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Eat + Drink: Wigle introducing a rum, the Brooklyn Brewery Mash comes to Pittsburgh and more

Eat + Drink is Pop City's weekly look at all that's good in local food.

Wigle will release a honey spirit this month
Wigle Whiskey, Pittsburgh’s most popular purveyor of local spirits, will take its first step outside the whiskey realm next Thursday, October 17th, when it releases Landlocked — a rum-type spirit crafted from local, organic buckwheat honey.
When Wigle started kicking around the idea of rolling out a new spirit, they knew they wanted it to be something innovative. Most rum is made from sugar cane or types of molasses.

“A great Pennsylvania alternative to those is honey,” says Wigle’s Meredith Grelli. “We could think of no more exemplary honey to western pa than buckwheat honey. It has a distinctive, earthy quality to it. We started experimenting and playing around, and we really liked what we came up with.”

Wigle had patrons participate in blind taste tests with its new concoction going against similar spirits already on the market. After about six months of tooling around with a recipe, they knew they had something special.

“We knew it was time to take it to market when we were beating out industry leaders in taste testing,” Grellis says.
Wigle will hold two sessions from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and from 8 p.m. to 10 pm. Tickets for both sessions are available through their website.

Brooklyn Brewery brings its MASH to Pittsburgh
The Brooklyn Brewery is taking its show on the road. From October 22-27, the Brooklyn Brewery Mash — a five-day festival of parties, pop-up dinners and most of all, beer.

The Mash will be headquartered at Lawrenceville’s Industry Public House, and will feature events there for the first four days of the festival, including beer and cheese pairings, experimental beer tastings and various other specials.

Other events, including as a multi-course, beer-centric dinner, a farmer’s market workshop and a found footage screening will take place at locales around the city, including the Farmers at Firehouse Market, the Regent Square Theater and a host of different restaurants.

A full schedule of Brooklyn Mash happenings is available on the event’s website.

Duquesne’s Red Ring gets all-season patio
The Red Ring, Duquesne University’s signature restaurant at 1015 Forbes Avenue, will open an enclosed outdoor patio, starting tomorrow. The patio will be able to accommodate 46 customers between seven dining tables and nine cocktail tables.

The area will be lined with a full-length cloth awning and feature clear, roll-down vinyl along the perimeter. Radiant heaters for use during cold weather will make the space usable year-round.

Worth tasting
Love the flavors of fall but dislike big chain coffeeshops? Pop City heartily recommends heading to Marty's Market, where the coffee bar is serving up Maple & Clove lattes. They're incredibly delicious.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Meredith Grelli

Pittsburgh-based medical relief agency will open new headquarters with festive community day

When Global Links celebrates its 25th anniversary this month, it will do so in a new space. The Pittsburgh-based non-profit which refurbishes and distributes surplus medical equipment to programs and hospitals in need will hold the grand opening of its new headquarters this Friday, followed by a Green Tree community day on Saturday.

Until this summer, Global Links operated from a Garfield volunteer center and a pair of Homewood warehouses, but co-founder Kathleen Hower had been long seeking an upgrade. Global Links relies very heavily on volunteer efforts, and the cost of hauling items between different locations was expensive.

“Oh my gosh, I’d looked for so many years,” Hower says. “It had to meet our needs, but also be something that we could afford. It was always one thing or another that we couldn’t do.”

She found it at 700 Trumbull Drive in Green Tree, where Global Links has consolidated its entire operation into 58,000 square-feet of warehouse space, offices and a new volunteer center which will open Friday.

“It changes everything. It’ll allow us to do so much more in a more efficient way, and bring more people into the organization,” says Hower, adding that Global Links culled around 10,000 volunteer hours from 2,000 people last year. “Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization. We’re looking forward to getting them back.”

