useless. Here are some recommendations to help ease the pain and stress of your course load.


Troegs Perpetual IPA


Dogfish Head Higher Math


Fat Head’s Benjamin Danklin IPA


Geography Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

New Holland The Poet


CraftPittsburgh | issue 33 24

Illustration Joe Mruk Words Brian Conway Photos Buzzy Torek, Ryan Haggerty, Brian Conway, Rob Soltis

Passenger Manifest Joe Mruk

Artist, illustrator, alien abduction survivor. Founder, Red Buffalo Illustration. Designed 2017 Nugget Nectar poster for Tröegs. Collector of trilobites and other Precambrian arachnomorph fossils.

Favorite beer at Tröegs: Wild Peter

Ryan Haggerty

Videographer, visual storyteller, taller than most. Owner of Haggerty Media. Wielder of puns. Not that good at Duck Game.

Favorite beer at Tröegs: Apple Farmhouse Ale

Brian Conway

Freelance writer, investigative reporter, astral traveler. City Design editor at NEXTpittsburgh. Keeps saying he’s going to start his own website, but never does.

Favorite beer at Tröegs: Barrel-aged Tröeganator

Rob Soltis Nice guy, tries hard, loves the game. Owner/Publisher of CraftPittsburgh. Pranked us all last issue by using a nice, tall pint of orange juice as the featured image for the big story on hazy IPAs.

Favorite beer at Tröegs: Wild Elf

Buzzy Torek Photographer, audio engineer, human test subject. Co-owner/ co-founder of Epicast Network. Moonlights as DJ Cheez-It. Will only drink IPAs that are less than 15 days old.

Favorite beer at Tröegs: Perpetual IPA



We five gather for this righteous trip to Troegs at Pub Chip Shop in the heart of the South Side.

It’s 9 a.m.—uncommonly early for a pack of freelancers. The unsurpassed draft list at Piper’s Pub next door beckons, but for now we dine on doughnuts, and coffee— so much coffee. In the truck it’s Zappa and Floyd on the stereo as we embark carefree and eager as boys. The Commonwealth stretches easterly before us, and we have some exploring to do.

December, 1965: 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh a fireball scorches across the sky and slams into Earth near tiny Kecksburg, Pa.


Shocked residents report a car-sized, acornshaped UFO, its base ringed with hieroglyphs. The Army moves in, cordons off the site and reports that they found nothing. Today, on a grassy knoll near the crash site stands a giant acorn-on-a-stick, a monument to whatever fell on Kecksburg that cold December night. We leave before long, saddened to learn we are two weeks early for the UFO Festival and hot dog-eating contest.


Climb the cliffs, they said ... Up, up, up we plod to a quartzite outcropping in Michaux State Forest known as Pole Steeple. It’s a short hike—less than a mile­—but steep, and you can cut the humidity with a knife. We reach the summit breathless, cursing our doughy physiques. Earlier that day, at the Pine Grove General Store, we met some hikers attempting to consume a half-gallon of ice cream in one sitting. The store is right by the Appalachian Trail’s halfway point, and the ice cream challenge is tradition. Back at Pole Steeple, some friendly AT hikers offer us their whiskey. The setting sun ignites the rolling hills and reduces us to whispers as the sky hues technicolor shades. We leave the fireworks behind for MTO and the Dream On Ranch where tonight we’ll rest, while visions of Sunshine Pils dance in our heads.


Somewhere amidst Pennsylvania’s rolling hillsides lies a hidden place the Instagram cognoscenti refer to as the #TrolleyGraveyard.

Brave backroads and circumvent a gate or two and you may find yourself alone in an #overgrown #scrapyard punctuated by #abandoned #trolleys and #streetcars. They say the owner wants to preserve them, but #graffiti writers and #the #elements have left their mark. There’s a strange, #postapocalyptic beauty to it all, but if you go at night there is a #verygood chance that you’ll be #haunted by a #headless #conductor.


Sweet, merciful crap that was fun. I mean, we knew it’d be fun, but this was a lot of fun. We arrive early to Tröegs and the Drinking Partners, Ed and Day, greet us at the door. First up: brewery tour. We try Wild Elf aged in enormous, 23-foot tall, Italian-made oak foeders. We sip snifters of sour nectarine ambrosia destined for the halls of Valhalla. For lunch: charcuterie boards—what more can be said? Not long after, founding OG beer brothers John and Chris Trogner join the Drinking Partners ‘cast and share their wisdom on what it takes to remain vital in the frenzied craft beer marketplace. We rest, then return for the Art of Tröegs gallery opening and Naked Elf tapping. The rest is a blur, not from over-excess but a whirlwind of laughter and swapped stories between new friends and old. We return in the morning, less than 60 hours since we first left, equal parts exhilarated and exhausted. We came, we saw, we Tröegenated.

On the trail or in the woo ds, we’re here fo r your post ri de ... refreshments .

north park boathouse • historic southside

a great sele ction of seasonal craf t beer on tap. Espe cially the local br ews.

Made fresh everyday, be sure to try the one with peanut butter. Really!


Words Brian Conway Photos Ryan Haggerty, Rob Soltis


TRöEGS How did John Trogner react to seeing the 2017 Art of Tröegs contest winner for the very first time? “It kind of freaked me out,” the brew co-founder says with a laugh. “I flat out said, ‘It’s really great, it’s really well done, but that’s not my choice. You have yet to convince me.’”

