First Anniversary Week

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We’re almost one year old.

…wait, WHAT?

Maybe it’s because the renovation was an eighteen month process, so by comparison, we’ve only been open for business for two-thirds of the time it took to build the place out. Maybe it’s because we rarely stop to breathe before we move on to the next thing. Maybe it’s just because time flies when you’re having fun. But whatever it is, it has absolutely not felt like it’s been a whole year since we opened our doors on May 21st, 2014.

To celebrate this milestone, we’ve got a full schedule of events that we’ll be hosting in our taproom over the course of our anniversary week. Here’s the lineup:

5.19A Braddock Beer Dinner with Kevin Sousa & Friends

Tuesday, May 19th  •  6:30pm

Our second taproom dinner brings together a few of Braddock’s culinary personalities for an extra-special evening of beer, food, and community. Tickets available here.

5.20ONE: An Anniversary Beer Release

Wednesday, May 20th  •  5pm

Although our anniversary is technically on Thursday, we’re releasing a few new beers to celebrate a day early. Plus tacos from Pgh Taco Truck. Here’s the lineup:

IN BOTTLES:

  •  One, a Russian imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels
  •  Psycho Hose Beast, a wheat wine aged in bourbon barrels (Heaven Hill and Four Roses versions both available)
  •  Galaxy Saison, a modern farmhouse ale

ON DRAFT:

  •  Straight-Up Regs, a traditional German-style hefeweizen

5.21The Brew Gentlemen’s First Anniversary Party

Thursday, May 21st  •  5pm

It’s been a wild year, family. Come hang out and have a few beers with us, and enjoy dinner from Southside Bbq Company Truck, Mac & Gold Truck, and Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches.

5.22Let’s Do Brisket! AGAIN

Friday, May 22nd  •  6pm

Blowfish BBQ‘s brisket nights have been overwhelmingly successful, and we’re turning one, so this makes sense.

This time we’ll also be joined by Dirty Dog Cigar Shoppe, who will be on site with cigars to pair with our beers.

5.23Empty The Cellar

Saturday, May 23rd  •  12pm

We’ve got a few tasty things sitting in our cellar, and what better time to bust them out than to celebrate our first anniversary. As always, we’ll be joined by Gyros N’at and Pgh Taco Truck.

ON DRAFT:

  • RPF002: Kitchen Sink
  • Spice Cream Sandwich Pumpkin Tripel
  • Nonstop Forever Barleywine
  • Lethologica Quadrupel
  • Skeuomorph Belgian Golden Strong Ale (NEW!)

DJs and BeerJs

We’ve made a lot of new friends since opening our doors a little under a year ago. The taproom has been a wonderful gathering spot for beers, food, and good times. It also has become an extended meeting room for us. Ideas like the monthly Food Truck Round Up, Beer + Yoga, and Garden Party have all been born out of collaborative conversations in the taproom over a few beers with friends.

Beer and music go hand in hand, with major breweries going so far as to brew beers with and in honor of musicians. Asa and I always knew we wanted to do something but could never really settle on something, so we tabled it and stopped talking about it for a while.

Out of the blue, our good friend and frequent collaborator Doug (aka DJ Duke) pitched an idea back in December after seeing the newly renovated event space. Asa and I were thrilled with the concept, and for the past five months, we’ve been talking, planning, and laying the foundation for another collaborative endeavor.

Without further ado, we’d like to announce DJs & BeerJs, Presented by DJ Duke. Each Thursday, we will have a DJ take over the taproom airwaves. Sometimes it might be chill tunes to relax the soul. Other nights it might turn into a dance party. It all depends on who Doug invites next.

This will be an ongoing series, kicking off this Thursday evening as DJ Honeycombs spins some chilled-out hip-hop grooves. We’ve got a whole list of future sets, musical themes, and DJs already in the works. Nothing makes us happier than seeing a cool idea transform into reality. We’re incredibly grateful to be working with Doug, and we appreciate all the hard work he’s put in to getting this off the ground. See you Thursday!

Listen, Drink, Eat, Repeat.

Special Release: Galaxy Saison

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As the saying goes, one is an incident, two is a coincidence, and three is a pattern. If that’s the case, New World Saison was the incident, Nelson Saison the coincidence, and Galaxy Saison the pattern. Now that we’re on our third Modern Farmhouse Ale within the Special Release line, it looks like a sub-series has officially been born.