The grand opening ceremony will occur Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and include building tours, food trucks and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Saturday’s community day, which will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will include a plethora of activities and vendors, performances by Attack Theatre and food trucks from Bella Christie, Nakama, the Pittsburgh Taco Truck, Street Foods and Randita’s Grill.

For a complete list of events, vendors, speakers and tour schedules, check out the event page on the company’s website.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Kathleen Hower

Pirates' winning season has generated nearly $200 million for local economy

VisitPittsburgh estimates the Pirates’ first winning season in 21 years brought about $200 million in direct spending to the local economy. That figure includes ticket sales, concessions, hotel rooms and outside-the-park spending on retail and meals.

VisitPittsburgh arrived at the figure through applying its own formulas to financial information the Pirates voluntarily shared with the local tourism organization.

“The average game brings about $2.5 million to the city,” says VisitPittsburgh President and CEO Craig Davis. “Because the figure reflects ticket sales, we collected a lot of zip code information from 100 miles away or more. That often means a night in a hotel.”

Of all the fans who attended games at PNC Park this year, about 19 percent were from at least 100 miles away. While there were no available figures to project the impact of a playoff game, Davis anticipates it would bring more than just the $2.5 million per-game average.

Despite their sudden turnaround, the Pirates ranked 19 out of 30 teams in Major League Baseball attendance this year, drawing an average of 28,210 fans per game and a total of 2,256,862. They sold out PNC Park a record 23 times.
On a per-game basis, they still don’t touch the Steelers. But baseball teams play 81 home games compared to football’s ten.

According to figures VisitPittsburgh released in 2011, the Steelers’ divisional playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens that January generated about $19.2 million in direct spending. Even applying that generous figure to an entire season’s worth of football games shows the Pirates generate more per season in direct spending for the local economy than their North Shore neighbors.

However, Davis adds that some of the economic impact sporting events have on the economy depends on when they occur.
“There are periods during the year when they don’t have as much of an impact. If there are already things buzzing in the city, it’s a lower-impact thing,” he says.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Craig Davis

Pittsburgh StepTrek will showcase step preservation in the South Side Slopes

While it’s known far and wide as the City of Bridges, Pittsburgh has more sets of stairs than any other city in the country. And no Pittsburgh neighborhood has more stairs than the South Side Slopes.

From noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA) will host their 13th annual StepTrek —a stair-centric day featuring a pair of self-guided step tours, food trucks, an artists’ marketplace and more than enough water to keep you hydrated on your hike.

As usual, StepTrek will feature a pair of routes — black and gold — for trekkers seeking differing degrees of difficulty, and SSSNA volunteers have been working for weeks to clear the paths.

“There were two different sets of steps which were completely overgrown [with vegetation]. We’ve cleared them and both of those will be on the gold route, which will be the more difficult one this year,” says SSSNA President Brian Oswald.
The Slopes are home to 68 of Pittsburgh’s 712 staircases, many of which haven’t been maintained in years. Oswald says he understands that the city doesn’t always have the money to fix the steps, but that his organization does what it can to showcase them and keep them up.

StepTrek is meant to offer participants views of the city they’ve never seen before while taking them through the ins and outs of one of Pittsburgh’s most topographically and architecturally interesting neighborhoods.

“The most frequent response we hear every year is, ‘I had no idea this was here,’” Oswald says.

In addition to a pair of routes, participants can engage with an orienteering course, designed in collaboration with the Western Pennsylvania Orienteering Club, and a smartphone app which describes the history of landmarks along the steps.

South Side Park, located at Josephine and 21st Streets, will serve as StepTrek's hub. Tickets for StepTrek are $12 in advance and $15 the day of. Advanced tickets may be purchased through Showclix.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Briand Oswald

Eat + Drink: Pamela's owners launching 'modern Jewish deli,' Legume's new lunch hours and much more

Eat + Drink is Pop City's weekly look at all the news that's fit to eat and/or drink.