CraftPittsburgh | issue 33

The grand prize went to Marni Manning, of Reston, Va., for her Renaissance-style portrait of founding brothers John and Chris Trogner.

“I will say,” he adds, “that when our crew opened it up everyone was like, ‘Oh my God!’ they just resonated with it.”

“Every day, if I don’t create something, I feel all twitchy and weird,” Manning says.

What did Trogner see that gave him pause? His own face, and that of his brother, staring right back at him, the two of them dressed like elegant medieval noblemen.

A full-time folk artist, Manning took up watercolor while living abroad in South Korea. She heard of the contest through her brother-in-law, Jared, who was visiting with Manning’s sister earlier this year.

“[The artist] did an amazing job,” Trogner says. “I just don’t like being the center of attention.”


Over 70 people entered the 2017 Art of Tröegs contest, Tröeg-ifying everything from sunglasses to landscape paintings to a brightly painted ceramic bust done up like a Dia de los Muertos calavera.

First, a little context: every year for the past 10 years Tröegs Independent Brewing has hosted a public art contest. The rules are simple: submit any work of art that includes at least one element of Tröegs packaging. That’s it. Last year’s winner, Brian Begley, tricked out a pair of size 13 Nike Dunks with Tröegs labels and artwork, earning him a grand prize of $500 and bragging rights for a long, long time. “We’re always really impressed by how much effort and time people put into this,” says Andy DeBrunner, marketing campaign manager at Tröegs.

Manning says she knew from the beginning that she wanted to imbue her work with some deeper significance, but what can you make about beer that’s deeply meaningful? During her research she came across an old interview where Chris Trogner spoke of his time in Colorado during the “craft beer renaissance,” and so a motif was born.

The portrait depicts the brothers seated together and clad in fine medieval garb, their haloed heads tilted serenely upward as they reach out toward a single hop cone, as if bestowing humanity with the art of brewing and making the (nugget) nectar of the gods available to us mere mortals. “We don’t like being in the limelight,” says Trogner. “We like to step back and not really be the face of anything. It gives the sense that it’s just us.” Ultimately, the team at Tröegs, along with Trogner’s art-loving daughter, convinced him that Manning’s portrait deserved the top prize. “It was really humbling and just amazing,” Manning says. “Obviously there’s a lot of talent here.” In addition to the cash Manning and the other finalists were feted at the 2017 Art of Tröegs gallery opening on Thursday, July 13, the same evening Tröegs tapped Naked Elf, their stripped-down, summer version of their wildly popular Christmas strong ale, Mad Elf. Earlier in the day, John and Chris were guests on the Drinking Partners podcast with hosts Day Bracey and Ed Bailey. They and hundreds more were in attendance for the party, which lasted well into the evening and continued at a nearby dive recommended by the waitstaff and at which fresh Perpetual flowed alongside cheap domestics. Many of the entrants in attendance had participated in years prior. Troy Weston, the man behind the Dia de Los Muertos bust, submitted a similar work in 2016, “Alabaster,” that was exhibited alongside this year’s entrant, the freckled and sunburnt “Wild Cherry.” “I’ve got a whole shelf of them at home,” says the Bellefonte resident, hinting that Tröegs will see another remarkable calavera submitted in 2018. Trogner says that while he’s continually impressed by some of the more elaborate entries sometimes it’s the uncomplicated ones that catch his eye. He singles out a simple fishing lure that was not much more than a single bent bottle cap.

“That was the idea [for the contest],” Trogner says. “You don’t have to be this world-renowned artist to have some fun with the packaging. It’s the same with beer; you don’t have to overly understand everything about beer to enjoy it.”


hoppy couple



Route 119 & Roseytown Road Greensburg, PA 15601


CraftPittsburgh | issue 33



All Saints Brewing Company is located southeast of Pittsburgh in Greensburg, Pa. Aside from being home to a couple of colleges, Greensburg is not far from quite a few other craft breweries. If you are coming in to All Saints from the Pittsburgh area, make sure to take a drive down Route 30 and stop at the Full Pint and Rivertowne breweries on your way. After our stop at All Saints, we drove about a mile to a place called The Headkeeper which is known for a giant selection of craft beer and tasty tapas.


I focused on two very different beers while at All Saints. The first beer I tried, even though it was rather hot that day, was the St. Drogos Coffee Porter (5.6% ABV). This delicious and robust porter is made with pale malt, caramunich, and chocolate grains with some fuggle and willamette hops. You could definitely taste hints of chocolate while getting smacked

with the flavor of a cold brew coffee. Next up was the Archangel Nitro Pale Ale (5.6% ABV). Normally I don’t get the appeal of nitro, but with this beer it clicked. Brewed with both centennial and cascade hops, this beer has a very nice hop profile and the nitro helps to mellow it all out. Both beers, while very different, were equally delicious.


All Saints is a huge building with three main sections: a large seating area with an arcade (yes, old-school pinball and video game machines!), the tasting room and bar, and what appears to be a large banquet room with another bar. Needless to say, we guess this place can get pretty busy on the weekends given how much seating they have. We primarily sat in the tasting room where one of their bars is located. The tasting room is equipped with nice wooden booths and tables along with a pool table if you are up for some billiards.


