Greensburg raising a toast to all things beer
For the inaugural Greensburg Craft Beer Week, Ian Staab of Yellow Bridge Brewing in Delmont wanted to come up with something special.
Pumpkin beers have been around for a while, but Staab thought he had an unusual twist.
Staab, who calls himself “owner, brewer, janitor and everything else” at Yellow Bridge, is collaborating with Tapped Brick Oven and Pour House in Hempfield for the new brew.
“We've worked with them for a while and they keep our beers on tap,” he says. “Our original thought was roasting pumpkins in their pizza oven.
“The problem was that their oven is roaring at 750 degrees and it was scorching the pumpkins. So we ended up using a pumpkin puree and they supplied all the fresh spices.”
The Yellow Bridge/Tapped collaboration is one of four that will be featured during the week of events celebrating all beverages heady and hoppy, set for Oct. 9 to 15 at breweries, restaurants and other venues in and around Greensburg.
Along with the pumpkin brew dubbed Fosters Pumpkin Project ale, there will be All Saints Brewing Co. and Noble Stein's Red IPA, Rivertowne Brewing Co. and All Saints' Double IPA and a plum-infused Baltic Porter from Fury and Levity brewing companies.
‘The best ideas'
The craft beer week is the brainchild of Jessica Hickey, founder of the Downtown Greensburg Project, and Jenn Weir, who works for Greensburg Beverage.
“The best ideas come over a few pints and great conversation,” according to the event website, and Hickey says that's sort of how the idea came about.
“Greensburg Craft Beer Week is a celebration of the Greensburg community and craft beer,” the website says. “As Greensburg grows, more and more beer establishments are adopting and embracing craft beer and its culture. Craft beer represents creativity, diversity, collaboration and fun — as does the Greensburg community.”
“We're looking to do a yearly event,” Hickey says. “Right now, we're getting a lot of good feedback, and if everybody has a good time, we'll move forward with that.”
Tasting events will pair beverages with desserts and cigars.
The time also was chosen to coincide with Seton Hill University's homecoming activities, Hickey says, to involve students and visiting alumni.
Souvenir T-shirts are available on the website.
“From the chamber's perspective, we focus so much on serious things, like building businesses, that this should be a nice change,” says Chad Amond, president/CEO of the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce, an event sponsor. “Beer kind of brings everybody together. I'll be out there trying some — that's an occupational hazard.”
And as for Staab's pumpkin beer, he says, “Sometimes pumpkin beer comes across as too sweet, but this one balanced out nicely and the pumpkin spices still come across well.”
Don't miss these
Among close to 40 events scheduled for craft beer week, here are a few not to miss.
An “asana” is loosely defined as any yoga posture or movement, so mix craft beer with yoga and you get Beerasana, in which Red Brick Yoga in Greensburg will partner with some of the participating brewers to offer one-hour sessions of vinyasa yoga.
Three sessions of the popular yoga practice, which synchronizes the breath with a continuous flow of postures, are planned during the week, two at the Red Brick studio and one at All Saints Brewing Co.
Yoga participants can cool down afterward with beer samples; surprise giveaways also are planned.
A separate session of yoga for all experience levels also is planned at Yellow Bridge Brewing Co. in Delmont.
BEER AND CIGAR PAIRINGS
Meet the guys from Dirty Dog Cigar Shoppe, a new business soon to be opening in downtown Greensburg, who will recommend cigars that go well with the featured beers, ales and cider. They'll be on hand from 4 to 11 p.m. Oct. 15 at Tapped Brick Oven and Pour House.
LOCAL IPA TASTE TEST
Penn Brewery will co-host a blind taste test of 10 to 12 local IPAs on Oct. 14 at Tapped Brick Oven and Pour House. Kegs will be tapped in the morning, with scores assigned by tasters throughout the day to be calculated at the end of the night. Giveaways are planned all day.
Grab your pup and head to Petagogy pet food and supply store in Hempfield for Fall Yappy Hour from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 12. Humans will get complimentary beer from Sobel's Obscure Brewery in Latrobe. Canines will get free Barley Bones, made from spent brewing grains.
Humans must be 21 or older. Dogs must be on non-retractable leashes, and must be comfortable around other dogs and people. Adult dogs must be spayed or neutered.
A portion of sales during the event will benefit Kiski Valley Cat and Kitten Rescue.
OTHER NOTABLE EVENTS
• Thanksgiving Burger Night benefit, featuring Doc G's Brewing's Scottish Strong Ale and Russian Imperial Maple Syrup Stout, the evening will benefit the Westmoreland County Food Bank. 5-8 p.m. Oct. 11, Winghart's, behind Westmoreland Mall.
• Brewery Trivia contest, 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 11 at Yellow Bridge Brewing, will include a special section on beers and brewing, in addition to regular bar-style trivia questions.
• “Peddle for Pints” ride from Flat Tire Co. Bike Shop, 212 E. Pittsburgh St., to All Saints Brewery, Route 119 and Roseytown Road, with a stop for a pint, of course, and then ride back. 6-9 p.m. Oct. 12.
• S.O.B. Beer tasting, with proceeds going to the Central Westmoreland Habitat for Humanity, 5-7 p.m. Oct. 13, Pittsburgh Street Beverage, 600 E. Pittsburgh St.
• Ribtober Fest, with Jack Wagon Smoking BBQ and Sobel's Obscure Brewery, Oct. 13-15, North Hempfield Fire Company, 1284 Bus. Route 66.
• Kegs and Eggs, with Noble Stein Coffee Porter and Brazen Whit, to celebrate Seton Hill University's homecoming. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 14, Mr. Toad's, 10 E. Otterman St.
• Rotary of Westmoreland Bar Crawl, 5-10 p.m. Oct. 14, at Oliver's Pourhouse, Hugo's Taproom, Moose Lodge, The Rialto and Badges Bar & Grille. A $30 ticket benefits Miracle of Giving project for local children and their families. After-party at 11 p.m. at Greensburg Truck Co. 2 for $10; beer provided by Penn Brewery.
• Pint Glass giveaway and Stein Holding Contest with Penn Brewery, all day Oct. 15, Little E's Pizzeria, 807 Highland Ave