Pamela’s founders bringing an old-world Jewish deli to Squirrel Hill.
An eat-in, modern Jewish deli will open in Squirrel Hill next month. Nu (from the Yiddish interjection for “well?” or “so?”) will occupy the space formerly held by Pamela’s sister restaurant Aji Picante at 1711 Murray Avenue, which held its last dinner service on Saturday night.

In addition to new twists on traditional Jewish fare, such as homemade pickles and matzo ball soup, Nu will smoke and hand-carve all its own meats. It will also have its own line and workspace, rather than share a kitchen with Pamela’s, as Aji Picante did. The sit-down restaurant will retain Aji’s outdoor seating, but won’t have any cases, nor will it sell deli meats.

“It’s going to be a little upscale looking, but not expensive,” says Pamela’s co-owner Gail Klingensmith, adding that executive chef Kelsey Sukel and co-owner Pam Cohen’s sister Rise’ will operate the restaurant.

“This is a family passion. It’s a slice of Americana, and it’s our history,” says Klingensmith, adding that Nu, which she projects will open around October 15th, will probably operate 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. “We’re old girls, but we can still make it to eight.”

Legume now open for lunch
The popular, locally sourced Oakland bistro has begun a lunch service that will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The menu, which will change every day, will include small plates, sandwiches and salads. Also, we hear the chocolate mousse cake is a legitimate slice of heaven on Earth.

“Steel Town” filmmakers holding fundraiser at Bar Marco
Steel Town,” a live-action, short film currently in pre-production that tells the story of the Homestead Steel Strike, will host a fundraiser and live table read at Bar Marco next Wednesday, October 2nd, at 6 p.m.

Carnegie Mellon alumni Nick Hurt and Yulin Kuang wrote the screenplay, and Hurt will direct when principal photography begins in November. The fundraiser’s host committee includes city councilmen Bruce Kraus and Bill Peduto, as well as State Representative Erin Molchany.

You can RSVP for the event by calling Producer Dan Vetanovetz at 937-243-1518, or e-mailing steeltownmovie@gmail.com. The producers of “Steel Town" are also operating a Kickstarter campaign that has just nine days remaining.

Pittsburgh Opera will perform at Downtown Farmers’ Market
Puccini, Rossini and Bizet aren’t varieties of mushrooms, but they’ll nonetheless be featured during each of the next three Market Square Farmers’ Markets.

The Pittsburgh Opera will perform tomorrow, October 3rd and October 10th between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., to celebrate the arrival of fall and the Opera’s 75th season. Lunchtime concerts have long been a staple of Market Square, and this marks the Opera’s first appearance in the series.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Sources: Gail Klingensmith, Dan Ventanovetz

Bike Pittsburgh unveils vision for 'Better Bikeways'

Released last week, Bike Pittsburgh’s Better Bikeways Vision proposes a series of six interconnected, bicycle-friendly corridors that could fundamentally transform transportation and commuting in Pittsburgh.

“We need to build a network of bikeways that are easy to navigate and feel comfortable to navigate for anyone, regardless of how long they’ve been biking or how in shape they are,” says Bike Pittsburgh Executive Director Scott Bricker. “It has to be appealing to ride on. It has to make sense as a navigational tool, but it has to look and feel safe, and it has to be interconnected.”

The plan proposes the creation of six bike corridors around the city: the East End Bikeway, the River to River Bikeway, the Allegheny Green Boulevard, the Golden Triangle Bikeway, the Fifth & Forbes Bikeway and the Airport to City Bikeway. While they would each be separate projects and Bike Pittsburgh does not have cost estimates for the whole plan, Bricker says his organization is focused on having the entire plan finished or on the way by 2020.

Pittsburgh’s bike culture has grown substantially over the last 10 years, but according to Bricker, its infrastructure is still far behind those in cities such as Seattle, Portland, Memphis, Chicago and San Francisco.

“We can light our trails, we can stripe them and make them commuter oriented,” he says. “It’s hard to sort of shoehorn commuting into it. If you design them with commuting in mind, people can recreate on them just fine. It’s just an option that requires some more tools.