All Saints is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to food. They have an assortment of food trucks, that Amanda will speak about, but they also have some in-house and local options. Adorning a giant bulletin board when entering you can find menus for local places that will deliver food. A BYOF kinda deal. But also, All Saints has a few munchies of their own you can snack on like walking tacos (a taco inside a small bag of Doritos), Bavarian soft pretzels, and an old-fashion popcorn machine with a few different spices to throw on top.

Amanda Location

Since Joe and I do live quite close to the city, we don’t venture out to areas like Greensburg often, so when we do, we like to make sure we take advantage of the trip. All Saints is in an area that allows you to do just that. In addition to the nearby breweries that Joe mentioned, you can also find Fury Brewing, Helltown Brewing, and Four Seasons Brewing just a short drive from All Saints. Greensburg and the surrounding areas are definitely a beer destination and within an hour of the city!


All Saints features some solid lagers -- which you don’t always see in craft breweries -- and is something that sets them apart from others. While we were there, I had the (In The Garden) Davida (4.4% ABV) which is a premium blonde cream ale and the St. Josef (4.8% ABV) which is a Czech Pilsner. Both of these beers were incredibly crisp, refreshing, and drinkable. These are the types of beers I could sip on all day and never get sick of them! All Saints has an extensive list of seasonal drafts, too, including a pumpkin porter, West Coast IPA, and barleywine that I am very excited try in future visits!


All Saints is THE spot for outdoor drinking which is a must in my book when the weather is nice. Their newly remodeled patio is truly something to see. It’s an expansive two-tiered patio with great furniture and plenty of space to mingle with friends; friends that came with you or friends that you made there! There’s also a huge lot and lawn for outdoor concerts which they hold almost weekly. If big concerts aren’t your thing, they also have smaller Acoustic Thursdays as well as trivia nights hosted by Zoach. There’s also an arcade and pool table inside so there’s definitely something for everyone.

North Side. Since 1954.


Like a lot of breweries, All Saints partners with food trucks in addition to the BYOF option. Some of the food trucks they have partnered with are: Carneval Truck featuring artisanal sandwiches with funnel cake buns (shut the front door!); Ash & Kris Kitchen featuring gyros, falafel, tabbouleh salad, and more Mediterranean goodness; and Earth, Wheel, & Fire Pizza serving up handmade wood-fired pizzas. There wasn’t a food truck the day we visited, but we will definitely be going back to try those vendors! While a little out of the way, All Saints packs a punch when it comes to local craft beer and entertainment. Located near plenty of other breweries, the Greensburg area is definitely a spot to check out. Just one more stop on our quest to visit every local brewery. The Hoppy Couple is one part Joe Tammariello and one part Amanda Stein. We don’t consider ourselves beer experts, but we spend a good bit of our free time exploring the city of Pittsburgh and sampling all of the food and drink it has to offer. Say “Cheers!” if you see us out!

Piisbbgh style.



chef sit-down Photos Buzzy Torek


GERTHOFFER Full Pint Wild Side Pub - Pittsburgh Age

Almost 34


Pittsburgh. North Hills originally, right across the river from here.

CraftPittsburgh | issue 33

Cooking background


I have been cooking pretty much my whole life. My dad was a chef at a place Downtown that I got a job there when I was, like, 14, just running around, the crap-work basically. I was the guy where, even though I was his son, I didn’t get special treatment. I was scrubbing cooler floors and washing chairs and undersides of tables and stuff. So I’ve always done this. I’ve gone through some country club, fine-dining stuff. But this is kind of where I really like to be. Beer and beer-drinking food. So it just worked out, starting at the brewery, I was doing pizzas out there with the pizza oven. And then after a little bit of time, this started to become a reality with opening a sandwich shop in Lawrenceville and that’s what led us here.

Who are your culinary heroes?

That’s tough. Man, I don’t know. There’s people I enjoy paying attention to. There’s Bourdain, but that’s kind of, everybody’s. I honestly wouldn’t say that I have many heroes or people that I look up to because I look at

things like if someone’s doing it I kind of want to go the other way. I’m a big proponent of doing things for me or like the way I would do them. I don’t know that there’s anybody I look up to in terms of modeling myself after. It’s more what I feel, how I get to whatever point I’m at.

Do you have any culinary guilty pleasures?

Most of them are like dive bar kind of things. It’s not a specific place, I like going out and eating shitty chicken wings. I love good wings, but I like going and getting a crappy five-dollar burger. Sitting there with a beer, eating bar food. It helps, too, being a chef, we’re all broke.

What would your last meal be?

I never have the same answer, it always changes. I would probably eat the meal I had on my honeymoon at Peller Estates in Niagara-on-theLake. My wife and I had a four-course lunch with wine pairings at Peller Estates and it was just one of those things where we sat down and looked at this menu and I was like “Holy shit!” It was beef tartar with quail egg. For me, that was something I’d had before, but seeing my wife eat that kind of stuff, eating raw beef with a raw quail egg and capers, I could do that again easily. For now that’s my answer.

Least favorite ingredient that you’ve had to work with over the years?

Personally, for me, it’s tough, too. Because I don’t like seafood. Which, I know, is weird, but I like working with it. I choose not to eat it, but at the same time I can make something and taste it and be like, “OK, that’s spot on!” But I don’t like it. So probably seafood. That comes from country club days, coming in and having to peel and devein shrimp. That kind of turns you off of that.

Favorite post- or during-work beer?

