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Come sip whiskey with Lew Bryson at The Independent

If you love good whiskey and love a healthy dose of curmudgeonery, The Independent Brewing Company is rolling out your kind of event on Tuesday, February 20th at 5:00pm.

You are cordially invited to the Squirrel Hill beer and whiskey destination’s “Curmudgeon’s Blend” tasting event with special guest: whiskey author and extraordinaire Lew Bryson. The event will feature Maker’s Mark bourbon blended uniquely by Bryson, Fred Minnick, Chuck Cowdery, and Michael Dietsch.

The bourbon scheduled for sampling was barrel finished in four styles:

  • American P2 Staves (baked slow)
  • Seared French Cuvee Staves (infrared toasting)
  • French Mocha Staves (baked high temperature)
  • Maker’s 46 Staves (French oak, seared and toasted)

The first bottle of Maker’s Mark became available in the Fall of 1958 after spending six summers aging to perfection. The bottle was four-fifths of a quart and sold for $6.79. Since that time, Maker’s Mark has grown to become one of the most recognizable and popular bourbons on the market. Click here to learn more about this iconic brand.

Until recently, The Independent featured a near 100% local craft beer selection. Over the course of the past several months, they’ve incorporated more beers with global appeal in addition to their continuous showcase of Pittsburgh’s dynamic craft beer scene. In addition, they’ve put great care into building their whiskey and cocktail selection, emphasizing variety and creativity across the board.

This event also provides an opportunity to mingle with Bryson, who has been writing full time about whiskey and beer since 1995. Currently, he is a regular writer for The Daily Beast, a columnist and reviewer for All About Beer Magazine, and contributes to Whiskey Wash, Scotchwhisky.com, Whisky Magazine, and The Full Pint. He also authored the book Tasting Whiskey in 2014, as well as four brewery guidebooks: Pennsylvania Breweries, New York Breweries, Virginia Maryland and Delaware Breweries, and New Jersey Breweries (with Mark Haynie).

If you’d like to learn more about Bryson’s work and accomplishments, click here. Or, better yet…come meet the man in person at The Independent!

There is a suggested donation of $10 per ounce and limit of two ounces per person for the event. All proceeds will go to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.

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Short Pour is a Breaking Brews feature that delivers craft beer news, information, and entertainment in 400 words or less. It’s all the info you need and none of the filler you don’t.

Get Fired Up for Hell With The Lid Off 2018!

This time of year, I always get excited about the hop-forward releases that hit our scene. Bell’s Hopslam, Troegs Nugget Nectar, Full Pint HOPism, Fat Head’s Hop Juju…just to name a few. But this is also a very special time of year for a special kind of beer. And that beer is Barleywine.

Every March, our friends at Kelly’s Bar and Lounge in East Liberty break open their cellar and present what’s become the quintessential barleywine festival in all the land. Literally. Hell With The Lid Off 2018 is set to unfold on Saturday, March 24th with two sessions taking place from 1:00pm to 4:00pm and 5:00pm to 8:00pm. Nowhere else in America will you find an event 100% dedicated to Barleywine in this capacity, with vertical flights dating back to the early 2000s poured alongside new offerings from local, regional, and national breweries to give you a unique opportunity to see how this complex style ages and how brewers have put modern twists on recent recipes.

When the weather gets frigid outside, it never hurts to find a soothing, handcrafted beer that can stick to your ribs and warm your blood. And a Barleywine can certainly do just that. Known as a strong English Ale, Barleywines typically feature higher alcohol by volume (ABV) than most other dark ales of similar appearance and taste. The name makes you think wine, but it’s actually one of the most intense beers you’ll encounter. Its name comes from England and was dubbed “barleywine” because it was an alcoholic beverage whose ABV ran parallel with wine, but was made with malted barley. A Barleywine is typically a dark, ruby red or chestnut color, full-bodied with elements of fruity, sweet, and bittersweet in its taste. It is the perfect beer to savor, whether the calendar reads March or July.

RELATED: Stylin’ & Profilin: What is a Barleywine?

But…since the calendar is going to read March first, let’s savor some now. Hell With The Lid Off will once again showcase an impressive collection of barleywine offerings complemented by a buffet of delicious eats, as well as chocolates and cheeses designed to pair with the vast array of beers at your disposal. The bar will be closed for regular business so all attention can be focused on the mother of all beer extravaganzas!

Tickets for HWTLO 2018 are still up for grabs. Get yours here! As has become tradition, I will be in the house with some recording equipment doing some sort of video and/or audio recording for you to enjoy later on. I look forward to toasting a few barleywines with you on March 24th.

