Hollow Oak Land Trust celebrates 25th anniversary with beer and food




People who go to the Hollow Oak Land Trust’s 25th anniversary Brewhaha next month will not only help conserve local greenspace but also get some rare brews.

Allegheny City Brewing, which isn’t even open yet on the North Side, will be pouring a few — Aiko Aiko IPA, Paw Paw Farmhouse Ale (brewed with the indigenous fruit) and Allegheny Common Ground Brown Ale (aged with Commonplace Coffee) — into souvenir glasses that attendees can keep. 

Partiers also will get to take home a 12-ounce bottle of Hollow Oak Bourbon Barrel Stout, brewed just for this event.

That brew is from home brewer, trust member and mountain biker Matt Backman, 28, of Hampton. After brewing this strong — about 9 percent alcohol by volume — dark beer, he aged it with pieces of oak soaked in bourbon. He put some of the extra-boozy stout into 22-ounce bottles and sealed them with wax for auction.

“Those are meant to be aged and tasted later to learn how a beer that is higher [in alcohol] and strong-flavored can mature and change flavor over time,” he explains. 

For a $50 ticket, attendees take part in live and silent auctions and get dinner provided by Fellowship Foods, which connects farmers and other suppliers in the region to restaurants and individuals. The menu, meant to pair with Allegheny City’s beers, is:

• Cream-based parsnip apple soup

• Crimini mushrooms and garlic with homemade mascarpone on crusty bread

• Spicy chicken skewers with roasted root vegetables in fresh lettuce wrap

• Microgreens pesto with homemade potato chips

• Bread pudding served with vanilla ice cream and optional bacon topping

The event is from 5 to 8 p.m. March 26 at Robin Hill Park Mansion, 949 Thorn Run Road, Moon (15108). Tickets are expected to go fast, as there’s only room for 100 attendees. 

Since it started in 1991, the nonprofit Hollow Oak Land Trust has helped conserve land in the Pittsburgh International Airport area for public recreation. The group owns 400 acres and has a conservation easement on another 90-acre area. Most of its parks are crisscrossed with trails for mountain biking and hiking, and they connect to other trail systems.

“Connectivity is huge,” says executive director Sean Brady. “I think it’s the next frontier for Pittsburgh.” 

Last year, the trust connected its Montour Woods Conservation Area to Moon Park and this year hopes to link to the Montour Trail. Its next big project is the Montour Woods Greenway, which would link Moon Park, Montour Woods and the Montour Trail via a 10-mile loop. The trust is also working on a greenway project to eventually link Pittsburgh’s Riverview Park to Kilbuck’s Tom’s Run Nature Reserve.  Individual memberships start at $20 ($15 for students). 

For information and tickets, visit hollowoak.org or email info@hollowoak.org.

Bob Batz Jr.: bbatz@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1930 and on Twitter @bobbatzjr.





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