ABV is our weekly series that highlights a different beer from a local Pittsburgh brewery every week. Check out our past picks here.
Leading up to Fresh Fest we will preview some of the collaboration beers attendees can expect to try on Aug. 10 at Nova Place.
“We’re putting the fresh in Fresh Fest,” says Chardaé Jones, interim mayor of Braddock, squeezing the juice from a lemon.
Fresh Fest Collaboration: Brew Gentlemen x Chardaé Jones
Jones is at Brew Gentlemen, preparing the adjuncts for her collaboration beer for Fresh Fest, the black-owned beer festival at Nova Place on August 10.
Fresh Fest showcases craft beer from nearly 30 out-of-town breweries alongside another 45 Pittsburgh-area breweries. The Pittsburgh breweries are paired up with local black entrepreneurs, artists and icons, like Mayor Jones, to create one-off collaboration beers that are served at the festival.
As such, Mayor Jones has been paired with the brewery located in her borough: Brew Gentlemen.
About the beer: Inspired by a Moscow Mule
Jones’ beer is a riff on a Moscow Mule. They took Brew Gentlemen’s Garden Party, a seasonal cucumber wheat, and added mint along with lemon and lime juice and zest.
“I like light, refreshing beer,” says Jones, a Woodland Hills and Carlow graduate and writer by trade, but it wasn’t always that way.
“My family, they drink terrible beer,” she explains, and that put her off of it. Brew Gentlemen changed her perception, but not right away.
“I was there for the food trucks,” says Jones. “I was faithfully at every food truck roundup. I waited out in the rain for some Mac and Gold for 15 minutes.”
Eventually, she came to enjoy the Apis mead on draft at the brewery, and from there she fell for beer.
Today, Jones says she will go on little tours of local craft breweries, where she usually orders the seasonals.
Brew Gentlemen, she says, “gives people who aren’t from the community a chance to check out and see what’s going on in our community, even beyond the brewery.”
“We were really close with John [Fetterman],” says Brew Gentlemen co-owner, Matt Katase, “He was a phenomenal mayor, and to have Chardaé come in, she’s been so present, so on board with community, what it looks like to have business participate in community, and just really energetic and enthusiastic about all the great things going on in town.”
As for the collaboration, Katase says he knows how hot it will be at Fresh Fest, and this, he says, will be “a super refreshing beer.”
Assistant brewer Rob Dillman worked with Jones and Katase preparing the adjuncts. The lemons and limes are zested then squeezed before being combined with mint and added into a small fermenter filled with Garden Party. After a short while, the beer will be carbonated, kegged and ready for Fresh Fest.
“I just enjoy that things like this put a spotlight on our little community,” says Jones. “Our little community with a big heart.”
ABV, Volume XXV
Brew Gentlemen x Chardae Jones collaboration beer – available at Fresh Fest
Beer Name: As of publication, this beer has not yet been named. For folks who are familiar with Brew Gentlemen, this beer will ultimately result in a Fresh Fest collaborative take on the Garden Party – a seasonal cucumber wheat beer.
Style / ABV: Zesty Summer Wheat Beer // 5.2% ABV
Why we recommend it: Again, for folks who have tried Brew Gentlemen’s Garden Party, this collaboration sings the song of summer. The addition of lemon, lime and zest with the base layer Garden Party, combined with the steamy hot afternoons of August (Fresh Fest is Aug. 10), this is a beer we are damn excited to try.
When is it available: This beer will make its debut at Fresh Fest.
How is it served: All Fresh Fest attendees get unlimited 4-oz taster pours from their commemorative (take home) glassware. This beer is no different. Try it in your taster glass. Like it? Come back for another pour. Love it? Enjoy it as much as you want throughout the evening. Fresh Fest’s general admission session lasts from 5 pm to 9 pm.
Editor’s Note: Aadam Soorma contributed to this story.