HELL WITH THE LID OFF TICKETS

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Maggie’s Farm Rum has established itself as the premier rum producer not only in Pittsburgh, but across America. Now, owners Tim and Layla Russell are sharing their success with charities that hold a special place in their hearts.

As of February 1st, 2018, $1 of every bottle of Maggie’s Farm core rum products sold, including White, Spiced, Single Barrel, or 50/50 Dark rums, will be donated to animal rescue charities in the area of the sale (as denoted on labels for all bottles rolling out in Maggie’s distribution markets – pictured left). Monthly bottle sales in each market will then be tallied and the funds donated directly to non-profit, no-kill animal shelters in all areas of distribution – Pittsburgh, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Delaware, Philadelphia, Nashville, New York, and all future markets as well. Multiple charities in each area of these cities will be chosen monthly in an effort to spread the donations around as much as possible.

As the Maggie’s Farm brand continues to experience growth in production and sales, the desire to give back has moved to the forefront of their operations. With this ability, and without any price increases on their renowned portfolio of products, The Russell’s have decided to assist charities whose beliefs and philosophies parallel their own – namely helping pets who have fallen on hard times for numerous reasons find a loving family.

“These are charities that benefit finding long-term homes for lost, neglected, or abused pets,” Layla stated. “Family pets can be our greatest companions and truly depend on us, and in exchange provide us their unconditional love.”

Pictured right are Layla and Tim with, from left to right, family dogs Crosby, a yellow lab/golden retriever mix, rescued from a foster home in Washington County in 2007. Lumi, a 10-month-old Shiba Inu mix, recently rescued from an Indiana County Animal shelter after being found lost in nearby woods without a collar, and Blake, a black lab, rescued by Tim’s younger sister and parents from a neglectful home in 2008.

Allegheny Distilling LLC, located in Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District, was incorporated in late 2012 and began production of Maggie’s Farm Rum in October of 2013 before opening its cocktail bar in the distillery in January of 2014.

In the time since its opening just over four years ago, Maggie’s Farm has become one of, if not the most-awarded rum distillery in America, with nearly fifty awards and medals including Highest Ranked American-made rum and spiced rum (Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2017) and awards for Best-in-Show spirit (American Craft Spirits Association ’16), Best-in-Class rum (American Craft Spirits Association ’15 and ’16), Best-in-Category spiced rum (American Distilling Institute ’15), Best-in-Category coffee liqueur and Best-in-Category “other” liqueur (for fresh ingredient falernum) (American Distilling Institute ’17), and 2X Pennsylvania Distillery of the Year (New York International Spirits Competition ’14 and ’16).

Maggie’s Farm Rum is the first commercially-available Pennsylvania-made craft rum since Prohibition. All spirits are made from scratch, from the long fermentations of raw sugar cane from Louisiana, rather than molasses. Then, twice pot-distilled for full body and flavor on the Spanish-made copper stills located directly behind the distillery’s cocktail bar. The distillery is open for tastings and bottle sales Wednesday through Sunday and serves craft cocktails Thursday through Sunday.

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Short Pour is a Breaking Brews feature that delivers libations news, information, and entertainment in 400 words or less. It’s all the info you need and none of the filler you don’t.

Beerhead Pittsburgh Set to Host Inaugural Big Bad Beer Night

The North Shore’s Beerhead Bar is set to knock the dust off some rare beers and you’re invited to reap the benefits.

For one night only, the crew at Beerhead will be tapping into a stash of highly-coveted barrel-aged and rare beers from premier craft breweries at the inaugural Big Bad Beer Night on Wednesday, February 21st starting at 3:00pm. The lineup will be curated by Beerhead’s in-house Beer Pros and will feature a variety of world-class rare and barrel-aged offerings, including Thirsty Dog Barrel-Aged Old Leg Humper, Heavy Seas Siren Noire, New Holland Dragon’s Milk Reserve Mocha Mint, and more.

No tickets are required to attend the event and the beers will flow from opening until they’re gone.

Beerhead, founded in 2012 under its original name – The Beer Market, is an emerging craft beer bar that marries the appeal of offering nearly 500 brands of locally and regionally brewed beers with wines and other locally-sourced beverages in a contemporary, yet timeless atmosphere. They feature communal tables, live music, and always serve as a great spot to his before or after any sporting event or concert in Pittsburgh’s lively North Shore neighborhood.