To be a total homer, our beer would be Gus. It’s our West Coaststyle IPA. Outside of us, if I walk into a bar and see anything from

Rhinegeist, that’s what I’m ordering. Having been to their brewery, it’s a really cool spot and they’re making really good beer. Outside of Full Pint, it’s anything from Rhinegeist.

What kitchen tool could you not live without?

Everything that’s in my head right now is cliché as shit. My personal knives I keep at home because I care about them, so they stay home so they stay nice.

What kind of music do you like to listen to while working?

I’m on more of the hardcore/metal side of things. Anything from punk to metal. Right now I’m listening to a whole lot of classic rock. I can’t stand modern country, I don’t like modern pop. Basically, heavy. The guys I work with are mostly on the same page, as well. For me, it’s hard, because we have an open kitchen, the music is not just for me. But I need music that keeps me going.

Favorite thing on your menu?

Our cheesesteak is personally my favorite thing on the menu. It’s my baby. I would put that thing against any sandwich, anywhere. We actually bicker about the name, we print menus for the week. I put that it’s not a cheesesteak because it’s not – it’s ground bison, and the onions we use for it are All In Amber onions.

My wife’s from north of Philly, so I’m into that [sandwich]. It’s not a cheesesteak. But I would put that against any cheesesteak in that city because it’s that good of a sandwich. Yes I’m having some ego, but it really is that good.


have you tried...


3 4


1. S  IERRA NEVADA Oktoberfest

2. D  ANCING GNOME Spy Dolphin

The year was 2014, I excitedly bought a Sierra Nevada Fall 12-pack. Mostly because that was the only way to get Tumbler (R.I.P.), but also because it had Oktoberfest in it and how could Sierra Nevada eff that up? Well, long story short, it was a caramelly sweet mess of a beer. Ho hum. Since then, starting in 2015, Sierra Nevada has collaborated with different German breweries for their Oktoberfest: Riegele in 2015, Mahrs in 2016, which, holy pants was that good and now with Miltenberger! Look, besides the Pittsburgh sexy, black-and-gold checked label, there are about 30 other reasons to take this to your next yinzer gathering. It’s a damn perfect lager, light and crisp enough to please your Uncle Coors Light, malty and sweet enough to swing your Yuengling Cousin and geeky enough that it will please your geeky beer buddy. And, like a Pirates fan riding that sinking bandwagon into the Mon, I’ll say it again, this is the year, THIS IS THE YEAR OKTOBERFEST IS BACK!

16-oz. cans: so hot right now. I’m 100 percent into them, too, not really 100 percent into waiting in line for them, but hey, for now you can sneak into Dancing Gnome an hour or two after they release their ultra-snazzy cans and still pick some up. But don’t tell anyone, let that be our little secret. Also, every week they release two to three different beers, so pick and choose your battles. I chose to battle the Spy Dolphin by asking a friend to pick some up for me, because I’m equal parts lazy and nocturnal and who has time to wake up before noon on a Saturday? Par for the Dancing Gnome course, we have a hazy hop-forward beer, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Ripe tree fruit and melon aromas are a far cry from the usual citrus and pine aromas typically associated with IIPA and the fluffy body provided by the flaked and malted wheat counteracts the soft bitterness. You like chasing hazy, juicy IPA? And you’re not chasing Dancing Gnome? Sup wit dat?

Recommended if you like: Penn - Oktoberfest, Sly Fox - Oktoberfest,

Recommended if you like: Four Seasons - Nebula, Helltown - Purgatory IIPA,

All Saints - Oktoberfest, Victory - Festbier

Bell’s - Mars IIPA, Brew Gentlemen - Lou

CraftPittsburgh | issue 33

6.1% Oktoberfest Lager


8.5% IIPA

Words Hart Johnson Photo Tim Burns

4. T  HIRSTY DOG Barrel Aged Siberian Night 10.9% Imperial Stout



I know I’ve gone down on record in this exact magazine in this exact column in this exact issue about no one shops for beer anymore. Well, maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong. All I know is if you’re sitting there shooting the breeze with your favorite beer monger and you see barrel-aged whatever from Thirsty Dog, just buy it. I was kinda hoping it was Barrel-Aged Wulver but here I am with Barrel-Aged One Of My Favorite Stouts You Can Just Buy. Take some bittersweet Siberian Night and age it 11 months in first fill ex-bourbon casks? Yes. Please. This beer is monstrously boozy in all the right ways. The nose is like a giant wringing out a burnt piece of oak that has been soaking in dark chocolate and bourbon, just leeching with oaky goodness. Even more oak on the palate, bordering right on the edge of astringent, while vanilla and dark chocolate fight their way to the palate. This beer is big and sludgy, like a 9-minute doom metal song; you might not get it at first, but by the end you’re just sitting there nodding your head thinking about how brilliant it is. Recommended if you like: Bell’s Black Note, Avery Uncle Jacob’s Stout, Evil Twin Barrel Aged Bible Belt, Hop Farm Barrel Aged Kulak

