The Days Are Just Packed

The onset of fall is awesome. It’s the calm before the storm, a nice month or so of utter pleasantness before the true cold hits and we all start seeking out those 10% winter warmers and barleywines. It’s also pumpkin beer season, and as Brandon has previously noted, we’ve got a series of three crazy collaboration pumpkin beers that we’re excited to be releasing throughout the month. So we’re teaming up with our friends to put together a series of events to celebrate each beer’s release, culminating in one final blowout – a Hitchcock-themed Halloween party at the Carrie Furnace. Here’s the lineup:

Brew Gentlemen / Grist House Tap Takeover at The Independent

Beer Release: Brew Gentlemen x Grist House: Noob Gains (Pumpkin Imperial Stout)

When & Where: The evening of Friday, Oct.10th at The Independent in Squirrel Hill

Info: Given that this is the one collab that’s actually with another local brewery, we’re releasing this beefy pumpkin imperial stout this Friday night at the most logical place possible: a bar that only serves beer made by local breweries. Not only will Noob Gains be on tap for the first time, it will be among a lineup of other beers from the fine lads from Grist House and those goons from The Brew Gentlemen.

Five-Course Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwich Pairing

Beer Release: Brew Gentlemen x Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches: Spice Cream Sammich (Pumpkin Tripel)

When & Where: Saturday, Oct. 18th / 2:30pm / The Brew Gentlemen taproom

Info: A special five-course pairing menu featuring Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches and beer pairings. It’s not really a beer dinner per se, because it’s pretty much all ice cream sandwiches, but if you’re the kind of person who thinks beer and ice cream sandwiches in the early afternoon constitutes dinner, you’re the kind of person we want to hang out with.

Tickets available here for $25 (tax and gratuity included).

Square Café Brunch at The Brew Gentlemen

Release: Brew Gentlemen x Square Café: Square Breakfast (Pumpkin Walnut Pancake Wheat Beer)

When & Where: Saturday, Oct. 25th / 10:00am / The Brew Gentlemen taproom

Info: It’s made clear by the massive throngs of people huddled around the entrance to Square Café on Saturday and Sunday mornings that some form of expansion is necessary. To that end, the neighborhood staple has been working on starting a food truck to bring their breakfast to other locales. We’re happy to be able to host them for a brunch at the brewery to celebrate the release of Square Breakfast, our collaboration pumpkin walnut pancake wheat beer. So join us for pumpkin beers, pancakes, Gose Mimosas and Fresh Hop Bloody Marys!

Hitchcock! – A Halloween Party at the Carrie Furnace

When & Where: Saturday, Nov. 1st / 8:00pm – 1:00am / The Carrie Furnace (Rankin, PA)

Info: We’re going all-out this Halloween, teaming up with The Independent for a Hitchcock-themed evening of music, beer, cocktails and mobile food, and suspense at the former iron mill on the banks of the Monongahela. Joining us are a slew of friends including PGH Taco Truck, Blowfish BBQStreet Foods, Gyros N’at, and Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Tickets available here for $35 (includes three drink tickets good for beer or cocktails).


Pumpkin & Friends

2014-09-23 10.48.32

There are very few beer styles that  are editorialized within the industry as much as pumpkin beers. Arguably the most hyped seasonal beer style, pumpkin beers are met with resounding celebration by some and with eye-rolling disdain by others. Well, here at The Brew Gentlemen Beer Co., we love them.

Aside from being a staple of my favorite time of the year, pumpkin beers hold a special place in my heart. One of the first recipes that I ever formulated on my own was a pumpkin brown ale – I was working for Anheuser Busch and was new to homebrewing, the brewmaster told me I should bring in a few of my beers for sensory sometime, and I decided that this would be my debut. I brought a few other beers with me, “they aren’t terrible” was the most common review, but the pumpkin beer stole the show. Upon their first sip, the room was awash with compliments on the roasty and caramel notes that make one nostalgic for fall and pumpkin pie. This was one of my first big confidence-building moments as a brewer, eventually leading to my desire to build a professional beer portfolio. I’ve loved the style dearly ever since.

I’ve dabbled in a few other pumpkin experiments over the years, but for the brewery’s first pumpkin beer season, I wanted to do something really special. So rather than settle on one… we’re brewing three. And going a step further, to bring in the camaraderie that accentuates that experience, we’re working with three other businesses to make all three of these pumpkin beers part of our BGx Collaboration Series. Here’s the lineup:

 1.) Brew Gentlemen x Grist House: Noob Gains

Pumpkin Imperial Stout

In talking to Kyle Mientkiewicz (co-owner and brewer at Grist House), we agreed that we wanted to do something that combined both of our strengths in brewing, but also challenged us to step it up a notch. Noob Gains refers to the rapid growth a beginner experiences when they begin weightlifting – given how fast both of our companies have grown since we both opened in May, this made sense.

The beer is meant to elicit similar feelings to those of a new weightlifter: sensory overload, excessive consumption, and the feeling that you’re a bit drained by the end of it. The base beer incorporates smooth but powerful roasted notes, along with flavors of nutty chocolate, caramel and toffee. The addition of 600 lbs of pumpkin and 15 lbs of spices amp this beer up with a huge mouthfeel and spicy aroma of clove, cinnamon and nutmeg.

2.) Brew Gentlemen x Square Café: Square Breakfast

Pumpkin Walnut Pancake Wheat

I love Square Café. I eat breakfast there every Sunday, and I had the opportunity to speak with Sherry, the owner, one morning about eventually doing a collaboration. She instantly suggested a beer based on the Pumpkin Pancakes, and I couldn’t have agreed more. This beer is brewed with Square’s own pancake batter and Pennsylvania maple syrup. Don’t worry though, it’s still beer.