 

 

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On February 12th, 2018, Stone Brewing Company announced they are suing MillerCoors for blatantly and consistently using the word ‘stone’ in the marketing and promotion of one of their light, domestic staples – Keystone Light. As Stone Brewing Co-Founder Greg Koch stated, MillerCoors is “intentionally and deliberately trying to create confusion within the marketplace with their Keystone brand.” Marketing campaigns focused on selling Keystone Light feature slogans such as ‘Grab Life by the Stones’ and ‘Hunt the Stone’ among others, all seemingly attempting to capture the consumer in a web of misguided logic when seeking out beers from the world renowned, California-based brand.

Check out the message posted by Greg Koch yesterday via Stone’s Twitter feed:

Stone Brewing Sues Big Beer - YouTube

This method of creating confusion has been in big beer’s repertoire for quite some time. Peruse any beer shelf in any grocery store across America and you’ll see brands owned by big beer mixed in with independent brands, all featuring similar artwork and imagery and all lacking clarification on whether the beer is owned by a small craft brewery who most likely had to work their ass off to earn that shelf space or by a large, corporate conglomerate that is doing everything in their power to not only confuse you, the consumer, but push those small brands off the shelf completely.

Big beer and independent breweries have been locked in this battle for years now. The Brewers Association took action in 2017 to bring the Independent Craft Seal to life as a way for small brands to differentiate themselves from brands owned by AB InBev, MillerCoors, and other large corporations. The seal appears on the packaging and merchandise of breweries who have joined the BA’s movement and provides a point of reference for consumers looking to support independent brands.

At the time of this publication, 2,939 craft breweries across America have proudly claimed their independence by adopting this seal in some way, shape, or form, according to the Brewers Association website.

RELATED: The Deeper Meaning Behind The Independent Craft Seal

The seal is a big step, but it’s still a small piece of the puzzle when helping consumers down the proper path. As a beer drinker, you have the right to drink what you like. However, where the water gets completely dirty is when these big companies with seemingly unlimited resources utilize said resources to attempt to sway your decision-making in their favor…most of the time through underhanded tactics and slight-of-hand trickery like you’re seeing with the Keystone campaigns.

Independent beer continues to grow and things are rapidly changing in the beer world. Even craft brands who remain independent despite nationwide growth and beyond are being forced to re-evaluate their direction because there are hundreds of local, regional, and state-wide options for consumers to enjoy, thus making it increasingly difficult to stay competitive. This is not a knock on the liquid whatsoever, rather an example of the abundance of beer choices people can enjoy, often times direct from the source at a nearby taproom, any time they wish.

Big beer may say this growth isn’t phasing them, but numbers don’t lie. Considering sales of big beers like Budweiser, Bud Light, and Miller Lite have either run flat or declined over the past five years says many consumers have chosen a new direction with their drinking habits. And despite big beer’s attempts to transition their marketing strategies for a brief period (remember how Bud Light let us all know rice is an essential ingredient in their ‘quality’ product before rolling out Dilly Dilly?), it’s hard for them to keep up when nothing innovative ever comes from their product line. Craft beer was built on innovation and pushing the envelope and these 6,000+ breweries and counting continue to do so every day.

So what does Stone suing big beer mean? Depending how you look at it, a lot. To me, it marks another shift in momentum in craft beer’s favor. Stone is standing up for independent breweries everywhere and staking claim to the name they’ve put over 20 years of effort into building, growing, and expanding. It shows that craft beer has come a long way and the revolution has grown strong enough that the ‘little guy’ can fight back and take a stand against a legitimate threat. It shows that independent beer continues to be a community filled with camaraderie as many breweries across the country have already shown support to Stone for their actions.

Stone has grown to be one of the largest and most recognizable breweries in the world. And despite that size, they’ve remained true to themselves, their consumers, and the community they’ve helped grow. They say they’ll never sell out and nothing about anything they do can make you believe otherwise.

Stone’s lawsuit is another example of the changing tides in the beer industry. How things unfold remains to be seen, but Stone’s actions to figuratively and literally stand up and fight against the confusion campaigns created by big beer is already a win for the independent side.

Greg Koch visited Pittsburgh last summer and joined me on The Breaking Brews Podcast. You can check out the full episode below:

Power Hour Podcast 7: Greg Koch of Stone Brewing Company - YouTube

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Who doesn’t love a story with a happy ending?

