Brew aficionados gather for preview of Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week

Several beer writers, bloggers and other media types joined even more local brewers, distributors and other beer types Wednesday at Penn Brewery on the North Side for “media day” for this year’s Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week.

The third annual promotion of the craft beer runs April 25 through May 4 and already encompasses more than 150 events across the region, with scores more expected to be added to the calendar at

Lee Schmidt, president of the nonprofit Pittsburgh Craft Beer Alliance that organizes the week, welcomed the crowd, including those who are affiliated with more than 20 operating breweries and at least 10 more that soon will be up and running. “It’s just booming in Pittsburgh,” he said.

That adjective covers all that’s going on over those 10 days, including what the group’s events guy, Hart Johnson, described as “signature” events such as the already sold-out Commonwealth Press “Beer Barge” on the three rivers on the first Friday and the Pittsburgh Real Ale Festival at Highmark Stadium on May 3 ( as well as that day’s Furnace Bash at Carrie Furnace in Rankin ( Hundreds of smaller events will happen at bars, restaurants and other venues, from a bike ride to dinners to beer breakfasts.

Many events will serve some of the 11 very creative “collaboration brews,” that brewers did together for the week, several of which were available Wednesday, including “Rojo Ahumado,” a chili-smoked amber ale by Larimer’s East End Brewing Co. and Erie’s Lavery Brewing Co.

Said Rivertowne Brewing’s Chris Rafferty, who helped organize the brewers: “This is a one-time-of-year sort of effort for beer enthusiasts to experience these kind of collaborative efforts.”

Read more about the brews and the events in next week's Food & Flavor section and on The Forks blog at

Bob Batz Jr.: and 412-263-1930 and on Twitter @bobbatzjr. Read more about the brews and the events in next week's Food & Flavor section and on The Forks blog at


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