Building a Bigger BG

Greenlight 2014 EditedThis is part one of a three-part series on the story of our expansion. Now that we’re in the final stages of construction, we wanted to give a behind-the-scenes look at everything that’s gone into the project thus far. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for parts two and three.

PART ONE: DEFENSE RENT

The large cinderblock warehouse behind our brewery was a potential opportunity we’d had our eye on since we first arrived in Braddock in 2012 – its high ceilings, open floor plan, and close proximity to our existing space inspired visions of a much larger brewing facility, even at a point when our initial vision had yet to be realized. We weren’t trying to put the cart before the horse, but throughout the early years of our operation, the warehouse (occupied at the time by a biofuel company by the name of Greenlight Energy) remained an interesting hypothetical.

When a portion of the Greenlight warehouse came up for rent in the summer of 2016, we snapped it up and began using it as a much-needed storage solution. The rest of the building (and, in turn, the rest of the property) came up for rent a year later, and although we had no explicit plans in place at the time, we couldn’t risk a rather ideal next move being blocked by an outside party. Until the time came to expand, we needed to pay some defense rent.

With an el primo location acquired and a corresponding line item added to the monthly budget, the gates were open, and the pressure was on. We could now begin drawing blueprints, contacting equipment manufacturers, and seeking the capital we’d need to finance everything. A steady stream of floor plans and spreadsheets began whizzing between architects, engineers, loan officers, manufacturer reps, and our own team as we navigated a complex web of codes and constraints.

One such constraint caused a ripple effect of order-of-operations headaches and holdups: we were not permitted to use a design-build method. That is, although certain variables were impossible to know in advance and were liable to change at any time, we were required to have the entire plan finalized and stamped before we could so much as gas up a concrete saw. Unsurprisingly, multiple chicken-and-egg dilemmas ensued – information that could only be ascertained by reaching a certain point in a given process was often required in order to begin work on that very process. 

Frustratingly long periods of downtime alternated with bursts of frantic scrambling in a pattern that stretched on for nearly an entire year. Thanks to the convoluted entanglement of modern building codes, the demands were often either patently ridiculous or clearly unfeasible. For instance, the requisite number of bathrooms was initially determined based on square footage rather than number of occupants, forcing us to argue our case that a half-dozen or so employees have no need for fourteen separate bathrooms. The shot clock was ticking, yet the back-and-forths continued with no end in sight. Hell probably sucks, but at least it’s consistent. Purgatory is just depressing.

Our cautious optimism was restored in the early months of 2019 when the freshly-stamped plans finally arrived on our desks. After what felt like an eternity, the Greenlight project was officially greenlit.


PART TWO: THE FINER POINTS OF FLATNESS ENGINEERING

It’s been said that a good floor is a brewery’s most valuable piece of equipment. Taking that into consideration, the construction timeline can be broadly separated into two phases – Phase One: Things That Involve Floors, and Phase Two: Everything Else.

The moment we were given the go-ahead, we attacked Phase One with a stockpile of pent-up vigor. We set to work carving out trenches for drainage plumbing, turning eight thousand square feet of existing concrete floor into a tidy maze of cliffs and canyons. The trench floors required an even fall from each branch of the system to where it met the main sewer line, giving us our first real taste of precision flatness engineering. In came the plumbers, laying down a seriously chunky tree of piping with vertical stalks projecting upwards where each fixture would eventually be located. The plumbing inspector gave it his blessing, and we backfilled the trenches with crushed limestone.

Thus began a multi-week demolition ballet, loudly converting the remaining floors from big rocks into little rocks. Truckload after truckload of rubble was carted off, leaving us with a warehouse-sized zen garden of loose earth and mill slag. Time to engineer some more flatness.

With elevation measurements set and each subsection graded to slope perfectly towards their respective drains, a vast grid of rebar and wire mesh was laid down and tied together. In addition to reinforcing the slabs, this grid provided a support structure on which to install the radiant heating system – the final piece of the puzzle before we could pour the floors.

Now, installing a radiant heating system in a nice, rectangular floor with a limited quantity of drains and fixtures seems like it’d be fairly straightforward. It’d probably look something like this:

Radiant Newsletter 1

Doesn’t seem too complicated. Lay the tube in a straight line along the rebar, zip-tie it down, loop it back around, repeat all of that a few times, and call it a day. 