5. O  MNIPOLLO Shploing!!

7% Mango S’Mores IPA -

6.3% Strong Ale

I had another beer lined up for this time slot, but there’s a better story with this one. Fuller’s is one of my first love affairs of beer. Like, didn’tdrink-anything-but-Fuller’s-ESB-for-a-solid-year love affair. And while I was caught up in that wanderlust, other Fuller’s beers would appear, Vintage Ale, 1845, Porter and they would be around for a few weeks and then leave. All of those weirdo Fuller’s were always on my hit list, for years after the ESB love affair was over. So, when in the winter of 2016, my friend Mike tells me there’s a pallet of 1845 sitting at the Vecenie Beer, I jumped on a case like a territorial dog on a food bowl. A few days later I get a furious phone call from Tony Knipling, head of all things beer at Vecenie, about how all those cases were allocated and they were all for a special event and exclusivity and furthermore and furthermore and DON’T YOU DARE SELL THOSE AT THE PUB. I’m over here like, dude, I just wanted to drink them. “Oh, well if that’s the case why didn’t you tell me before I read you the riot act?!” And that’s every conversation I ever had with Tony Knipling, arguments bookended with apologies bookended with arguments. Tony passed away this past July and the least I could do was leave this story behind. Go drink a Fulller’s for Tony, he’d enjoy that. For a more concise review of 1845, find a February 2016 copy of CraftPittsburgh, we archive this shit, right?

Recommended if you like: Hitchhiker - Whole Punch Series, Pizza Boy - LegenDairy Series, Rhinegeist - Astro Dwarf, Epic - Citralush IPA, East End - Partly Clahdy IPA

6. P  ENN Kaiser Pils

4.5% German Style Pilsner

Kaiser Pils is the great-grandaddy of Pittsburgh craft beer. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Penn Pilsner is more popular and Penn Dark blah blah Penn Oktoberfest yeah sure. Shhhhhhhh. When you talk to OG Beer Yinzers, Kaiser is the beer you waited in line for before anyone waited in line for beer. A beer complex in its simplicity, one type of malt, three types of hops, yeast, water. And for years, Penn treated Kaiser with the pomp and circumstance reserved for traditional simplicity, until they started canning it. With a pickelhaube adorned skull complete with Pittsburgh black-and-gold. I mean, go for it, Kaiser is a killer beer and it should look killer. I’ve always loved Kaiser and put it up there with the best of the best of PA Pilsners, soft, sweet pilsner malt before the herbal and spicy hops wash ashore. Dry, slightly bitter and refreshing. Like it should be. Recommended if you like: Victory - Prima Pils, Sole - Blurred Lines Pils,

3. F  ULLER’S 1845

Like I said, nobody shops for beer anymore, the beer finds you and then you find it. Case in point, Shploing! I wasn’t looking for this. But you see some words on the internet, Mango S’Mores IPA and you have a hearty chuckle. “Silly brewers, they’ll call anything an IPA these days.” Then you see a picture of the can with its fiery volcanic action and neon and you’re like, “Damn, they’ll let anyone design a can label these days!” and then a friend asks if you’ve had it, because it’s pretty good and then you run screaming into every beer store demanding it because. The. Hype. Is. Real. Oh, and welcome to the year of Lactose/Milkshake/Dessert IPA! Why? Probably because we’re nearing the end of the IPA idea bucket. But, also, low bitterness, creamy body, juicy hop-flavor beers are what is up these days. So, cream-up that body, mango-up those hops and, sure, why not add vanilla and graham crackers and marshmallows while we’re at it! While all the flavor bits are there to play mostly bit parts, this is straight juicy mango IPA. Juiced mango and dried grapefruit zest on the nose, big fluffy NEIPA body that lends itself well to low bitterness and fruity hoppiness. Barely a trace of bitterness in the finish, save for that, this is pretty much dryhopped, mango booze juice.

Sierra Nevada - Summerfest, Bitburger - Pils 37


CraftPittsburgh | issue 33





brewer sit-down Photo Mike Weiss



Rusty Gold Brewing - Canonsburg, PA

Age? 32


We’ll call it Knoxville, Tennessee.

CraftPittsburgh | issue 33

Your brewing background?


My now-wife bought a home brew kit for me as a gift. And I did that for a couple years on and off. In a lot of ways I always kind of say I like to talk about and read about home brewing more than I actually home brewed. So I probably did about a dozen batches altogether over a couple years. And at that point I was doing something not very exciting for a career and I was looking for opportunities and ended up looking into brewing. Volunteered at a place in Chattanooga, Tennessee for a few months just doing weekend taproom tours and helping out there, whatever they would let me do. I did that for a little while and basically just started applying and ended up being really fortunate getting a job at the Church Brew Works. Got in as an advertised, part-time bottling position and I worked four days for one week and then every week after that was full-time. Small team, so, basically, within three months I was brewing, just kind of had-to-do-everything kind of deal. Quick education, hands on, which is what I was looking for. I’d still love to go back and do some of the educational programs. I think they’re really valuable, but, at the same time, it was helpful to just start working first and get that experience hands on.

First craft beer?

First one was Sierra Nevada Pale Ale for me, which I’m sure it is for a lot of people. But I still think of that, I did the pilot batch here, which was a knock-off clone of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, I think that that’s a style and

an example that brought appeal. Just the right beer, but, at the same time, when you come from kind of more mass-market beer and you have a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, it’s distinct. It’s new and it’s strong in a way that’s different for a lot of people. Common answer, I’m sure.

Guilty pleasure beer?

I know that there’s a group locally that really likes IC Light Mango. But my choice is probably Miller High Life. It has a lot to do with that being our drinking beer in college. The joke was it was about 50 cents a bottle, we would gauge what things cost to do based on how many Miller High Lifes we could buy. So buy a six-dollar movie ticket or a case of Miller High Life? That choice was pretty easy sometimes.

