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East End Brewing’s YOU ARE HERE now planning 92 neighborhood beers

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
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East End Brewing
Pittsburgh’s East End Brewing will launch “YOU ARE HERE” project on Saturday. It’ a program designed to introduce a beer named after each of Pittsburgh’s 90 neighborhoods. East End Brewing owner Scott Smith (left) toasts the inaugural brew —“Allentown” with Dan Rugh, owner of Commonwealth Press, who collaborated with Smith on the beer can design.

Next up in the “YOU ARE HERE” beer series by East End Brewing Co. is … Overbrook.

“We have been bombarded with press inquiries and social media responses from people wondering about this project,” Scott Smith, owner of East End Brewing told the Tribune-Review on Thursday, referring to the launch of the YOU ARE HERE project.

On Saturday, the craft brewery launches the program designed to introduce a beer named after each of Pittsburgh’s 90 neighborhoods.

The inaugural brew is “Allentown,” described as an Imperial Shandy Ale at 7.5 percent alcohol by volume brewed with locally sourced tea and lemon juice from Prestogeorge Coffee and Tea Company. There are 100 cases of cans. Costs for the beers will range between $12 and $20 for a four pack depending upon the ingredients and the brewing process.

The beer was chosen first in conjunction with Commonwealth Press, the brewery’s design partner, which will be celebrating the grand opening of its Allentown warehouse on Saturday.

Dan Rugh, owner of Commonwealth Press, was a little skeptical.

“I didn’t think it was possible,” Rugh said. “I know brewing beer is difficult, and I couldn’t imagine brewing that many of them. But once he told me his plan, I was game.”

Rugh said with the can design he wanted some individuality as well as something to unite the city neighborhoods so they all looked like they belong together. The cans will have a city map with an arrow pointing to the location. The colors of the cans will change.

One of the most asked questions Smith said has been “Are you really going to make 90 different beers?

The answer: “Oh yeah, in fact 92 is the final number we have decided on,” Smith said. “People think it is a little crazy, but we know how Pittsburghers feel about their neighborhoods.”

The number 92 was decided upon after doing some research, Smith said. The plan is to create these individual flavors over two or three years.

The Overbrook blend will be hoppy hazy low gravity IPA.

A date for its release hasn’t been announced, but Smith said they want to coordinate introducing the beers with events or happenings in the specific neighborhood. Some beers will be made before a neighborhood is selected and vice versa.

One batch will be made of each.

“I have had this idea for a while now,” said Smith, who grew up in Regent Square. “I was thinking about our place in the Pittsburgh beer world, and how we could celebrate Pittsburgh. We wanted to keep it under wraps until we had everything in place. It took some time to get everything together.”

Smith credits his wife Julie with coming up with the name “YOU ARE HERE” and said Rugh incorporated Smith’s vision for the project through the can design.

Being able to have pop-up stands to sell the beer outside of the brewery is an added plus to this project, Smith said.

“We will see how it goes,” he said. “Our hope is that we run out of beer, or we will end up with a lot of beer. We invite people to come to these neighborhoods and get to know a part of Pittsburgh they might not have even been in before and have a beer. Maybe there will be some people who want to collect them all. We are absolutely up for this challenge.”

East End plans to change its regular brewing schedule to accommodate the new beers.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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