Given all of the different pads and trench drains and rooms and fixtures and this one weird little peninsula thing we had to account for, however, our layout looked like this:

Radiant Newsletter 2

So there we were, during the most satanically hot week of the summer, fastening down a quarter mile of tube in accordance with the squiggly bastard above. In spite of the heat, the job presented us with a fun orienteering challenge, and boy, the results sure were satisfying.

We triple-checked our work and made sure everything was ready to be encased for eternity, and in late July, several cement trucks and a small horde of finishers descended on the warehouse and laid down six thousand square feet of gorgeous new concrete flooring. An exciting milestone had been reached, but we weren’t done yet.

The final step in the flooring saga involved covering the main areas of use with urethane cement, a specialized coating that none of us – including our good friend and resident concrete expert George – had any experience working with. This material, as we came to discover,  is part science fiction, part demon magic, and 100% pure evil.

Warning Labels

The warning labels on the bag denote that its contents will a.) give you a crazy science burn, b.) startle the living shit out of you, and c.) open a dark cosmic vortex.

Three ingredients, each independently terrifying on their own (methylenediphelyn diisocyanate!), are mixed into a spiteful, gritty sludge that must be troweled onto the floor in a thin layer. It begins setting up in the mix bucket immediately, giving you a sparse few minutes before it becomes too rigid to work with. Even at its most malleable, it has the consistency of taffy and actively resists being spread thinly. After it’s put down, the surface must be smoothed out with a solvent-soaked paint roller. And in the unfortunate event that you get even the slightest bit of this vile goop on your skin, which is completely unavoidable, it’s best to just say a quick prayer and amputate.

Despite the strenuous application process, the juice was worth the squeeze. We were now the proud owners of radiant-heated, slip-resistant, chemical-resistant, antimicrobial, and damn-near-indestructible brewhouse floors.

Phase One was in the bag.


PART THREE: ALL TOGETHER NOW

Somewhere between tearing up the floors and installing the radiant heating system, everything went a bit sideways.

It was late June, and we found ourselves driving sixteen hours through the night to Jackson, Mississippi. A lightly-used brewing system had just hit the market, comparable to the one we’d been in talks to purchase new from the manufacturer – but at a lower price and with zero lead time. There’s probably a sixteen-syllable German word to describe an incredibly lucky break that simultaneously causes one’s best-laid plans to be chucked straight out the window.

We spent the better part of a week in a hazy sprint to disassemble an entire brewery from top to bottom, with the help of a rigging team from Tennessee and the road crew from Sprinkman, the brewing equipment manufacturer in Wisconsin that built the system. A convoy of fifty-foot flatbed trucks laden with stainless steel made their way north to Pittsburgh.

Perhaps the most obvious sign that our timeline had been forcibly rearranged, the equipment arrived several weeks before its new home was ready to receive it. Our monumental acquisition would have to hang tight in the adjacent parking lot until a few more boxes had been checked. 

The walls were a journey all their own, requiring multiple long days of pressure washing to strip away the layers of paint, grime, and mill soot. A fresh coat of paint went up, the urethane topcoat from hell went down, and the brewhouse was finally ready to be set in place.

The pair of Sprinkman techs that worked with us in Jackson arrived to reassemble the gigantic Erector Set, piecing together a tangled highway system of pipes and fittings. Somewhere in the mix, we adopted a stray cat who found all of this commotion rather amusing.

And with that, dear reader, we’ve reached the home stretch of our adventure: outfitting the building with a circulatory system. We’re currently neck-deep in the complex process of installing plumbing, electrical, glycol, steam, and gas lines alongside a talented group of tradesmen. On a project of this scale, fifty percent of the work is crammed into the final ten percent of the timeline – but for the first time since we began this process over two years ago, the finish line is now in sight.

Love Your (Our!) Library

Love Your Library Email.jpg

Partially because it’s Love Your Library Month (and we love our local library) and partially because we’d like to eat a small mountain of soft pretzels, we’re throwing Septemberfest: a geographically nonspecific celebration of fall beer and food, benefiting the Braddock Carnegie Library.

