5 hours (or more) in a car.
7.5 hours (or more) on a train.
An (awkwardly) expensive flight.
However you shake it, the Pittsburgh to Philadelphia excursion illustrates just how long – and perhaps disconnected – the Keystone State really is.
And now, for a fun fact: the state of Pennsylvania produces more beer annually than any other state in the country. At 3.9 million barrels produced (in 2017), this is a great time to be alive in PA for beer lovers.
Breweries in PA – arguably the leading source for craft beer news and updates around the keystone state – is a Philadelphia-based team. BUT, they are self-aware and they understand the need to hit beer nerds with the content they love in both eastern and western PA.
This weekend, they are making the PA Turnpike pilgrimage to host a beer share at 11th Hour in Lawrenceville.
What’s a beer share?
If you’re new to the world of “beer trades,” well…actually, so am I. Let’s walk through this one together.
Think of it like a meetup based on the barter system. Everyone shows up with 2-4 beers from their personal stash. People poke around and see what others bring. And then they essentially trade and enjoy. There is no cash exchange and – if you’re lucky – you might find a totally new and outrageous beer that you have never tried before.
Yes! Just show up with 2-4 beers of your choice.
**Unfortunately, we were just informed that the Sunday Feb 24 beer share has sold out…but you can be on the lookout for future BIPA events when they return to Pittsburgh.
What should I bring with me?
If you’re not sitting on a big ole bottle / can stash at home, swing through Bierport in Lawrenceville (they open at 11 am daily) and grab something new to share.
Remember: it’s freakin February in Pittsburgh (cold, winter) so stouts and porters will be trending. You can always play devil’s advocate and share something sour / tart or just go for hipster gold with a hoppy IPA. To be honest, bring anything – per their website, Breweries in PA exists to “showcase and bring together the world of Pennsylvania beer.” All beers welcome.
We’re meeting at a brewery…can we drink the beers we trade for on-site?
Absolutely, yup! Crack open those beer share beers. Very legal and very cool.
Can attendees enjoy 11th Hour beers too?
YUP! And, here’s a bonus: all attendees are entitled to 20% off Eleventh Hour 4-packs, bottles, crowlers and growlers.
I’ve never traded beer…Can I just come hang out and buy a beer at Eleventh Hour?
Yes, absolutely. This is a democracy. Also, this is beer (a fun beverage). Come hang out. Bring a friend.
What beers are other people bringing?
You can certainly expect to see some rarities. Eastern PA has a blossoming craft beer scene that extends from Philadelphia to Lancaster and beyond. Tired Hands, Pizza Boy and a slew of other craft breweries are consistently pushing the boundaries of flavor and taste with a loyal fanbase east of Harrisburg.
I’d expect the Breweries in PA guys to dig deep into their stash and share some seasonals / one-offs from their favorites. I’d also expect to see some end-of-2018 beers make their way into the fray as folks might be looking to offload some of those extra Christmas ales from the back of the fridge.
What’s coming up next?
The second iteration of Breweries in PA’s annual beer festival – Philly Invades Pittsburgh – will return in July 2019.