Autumn in Squirrel Hill: the leaves are changing and so is the complexion of our tap list. Last weekend, we said farewell to our final two hefeweizens of the season; this weekend, we will welcome several pumpkin beers* (All Saints Brewing, Milkman Brewing) and a host of other beers that pair well with crisp autumn air.
Hop Farm Hoptoberfest is this Saturday (2-5:30 p.m.)
We're partnering with the Brew Gents to raise money for the Children's Foundation of Pittsburgh through Hop Farm Brewing Company's Hoptoberfest, held at their brewery in Lawrenceville. Brewers and restaurants are teaming up to pair seasonal beer with seasonal food. We're serving black bean and squash tacos, topped with beer-braised veal sausage from Parma Sausages in the strip. The Brew Gents are serving their "root" beer, a root-vegetable saison, which has a bunch of roots like sweet potatoes, carrots and beets in the mash. Who says fall beers need to have pumpkins in them! Tickets are still available and can be purchased here: http://hopfarmbrewingco.com/Events.htm
Painproof Lucky Back in the Lab Saturday evening
If by "Lab" you mean, "behind our bar," and by "back" you mean, well, "back." Lucky is mixing up something for Saturday. Being that it is Thursday, none of us (including Lucky) have a good idea of what that is, but suffice it to say, it will take the shape of multiple cocktails, all of which will be boozy, delicious, well-garnished, creative, and carry with them the distinct possibility that the man serving them will have recently hammered a nail deep up one and/or both of his nostrils.**
Sunday Secret Vault 6-10 p.m.
We have a very, very special guest DJ on Sunday night for the vault. He's good looking. Charming. Highly intelligent. And, reportedly, has huge, huge feet. It's the one .. the only ... ME! Yes, that's right, our far more qualified (and, indeed, more handsome, intelligent, large footier, etc.) Paul Rosenblatt is presenting at the Pittsburgh Biennial at Space this Friday night, which is taking quite a bit of his time, and for good reason. You should absolutely attend if you can: http://pittsburghbiennial.org But on Sunday, you're left with me.
Paul was going to do a "goodbye to summer," surf theme, which we're going to hold onto for a few more weeks until he can do it. It's a brilliant theme, and it's why Paul is much better at doing this than I am.
That said, I think I've come up with a pretty good replacement theme on short notice, which is: "Top Five Play Through Albums." These are the five albums that I feel are the most complete albums ever made. How do I define a "complete" album? 1. No throwaway tracks; 2. the B Side could be the A Side; 3. The album must feel cohesive (I'm not looking for a concept album here necessarily, but, when you hear any given song form that album, you should know, immediately that it is on that album). A few of my five aren't very deep cuts. Others are pretty damn deep. Either way, if you care about this type of thing, I expect that I will anger you very, very much by my selections (or, alternatively, my failure to select). So join me Sunday night after the Steelers game, for an evening that is sure to turn into a very nerdy version of Mike Tyson's "Punch Out!"
What I'm Drinking
Speaking of goodbye to Summer, give Four Season's Session 4.0 Beer a try. Nice, light, floral, and at 4.0% abv, it's the perfect beer to start or end your evening. Cling to summer for another weekend while you can. "Winter is coming."
See you at the Indy! Oh, aaand ... you're going to want to keep your Saturday, November 1, 2014 open. You'll also probably want to start thinking about a costume. #BuryTheLede?
* The absurdity of the pumpkin beer phenomenon is, well, absurd. Every year pumpkin beers come out a bit earlier. This year, June marked the release of a certain celebrated "king" of pumpkin beers. Now, I'm no farmer (although I do play one on TV), but even I know that pumpkin patches are still pretty green and not very orange in June. According to"allaboutpumpkins.com," the domain name for which has all the indicia of reliability, most folks don't even plant their pumpkins until June and May is the earliest anyone does it. Now, I'm not one to disparage a good beer, and that certain king of pumpkin beers is certainly a good one. But, come on man. Pumpkin beer before pumpkins are in season? In the word of the great Charles Barkley, "that's terrible."
** There is also a distinct possibility that the nail hammering will be incipient at the time of service.