Bike Pittsburgh’s vision is predicated on standards set by the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ Urban Bikeway Design Guide. Federally approved earlier this year, the NACTO guide lays out a series of recommendations and best practices for creating bicycle-friendly infrastructure in urban environments.

Still, there’s room for innovation. The tools NACTO guide provides for separating bikes from cars don’t work particularly well on steep hills.

“We’re trying to figure out better tools for hillsides,” Bricker says.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Scott Bricker

Night Market VI will be Pittsburgh's largest yet

Come for the 40-foot-tall rubber duck, stay for a healthy dose of local food and art. The sixth edition of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s Night Market will coincide with the Rubber Duck Bridge Party, and will take place on Friday from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on the Roberto Clemente Bridge.

“It’s going to be more than twice the size of the previous Night Markets,” says PDP President and CEO Jeremy Waldrup. “We keep saying we’re out of space, and then someone says, ‘well, what about this?’ and we’re all, ‘oh, all right!’”

Night Market VI will have at least 70 vendors — more than double the 27 from its previous high. They’ll range from Pittsburgh-based artists and crafters to local jewelers, screen printers, furniture stores and, of course, restaurants. Among the food vendors, you’ll find Allegheny City Smokehouse, Meat & Potatoes, AJ’s Inca Peruvian Restaurant, BRGR, Lomito Truck, Crafwork Kitchen, the Big Y Restaurant Group and Zeke’s Coffee.
Among the many boutique vendors will be Pavement, Townhouse, Erra Creations, DeadBuryDead and Steel City Cotton Works.
You can find a full list of vendors on the PDP's event page.

“And you know it doesn’t get more scenic than with a 40-foot duck,” Waldrup says.

This sixth installation will put a cap on the Night Market series, which this year has coincided with Pittsburgh’s monthly gallery crawls. At the same time, Waldrup isn’t ruling out a sudden, cold-weather return.

“If something tremendous were to happen…If the Pirates go to the World Series, we could pop back up,” he says.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Jeremy Waldrup

Yo Bro brings socially conscious fashions for little dudes to Lawrenceville

Marybeth Mahoney and Lori Sipes are moms on a mission. That mission: introduce a trendy line of boys’ fashions that helps raise money for charity.

“We wanted to design something affordable and cool,” Sipes says. “A lot of children’s clothing stores are 75 percent girls’ clothing and 25 percent boys’, but the boys’ designs tend to be kind of cheesy.”

Late last year, they launched Yo Bro Apparel. And what started as an exclusively internet business has taken root at 3818 Butler Street in Lawrenceville. Yo Bro launched its first brick-and-mortar operation as a pop-up store, which ran from January of last year to February of this year. It became a permanent fixture earlier this month.

“We decided that we wanted to do something where we could donate portions of profits to children’s charities. We wanted to do something that allowed us to give back,” Sipes says.

For the rest of this year and most of next year, Yo Bro will donate 10 percent of its profits to the Noah Angelici Hope Foundation. After that, it will contribute to a different children’s charity during the spring/summer and fall/winter seasons.
Yo Bro is also among a host of Pittsburgh businesses featured in the PBS documentary series “Start Up,” which will air in Pittsburgh later this year.

“We do all the designs ourselves, and it’s all imprintable apparel,” says Sipes, adding that they get their materials from American wholesalers and employ a local screen printer. “We’re kinda scrappy and trying to do everything ourselves.”

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Lori Sipes

Eat + Drink: The 61B Cafe, Smorgasburgh, an end-of-summer dinner

Eat + Drink is Pop City's weekly news roundup on the food scene.

61B Café opens in Regent Square
The long-awaited sister store of Squirrel Hill’s popular 61C Café opened in Regent Square last Wednesday. The 61B Café, which sits on the bus line of the same name, is located at 1108 South Braddock Avenue in the space which formerly held Katerbean, which closed last November.

The 61B Café’s opening, which was supposed to occur last spring, was delayed due to a prolonged remodeling process. The café is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Smorgasburgh: Pittsburgh's first food-exclusive flea market
A plethora of coffee shops, restaurants, markets and specialty grocers will take part in Smorgasburgh, a pop-up food market in the Strip District on September 21st.

Organized by Michael McAllister and Kit Mueller and based on the food-exclusive Brooklyn flea market (minus the "h"), Smorgasburgh will take place in the parking lot across from Marty’s Market at 2301 Smallman Street, and run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We do kind of see it as something that we can do every four to six weeks,” McAllister says, adding that he thinks there will be another one organized before Thanksgiving.

Participants include: The Crested Duck, Meat & Potatoes, Marty’s Market, Olive & Marlowe, Klayvon’s Ice Cream, Wild Purveyors, Bluebird Kitchen, The Pop Stop, Bedillion Honey Farm, Good L’Oven Bakery, Tamari, The Livermore, Pastitsio, Drew’s Pie Supply, Franktuary, Fukuda, Espresso a Mano and Zeke’s Coffee. The event is BYOB, but PortaKeg will be on-hand with beer from Full Pint.

Low Country Boil at Bayardstown tonight!
Urbanist Guide is teaming up Chef Kate Romane of Highland Park’s e2 for an old-fashioned Lowcountry shrimp boil tonight at Bayardstown Social Club in the Strip District. The traditional southern summer sendoff will include shrimp, corn, potatoes, sausage and Old Bay, along with salad, tomatoes, green beans, bread and a house-made hot sauce. The event is BYOB. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through Showclix.

Oktoberfest at Penn Brewery
The Penn Brewery, located in Troy Hill, will host its annual Oktoberfest celebration both this and next weekend. 

It will run from 5 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays. 

For a complete schedule of events, visit the brewery's website.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Michael McAllister

Developer finalizing plans for luxury rentals on Mt. Washington

The long-discussed plans for One Grandview, a new development on the Mt. Washington site which once held the Edge restaurant and has been vacant for more than 30 years, are moving forward.

Developer Beau Beemsterboer says that the 4-acre space at Grandview Avenue and Wyoming Street will include about 300 multi-family luxury rental units, a restaurant space, a parking garage and some kind of publicly accessible space.

“We’ve got a design direction, we’ve got a program, we’ve got a look and a feel to it,” he says, adding that a majority of the units will be one- and two-bedroom apartments, but that there will be a small number of three-bedroom and studio units in the 400,000 square-foot space. “There’s going to be a public component to it — a way for people who come here to engage with the space. I want to have a feature which allows the community and the city and the tourists to come interact and be a part of the whole thing.”

Beemsterboer says he’s not yet sure what such a public feature might include, but that the view from Mt. Washington would be prominently featured, and added that the site's design will be "iconic."

“We’re trying to push the envelope with the design,” he says.

Terry Oden of Desmone & Associates Architects, which is designing One Grandview, says that the development will be a multi-building complex.

Construction on One Grandview could begin as soon as spring of 2014. Beemsterboer would not comment on the hiring of a contractor to build the space.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Sources: Beau Beemsterboer, Terry Oden

Downtown's Market Square is getting a market

After months of talks and speculation, developer Ralph Falbo and three other partners signed a lease for the Thompson Building at 435 Market Street and will open a grocery store in the space.

Falbo is partnering with Ernie and Julian Vallozzi, of Vallozzi’s, and David Priselac, Jr. to run the project, which will see construction begin as soon as later this month when the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation finishes restoring the building’s exterior.

The market will offer fresh produce, a butcher, a seafood section and a wide array of prepared foods prepared in an on-site kitchen which will be available for takeout.

