The Slaw 06: Lauren Hughes, Assistant Head Brewer @ Penn Brewery

Lauren Hughes // Pigeon Bagels + Redhawk Coffee // New Year, New Galaxy @ Black Forge II

by Lindsay Patross
December 10, 2019

Listen to Episode 06

In this episode of The Slaw: Staying on top of Pittsburgh, we talk to Lauren Hughes, who is the assistant head brewer at Penn Brewery about beer, women in the Pittsburgh brewing industry and dive bars. For our collaboration of the week, we’re talking bagels and coffee and we’ve got details on a new event for the New Year.

📸Header photo credit: Penn Brewery.

Lauren Hughes, Assistant Head Brewer at Penn Brewery

In this episode, we chat with Lauren Hughes about her career path to brewing. We catch up on some of the new things at Penn Brewery, as well as some of her other favorite places in Pittsburgh. We also talk about Pink Boots Pittsburgh, an organization that works to get more women involved in the brewing industry.

You can follow Lauren on Instagram @littlelopgh.

Lauren first started working at Sun King Brewing in Indianapolis when she was in college. Lauren moved to Pittsburgh to work for the Pittsburgh Symphony. After a few years, she decided to go back to the brewing industry. She has worked for Hop Farm, Hitchhiker as the taproom manager, Rock Bottom Brewery and is now the assistant head brewer at Penn Brewery.

Lauren recently completed the Brewing and Malting Sciences Course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

New at Penn Brewery

  • In addition to the Penn Brewery classics like lagers, on their small-batch system, Penn Brewery experiments with some hazy IPAs and sours.
  • Penn Brewery now has a taproom Downtown
  • All of the beer that Penn Brewery sells, is produced on the North Side.
  • Penn Brewery is located in a building that has housed a brewery since 1856.

Lauren’s favorite for food & more beer 

Pink Boots Society

Pink Boots Society is a national organization that has chapters throughout the United States.

Mission: The Pink Boots Society was created to assist, inspire and encourage women beer industry professionals to advance their careers through education.

Pink Boots Society Pittsburgh holds monthly meetings where women who work in the brewing industry or who are interested in working in the brewing industry can share information. You can contact Pink Boots Society Pittsburgh here: [email protected]g.

Pink Boots Society Pittsburgh events:

  • Partnership with Pittsburgh Glass Center
  • March – collaboration beers for International Women’s Day. The Pink Boots collaboration beers are available on tap around the city.

Very Local tagged along with Pink Boots for their brew day at Hop Farm last year. You can read more about the brew day here.

Breweries outside of Pittsburgh

Lauren’s favorite podcasts 

One wish for Pittsburgh brewing community?

  • More female brewers

A very Pittsburgh Collaboration: Pigeon Bagels & Redhawk Coffee

Pigeon Bagels now has a brick & mortar location in Squirrel Hill. Redhawk Coffee’s flagship location (in Oakland) and their downtown coffee bar (inside Shop PG&H) now have a third addition to the family. The Pigeon Bagels shop boasts a complete coffee menu, curated and operated by Redhawk Coffee.

Event: New Year/New Galaxy with Starship Mantis

We are partnering with Dancing Gnome, Black Forge and Epicast to bring you an event that is out of this world. Join us at Black Forge II in McKees Rocks for music and a special beer release.



  • Date: Saturday, January 4, 2019
  • Time: 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
  • Location: Black Forge Coffee House II – McKees Rocks

Tickets are $15 (be sure to listen to the episode for a discount code)

Facebook Event

☎️ Give Us a Call

Have an event we should know about? Know of a partnership we should highlight on the podcast? How about a collaboration? We’d love to hear from you!

We’re always looking for new Pittsburgh stories to share. If you leave a message we just might feature your pick in our newsletter or on our podcast.

Give us a call and leave a message. We want to hear from you!


* Please note, By leaving a message on this service, you consent to your voice being recorded and used by Very Local Pittsburgh in The Slaw podcast and elsewhere.

Subscribe to The Slaw: Staying on Top of Pittsburgh podcast

The Slaw Podcast is available on:

Pittsburgh born and raised, Lindsay has been writing about the people who love Pittsburgh since 2008.

More Local Stories

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Sanford

On this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando explore what’s new in the Northern part of town. Sanford has a plethora of breweries, bars, and delicious dining options to choose from.

Hometown Tragedy: The Pike County Massacre

On this episode of Hometown Tragedy: Missing in Milwaukee, we’ll explore what happened to Jerica Banks, her children, and how it impacted their community.

Six New Orleans parks that are perfect locations to celebrate 4th of July

Head to one of these six New Orleans parks to celebrate Independence Day in the city.

Cheap Date Orlando: Punk Rock & Pooches

Two Orlando couples shop vintage, search for the perfect slice, visit a post-apocalyptic saloon, and take the stage on blind dates in Orlando.

Fit and Fab: Free summer workouts in Boston

Cover photo courtesy Getty Images Looking to get fit for the summer? Still wary of COVID-19 or just looking for some sunshine while you sweat? Here are some Boston free summer workouts across the city so you can keep moving all season long! Seaport Sweat May 2 to Sept. 29 Boston’s biggest free workout series…

What’s On the Menu?: Farm-to-table

The farm-to-table movement brings locally grown foods to your plate. Not only will enjoying farm-to-table meals allow you to indulge in fresh, nutritional, seasonal dishes, but farm-to-table dining helps the environment and supports the local economy.  Check out these delicious farm-to-table restaurants in Greenville, South Carolina on the latest episode of What’s On the Menu?. …

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

A guide to Pittsburgh’s summer events must-do list

Check out our roundup below for the can’t-miss events happening in the city over the next few months.

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Tarpon Springs

In this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando you’ll be transported to a thriving Greek community nestled on Florida’s gulf coast. From sponge diving to flaming cheese to a Greek bakery that supplies a ginormous amount of baklava to the entire country, you’re sure to fall in love with Greek culture in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Dorchester doughnuts that pack a paczki

These traditional Polish pastries are the real deal.

Exploring the history of Pittsburgh’s Chinatown

At one time, there was even an informal Chinatown mayor to act as a community liaison.

Painting My Way Through Life: Pittsburgh (And Beyond) Through The Eyes of Artist Ron Donoughe

Ron Donoughe has spent over 30 years painting the Pennsylvania landscape, especially Pittsburgh. When you don’t find him capturing the spirit of his paintings on location, you’ll likely find him in his Lawrenceville studio – where he’s watched the neighborhood transform through his windows.

With a potential sale of his building looming in 2022, we chatted with Donoughe about his artistic journey thus far, what might come next, and Pittsburgh through his eyes.

“Better than a tent” this Greensburg Airbnb is only $15/night 

The accommodations are minimal, but the price can’t be beat. This Airbnb shed is available just outside of Pittsburgh in Greensburg for just $15/night.

A grab-and-go food guide to the MSY New Orleans terminal

Time. Most of us don’t have a lot of that. Even less so when we’re rushing to make a flight. There are still plenty of tasty options for the less leisurely travelers among us, though it helps to know where to find them.