Throughout the history of America, our tapestry has been woven with stories of innovation, evolution, growth, development, progress, and a constant struggle for and achievement of basic freedoms all men and women should be granted. These collective efforts have put our great nation and its many pioneers and trailblazers at the forefront of global leadership, transforming a land mass discovered centuries ago into a burgeoning epicenter where life, liberty, and the pursuit of the greatest ideals life can offer are up for grabs, thus leading to millions of people flocking to its open doors each and every day.

An epic, life-altering period in our country unfolded from 1920 to 1933 when one of life’s greatest pleasures – the ability to relax and unwind with an adult beverage of choice at one’s leisure – went away. Well, by legal means, anyway. Forces rose that kept the booze flowing, stemming a series of historic events riddled with uncertainty and corruption which forced the powers that be to repeal, for the first time in our nation’s history, a Constitutional law.

American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, a traveling exhibit from the National Constitution Center, tells the story of the great Roaring 20s and the Prohibition Era and will be on display at The Senator John Heinz History Center beginning Saturday, February 10th thru June 10th, 2018. The History Center, known as the “Smithsonian’s home in Pittsburgh, will be featuring a series of events over the course of the next four months and will give you a unique opportunity to travel back in time to experience this period in American history through rare artifacts, immersive displays, interactive activities, and more.

The 1920s represented a wild, confusing, historic time in our nation’s timeline. It was an era comprised of bootleggers, flappers, gangsters, speakeasies, suffragists, temperance seekers and unbridled rebellion…all fueled by something we take for granted this day and age. Americans just wanted a damn drink and ‘the man’ said no.

It’s nearly impossible to comprehend the fact that a country founded on the philosophy of freedom passed a law that made the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages illegal. Especially when you consider the presence these liquids had in early American culture from the onset of the original colonies. Seriously, go look up how much booze was consumed at the first Constitutional Convention – the volume consumed in one session at a local tavern would lead anyone to believe our founding fathers were, at the very least, “problem drinkers.”

But it happened. A country that saw the average American consume 90 bottles of 80-proof liquor a year, equivalent to four shots a day, by 1830, and a spike in the number of saloons from 100,000 to 300,000 by 1900 due to the millions of immigrants making their way to the United States officially made enjoying a fermented beverage illegal on January 7th, 1920 when the 18th Amendment officially went into effect.

The next decade set the tone for the overall direction beer, wine, and spirits would take throughout the rest of time, including today. The speakeasy, a secret bar or nightclub where only patrons who knew the password could enter and imbibe, became a monumental entity, despite its original incarnation and namesake dating back to the 1880s. Some could say these watering holes forged a path for modern bar and tavern layouts today. Passwords for entry not withstanding.

The National Crime Syndicate rose to power during this era as well, with criminals from Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Newark, and New York City dividing up territories, fixing prices, and making cross-territorial distributions deals that allowed alcohol to be obtained and distributed by illegal means. Notorious gangsters such as Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, and several others were at the helm of these outfits, reaching agreements that extended far beyond the end of Prohibition.

Prohibition finally came to an end on December 5th, 1933 and Americans across the country rejoiced in the fact that yes, oh yes, happy days were “beer” again. Despite the 21st Amendment being ratified and the sale and consumption of alcohol once again achieving legal status, new liquor control laws actually made it harder to get alcoholic beverages than when it was illegal. A nationwide influx of rules and restrictions on buying, selling, and consuming alcohol rose: closing times, age limits, Sunday blue laws, and the end of brewery-owned saloons headlined the list. In other words, drinking was legal…but not entirely available.

The 9,000-square-foot exhibit brings all this and the many facets of Prohibition – before, during, and after – vividly to life. American Spirits was created in partnership with the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and is the first comprehensive exhibit about what’s been dubbed ‘America’s most colorful and complex constitutional hiccup.’ From the dawn of the temperance movement through the Roaring 20s to the unprecedented repeal of a constitutional amendment, the American Spirits exhibit is rich with history, memories, and activities guaranteed to captivate…regardless of whether you fall on the side of temperance or good, old fashioned American fun!

Highlights of the exhibit include:

  • More than 180 rare artifacts, including Pittsburgh’s first “Tommy Gun,” flapper dresses, temperance propaganda, flasks used to bootleg liquor during Prohibition, and a hatchet famously flaunted by temperance advocate Carry Nation
  • Immersive areas like a re-created speakeasy – a term coined by saloon owner Kate Hester in the 1880s in McKeesport
  • Two classic Prohibition-era vehicles – a 1922 Studebaker (pictured right) and a 1932 Model 18 Ford V-8 (a favorite of John Dillinger and Clyde Barrow)
  • Wayne Wheeler’s Amazing Amendment Machine – a 20-foot-long, carnival-inspired contraption that traces how the temperance movement culminated in the passage of the 18th Amendment

The exhibit also examines Pittsburgh’s deep connections to the regulations of alcohol, which has historically been known as a catalyst for civic dissent since the Whiskey Rebellion in 1791-1794. During Prohibition, Pittsburgh – with its immigrant population heavily involved in the liquor business – earned a reputation as one of the “wettest” cities in America. This distinction, many would argue, holds true today.