“It will be food-specific with a little bit of a lean toward Italian products,” says Julian Vallozzi who is hesitant to call it a grocery store for fear people will compare it to a supermarket. “We will have some specialty grocery items — niche products that you won’t see other places," he explains.

In addition to offering a selection of bottled wines, the store will contain a separate area with a full bar operating on the liquor license retained from restaurant which previously occupied the building. Falbo and Vallozzi say they see the area operating mainly as a wine bar, offering a diverse selection of bottles and small plates from the kitchen.

“I want to get into a good wine selection,” says Falbo, adding that he’d like to use the space to hold wine-tasting events.
Falbo anticipates that once a layout is complete and approved, construction should take about four months.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Sources: Ralph Falbo, Julian Vallozzi

Two cool art shops in East Liberty

Local art blogger will curate boutique's fist anniversary
Two years ago while running a high-end art gallery in Boston, Norah Guignon started an art blog called curate 1k. Her mission was simple: every week, find a collection of artwork being sold online for $1,000 or less.

“I think the idea of an affordable piece of art really appeals to people,” Guignon says. “I’m showing an affordable range of artwork online and helping new collectors to get started.”

Later this month, the blog will jump off the net and into the space at The Shop in East Liberty, located at 214 North Highland, to help celebrate the boutique’s first anniversary.

Guignon has selected a series of paintings by Athens, Ga.-based artist Britt Bass, which will be available at the shop beginning September 28th, and running through the winter holidays.

“She does abstract paintings with really bold, beautiful colors,” Guignon says of Bass.

The collection will also feature limited-edition prints exclusive to the event.

Townhouse
“I really like things that are well-designed, but I’m not at a point in my life where dropping several thousand dollars on a chair is really an option,” says Michael McAllister.

He’s not alone. That’s why McAllister’s Epic Development partnered with The Shop in East Liberty, Weisshouse and The Beauty Shoppe to create Townhouse —a pop-up furniture and housewares store which offers locals access to stylish items at an affordable price point.

“It’s a mix of these larger production brands and things which are locally made,” McAllister says.

It has both regular hours and a calendar of special events, the next of which starts tomorrow when it hosts local t-shirt brand deadburydead for a custom trunk sale which will run through September 21st.

Located at 6016 Penn Avenue, Townhouse will be open through the end of the year.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Sources: Norah Guignon, Michael McAllister

PARK(ing) Day asks us to rethink our use of urban spaces

This Friday, September 20th, participants will be taking to the streets, or parking lots rather, in celebration of the 6th annual PARK(ing) Day Pittsburgh. The event, which promotes reconsidering the way we use our urban spaces, will find short-term parks and installations where gray parking spaces normally stand in many Pittsburgh neighborhoods.
 
San Francisco-based group Rebar launched the now worldwide PARK(ing) Day event in 2005 after deciding to turn an urban parking spot into a community green space for the two hours on their meter.
 
There are currently 18 participants registered for Pittsburgh’s chapter of the event, from a space to be designed by Lawrenceville United to one by the Carnegie Library on the South Side.
 
“I am really excited to see what Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville does. They are doing a pop-up, drive-in movie theatre, which should be really neat,” says Sara Innamorato, one of the volunteers for PARK(ing) Day Pittsburgh.
 
PARK(ing) is easy and fun, especially when the main goal is to make a space better-suited for the urban community. To park, simply find and register a spot, be aware of the parking limitations, design the space and appreciate the urban mini-park.
 
An interactive map on the PARK(ing) Day Pittsburgh website shows the exact locations and times of each registered PARK(ing) space in the city, as well as maps of the temporary parks from previous years.
 
Innamorato says that the annual event hopes to inspire more eco-friendly and community-oriented infrastructure.

“They should be just as important in urban planning just as traffic flow and parking plans for motor vehicles,” she notes. “It's about quality of life for people living in urban areas.”
 
Be sure to stop by one of the many PARK(ing) spaces in Pittsburgh this Friday.
 
