Would you revel in the feeling of an ice-cold hibiscus pale ale cruising across your palate on a hot summer day? Or the mouth-puckering sensation of a dry-hopped pilsner tickling your tonsils? Or perhaps enjoy the ambiance of good food, good moods, live tunes and other great brews? If you said yes to any of these questions than you must know about the craft beer event of the year. But, in case you don’t, it’s going down in Pittsburgh! That’s right folks! On Saturday, August 11th at NOVA Place Courtyard; the nation’s first ever craft beer festival showcasing black brewers and black owned breweries will be underway and if you are serious about craft beer you don’t want to miss this one. My good buddy Mike Potter from Black Brew Culture is partnering with the comedic duo Day Bracey and Ed Bailey of PA’s Drinking Partners Podcast to bring to libation lovers of all creeds and colors: Fresh Fest 2018!
So who’s going to be there? Well, let’s run down the stats. Over 30 craft breweries (at least 15 black-owned or led by black brewers), 2 distilleries, and 2 cider houses / meaderies will be pouring up some of the finest liquids to tempt the ol’ boozehound that lives in us all. You’re going to experience 5-ounce pours from a variety of black owned craft breweries from across the nation like New York’s Harlem Brewing Company, Louisiana’s Cajun Fire Brewing Company, Ohio’s Black Frog Brewery, and Connecticut’s Rhythm Brewing Company, to name a few. And of course there will be plenty of local Pennsylvania breweries like Braddock, PA’s Brew Gentlemen; Mount Pleasant, PA’s Helltown Brewing Company; Pittsburgh’s own Voodoo Brewery and many more pouring you a taste of what Pennsylvania craft beer is all about. But that’s just a sample of some of the liquid love Fresh Fest will offer.
Another great thing about the festival, beyond its celebration of the culture surrounding black brewers and black breweries, is that there will be a decent amount of microbreweries from my stomping grounds of DC and Maryland who will be spreading their beer love at the festival as well. Sankofa Beer Company and the newly transplanted Black Star Line Brewing Company will be holding it down for the Nation’s Capital. While Bmore’s Union Craft Brewing and Waldorf’s newly-formed Patuxent Brewing Company will be reppin’ the Old Line State, to prove that “Crab Cakes and Football” is not all that Maryland does. And although the breweries lead the gauntlet, let’s not forget that the beer alternatives Wigle Whiskey and Rams & Parrots Whiskey will be in the house along with Threadbare Ciderhouse and Meadery and Apis Meadery. So if one thing is guaranteed it’s that you won’t leave Fresh Fest thirsty. But, where there’s good booze there has to be good food, right?
Of course they wouldn’t leave you drowning in booze without a food life vest to keep you afloat. On the food side of things there will be a variety of local food trucks on site to tackle any kind of beer munchies. Blowfish BBQ will be firing up tender, flavorful BBQ to keep festival-goers’ inner carnivore at bay along with sides like mac-n-cheese and roasted potatoes to round out the perfect plate for a day of drinking. The Chicken Coop PGH will be serving up fresh chicken and waffles in a variety of styles; ranging from savory traditional wings on the bone with a Belgian waffle to sweet dessert waffles like apple pie, cinnamon roll, and more. Leon’s Caribbean restaurant will provide the jerk and curry chicken with your choice of sides if you get a hankering for some island eats. While Leona’s Ice Cream will be handling the lactose-free, cold, delectable treats for all the ice cream fiends who’d rather not mix booze with moo’s. So while you’re sipping saison or lapping up an ice-cold lager, you’ll have cuisine options for sweet, savory, crunchy, spicy, hot, cold and everything outside and in-between to go with it.
For those who are lucky enough to grab a VIP pass, along with your one hour early entry to the tasting area, you will be provided a full day’s worth of beer immersion as a special “Meet the Brewers” podcast will be presented by Pittsburgh’s own Ed Bailey and Day Bracey of the Drinking Partners Podcast. This will be an opportunity for guests of Fresh Fest to be part of the conversation between the comedic, beer-loving podcast duo and some of the national brewers being featured at the festival. This will also serve as a pre-show leading up to the real deal craft beer tasting reveal of Fresh Fest.
Lest not forget the music of the occasion which will be brought to you by some of Pennsylvania’s brightest up-n-comers. Music artists Jonny Goood, Clara Kent, and Byron Nash will be spreading all the right vibes you need to keep you moving and boozing.
All of that being said you should show up and show out on Saturday, August 11th at the Fresh Fest Craft Beer festival. It’s going to be a beer event for the history books.
What? Fresh Fest Craft Beer Festival
When? Saturday, August 11th, 2018 from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Where? NOVA Place Courtyard (10,000 square feet/ 2000 Guest Occupancy)
100 S Commons St, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212, United States
Cost? $45 (General Admission) [5:00 pm – 9:00 pm 5-oz. tastings of 80+ beers and ciders (unlimited pours)]
$70 (Early Admission) [4:00 pm – 9:00 pm] (4:00 pm – 5:00 pm collaboration beer tasting hour) [5:00 pm – 9:00 pm 5-oz. tastings of 80+ beers and ciders (unlimited pours)]
$90 (VIP Admission) [1:00 pm – 9:00 pm] (1:00 pm – 3:30 pm Meet the Brewer’s Session) + (4:00 pm – 5:00 pm collaboration beer tasting hour) + [5:00 pm – 9:00 pm 5-oz. tastings of 80+ beers and ciders (unlimited pours)]
Be sure to follow BlackBrewCulture, Drinking Partners Podcast, & The Fresh Fest Craft Beer Festival 2018 via Social Media: