East End Brewing Company is raising the bar on craftsman beer artistry.
The microbrewery has teamed up with Pittsburgh's Toonseum for the release of Illustration Ale
, six 1-liter bottles filled with a hearty Belgian Dark Beer and original artwork on the outside. (Click here
for more on the local craft brew scene.)
The labels were designed by six local artists: Mark Bender of Mt. Lebanon, Vince Dorse of Green Tree, Jasen Lex of Chartiers City, Nathan Mazur of Holiday Park, Ed Piskor of Munhall, and Dave Wachter of Mt. Lebanon.
The microbrewery's business is booming as well. The business is expanding with a move to Larimer to satisfy local demand. The new brewery's 17,000 square-feet is four times larger than the present space in the East End, says Scott Smith, owner and founder.
For the last seven years of our operation, our business has grown 40-60% year to year," says Smith. The highly productive, lean staff of four will also grow in time.
"It's a great problem to have in a down economy. Beer seems to fly in the face of all economic despair. Unfortunately, when a brewery is operating at full capacity you can't just unplug it and go down the street. We have to start from scratch."
This marks the second year for Illustration Ale, an idea that came from the painstaking process of hand-bottling the beer. We wanted a label that was worthy of the effort, says Smith.
"A ToonBrew is the perfect answer."
A hearty one liter of Illustration Ale sells for $17 at both locations with $2 going to the ToonSeum. The price also includes a $3 deposit. Smith is finding, however, that the bottles don't often make it back to the store.
"People like the artwork," he says.
Source: Scott Smith, East End Brewing Company