Do you brew with any music?

I don’t actually. I know some people go as far as Matt Allyn [founder of Voodoo Brewery] that plays music to the beer when it’s fermenting. Occasionally, I’ll play something. I listen to a lot of, like, I’ll say modern bluegrass like Old Crow Medicine Show or something like that. Kind of just when I’m in the mood. A lot of brewers are metal heads, but that’s not me.

If you weren’t brewing?

I don’t know. I’ve been doing it for so much of my adult life. I had a dream at one point of being a stunt car driver, I always thought that would be the best thing. That just means I drive like an idiot now.

Speaking of cars, what do you drive?

2003 Ford Taurus that has 240,000 miles on it. And I’ve ran it into a wall once. I also have a ’94 Miata, I guess that’s a little more exciting to talk about. Weekend car.

What would your last beer be?

So, I haven’t done this yet, it’s on my very short list, to get to Germany. I think if I were to say I’m dying in my sleep I would be at Bamberg, Schlenkerla and drinking Smokebeer all night, then go to sleep in the hotel at the brewery and then, just, that would be good. That’d be enough.

on in a way is traditional styles, focus on things that in a way are tried and true, but are fantastic beers. I think that sometimes in the little bit more modern day of chasing something brand new, they get a little bit left behind. New Glarus does a solid lineup of classic beers and serves a local population and I think that’s everything. They’re secure in that.

If you could go back in time through all your drinking years and have a beer anywhere, with anyone, what would it be?

I’d probably pick, let me make sure I have the right bar in D.C. We were at a craft brewer’s conference, I’d only been at the Church for under two years, I believe, and got to go to D.C., must have been 2012. And somehow, I’m sure somebody coordinated it, but the whole Pittsburgh group ended up, I believe it was, Pizzeria Paradiso in Dupont Circle. And I remember specifically when we walked in, they had a nice tap list and a huge bottle list, and the cooler had a dozen bottles of Cantillon in it and they were all gone when we left. We drank a lot of them and I’m not sure, I’m sure some other people drank them. And I remember, I didn’t pay a dime for it which is probably the best part of it, but that was probably the most fun experience I had that included all aspects of what I’ve come to like about this.

Do you have a brewing hero?

Even coming into this, my kind of most-respected brewery was always New Glarus in Wisconsin. I just thought that brewery embodied everything I liked about what a brewery could be. It was focused … they chose to focus on Wisconsin and I think, in a way, they get rewarded for that differently than other brewers. And their styles—and that’s what we focus

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cooking with beer Words Mindy Heisler-Johnson Photos Buzzy Torek

Have you ever wondered how I choose these recipes? Sometimes it’s as simple as super ripe peaches showing up in my CSA basket, a bottle of Victory Peach Belgian Blonde crossing my path that reminding me of that peach jam with fresh ginger that I’ve been saving for the perfect dish...and the rest of a delicious Boozy Brunch for six comes tumbling out of my head.

CraftPittsburgh | issue 33

Brunch is kind of the best. Late morning/early afternoon, all of the delicious things to eat, what else is better? And I want to make this jam. That will go so well with French toast, which, let’s face it, isn’t real exciting no matter how delicious, and kind of a pain to make if you want to be able to enjoy your brunch, which is KEY to a successful brunch. Peach jam stuffed french toast bake with pecans, using more of the Victory Peach Belgian Blonde, because we can. And cinnamon buns, but better—how about a vanilla cream ale almond sticky buns with spiced rum glaze? Add crispy bacon, maybe some little sausages, coffee and beermosas (try a gose and some fresh oj, no joke) and you have a pretty rocking brunch. All of which can be prepped ahead and simply warmed up before you serve. I don’t question where these inspirations come from, I just thank them for appearing!


Victory Peach Belgian Blonde Peach Jam

This makes enough to stuff the french toast bake and to top each serving. • 1 12oz bottle Victory Peach Belgian Blonde Ale • 1 ½ cups dark brown sugar • 6-7 medium, ripe peaches, pitted & chopped/squished 1” knob fresh ginger, peeled & finely chopped 1 Tbsp vanilla extract 8 Tbsp butter

Put the beer and the brown sugar in a sauce pot and bring to a simmer. While that heats pit your peaches and chop up. Overripe, mushy, ugly fruit is preferred, skins can be left on. Add the peaches and the finely chopped ginger, bring to a simmer. Let the whole mess cook down until it is thick and bubbly, about 40-50 minutes. The jam will thicken and the peaches will start to look translucent mushy. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and butter. Stir in and set aside to cool a bit.

Peach & Pecan Stuffed French Toast Bake • 1 loaf Italian bread, day or two old is best, cut into 1” cubes • 6 eggs • 1 ½ cups heavy cream • 12oz bottle Victory Peach Belgian Blonde Ale • 1 Tbsp vanilla • 1 tsp cinnamon • Pinch salt • ⅓ cup brown sugar • 1 ½ cups peach jam • 1 cup chopped pecans • A sprinkleof brown sugar for the top

Cube up the bread and put in a bowl. Mix all of the other ingredients with another bowl with a whisk to make the custard. Pour the custard over the bread cubes and mix. Let it soak up and get all gooshy for 5 minutes or so. Butter a deep dish casserole dish, 8x8x3 square or slightly larger. Layer half of the soaked bread on the bottom, spread a layer of the jam, top with remaining bread mixture and sprinkle the top with pecans and brown sugar. Bake in a 325° oven for 55-60 minutes. When you press the center it should feel firm and spring back. Let it rest for a bit before serving, or cool and reheat. Top with more of the peach jam.