With the Modern Farmhouse Ale series, there are a few things that we want to stick with to keep things consistent. By “Modern Farmhouse Ales”, we’re talking about beers that don’t necessarily fit into the traditional saison style. They’re going to be much more hop-forward than your standard European saison, using predominantly American and southern-hemisphere hops that add more bright, fruity notes than their earthy, rustic predecessors.

From a brand perspective, we’ll stick with the simple naming construct of “_____ Saison”, which makes things especially easy when it’s a single-hop beer (as both Nelson and Galaxy have been). We’ll also keep them visually similar, influenced by overgrown, abandoned structures; my love of which I’ve already expounded upon in detail.

And so for our third installment of Modern Farmhouse Ales, we’re proud to announce Galaxy Saison: a hazy, straw-pale, ultra-dry saison with earthy, herbal undertones that give way to bright and fruity hop character. Galaxy hops are one of our favorite varietals, an ultra-tropical Australian hop that has an insane blast of citrus, peach, and passionfruit flavors. We’re all about hop-forward beers with low bitterness, and Galaxy suits Zach’s brewing style marvelously.

Galaxy Saison will be released on draft tonight (Thursday, April 23rd) during our Reverse Tap Takeover with The Independent, with bottles coming soon.

A Social Media Overhaul

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Over the past six months, we’ve put a lot of effort into simplifying and standardizing our taproom experience and our brand: we’ve nailed down five flagship beers and eight seasonals, set a killer schedule of events and programming, and become a regular food truck hub and the host of monthly roundups. Now it’s time to simplify and standardize how we communicate all of this to you.

When our company was young and we didn’t have a lot of complexity to deal with, it was easy to operate a single-stream social media strategy. When the bulk of the content you’re producing consists of renovation photos and your team consists of only two people, it’s not the worst thing to have the same content reposted across all of your platforms; at that point, everyone’s still in the process of familiarizing themselves with you and your story, and the variety of what you’re putting out there isn’t broad enough to warrant specialized channels.

Fast-forward to nearly a year after opening our doors, and we’ve got a brewhouse with brewhouse staff, a taproom with taproom staff, and two co-founders who wear a lot of different hats. We’ve got a hell of a lot going on, and sometimes it’s easy to miss things in the chaos. In order to best avoid confusion and clutter moving forward, we’re working to segment each of our social media channels and provide different streams of content based on the strengths of each platform. Here’s an overview of what we’ll be focusing on within each channel.

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Our weekly email blast is our foremost information channel, and the best way to stay on top of our most current news and updates. It’s a nice, quick overview of everything that’s going on with the company in the coming week – beer releases, food truck schedules, special events and promotions, and general taproom information.

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We’ve been telling our story through pictures since before we opened. We believe beer is a beautiful thing, but that the best part of beer is the community it creates. Follow our story on Instagram to see the people, places, and things that make The Brew Gentlemen Beer Co. who we are.

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Although our email blast is the best way to stay informed about our taproom on a weekly basis, things always move pretty quickly around here. Twitter is the best way to get simple, to-the-minute updates. It’s also a great way to get in contact with us, should you have any questions or comments.

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The blog where we’re able share a bit more thoughtful, long-form accounts of our experiences. All of our other social media channels give a good overview of the what, but the blog is where we explain the why. This is where we announce and provide background for new beers, events, and projects.

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Let’s face it: Facebook is a horrible, predatory corporation that feeds on small businesses by algorithmically choking their ability to reach their willing followers unless they pay to boost their posts. Really, its only advantage is as an events listing platform. So we’ve decided to use Facebook exclusively as such from here on out. Follow our company page here and check out all of our upcoming events here – don’t forget to click “subscribe” so you don’t miss a beat.

So there you have it – several different ways to stay on top of what we’re up to. As new channels emerge and the social media landscape evolves, we’ll continue to develop new mediums. For us, this is a meaningful step towards ‘growing up’ as a company. It’ll take a while to settle into things, we may make mistakes here or there, but making it easy for our ever-expanding family to stay connected is just as important as the beer in the glass.

Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2015 with The Brew Gentlemen

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Ah, Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week – The sun is shining, the birds have hopefully thawed out by this point and chirped at least once or twice, and the beer distributors are making off like old-timey bandits toting large fabric sacks with dollar signs on them. Although we’ve been a part of PCBW for a couple years now, this is our first time participating as an official, operating brewery, so we’re excited to be able to host a few events and goof around a little bit.