Faithful newsletter recipients have undoubtedly heard many an ode to our local library, a historic landmark founded in 1889 by Andrew Carnegie that is now a multifunctional community center. The library recently unveiled its plan for a massive $15 million renovation project to expand their programming (including the screen printing and ceramics studios) and revive many of the sprawling architectural compound’s long-defunct facilities (such as a gymnasium and a 900-seat theater hall).

Providing a helpful boost to this ambitious endeavor is Love Your Library Month, a fundraising push led by the Allegheny County Library Association wherein all donations through the month of September will be matched by the Jack Buncher Foundation. Last year’s campaign raised a total of $810,000 for the county’s libraries, including the Braddock Carnegie Library.

Because donations during Love Your Library Month will have so much extra mileage, we figured that September was as good a time as ever to help out. And with plenty of other opportunities out there for oompah bands and lederhosen, we’re celebrating the current month rather than the next one with Septemberfest. Library staff will be in attendance to facilitate a variety of activities, and a portion of the proceeds will go directly back to their ongoing work.

We rounded up a number of food vendors too, including Gaucho, Driftwood Oven, Gyros N’at, Piebird, and dueling pretzel bakers (Axel’s Pretzels and the Braddock Community Oven) – all to the tunes of our vinyl-spinning resident DJ Sunkist Smith.

Septemberfest takes place on Saturday, September 21st from 4pm to 10pm at BG Open Air, our new outdoor space, and the alleyway behind our main taproom. BG Open Air is a former vacant lot that’s been transformed into a custom-fabricated outdoor space featuring $5 beers. The main taproom will also be open during the event.

All are welcome. RSVP at the event page on Facebook – where we will post updates, parking info, the beer schedule, and other event information.

Septemberfest: The Details

Septemberfest 4 Square

Septemberfest is just around the corner this Saturday, and we’ve got a number of friends joining us for a fall evening of beer, food, and of course, pretzels. Here’s the lineup:

FOOD

  • Grilled meats and veggies from Gaucho Asado Wagon
  • Greek and American fare from Gyros N’at
  • Wood-fired pizzas from Driftwood Oven
  • Sweet and savory pies from Piebird
  • Soft pretzels from Axel’s Pretzels and the Braddock Community Oven

BEER

  • Draft beer available inside the taproom, outside at the main bar in BG Open Air, and at a beer tent in the east courtyard.
  • Tabs may be transferred between any of the bars.
  • $5 drafts in BG Open Air (General Braddock’s, 2 Rotating Selections and Arsenal Cider).
  • Growler fills are are available in the taproom, but not at either of the outdoor bars. Growlers are for offsite consumption only.
  • Cash and card are accepted at all bars.
  • Fall seasonals (Mexican Coffee, Kabuto, Kanso) will be available on draft and in growlers to go. View our full draft list in live time on our website.
FUN

  • Ping-pong and cornhole
  • Try your hand with a pile of clay at the ceramics tent
  • Print tote bags and postcards at the DIY silkscreen station
  • Sign up for a library card
  • Use your library card to enter a raffle to win a Braddock Library Experience
  • DJ Sunkist Smith spinning chill tunes on vinyl
ATMOSPHERE

  • Consumption of outside alcohol is not permitted. This includes bottles and cans from other breweries and growlers from our taproom.
  • Smoking/vaping are permitted in the alley outside the gates, but not in the space.
  • Groups and families are welcome – seating is on a first-come basis.
  • As much as we love furry pals, we anticipate a large crowd and suggest not bringing dogs along for the party.

WHEN: Saturday, September 21st, 2019 from 4pm – 10pm
WHERE: Brew Gentlemen – 512 Braddock Ave., Braddock PA 15104

The event will take place in BG Open Air, our new outdoor space, and the alleyway behind our main taproom. The taproom will also be open from 12pm to 11pm. All are welcome – stay in the loop by joining the event page on Facebook, where we will post updates, parking info, the beer schedule, and other event information.

The Quarterly Update: Q3 2019

Q3 Update

This week, our co-founder and CEO Matt Katase drops by to deliver a situation report on the state of Brew Gentlemen as we work through quarter three of 2019.

There are an infinite number of ways to run a brewery. A constant stream of new players entering the industry add to that diverse list of methods, and it’s both fascinating and insightful to observe how businesses that are older, younger, and similar in age to our own evolve with the times.

As you may have heard, we’re currently in the midst of a major construction project, and things are now moving at breakneck speed. Decisions have to be made on site almost immediately. During a project of this scale, many moving parts must be brought together in harmony.

To this point, our values of simplicity, continuous improvement, elegance, and an eagerness to learn have become all the more applicable during this quarter. These ideas steer us away from repeating our mistakes, rushing, cutting corners, and being shortsighted as we experience growth. They make us feel better when the power washer is still running at 1am or when we push the concrete pour back a few days to give us some extra breathing room.

Through all the surrounding chaos, leaning on our values helps us to stay on track, course-correct with ease, and navigate to our long term destination: building a brewery that can thrive for years to come.

Two organizations that have understood and supported this long-term goal are the major financiers of the project. We’re incredibly proud to have Huntington Bank and Allegheny County Economic Development as crucial partners in our expansion.

Huntington Bank is the largest originator of SBA loans in the nation. They believe small businesses are the lifeblood of communities and have led the charge in access to capital for over a decade. The team in Western PA have been incredible mentors in navigating the world of banks and government lending.

The mission of Allegheny County Economic Development is to effectively coordinate community and economic development initiatives and activities to maintain and enhance the economic, social, and environmental quality of life for all citizens of Allegheny County. They have been a critical link in the revitalization of our community in Braddock – they are invested in the long haul and know that rebuilding is not an overnight process. We’ve had the pleasure to work with former Director Bob Hurley, current Director Lance Chimka, and project manager Dan Tobin, who have all spent countless hours on the project.

This process involves many partners, including but not limited to, neighboring Braddock businesses, contractors, architects, and borough officials. A special shout out goes to LGA Partners, Gaydos Construction, Mele Mechanical, Molyneaux Electric, JB O’Connor, Gray Welding, PER, Deb Brown and her team at the Braddock borough office, the Braddock Water Authority, and Braddock Mayor Chardae Jones. Projects like this take a village, and we’re excited that so many of the necessary participants are right here in our own backyard.

Construction progress in the new production facility means we’re close to having more beer, for more of you, in a more convenient way.

See you at Garden Party,
Matt

ICYMI: How big is our brewhouse? + Q1 Update

Equipment Acquired

IMG_1264-2If you’ve visited our brewery at any point over the last few months, you’ve probably seen the early rumblings of a sizeable construction project: large piles of limestone sitting in our parking lot, heavy machinery coming and going, and the melodic sound of jackhammers on concrete.

While we’ve told you about our upcoming expansion, one piece of information we haven’t yet divulged is the size and scale of the project. Now that we’ve got a conspicuous quantity of brewing equipment sitting outside of our building, it’s high time we share what’s been going on.

Growth is expensive, plain and simple. Doing it correctly, with the long term in mind, is even more so. We have to be pragmatic, and invest in the things we believe contribute to a culture of quality, smart design, attention to detail, and being a great place to work and visit. Constant decisions must be made to find a balance between our standards and our budget.

Following the advice we’ve received from friends in the industry and learning from the headaches we’ve experienced over the past five years in our current space, top-notch floors and ceilings are non-negotiables for this project. This means a new roof, a new wastewater plumbing system, radiant heating, and new concrete floors with the appropriate slope and coating. These things certainly aren’t cheap, so how are we making it work?

Well, we’ve purchased a used brewing system. Pretty much an entire brewery, really.

We spent the past week in Jackson, Mississippi decommissioning a brewery that had recently gone out of business, loading everything onto a series of tractor trailers, and hauling it back to Pittsburgh. We’re now the proud owners of a two-vessel, 20bbl brewing system made by W.M. Sprinkman, along with four 40bbl fermenters, two 20bbl fermenters, and all of the requisite support equipment.

The system is damn near perfect: it’s American-made, under five years old, and designed with growth in mind. To top it off, Sprinkman is lending their full support to help us recommission the new system. Finding equipment that’s functionally identical to the system we were looking to purchase new was a serious case of right place, right time.

Getting everything reassembled and operational will take some time, but when all is said and done, we’ll finally be able to share more beer with more people – a goal that’s been years in the making. It’s going to be a wild summer.

Five Places to BYOGB

Piccolo Forno SquareWith our fifth anniversary just around the corner, we’ll be taking the month of May to share collections of five things that have made their mark on our past, present, and future. This week: five places to BYOGB around Pittsburgh.

Given our limited amount of distribution to local bars and restaurants (a situation we’ll be duly remedying through our upcoming expansion), there is a select list of places you can find Brew Gentlemen beer around Pittsburgh. But, dear reader, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a General Braddock’s alongside some of the best meals in the city – it just means that sometimes, you just need to Bring Your Own General Braddock’s (BYOGB!).

1. Chengdu Gourmet

Whenever we have friends visiting from out of town, we subscribe to a preset group of activities that has come to officially be known as “Playing the Hits”. Towards the top of our list of said Hits is a trip to Chengdu Gourmet, the venerable Szechuan restaurant nestled at the bottom of Squirrel Hill. It’s best enjoyed in groups so as to accommodate a wide range of dishes. Based on the level of heat that some of our favorites pack – a product feature that ranges from extreme at its most merciful to borderline psychedelic at its most potent* – a meal here is best enjoyed with a General Braddock’s in hand.

Our picks: Diced Chicken w/ Dried Pepper Chongqing-Style, Pork w/ Sweet Flour Paste, Mapo Tofu, Beef in Hot Broth Chongqing-Style, Green Beans w/ Minced Pork, Cold Cucumber Salad

2. Piccolo Forno

In a neighborhood that’s been a revolving door of bars and restaurants, Lawrenceville’s Piccolo Forno stalwartly remains. The well-loved Tuscan restaurant has been churning out handmade pasta, wood-fired pizza, and focaccia panini for over fourteen years, with elegant and uncomplicated recipes utilizing fresh, high-quality ingredients. The atmosphere is equally warm and inviting.

Our picks: Pappardelle con Coniglio e Funghi, Molto Stracco Pizza, Lasagna Toscana

3. Noodlehead

Noodlehead clearly revels in its unapologetic simplicity. There’s no phone, they don’t take reservations, they’re cash-only, and they’ll only seat you if everyone in your party is present. But their modus operandi is completely justified: the menu is concise and consistent, turnaround is quick, and the food is marvelous. Their selection of Thai noodle dishes and soups are rich and flavorful, begging to be paired with a hop-forward beer.

Our picks: Chiang Mai Curry, Pad See Yew, Love Boat Soup

4. Gaucho Parrilla Argentina

There’s a reason that Gaucho has held the highest Yelp rating of any restaurant in Pittsburgh. People tend to like places where the team is both dominant at their craft and are having a shitload of fun while they’re at it. This powerhouse of Argentinian food does exactly that, with perfectly executed dishes and a supremely relaxed feel to the space. Bring along a General Braddock’s, and don’t skimp on the chimichurri.

Some of our favorites: Anything involving steak, Rosemary Braised Beef Sandwich, Qui Qui Chicky

5. Nak Won Garden

Authentic Korean food in Pittsburgh exists in the form of Nak Won Garden. Located on Centre Ave right next to the Shadyside Giant Eagle, you’ve likely driven right past it numerous times without ever realizing it was there. Their extensive menu features noodles, soups, stews, and grilled meats – all served with an array of tasty banchan (side dishes). Sure, you could always drink soju, but GB fits the bill, especially with their galbi. 

Our picks: Mandoo, Beef Soondubu, Japchae, Galbi

*Potentially resulting in a condition known as “Chengdoom”.

The End 2019

The End FB

Before we even get into the thick of things with our anniversary celebrations, we have a special semi-surprise to tide you over. The End, our bourbon barrel-aged vanilla imperial stout, is returning this Sunday. 

This time around, we’re combining the best aspects of two different release systems: the bulk of the bottles will be released in our taproom on Sunday, May 5th using our standard in-person reservation system; the following week, an additional number of bottle reservations will be made available online via Eventbrite on Monday, May 6th at noon.

IN-PERSON RESERVATIONS (5/1 – 5/4)
  • From this Wednesday, May 1st through this Saturday, May 4th, a set number of in-person reservations in our taproom will be available each day.
  • Reservations allow for the purchase of up to two 375mL bottles of The End on Sunday, May 5th during one of two pickup windows (3-4:30pm or 4:30-6pm).
ONLINE RESERVATIONS (5/6)
  • On Monday, May 6th at noon, additional reservations will be made available online.
  • Online reservations allow for the purchase of up to two 375mL bottles.
  • Those with an online reservation may purchase and pick up their bottles during regular taproom hours the week of Wednesday, May 8th through Sunday, May 12th.
GENERAL INFORMATION
  • 375mL bottles of The End are $14 each.
  • Those who reserve bottles in person for Sunday’s release will not be eligible for online reservations.
  • A reservation is not a presale – no money will be taken until bottles are picked up in our taproom.
  • A valid photo ID matching the name on your reservation is required for pickup. Both reservation and pickup must be made by the same individual. One reservation may be made per person.
  • A reservation is required to purchase bottles of The End. No additional bottles will be available without a reservation during Sunday’s release or during regular taproom hours.
  • Bottles must be picked up within your respective pickup window. Bottles that are not picked up will not be held for future pickup. If you have any questions, please email us at info@brewgentlemen.com.

Additionally, The End will be available on draft during Sunday’s release starting at noon.

Five Ways Braddock Has Shaped Us

Braddock mural Square

With our fifth anniversary just around the corner, we’ll be taking the next five weeks to share collections of five things that have made their mark on our past, present, and future. First and foremost among these: five ways Braddock has shaped who we are as a company.

1. LOCAL GUIDANCE

From the moment we first arrived in Braddock, our neighbors have played a crucial part in helping us define our role within the local ecosystem. Organizations such as the borough management, the Volunteer Fire Department, and the Braddock Library have lent a massive degree of support (especially during our rookie year) as we navigate the complexities of municipal operations. These are the people who keep the gears of the town turning.

2. FELLOW BUSINESSES

Similarly, the local businesses that have weathered the course of history help provide context to our own business. Our advantageous proximity to Mele Florist, for instance – in business on the Avenue since 1955 – has afforded us our signature move of having fresh flowers to transform our taproom and all of our offsite events. Newer ventures such as The Hollander Project (a group providing workspaces and coaching to women-owned startups) give us hope for the town’s future and provide the opportunity to pay forward some of the guidance we have been so graciously afforded.

3. A RICH HISTORY

To the extent that Braddock’s multilayered history has impacted our own company’s development, it has had a far broader impact on the course of history for Pittsburgh, the nation, and the world: from its earliest beginnings as the site of a disastrous battle that radically altered one of the largest clashes of civilizations in history (and established the obviously consequential military career of one Lieutenant George Washington), to its Gilded Age zenith as the epicenter of Andrew Carnegie’s steel empire, to the industrial collapse and subsequent renaissance that shaped the identity of the entire Pittsburgh region. With such a vibrant past, it’s humbling to be part of whatever the future holds. 

4. CONTRASTING BEAUTY

Throughout town, colorful patches of graffiti, murals, street art, and painted signage (much of which has been done by our good friend Tony Purcell, who collaborated with us on the General Braddock’s mural on the side of our brewery and with whom we’re working on a project for our upcoming outdoor space) peek out from the overgrowth and crumbling masonry. As nature slowly reclaims dilapidated structures, the bones of Braddock’s industrial past seem proud to have served their purpose while new construction looks on. This contrast between a bygone era and life anew, growing warmest at dusk, has majorly impacted our brewery’s aesthetics and design approach.

5. ENDLESS POSSIBILITY

One of the most important factors when it comes to Braddock’s future is its inherent sense of possibility. With so many residential and commercial vacancies left in the aftermath of its tumultuous second half of the twentieth century, ample room exists for inclusive revitalization. Just as a destructive flood can leave the land more fertile in its wake, Braddock overflows with opportunities for creativity and commerce.

To learn more about the history and future of the place our brewery calls home, join us for a walking tour of Braddock during our Fifth Anniversary Week on Saturday, May 25th.

BG Turns Five

Fifth Anniversary Newsletter-01Leading up to the recent announcement of our expansion, we’ve been focused squarely on the future of Brew Gentlemen. Smack-dab in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of the coming months is our fifth anniversary, prompting us to do a bit of looking back on how far we’ve come: From the small fraternity garage where our story began, to the modest electrical supply store where we established our roots, to the sizable warehouse where we’ll be building the next episode.

In everything that we’ve learned over these five years, beer is about bringing people together. And thus, at the end of May, we’ll be celebrating this milestone of ours with a full week of events with some of our favorite people – including, hopefully, you.

TUESDAY, 5/21: ANNIVERSARY BEER DINNER

To highlight the actual anniversary date of opening our doors, we are combining forces with Luke Cypher and the Blue Sparrow team to host an evening of beer, food and friends. Three courses plus dessert, paired with our beers – ticket sales will be announced next week here in our newsletter.

WEDNESDAY, 5/22: ULTRAWEDNESDAY

Wednesdays have become one of the more eventful nights in our taproom – it’s when new beers hit the taps, small-batch Prototype Series beers are released, and Lager & Pong transforms the annex into a paddle royale. We’re combining all three of these things for ULTRAWEDNESDAY with the release of a new maibock lager, a batch of our throwback chai-spiced wheat beer, White Sky, a new Prototype Series release, and a full-on Pong throwdown.

THURSDAY, 5/23: AS IS TRADITION AT PIPER’S PUB

As is Tradition, we’re heading to Piper’s on a Thursday. What to expect: lots of lager. Two casks: Lemongrass/Ginger Lager and BG Maibock. These are naturally carbonated and conditioned, true cask style. Four Kegs: BG Steam, BG Maibock, BG Pilsner, Deep Brunch (coffee cream ale). The kitchen will be whipping up a special food menu as well.

FRIDAY, 5/24: COMMUNITY PIG ROAST WITH BLOWFISH BBQ

Our resident barbecue technician Hootie has been a fixture of our mobile food family since the very beginning (and a friend since well before the beginning), and as such, we’ve had the pleasure of watching him perfect his craft over the years. Come see him on his A-game as he smokes up a whole pig on Friday evening for a community cookout.

SATURDAY, 5/25: A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN BRADDOCK

Starting at noon on Saturday, we’ll be unearthing a few barrel-aged goodies from the cellar for your drinking pleasure in bottles and on draft. Meanwhile, we’ll also be leading walking tours of Braddock to discuss the borough’s history (from the French-Indian War to Andrew Carnegie and beyond), see some of the many pieces of public art, and get an idea of why we’re so proud to call Braddock our home.

SUNDAY, 5/26: FIFTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION + BG OPEN AIR GRAND OPENING

Join us on the final day of celebrations for the grand finale: The official BG Fifth Anniversary Celebration will feature a special 90-minute edition of Beer + Yoga in the morning, bottle pickup for our two anniversary beers, and a special draft list. The grand opening of BG Open Air will kick off in the late afternoon and run into the evening with Blue Sparrow, PGH Tortas, and DJ Sunkist Smith spinning.

We’ll be giving you more details about each of these events in the coming weeks, so stay tuned here, our Facebook events page, and on Instagram

The Next Episode

Next Episode WordPress.png

Over the nearly five years since Brew Gentlemen opened its doors, we’ve had time to think about what we want our brewery to be when it grows up. Even though we’ve been quiet about the specifics along the way, we’ve been laying the groundwork for the future of Brew Gentlemen.

This has brought us to our next episode: renovating the warehouse behind our location in Braddock to build a full-scale production brewhouse, in which we will be producing and canning our beer at a greatly increased capacity. All operations in our existing brewery and taproom will continue in tandem in their current form.

Part of our expansion’s purpose – more beer, for more people, in a more convenient way – involves providing meaningful experiences when you visit our brewery. To that end, we’re simultaneously in the process of constructing an outdoor space, BG Open Air, in the courtyard next to our warehouse. The grand opening of this summer pop-up will coincide with our fifth anniversary celebration during the week of May 20th-26th, and it will remain open throughout the warmer months.

Through all of these new developments, we’re proud to be able to double down on investing in Braddock. Many breweries are forced to look elsewhere when they outgrow their original locations, a situation we were fortunate to avoid when the property adjacent to ours became available. We want to be good neighbors, build something special, and continue to reinvest in the historic town that’s become our company’s home.

An expansion of this scale is a monumental undertaking for a brewery of our current size, and those in the industry whom we looked for advice have unanimously stressed the importance of doing it right the first time. Being deliberate has been a serious test of patience, and we’ve made a number of difficult decisions along the way in the service of our long-term vision. Still, we believe that the course we’ve mapped will provide an ample runway for years to come, allowing us to more fully realize our mission of brewing soft and balanced beers, creating meaningful experiences, and participating in the revitalization of Braddock.

Wheels up.