Writer: Maeve McAllister, Pop City intern
Source: Sara Innamorato, volunteer PARK(ing) Day Pittsburgh
 

Eat + Drink: Peet's Coffee in Pittsburgh, Cocktail Week, America's largest native fruit

Eat + Drink is Pop City's weekly glance at the finest in local epic nomz.

Peet’s Coffee coming to Pittsburgh
Peet’s Coffee & Tea, the San Francisco Bay area-based coffee roaster and retailer whose coffee has a near-religious following on the west coast, is set to open its first Pittsburgh stores.

Peet’s will take over the locations of the former Caribou Coffee shops in Oakland, the South Side, Brentwood and the Waterworks Mall, near Aspinwall.

According to Gary Wilson, a principal with the development firm of Langholz Wilson Ellis, which owns the site of the recently closed Caribou Coffee in Oakland, the developers are in the process of approving plans now. Wilson did not give a timetable for the Oakland location’s opening.

Peet’s products aren’t entirely new to the region. Giant Eagle has carried various Peet’s blends for several years.

Eat + Drink heartily recommends giving the House Blend a shot. Fans of darker roasts are likely to enjoy the full-bodied Major Dickason’s Blend.

Pittsburgh Cocktail Week
A cadre of bars and restaurants will participate in the first annual Pittsburgh Cocktail Week, which will run from September 16th through the 22nd.

Cocktail Week will include everything from tequila classes at Verde to ice-carving sessions at The Livermore, will run from September 16th through the 22nd.

A list of Cocktail Week events, still being updated, is available on the event’s website.

Paw paw tasting
The paw paw is often described as a cross between a banana and a mango. It’s the largest edible fruit native to the United States, yet most people have never even heard of it. Andy Moore is looking to change that.

“It’s native to 25 or 26 states in the eastern United States, and it’s virtually unheard of,” Moore says. “How does something that’s this ubiquitous get overlooked?”

Moore, a former Pop City staffer, is looking to answer that question and others, as he travels around the country to research the history of the paw paw for a book he’s working on. To help raise money to finance his research and travels, Moore will host a paw paw tasting event Thursday, September 19th at 7:30 p.m. at Buena Vista Coffee on the North Side.

Attendees will learn about the paw paw, and have the opportunity to sample a variety of paw paw-inclusive foods, including ice cream, cupcakes, and the raw flesh of the fruit itself.

Those attending will also receive paw paw seeds from which to grown their own paw paw trees, and Moore plans to raffle off a pair of paw paw trees to one lucky participant.

Tickets for the event are $40 and may be reserved by calling 407-967-3519, or e-mailing Moore.

You can follow his paw paw adventures on Twitter @thepawpawbook.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Sources: Gary Wilson, Andrew Moore

Meet Hop Farm, Lawrenceville's newest craft brewery

Lawrenceville will get its second craft brewery of the summer within the next two weeks when Hop Farm Brewing Company opens the doors to its 4,700 square-foot space at 5601 Butler Street.

“This is the first time I’ve done this,” says Hop Farm founder Matt Gouwens. “It’s a big undertaking.”

Gouwens, who worked as a web and graphic designer before deciding to start a brewery, has been operating as a home brewer for the last five years, growing different varieties of hops in his yard.

When he decided to go commercial, he knew he couldn’t grow all of his own hops, and wanted to add a local spin to his product.

“I thought, ‘why not get a farmer involved in this?’” says Gouwens.

Hop Farm’s hops will come from an actual hop farm that’s currently being set up in Cranberry Township.
When he opens for business later this month, Gouwens says he’ll have a selection of three beers — a saison, a nut brown and naturally, an IPA.

“Our plan after that is getting into a Russian Imperial Stout and aging it in some bourbon barrels,” says Gouwens.

Hop Farm’s beers will initially be available only in growlers, but Gouwens says he will begin canning them once the government approves his label.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Matt Gouwens
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