Food column: Scores of suds, beer floats will be on tap at Brew ’N Chew

A move from January to June results in a whole new feel for this year’s Pittsburgh Brew ’N Chew, which will feature an outdoor biergarten along with the extensive beer and food pairings offered indoors for the event’s past two years.

There will be two sessions: 1 to 4 p.m. or 6 to 9 p.m. June 18 at the Monroeville Convention Center.

Organizer Dee Weinberg of GoodTaste! Pittsburgh says it’s “not your typical beer fest because it showcases food as much as beer and how the two are paired together.”

More than 100 local and European beers will be available along with 50 food vendors. Foreign beers will be featured in the biergarten and local craft beers indoors.

Also new this year is a Beer Float Bar, which will serve hard sodas with ice cream. Volunteers from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation will serve the floats, and proceeds will benefit the organization.

Chefs will demonstrate and serve small bacon bites paired with smoke-infused beers at a Bacon Beer Bar. David Frost, a smoked-beer expert from Aecht Schlenkerla in Germany, will explain how these beers are made. Social at Bakery Square, Share Restaurant (Doubletree Hotel) and Bacon on the Fly Food Truck will be among the establishments sending chefs to prepare the bacon treats.

Popular attractions from previous years will be repeated, including tavern games (darts, foosball, air hockey) and live music (acoustic during the afternoon session and a party band during the evening).

A popular attraction, held at the early session, is the “Brewers Roundtable” where local craft brewers discuss how they develop their breweries and products.

“In a lot of cases, these are young ‘kids’ who are entrepreneurs,” Ms. Weinberg said, noting audiences have enjoyed hearing their perspectives and getting to know the genesis of their favorite local beers. Participants will include brewers from Rock Bottom, Spoonwood, Hitchhiker, Helltown, Full Pint, Levity and other local breweries, with Jason Cercone of Pittsburgh Craft Beer Network moderating.

A “VIP Experience” will offer a bartending presentation that will feature a beer cocktail bar served by flair bartenders, exclusive beer bites, special parking area and a gift bag.

Tickets are $50 at the door or $25 for designated drivers. Advance online tickets are $65 for VIPs and $40 for general admission. Information and tickets:


Kentuck Knob Farm to Table Dinner Series: Appalachian farm-fresh dinner prepared by Dale Hawkins, executive chef of Fish Hawk Acres, plus guided tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kentuck Knob. 4:30 p.m. June 15, July 13, Aug. 17 and Sept. 21 at Kentuck Knob in Chalk Hill. $110. 724-329-1901;

Freedom Farms Dinners in the Field: Two dinners in June: “Wine & Dine Dinner in the Field” at 6 p.m. June 19, $35; and “Brews & BBQ Dinner in the Field,” 6 p.m. June 26, $25. Both events are at Freedom Farms in Middlesex, Butler County.

Churchview Farm Dinner Series: Farm tour, cocktail, five- to eight-course menu, beverage pairings; menu features farm products. 5:30 p.m. every Sunday (except July 3) through Oct. 2 at Churchview Farm, Baldwin Borough. $115.

Wine festivals

Wine Festival & Comedy Show: Wine samples, exhibitors, food, live music and comedy shows. 5 to 8 p.m. June 10 and choice of 1 to 4 p.m. or 5 to 8 p.m. June 11 at Monroeville Convention Center. $30 in advance; $35 at door ($10 less for Saturday afternoon).

Wine Time at The Colony: Regional wine sampling, food, gift vendors, live jazz and swing. 1 to 6 p.m. June 18 at Penn’s Colony in Saxonburg. $20.

Summer Wine Festival: Local wines, food trucks, live music, dancing, local crafters. Noon to 5 p.m. June 25 at Trax Farms, Finleyville. $20 in advance; $25 at the door.

Wine and Jazz at The Lake: Local wines, food buffet, Beaver County Cigar Club bar, cigar rolling and sales, basket auction, live jazz. 3 to 9 p.m. June 25 at Hopewell Township Community Park. $40. 724-378-1460, ext. 101.

Vine Rewind: Picnic and all-day music festival with food and drink from Franktuary, Blowfish BBQ, Pittsburgh Winery, East End Brewing, Arsenal Cider, Full Pint Brewery and more. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 26 in the 2800 block of Penn Avenue, Strip District, which will be closed all day for festivities. Free.

Other festivals

Pick-A-Dilly Herb Faire: Demos, artists and crafters, plant sale, food and more. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 11 at Dillweed Bed & Breakfast in Dilltown, Indiana County.

Holy Cross Greek Food Fair: Lamb shanks, pastitsio, moussaka, spanakopita, tiropita, gyros, baklava, rice pudding and more, plus live entertainment. 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 15-18 at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Mt. Lebanon. 412-854-6001 or

Sale, walks & a birthday

All-Clad Seconds Sale: Friday through Sunday at In the Kitchen in the Strip District and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Washington County Fairgrounds.

Mushroom walks: Saturday at Camp Guyasuta, Sharpsburg; Sunday at Phipps Conservatory BioBlitz in Schenley Park; June 18 at Deer Lakes Park, West Deer and Frazer townships. All walks start at 10 a.m. Free.

Smiley’s 30th Birthday: To celebrate the 30th birthday of the Eat’n Park Smiley cookie, the restaurant chain is offering 99-cent kids’ meals with Smiley treat bags all month. Also, the Smiley mascot will visit 50 stores throughout this month. To track his appearances, go to and click on “Find Smiley.”

Rebecca Sodergren: or on Twitter @pgfoodevents.


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