Kentucky Vanilla Barrel Cream Ale Almond Sticky Buns with Maggie’s Farm Spiced Rum Glaze The Bread

• 1 Package dry yeast • ¼ cup brown sugar • 2 Tbsp sugar • 1 cup warm milk • 12 oz b  ottle Kentucky Vanilla Barrel Cream Ale • 1 tsp salt • 2 eggs • 1 Tbsp vanilla • 8 Tbsp softened butter • 5-6 cups flour

The Filling

• 8 Tbsp melted butter • 1 ¼ cup dark brown sugar • 2 Tbsp cinnamon • 2 cups toasted, sliced almonds

The Glaze

• 1 cup powdered sugar • 2-3 Tbsp Maggie’s Farm Spiced Rum • 1 tsp vanilla • 1 Tbsp Butter

Toast the almonds when you get started. Warm the milk to 80-90° on the stove or in microwave. Add both sugars and yeast and stir to dissolve. Let it sit until it gets foamy. Place in a bigger bowl and add the beer, salt, vanilla and eggs and mix until it is all mixed up. Add the butter and half of the flour and mix with a wooden spoon. When it starts to come together add more flour. Keep at it until you have a soft dough ball that isn’t sticky. Knead on the counter for a minute or so to smooth it out and get back in the bowl, cover and let rest and rise until ti doubles in size. You can also do this in a mixer, which if you have one I assume you know what to do. Once raised, punch it down on a floured counter and use a pin to roll the dough out to an even 1” thickness, about 12” long and 8” wide. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon for the filling together. Smear the dough from top to bottom with the melted and cooled butter. Spread the cinnamon sugar all over in a relatively thick layer, edge to edge. Cover that with toasted almonds. Roll in a tight roll towards you and pinch together the seam completely. Cut into 2” rolls, you should get 6-8. Arrange in a buttered 9x13 pan and bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes, they are going to grow together, as intended. They will be golden brown and the center cooked when they are done.

Mix the glaze ingredients together until smooth. Let cool a bit before glazing or it all just melts off. These can be served same day or reheated later. If you can resist the aroma.


home brewing Words Jack Smith

BAVARIAN OKTOBERFESTBIER Those Bells Haven’t Rung in Years!

Who wants bratwurst with mustard and relish!? You see kids, this is the season of our forefathers. Well, those of us with Bavarian heritage, at least. The season of the world’s largest folk festival—Oktoberfest—and ze greatest beer in all ze vorld—Oktoberfestbier!

CraftPittsburgh | issue 33

I doubt the beer needs any further introduction, but allow me to describe it to you. It’s amber-orange in color with a big, pillowy, lasting slightly off-white head and brilliantly clear. It comes in around 6% ABV and it is malty as all get-out with dominant flavors of rich, toasty bread. It’s not sweet, just malty. The flavor gives the impression of sweetness due to its low bitterness, but it finishes dry and quenching. If it didn’t, do you think great throngs would hang out in tents on the Theresienwiese for 16 to 18 days straight drinking liters of it? No, they wouldn’t! Oktoberfest would be canceled and everyone would go home unquenched and malcontent. Fortunately, the beer style is indeed quenching and the revelry rages on!


How do you brew a great one? It’s all about the layering of toasty, melanoidin-rich malt. I like to go 50/50 German Pilsner malt and German Munich malt, then add about 2-3% of the total weight of Aromatic malt. You can use up to 100% Munich malt if you please, but I think the layering of base malts with a dash of aromatic really creates nice complexity. Plus, I like to decoct this mash. If you use all Munich malt you’re pushing the high end of the color range as it is. Add in a decoction and you’ll have an almost red beer, not that there’s anything wrong with that. To me, though, the best Oktoberfestbier is pale amber in color. If you use the recipe below and don’t do a decoction, your beer will be deep gold in color. With the decoction, it will be orangish amber. Moreover, the decoction brings a certain Ich weiß es nicht to the party—a depth of flavor that is tough to approximate using specialty malts. As for hopping, remember this beer is all about the malt. You need some bitterness to balance it, but only just. Aim for about 20-25 IBUs at 60 minutes. No late hops. No flavor or aroma hops. No dry hops. Some say you get no

flavor from 60-minutes hops, so you could use any variety you want here, but I submit that is false. A keen palate will pick up a hint of hop flavor, so be sure to use some noble German hops. Tettnang, Spalt, or any of the many Hallertau varieties are great here. As for fermentation, this is a very traditional lager beer, which means it should be fermented cold with a lager yeast strain, then aged cold for months. The beer is often called Märzen, meaning March, as in brewed during the month of March to be consumed in September. With modern lager techniques, though (see CraftPittsburgh issue #31), you can have this beer very ready to drink in a month. Two months would only make it better. If you don’t have the means to do lager fermentations, you could always convert it into a “mocktoberfest” by fermenting with a very clean ale yeast, such as Chico (WLP001, Wyeast 1056, SafAle US-05) or a German ale yeast intended for use with Kölsch-style beer (WLP029, Wyeast 2565). Either way, the beer should be allowed to age cold for a month or two before serving it to allow flavors to meld and mellow. It won’t be exactly the same if you use an ale or hybrid yeast, but it will get you pretty close. Your Oktoberfest party guests won’t complain!

