By Day Bracey
Pittsburgh Current Craft Beer Writer
I’ve been busy.
May 26, 3 p.m.: Hootie of Blowfish BBQ and Steve Sloan of Roundabout Brewing are in the Work Hard Studio for a podcast. Hootie brought enough smoked Cajun shrimp mac and brontosaurus bones to feed a festival. Steve, a man of few words, lets the beer speak for him. It has a lot of great things to say during our interview. Did you know “Marama” means moonlight?
May 26, 5 p.m.: John Lasher of Cellar Works stops by to chop it up about the science of brewing and his “farmhouse philosophy.” Ed Bailey and I are booted and zooted off red meat and moonlight from episode one, so the convo quickly devolves into debauchery. We apologize to the Lasher Family, and encourage anyone around Sarver, PA to go support this great brewery.
May 30, 2 p.m.: I’m meeting with Meg Evans, newly appointed Production Manager of North Country Brewing, to plot ways we can sneak more women and minorities into the industry. Kicking in the front door while screaming at the top of our lungs was the subtlest and most effective approach we could devise. She leaves me with a four pack of Blueberry Cobbler Sour Ale. Have I told you how much I love lactose?
May 30, 5 p.m.: I’m with Erin Hart of Farm To Table, a nonprofit with the goal of increasing awareness and access to fresh foods for all consumers. Erin has been one of our biggest supporters over the years, and helped to restore some of my faith in white women after 2016. You can catch her next Lunch & Learn, July 9th at Tarenbee in Tarentum. While you’re there, go see the Lasher family! (Farmtotablepa.com/connections/events)
June 2, 1 p.m.: Ed Bailey and I are in NYC for a super secretive photo shoot for a super-secretive industry-related award. They put makeup on us, most of it on me. You never feel as ugly as when a MUA spends twice as long on you than your friend. As I get out of the chair she says, “Hold on. Let me get that too.” Ouch. We’re in a fancy Manhattan loft overlooking the city, surrounded by fine wines, cheeses, and successful, cultured individuals. We blend in by striking rapper poses, pouring Jack’s Abby on ourselves and on the floor, and leaving with most of their booze. You have been well represented, Pittsburgh.
June 8, 2 p.m.: Mike Potter and I are in Harlem for The African Film Festival. The Fresh Fest documentary, A Fresh Perspective, has been selected as an entry. While here, we stop by to help celebrate the one-year anniversary of Harlem Hops, a black-owned craft beer bar and community support system. We sip Uncle Nearest whiskey, Harlem Brew, and Brooklyn Brew, while Celeste Beatty and Garret Oliver wax poetic about their love for ales. Did you know Garret is coming to Fresh Fest in August? He’s our VIP podcast guest.
June 8, 5 p.m.: After 16 u-turns we arrive at the Other Half, a well-respected brewery on a one way street in an obscure section of Brooklyn. The bathrooms are unisex, the bro-dudes are extra bro-dudey, and The Dreamiest, a hazy oatmeal DIPA with lactose, tastes like something you’d order off of a Good Humor truck. I hate to say it, but I don’t know if anyone in WPA is brewing a hazy as decadent and juicy as this ale.
June 9, 6 p.m.: The Pittsburgh Craft Beer Society is in the studio. They bring a bucket of “whales,” hard sought after and usually expensive beers. We break the Guinness World Record for beers consumed in an hour-long Pittsburgh podcast by two black dudes in an Allentown basement. Look it up.
June 15, 3 p.m.: Beers of The Burgh is one of Pittsburgh’s best and longest-running brew festivals. We’re peddling tickets for Fresh Fest while pouring For The Culture 2.0, the 9.1% imperial brut IPA collaboration between East End and black Brew Culture. Sobel’s Obscure Brewery stood out with their custom made booth and Honey Blossom Hefeweizen that tasted like grandma candy. The good kind, not the old, partially melted ones you ate out of pure desperation, sugar addiction, or boredom. Pittsburgh Smokehouse 50/50 pulled pork, brisket mac with the spicy BBQ sauce is worth your time, money, and admiration.
June 19, 9 p.m.: I’m at Nepenthe Brewing in Baltimore. I order wings fried extra hard. They serve me boiled, soggy, pink-boned chicken in berry sauce. Nothing else about this place matters.
June 19, 10 p.m.: Max’s Taphouse is said to have the best selection of beer in the area. They do not disappoint. That is, until the tab comes and I appreciate the cost of living in Pittsburgh, while contemplating which bill won’t get paid this month.
June 20, 9 a.m.: Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrelhouse. I’m hungover, but ready to brew…