Sadly, due to logistical issues, we weren’t able to be a part of any of the collaboration brews this year. We do, however, have a pretty solid lineup of events for you. Here’s the rundown:

4.17Blood, Sweat, and Beer: The Movie

Friday, April 17th  •  6pm  •  Row House Cinema, Lawrenceville

The Pittsburgh premiere of Blood, Sweat, and Beer: The Movie for Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2015.

Blood, Sweat and Beer is a documentary about the explosive growth of the craft beer industry, but with a focus on the people behind it. It also follows the stories of two craft breweries: The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company (hey, that’s us!), in the months leading up to opening their brewery in the historic steel town of Braddock, PA; and Backshore Brewing Company, as they deal with a copyright lawsuit that threatens the existence of their Maryland business.

6:00pm – Beer tasting with The Brew Gentlemen
7:30pm – Movie showing

Tickets are $18 and are available by phone at 412-904-3225 or by email at info@rowhousecinema.com.

4.18Commonwealth Press Beer Barge

Saturday, April 18th  •  5pm  •  Gateway Clipper Ship, Station Square

It’s a local brewery party on a boat, and it’s SOLD OUT. Sorry, fam.

4.19Beer + Yoga (pt. 3, with Brunch!)

Sunday, April 19th  •  11am  •  The Brew Gentlemen, Braddock

The third of five Sunday yoga classes at The Brew Gentlemen taproom, in collaboration with South Hills Power Yoga. This time around, we’ll have Street Foods cooking up a special brunch menu outside for all of your post-yoga brunching needs.

The hour-long class is $5 and includes a complimentary 5oz taster. Spaces are limited. Tickets will go on sale via EventBrite on Monday, April 13th at noon.

4.20An Arbitrary Party for No Reason

Monday, April 20th  •  5pm  •  The Brew Gentlemen, Braddock

We’ve decided to open our doors for a special Monday night event. For some reason we keep forgetting what we’ve planned for this arbitrary party that we’re throwing for no reason whatsoever, but it involves a few of our friends, including Mac & Gold Truck.

This event is free to attend, and we suggest that you arrive hungry. Although we don’t think that will be an issue.

4.22The Freshman Cask

Wednesday, April 22nd  •  6pm  •  The Brew Gentlemen, Braddock

The Pittsburgh brewing scene’s Class of 2014 is coming together to bring you The Freshman Cask – an evening of cask beer for Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week 2015.

The Brew Gentlemen Beer Co., Grist House Brewing, Hitchhiker Brewing, and Apis Mead & Winery all opened their doors within a few weeks of one another. Now we’re teaming up to bring you a lineup of special one-off cask beers, while you get a chance to meet the brewers and enjoy a taco from PGH Taco Truck. No tickets necessary.

4.23A Reverse Tap Takeover with The Independent

Thursday, April 23rd  •  5pm  •  The Brew Gentlemen, Braddock

Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week is upon us, which brings with it the inevitable onslaught of tap takeovers. But rather than tapping several of our beers at one of our favorite bars, we’re reversing this equation: The Independent Brewing Company will be coming to us.

Owner Pete Kurzweg will be manning the vinyl as he curates the evening’s soundtrack, while executive chef Monique Ruvolo takes over the evening’s mobile food duties. No tickets necessary – more details to come.

4.24Let’s Do Brisket! with Blowfish BBQ

Friday, April 24th  •  6pm  •  The Brew Gentlemen, Braddock

It’s Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week, so Blowfish BBQ is bringing some extra artillery for our weekly installment of Beer & Barbecue Friday.

4.26Beer + Yoga (pt. 4, with Brunch!)

Sunday, April 26th  •  11am  •  The Brew Gentlemen, Braddock

The fourth of five Sunday yoga classes at The Brew Gentlemen taproom, in collaboration with South Hills Power Yoga. Similarly to the previous installment, we’ll have Street Foods cooking up a special brunch menu outside for all of your post-yoga brunching needs.

The hour-long class is $5 and includes a complimentary 5oz taster. Spaces are limited. Tickets will go on sale via EventBrite on Monday, April 20th at noon.