In my opinion, the best pancakes are light and fluffy, with a palate of complex and nuanced flavors. I want this beer to reflect those qualities, so we started with a wheat beer base to provide the warmth of baked bread that would not overpower the rest of the beer. The addition of 50 lbs of pancake batter gives this ale the unmistakeable flavor of a fresh pancake, while walnuts, cinnamon, pumpkin spice and maple syrup add layers of flavor that become more evident with every sip.

3.) Brew Gentlemen x Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches: Spice Cream Sammich

Pumpkin Tripel

I had it in mind to recreate this Belgian Pumpkin ale that I did a few years back, followed by the idea to turn that into an ice cream sandwich. So we reached out to the local experts on that matter, our friends at Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches, and decided that a Pumpkin Tripel ice cream sandwich seemed both feasible and delicious.

The inspiration for this beer stems from my love of Belgian ales, whose powerful spicy clove phenolics beg to be incorporated into fall treats. The base for this tripel incorporates the classic graham cracker notes of the style, with hints of spicy rye and slight caramel sweetness. Belgian candi sugar adds the characteristic oven-caramelized flavor, and fresh pumpkin adds a rich, creamy mouthfeel. Vanilla and pumpkin spice combine with phenols created through fermentation, to add a unique twist.

We have a lot of fun coming up with ideas like these, and working with others and allowing their expertise to shine through only enhances the experience. For instance, if you’re unsure how much spice to add to a pumpkin pancake beer, ask how much spice would be in 1,760 pancakes and go from there. When you get an opportunity to share something like this, it makes the end result not only delicious, but much more special than the sum of its parts.

Here’s to fall, friends and pumpkins.

11/1 – Hitchcock! – A Halloween Party at the Carrie Furnace

hitchcock poster

The following is a message from Peter Kurzweg of The Independent Brewing Co., a local craft beer-focused bar located in Squirrel Hill:

Good evening:

The Carrie Furnace, once a mighty steel mill, now stands alone in a no-man’s land, by the Monongahela river, on the border of Rankin and Swissvale. This long-abandoned monument of industry looms over a wide-open expanse of empty terrain, an Ozymandias-like monument of Pittsburgh’s once-great steel industry.

The mill reached the height of its production in the 1950s and 1960s, producing 1000 to 1250 tons of iron each day. Before falling into collapse with the rest of Pittsburgh’s steel industry in the 1970s.

On Saturday, November 1st, for one night only, The Independent and The Brew Gentlemen will restore the Carrie Furnace to its 50s and 60s era of greatness. We will be throwing a Halloween party in homage to that era’s most prolific director: Alfred Hitchcock. Together with Rivers of Steel, the non-profit steward of this beautiful historic monument, we present: Hitchcock! – A Halloween Party at the Carrie Furnace.

This little party will have all of the components of a great Hitchcock film: suspense, romance, psychological thrills, and murderously good craft beers and cocktails. DJs throughout the evening will keep you dancing the night away on our dance floor centered in an old hangar bay of the mill.

Tickets go on sale this Wednesday. General Admission tickets will be sold for $35 each and will include three drink tickets (beer or cocktail) at the bar.  Additional drink tickets will be available for sale at the event.

Food will be available for purchase from our food truck corral, which will be located around a large bonfire in the courtyard of the mill, back-cast by the moonlit shadow of the old blast furnace. Participating food trucks include PGH Taco Truck, Blowfish BBQ, Street Foods, Gyros N’at, and Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches, along with a food tent from The Independent.

500 parking spots will be available at the venue and will be sold on a first-come-first-serve basis for $15 each in advance. Free shuttle services will be available from the Pump House at the Waterfront in Homestead. Shuttles will run to and from the venue throughout the evening, beginning at 7:30pm. A shuttle will be available to and from The Independent in Squirrel Hill at the beginning and end of the event for $5 (shuttle tickets available online).

This Hitchcockian Halloween lasts from 8:00pm to 1:00am. The event is rain or shine (well, shine of the moon, that is…)

9/20 – First Responder Night

First Responder Night-01

Three Saturdays ago, we hosted the largest event we’ve ever thrown. Garden Party was a huge success, drawing a crowd of over 1500 to Braddock to sip on a few beers, grab some dinner from the food trucks, and soak in one the last few gorgeous summer nights. Well, family, it looks like it’s about time for another party.

This time around, we’ve partnered with the Forest Hills Police Department. Their new police dog, Loki, needs some help getting settled into his new home.

The police departments around the Mon Valley work closely with one another and a number of them, including the Braddock Police Department, are good friends of the brewery. These guys, along with other first responders such as fire and EMS, have been a huge help throughout our time here in Braddock. So really, this is for them. Loki is a super sweet bro as well.

So here’s what’s going down. We’re having an afternoon bash at the brewery to benefit the K9 Division of the Forest Hills Police Department. A dollar from each beer sold will go towards getting a specially-outfitted K9 police cruiser for Loki and the team. We’re getting our core group of mobile food buddies together – PGH Taco Truck, Blowfish BBQ, and Gyros N’at. The K9 team will be doing a demonstration with Loki and a few others. Throw in an auction for Steelers and Penguins tickets and a bunch of other awesome stuff, pump some tunes, and there you have it.

First Responder Night. This Saturday. 2PM – 7PM. You’re invited.

This Week @ The Brew Gentlemen (9/10-9/13)

This Week @ The Brew Gentlemen will now be migrated to email. I’ll still post a link here every week but the best way to stay in the loop would be signing up for our newsletter here.

The updates for this week can be found here. Our current draft list can now be found on our new website here.

Thanks for growing with us as we learn the ins and outs of this all. Never stop improving.