Bob Batz Jr.
Published May 30, 2019
You’ve heard of “99 bottles of beer on the wall”?
Pittsburgh’s East End Brewing Co. plans to put up 92 different cans of beer — one named for each city neighborhood.
The Larimer brewery is launching its “You Are Here” series of “neighborhood beers” on Saturday at the Allentown Night Market, where it will debut, in that neighborhood’s honor, “Allentown,” an imperial shandy ale. The big 7.5%-alcohol-by-volume ale is brewed with local Prestogeorge tea and lemon juice.
This first beer also is a toast to longtime East End Brewing design partner Commonwealth Press, which also on Saturday is celebrating the grand opening of its Allentown warehouse. Commonwealth designed the cans, which highlight the neighborhood on the outline of a city map. Commonwealth owner Dan Rugh on Wednesday, while the first beer was being canned, randomly drew what will be the series’ next beer/neighborhood: Overbrook.
According to the brewery, “All names that follow will be drawn at random, by a different local celebrity, business partner, or all-around cool Pittsburgh person.”
All the recipes will be new ones, and the brewery will rearrange its brewing schedule to accommodate them. Many of the cans will be released at pop-up events in the neighborhoods.
East End Brewing owner Scott Smith says this series of beers is a way for the brewery, which started in Homewood 15 years ago, to engage with various neighborhoods and its partners and customers — and to get people to spend time in neighborhoods they might not usually visit.
“Pittsburgh has always been our home,” he said in a release, “and I hope people will take this opportunity to get out of their comfort zones and explore it a bit more deeply.”
Originally, they planned on doing 90 neighborhoods, until quickly learning via social media that that number can vary, depending on who’s counting. He acknowledged, “We may need to adjust.”
(Local artist Ron Donoughe spent a year painting his “Pittsburgh: 90 Neighborhoods” series.)
Mr. Smith says there’s no set timetable for releasing all the beers, but, “We’re going to hit them as fast as we can,” and he said “Overbrook” already is in the tanks, describing it vaguely for now as a “hazy, hoppy beer.”
This effort, he said, “also feeds into the new beer drinker,” many of whom always want the Next New Beer.
The Allentown beer is to be available from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Commonwealth Press (415 W. Warrington Ave.) and from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Allentown Night Market (in Warrington’s 800 block). This second night market, sponsored by Hilltop Alliance and others, brings together vendors, artisans and entertainers in two outdoor areas and one indoor venue, and local businesses — The Weeping Glass, Onion Maiden, Black Forge Coffee House, Salon Ivy, SKULL Records, Dark Root Barbershop and others — will be open late. Learn more on the event’s Facebook page.
Also Saturday, the cans and draft of what the brewery has teased as a “surprise beer” will be available at both East End Brewing locations: the taproom at 102 19th St. in the Strip District and the brewpub at 147 Julius St. in Larimer. The four-pack of cans will sell for $15, a price that Mr. Smith says “will vary based on what’s inside the cans.” More at www.eastendbrewing.com.
Photo by East End Brewing