Several local artifacts that showcase Western PA’s long history with alcohol are part of the exhibit, including items from the region’s new wave of spirits distributors like Wigle Whiskey, Maggie’s Farm Rum, and more.

The American Spirits exhibit will be on display through June 10th, 2018, and is included with regular museum admission: $16 for adults, $14 for seniors (62+) and active duty and retired military; $6.50 for students and children ages 6-17; free for children five and under and History Center members.

The American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition exhibition is presented by The Bognar Family and sponsored by Robert J. & Bonnie Cindrich and Latasha Wilson Batch; with support from the Allegheny Regional Asset District, The Heinz Endowments, and Richard King Mellon Foundation.

For more information and to discover the full lineup of public programs centered around the exhibit, please visit www.heinzhistorycenter.org.

Clockwise from left: imagery that greets you as you enter the exhibit; the famous ax wielded by Carry Nation as she pushed temperance and left taverns and saloons in her wake; a replica speakeasy door with small window where gatekeepers allowed entry when given the proper password; bootleg flasks used to sneak liquor during Prohibition

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Caliente Pizza & Draft House’s 4th location is officially up and running in Aspinwall. They’ve partnered up with a few breweries to bring you events throughout the month of February at all four of their spots. Here’s what’s in store:

Friday, February 9th at all four Caliente locations – A Night with New Belgium Brewing
6:00pm start time in Hampton Township
7:00pm start times in Bloomfield, Mount Lebanon, and Aspinwall

Friday, February 16th at all four Caliente locations – A Night with Founders Brewing
6:00pm start time in Hampton Township
7:00pm start times in Bloomfield, Mount Lebanon, and Aspinwall

Thursday, February 22nd – Sly Fox Lemonade Wheat Tapping
7:00pm start time in Aspinwall

Friday, February 23rd at all four Caliente locations – A Night with Evil Twin Brewing
6:00pm start time in Hampton Township
7:00pm start times in Bloomfield, Mount Lebanon, and Aspinwall

 

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In a list that made cell phone company moguls tap their fingertips together slowly while muttering ‘eeeexcellent’ under their breaths, Pennsylvania was named the leading state in the union for spending a shit ton of time on their cell phones while they consume beer. This news comes on the heels that PA also produces the most beer of any state in the country and, while its beer scene in Philadelphia may be as dynamic as it comes, its hockey team is absolutely unbearable.

The list came courtesy of Untappd, a user-friendly beer resource that allows you to chronicle the liquid you consume and bury your face in a smartphone in an effort to collect badges, thus helping you avoid actual conversation and human interaction when drinking in public. The badges serve as symbols of…something…and the fact that Pennsylvania left California and eight other states in the dust with its check-in total……is also something.

“This is such fantastic news,” said one beer drinker speaking on condition of anonymity because they age IPAs. “Towards the end of December, I checked in 13 Miller Lites while watching a Law & Order: SVU marathon on The USA Network. So I like to feel I had a hand in pushing our great state to triumph.”

Certain studies released by the Trump administration have shown the process of checking in beers actually makes them taste better. When reached for comment, parties responsible for the study simply said, “Hashtag science.”

Now that the beer drinking populous of PA has proven to the world they can swipe right for sexy beers with more dexterity and abundance than anyone else, what’s next?

“I think if we join together, put our minds to it, and pool our collective efforts, we can lead the nation in dirty glassware beer selfies,” said another beer drinker who happened to be walking by a minute ago. “It’s not an easy feat, but the Eagles finally won a Super Bowl. That proves the impossible is possible.”

The Stuck Mash is a thing on Breaking Brews consisting of words, sentences, and paragraphs. Its contents represent a tapestry of flavors, textures, aromas, and moments designed to illuminate the mind, the body, and the spirit. OK, full disclosure: It’s a parody of some shit. In fact, the author is happy to report that no facts were checked before publishing this installment. 

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Short Pour is a Breaking Brews feature that delivers libations news, information, and entertainment in 300 400 words or less. It’s all the info you need and none of the filler you don’t.