“Hello Aviator!”

Märzen/Oktoberfestbier Batch Size: 5.25 gal. Boil Time:90 minutes OG: 1.058 FG: 1.012 ABV: 6.0% IBU: 22 SRM: 8 Difficulty: Advanced (step mash with decoction, fermentation temperature control required) *Assuming 75% brewhouse efficiency

Grainbill • 5.5 lbs German Pilsner malt • 5.5 lbs German Munich malt • 4 oz Aromatic malt Extract Brewers: Replace the Pilsner and Munich malts with 3.25 lbs each of Dry Pilsner Malt Extract and Dry Munich Malt Extract. Omit the aromatic malt.

Hops • 64 grams Hallertau Mittelfrueh (2.5% AA) @ 60 min

Mash & Boil The flavor of Märzen is malt-dominated. To get the most out of your malt, employ a multi-temperature step mash with a quick mash-out decoction at the end to really develop some rich maillard flavors. Dough in with 11.5 quarts of 145°F water to hit a mash temperature of 133°F for a short protein rest. Your initial water-to-grist ratio is a thick 0.9 qt/lb. This is because you’ll be adding more water later. Hold it at 133°F for 10 minutes, then add six quarts of hot 175°F water to bring the mash temperature up to 146°F. Hold it there for 30 minutes, then add heat to raise the mash temperature to 156°F. Hold it there for 10 minutes, then begin pulling the tick part of the mash and perform a 30 minute decoction. Add the boiled mash back to the main mash. Your mash should now be about 168°F. (See Craft Pittsburgh issue #27 for a detailed description of decoction mashing.)

Yeast/Fermentation You could use any lager yeast you are comfortable with here. I like WLP833 —German Bock Yeast for this style because it really accentuates the malt character and it’s a very forgiving lager yeast. But I like WLP830—German Lager Yeast even more. 830 dries the beer out a bit more which on the surface sounds like the opposite of what you want in a malt-forward beer, but given the huge slug of malt flavor in this one plus the low hopping rate, that’s OK. 830 produces a bit more sulfur that needs to be aged into balance than 833 does, resulting eventually in a more “lager-like” beer in my estimation. Ferment cold, around 48°F until fermentation is about 75% complete, then start warming it 1°F every 12 hours until it reaches about 66°F. Hold it there for a week, then slowly chill it back down to 30°F and hold it there for a month or more before packaging. Then keep it cold for a couple more months before inviting over a bunch of friends to plow through the whole batch in one night. I suggest throwing an Oktoberfest party whose name is a play on the word, “Oktoberfest.” You can call your party “Jacktoberfest.” I’ll allow it.

Do you really need me to tell you what to eat with Oktoberfest lager? Isn’t it obvious? Easter ham, fish tacos, chocolate pudding, and … Psych! I’m just jaggin’ ya. Drink this stuff with Bavarian food, duh! Soft pretzels and mustard. Bratwurst and kraut. Schnitzel. Spaetzel. Red cabbage. Any traditional Bavarian food is perfect, but more importantly make sure you’re ready to consume this stuff by the litre with a large group of close friends. Lederhosen and dirndls are one hundred percent compulsory. Prost!choice for this beer as well. A homebrewer since 2002, Jack Smith is a National BJCP Judge, a former president of the Three Rivers Alliance of Serious Homebrewers, and an active member of the Three Rivers Underground Brewers


Suggested Pairings

Follow him on Twitter @whenyeastattack 45

Southern Tier Brewing Co.

Warlock Words & Illustration Mark Brewer

Southern Tier Brewing Company produces Warlock, (8.6% ABV), an Imperial Stout brewed with real pumpkin and allnatural ingredients.

CraftPittsburgh | issue 33

In previous years this beer was made available with a slightly higher alcohol by volume of 10 percent. Warlock pours deep black with a creamy, tan-colored head with great retention. With every sip, notable traces of lace linger inside of the glass. Aromas of nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon are equally abundant. The first mouthful will reproduce aromatic pumpkin pie notes worth savoring. Warlock has a big, roasted malt taste with a spicy, clove-like character. A deeper dive will divulge notes of molasses, toffee and caramel. The finish is rich with vanilla accompanied by a slight taste of alcohol. Warlock is a heavy-bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Enjoy in a tulip glass to release maximum sensory impact. Warlock’s malty sweetness pairs well with spicy BBQ and carrot cake.


Southern Tier Brewing Company headquarters are located in Lakewood, NY. This year, Southern Tier will host their 2nd Annual Pumking Fest on September 23rd. In addition to signature staples, take advantage of the opportunity to try one of their unique beers out of the taps exclusively available at the brewery. With a second brewery located in Pittsburgh, Southern Tier Brewing Company brews over 100,000 barrels of beer each year, which are distributed in more than 30 states. For more information, please Mark Brewer is the author & illustrator of Brewology, An Illustrated Dictionary for Beer Lovers



Fat Tire Belgian White®, New Belgium®, and the bicycle logo are trademarks of New Belgium Brewing Co. ENJOY NEW BELGIUM RESPONSIBLY ©2017 New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, CO & Asheville, NC

Profile for CraftPittsburgh

CraftPittsburgh Issue #33  

Trippin' to Troegs

CraftPittsburgh Issue #33  

Trippin' to Troegs