Beer + Yoga

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Next in our series of Events with Overly Straighforward Titles, we’re teaming up with South Hills Power Yoga to offer a series of Sunday yoga classes in the taproom. Brewery yoga is not a new concept. By this point it’s become a well  documented  trend; several breweries, including fellow Pittsburgh spots, have begun offering their own brand of the glorious combo. But while we didn’t come up with the idea, we do feel that we’re uniquely suited to offer an extra-special brewery yoga experience.

This will be a series of five Sundays, with some special extras: the first, third, fourth, and fifth installments will also include a special brunch menu from Street Foods, with the fifth and final event being a large-scale grand finale event for charity. All classes are free to attend and begin at 11am (with reservations available via EventBrite). Here are the dates:

A big thanks to our friends over at Fittsburgh for being the media sponsor for this series.

The Food Gentlemen

Having both grown up in an environment where our parents cooked, we helped in the kitchen, and sit-down family meals were valued, Matt and I have both always had a deep love of and respect for food. This shared background was a huge influence for us in deciding to work together to go into the beverage industry. In terms of general influence for The Brew Gentlemen, we’ve probably taken more cues from restaurants and bars than we have from other breweries. When we travel, our excitement peaks when we find a place that nails both food and drink. As I previously noted in our introduction to our newest flagship, Table Beer – even though we don’t have a kitchen at the brewery, food has always been central to our company culture.

The halcyon summer between our junior and senior years of college was full of dinners cooked outside on the porch, always featuring either a fastidiously selected six-pack from the beer cave at D’s or a case of low-fills from the then-fledgling Full Pint Brewing at which Matt briefly interned. The company was still very much in the planning stages, and appeasing our rampant curiosity for beer and brewing was far higher on the priority list than whatever other menial obligations we had that summer. And thus, the first summer of our company’s unofficial existence was spent chasing those simple pleasures, the exact types of experiences we eventually wanted to be able to provide to others.

The real work towards building a foundation for the company began once we became seniors, and food remained a running theme. Pairing became a field of study which required hands-on practice. Matt and his girlfriend attended beer dinners and toted beer along to BYOB restaurants. I tasted everything I could get my hands on while working at Mad Mex and burned through books on beer and food.

Then, during a second-semester entrepreneurship class, we were assigned a project to turn $150 of seed money into as much profit as possible in two weeks; after our first real research blitz into food pairing, we planned, cooked and served a two-sitting, four-course beer dinner. We ended up losing the competition, and therefore all $1800 of our profits, to a group sold their old textbooks online. But, you know, we’re most definitely not still bitter about that or anything.

Less than a month later, we were already part of our first public, ticketed beer dinner with an actual establishment: the gorgeous Hartwood Restaurant just north of the city. A second dinner at Hartwood and a few events with our good friends at Bar Marco provided further opportunities for practical application. This series of experiences, combined with field trips to gorgeous, classy, beer-focused bars and restaurants in other cities, further fueled our desire to create an establishment that treated beer with the same level of sophistication and elegance with which the fine dining world treats wine.

By late 2013, we began studying for the Certified Cicerone exam, which meant formalizing all of our self-taught knowledge about pairings. A large part of the program focuses on beer’s relationship with food, teaching the central tenets of matching intensities, finding resonance, and creating contrast. For myself in particular, especially as the least technically-focused member of our team, this was the most compelling part of the syllabus. We were both quite happy when one of the exam questions was an essay on choosing a beer for a specific dish based on its ingredients and preparation.

All of this is to say, we have a passionate romance with beer and food. Even though our taproom doesn’t currently have the infrastructure to install a kitchen, we think about it all the time. When people visit the taproom, we try to recommend specific taco/burger/bbq/gyro and beer combinations from whomever’s posted up outside. We celebrate beer and dessert with our Beer & Ice Cream Sandwiches events. We sneak our way into events (in exchange for kitchen beers, of course) just to be around good people cooking amazing food.

Now, after years of hard work, we have finally built the infrastructure to be able to partner with a chef, host a dinner in our taproom, and provide the beer for each and every course. When you look at where all this started, you can imagine how much this means to us. We hope you can join us this Sunday as we team up with Keith Fuller of Root 174 to bring you Strange Root, our inaugural taproom beer dinner.

Hopefully this will be the first of a long-running series of taproom dinners. If there’s a particular chef or restaurant that you think might be a good collaboration for us, let us know in the comments or on social media. The amazing momentum that the Pittsburgh food scene has developed since we moved here in 2008 is incredible to see and even more incredible to now be a part of, and we’re proud of all of our friends who’ve kept that momentum going.