The Steel City Big Pour beer, food and art festival returns for the sixth time to Construction Junction in Point Breeze on "Septembeer" 8, and once again, the organizers hope to inspire related events around the city and region all that week.
Some tickets go on sale next week for the main event, which is include some exciting new elements, including live steamroller printmaking. "I don't think anyone's done this in Pittsburgh yet," says Mike Gable, executive director of the nonprofit that promotes conservation through the reuse of building materials. The Big Pour has become its signature event, selling out in minutes and raising tens of thousands of dollars.
New this year will be an app that attendees can load onto their smart phones for free. With it, they can search -- say, for beer, by type and brewery -- and also share their experience, rating the beers, the foods served by two dozen area restaurants, and the artwork. The app will link users to related websites, too, after the event as well. That's when the app will be available, for free, for everyone to connect with Big Pour Six and each other.
Mr. Gable and other organizers decided to rotate in some new restaurants this year; confirmed are Lawrenceville's Cure, Oakland's Legume, Regent Square's Root 174 and Brentwood's Rowdy BBQ. Newcomers among the 43 participating breweries include Greenfield's Copper Kettle and Erie's Lavery, plus Flying Dog (Frederick, Md.) and Sly Fox (Pottstown).
Some tickets go on sale at noon Monday, July 30; these are the "Reuse Enthusiast Tickets," described as "Big Pour ticket + a little something to sponsor CJ's mission" for $120 each (and include a T-shirt).
At noon Aug. 20, regular tickets go on sale for $75 each, or $35 for designated drivers who get no alcohol. In addition to the app, a ticket gets you a taster glass, a "brew caddy" for wearing your glass around your neck, a coupon for a free uni-growler (beer jug that can be refilled at many area brewers and bars) and 10-percent off a CJ purchase.
A ticket gets you in to one of two, three-hour sessions on Sept. 8: Noon to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Roughly 2,500 tickets will be sold, via ShowClix.
If you can't make the Pour itself, you might be able to make one of the Big Pour Week events at area eateries and watering holes. The Post-Gazette, a Big Pour sponsor, will post a calendar at post-gazette.com/food. Events should involve craft beer; including food, art and music is encouraged. For details, including how to submit your event:constructionjunction.org/pages/bigpour.
Other upcoming beer fests:
• July 28: the fifth annual Beer by the Bay in Liberty Park, Erie. Two sessions: noon to 3 and 4 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 ($45 for VIP, $10 for designated drivers); http://www.eriepa.com/beer-on-the-bay.
• Aug. 4: the seventh annual Slippery Rock Beer and Wine Fest, noon to 4 p.m. Tickets are $30; northcountrybrewing.com.
• Aug. 11: Millvale Brewfest at Millvale Riverfront Park, 1 to 4 and 5 to 8 p.m. Advance tickets: $30 and $35, $12 for food only; http://www.millvalepa.com/BrewFest.aspx.
• Aug 11: State College BrewExpo at 5 p.m. at Tussey Mountain Ski Area, Boalsburg. Tickets are $41.99 or $62.49 for VIP; http://www.statecollegebrewexpo.com.
Bob Batz Jr.: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1930.