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Pedal power pulls pale ale to Strip District

| Monday, May 12, 2014, 3:07 p.m.
James Knox | Tribune-Review
Freshly filled kegs, loaded with Pedal Pale Ale from East End Brewing Co., roll down Frankstown Avenue from the brewery in Larimer on Saturday April 26, 2014, for the annual Pedal Pale Ale Keg Ride.

A dream for most small businesses: celebrate a product's release with a parade of hundreds of your best customers.

That's how Larimer microbrewer East End Brewing Co. kicked off Craft Beer Week in April in Pittsburgh and the release of its Pedal Pale Ale.

Owner Scott Smith and about 450 beer lovers mounted bicycles and towed three kegs of the American-style brew to the Strip District, to toast spring in the Pedal Pale Ale Keg Ride.

“This was the smoothest one we've ever had. Only one flat tire,” Smith said.

Bike riders started at the brewery on Julius Street and wound through Highland Park and Lawrence-ville to reach the Pittsburgh Public Market.

“We were trying for the perfect post-ride beer. ... thirst-quenching, but not so strong as to crush you,” Smith said.

He organized the first ride, with 12 people, just after the year-old brewery opened. They drank at the brewery, directly from the brewing tank.

As a “zero waste” operation, the brewery gives spent grain to farmers for feed; it uses yeast strains to the 10th generation. And the ride, Smith said, “sheds light on using a bicycle to deliver heavy cargo.”

The ride supports a charitable cause — this year, Billy Pepmeyer, for whom they raised $4,400. Diagnosed with cancer and forced to sell his business, Agents of Change Recycling, Pepmeyer needs a monthly supply of vitamins that cost about $700.

“Here's a guy who's committed his life to doing something positive,” Smith said.

James Knox is a Trib Total Media photographer. Reach him at jknox@tribweb.com.

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