So tonight was Pittsburgh magazine’s annual “Best of Pittsburgh” party, an event at Heinz Field that celebrates some of the best stuff going here, in conjunction with the magazine’s annual “Best of Pittsburgh” issue.

I didn’t get invited — I’m not apparently the best of anything in these parts — but my buddies Sickpuppy and Father Spoon attended. While doing a little post-work Plurking, Spoon mentioned the beer lineup at the shindig: Harp, Guinness and Smithwick’s.

Not bad choices. But perhaps better choices for a “Best of Pittsburgh” event would have included some beer from Pittsburgh:

East End Brewing. Rivertowne Pour House. Church Brew Works. Penn Brewing.

It’s just a bit ironic: we’re just a couple of days away from the second iteration of the Steel City Big Pour — the excellent festival hosted by Construction Junction — which does an incredible job of highlighting the local and regional craft beer industry, but the Best of Pittsburgh’s beer selection came from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. I’d suggest you come out to the festival on Saturday, but it’s sold out. Yes, it’s that good — mark your calendars for September 2009.

I would usually count the folks at WQED — which runs the magazine — among the region’s best boosters. But in this case, they failed to highlight the best beer in Pittsburgh — and that’s too bad, because our best is among the country’s best as well.

Maybe next year, right?


  1. Crappy, if you pick up the Sept 08 edition of Pittsburgh Magazine that has a list of all who were winners. We were fortunate enough to be guests of a winner.

    That said, one of the heads of WQED asked us what we thought of the beers when she found out we were SIDT (apparently more than our friends and family listen). We said roughly what you just typed. We respect that you don’t have Bud/Coors/Miller here but next time consider some the local guys that aren’t Iron City.

    Now here’s the kicker, most people have NO IDEA who Rivertowne, East End and Church are. Some of the folks we spoke with were floored when we talked about all of the breweries in this area.

    When I mentioned the Steel City Big Pour and the 20+ brewers people thought I was making shit up because it wasn’t a rib fest or Bud/Coors/Miller event

    This goes to show how much work we really have to do to spread the word around here.

    I thought the layout was a bit questionable. The wine and spirits were relatively close to the food and stage while the beer bar was all the way at the other end of the room. Felt like “oh the beer drinkers can go overrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr there.” Kinda like Animal house when Pinto and Flounder go to the Omega house.


  2. we did get a kickass gift bag though and had our pics taken for the magazine or paper. We were too busy drooling over the hottie photographer to ask.

    I do have pics of sickpuppy dressed up though!


  3. You know, it was just a year or so ago that East End Brewing was listed in Pittsburgh Magazine’s “Best Kept Secrets”… guess those guys can REALLY keep a secret – even from themselves!

    Maybe next year?



  4. Spoon: Which one of you is Pinto and which is Flounder?

    You’re right about the public perception/knowledge. We tend to hang out with people who already know, and we tend to forget that group is actually pretty small. That’s one big point of my column, and of your show — we still have plenty of work to do.

    Scott: I’m guessing they had to burn the leftover Best-Kept Secret issues so they would forget all the secrets they just exposed.

    Or maybe they should just admit they blew it this time.

    Those of us who know better will see you on Saturday. Can’t wait to try that dubbel!


  5. UC – I agree with missing the boat here – not only not highlighting a local brewer but also jumping over the pond – Would Obama consider this outsourcing local brewery jobs and condone its practice???

    More importantly – I’m starting to feel uneasy with tomorrow night’s game – deep in the recesses of my mind I feel a schlacking coming on, and on top of that – UC isn’t posting – making me a bit nervous – any thougths for tomorrow?


  6. Maybe they were promoting the beer of their sister city, Dublin Ireland?!?

    And, to take Kewyson’s comments a step further,
    I have notified the local constable to look for the real UC. Clearly, an imposter is creating the posts this week. The real UC would never ignore OSU vs. USC. Who ever you are, we want our UC back! WE WANT OUR UC BACK!!!


  7. I’d like to know WHO votes for these “Best of …” things. Swear to Jebus, I thumbed through last year’s magazine and people picked OLIVE GARDEN as the best Italian restaurant. I mean, really?!



Comments are closed.