Caliente Pizza & Draft House Expands Into Aspinwall

When I launched Breaking Brews back in February 2014, one of the first articles that put this site on the map was a list of nine bars in Pittsburgh I felt were making exceptional strides with their tap rotations, food programs, ambiance, and more. One of those nine locales was Caliente Pizza & Draft House and, at that point, it was all based on feedback and buzz I had received from friends and online connections. I didn’t venture inside their spot in Bloomfield personally until a few weeks after that article went viral and, I was happy to discover, the hype was real. Great beer selection combined with some of the best pizza I had ever sunk my teeth into. Their spot on that initial list was well-deserved.

Fast-forward almost four years and, as Breaking Brews is about to turn four years old, Caliente has now opened their fourth location in Aspinwall. With three successful establishments operating in Hampton Township, Mount Lebanon, and the aforementioned Bloomfield, Caliente’s decorated and internationally-recognized pizza and stellar, well-curated lineup of craft beer has officially set up shop in a brand new neighborhood – continuing to build their empire and bring high-quality pizza, wings, and beer options to a fresh, thirsty consumer base.

RELATED: 9 Extraordinary Craft Beer Destinations in Pittsburgh

“We are humbled and honored to bring our ever-growing brand of international championship pizza and world class beer to Aspinwall and Fox Chapel,” said Nick Bogacz, Founder and Owner of Caliente Pizza & Draft House.

Caliente is known for featuring exceptional beer on a consistent basis. Taps at all their locations can be found pouring beers hard-to-find in other parts of town. In addition, their pizza has received worldwide recognition at the 2016 and 2017 International Pizza Expo, bringing home the accolades of #1 Pan Pizza in the World in 2016. More recently this past December, they were named in Pizza Today’s Top 100 Independent Pizzerias.

They focus on consistency across all their locations and have established one of the strongest pizza brands in the Pittsburgh region. Regardless of which establishment you visit, you’re guaranteed to enjoy the same top-shelf pizza and diverse beer selection.

Their newest destination is located at 225 Commercial Avenue, Aspinwall PA, 15215 and is officially open for business. Check out Caliente’s Facebook and Twitter pages for updates on daily specials and events.

Below are some photos from the ‘Bar Rescue-esque’ renovation that took place to bring the new Caliente to life. Enjoy!

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Short Pour is a Breaking Brews feature that delivers libations news, information, and entertainment in 400 words or less. It’s all the info you need and none of the filler you don’t.

East Liberty Neighborhood to Get New Destination by Summer

If you’ve ventured into Squirrel Hill for an adult beverage in the past couple years, chances are excellent the beacon that drew you in originated from The Independent Brewing Company and Hidden Harbor. These two sister locations are located next door to each other on the corner of Forbes Ave. and Shady Ave. and have both built a strong reputation of warm, convivial destination with local flair.

Now, owners Pete and Matt Kurzweg and Adam Henry are taking their talents to East Liberty, with plans for a friendly, neighborhood hot spot set to debut early this summer. The news, originally reported by Dan Gigler of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, comes on the heels of Hidden Harbor’s two-year anniversary.

Until recently, The Independent featured a near 100% local craft beer selection. Over the course of the past several months, they’ve incorporated more beers with global appeal in addition to their continuous showcase of Pittsburgh’s dynamic craft beer scene. Their Oktoberfest and Tannebaum tap lists to round out 2017 featured several offerings from the great beer regions of Belgium and various parts of Europe, a diversification of selection welcomed by craft beer enthusiasts throughout the Pittsburgh region. The Independent also is home to an extensive vinyl collection, the perfect complement to a relaxing atmosphere where one can enjoy quality beer and great conversation with others.

Hidden Harbor is a classy tiki bar, featuring a variety of unique, carefully-curated rum-based beverages that are as visually stimulating as they are flavorful. Their talented team of cocktail bartenders utilizes many offerings from Pittsburgh’s award-winning Maggie’s Farm Rum to deliver high-quality beverages and experiences each and every visit.

As Gigler reported, the new spot will make its home in the Werner Building in the East Liberty neighborhood, an area seeing rapid growth and development. It was formerly the home of The Livermore, an upscale cocktail bar.

Concept plans for the new location are currently shrouded in mystery, but according to Pete Kurzweg, “we are going to be doing something that we hope serves the neighborhood well.”

Given the tremendous image both Hidden Harbor and The Independent have built, this writer has to speculate their new venture will be one worth experiencing.

Is it summer yet?

Check out Dan Gigler’s full article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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