The Beaver County-based ice cream chain has signed development agreements for seven new markets in the West and Southwest.
Opening "softly" this weekend near PNC Park is an interesting new concept: The Beer Market.
It's a beer bar with a huge selection of 500 beers, 50 to 60 of them on draft, that doesn't serve its own food, but lets customers bring in food from neighboring restaurants and enjoy it with their beers and music.
In the Boggs Building at 110 Federal St., this is the second in a chain of beer bars that started in suburban Chicago. Investors now include longtime "General Hospital" and now "The Young and the Restless" actor Steve Burton. He left his old ABC show, where he played Jason Morgan, in January to play a veteran, Dylan McAvoy, on the CBS show.
Over the phone from Los Angeles, Mr. Burton explained that Beer Market customers can bring in food from wherever they want, even home. The menu also lists restaurants in the immediate vicinity that will deliver food. The beer market works with restaurants, even giving them maps of the tables.
Eateries in the shopping center around the Vernon Hills, Ill., Beer Market have reported big jumps in sales, Mr. Burton said. Two more Beer Markets are planned for Illinois and two are planned for Cleveland.
The Pittsburgh location also will have live music three to four days a week, mostly cover tunes, he said, and might include his band, Port Chuck, which includes other daytime drama actors. Mr. Burton, who works in Los Angeles but lives in Nashville, said he will be here for the grand opening near the end of June. He said he expected the Pittsburgh Beer Market would be open for the public Saturday.
For more, visit the-beer-market.com.
Some folks have barely recovered from Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week at the end of April, but next week brings American Craft Beer Week.
The Brewers Association is sponsoring the national promotion May 13 to 19. On its website, craftbeer.com, there's an events calendar that's searchable by state, but don't expect to find tons of events in Western Pennsylvania.
Bocktown Beer & Grill is holding some events, including meet-and-greets with two women brewers. From 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, at the Robinson (North Fayette) location, Megan Seastedt of Rivertowne Brewing will present several of the Murrysville brewery's drafts.
Ms. Seastedt started in beer at Southern Tier Brewing in Western New York, gluing boxes and affixing labels, then moving to the bottling line, before being promoted to "cellar lady." Now she brews mostly at Rivertowne Pourhouse in Monroeville.
From 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 18, Christine Sommero of Baltimore's Heavy Seas drops anchor at the Robinson store with several different drafts.
Bocktown "beer librarian" Tera Bevilacqua says she met Ms. Seastedt at the Fat Head's Brewers Ball and immediately hit it off with her. "This girl obviously LOVES what she does."
Ms. Bevilacqua happened to meet Ms. Sommero in at the Frisco Tap House &am Brewery in Baltimore, loved her homebrewing-to-working-in-a-winery story, and invited her to come visit.
Both that Bocktown and the one near Monaca will be offering their "Beer Meets Grill" pairings of tapas with 4-ounce beers. For more, visit bocktown.com.
Next on the local festival calendar is the 17th Pennsylvania Microbrewers' Fest at Penn Brewery on the North Side on Saturday, June 1. Tickets now are $45 for either of the two, three-hour sessions: 1 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. You get live music (the Flow Band and Big Leg Emma), a food tent (pulled-pork sandwiches, grilled sausages, hot German potato salad) and a souvenir glass for sampling.
Fifty cents from each ticket sold goes to the Community Alliance of Spring Garden/East Deutschtown and to Make-A-Wish. More at pennbrew.com.
At least 28 breweries from Pittsburgh and the region as well as far away are confirmed to be pouring at the event.
Steve Sloan, formerly of the Church Brew Works, reports that he's getting closer to opening -- perhaps next month -- his Roundabout Brewery at 4901 Butler St. in Lawrenceville.
"Equipment is in place and we have federal and state approval so hope to be brewing soon," he said in an email update, noting that he still has some issues to work out with the city, and that his wife, Dyana, has been working on the website: roundaboutbeer.com.
Correction, posted May 9, 2013: The date of the appearance of Christine Sommero of Baltimore's Heavy Seas has been corrected.
Bob Batz Jr.: email@example.com and 412-263-1930 and on Twitter @bobbatzjr. First Published May 9, 2013 4:00 AM