Another day of field tripping today - this time everyone went to the same places. We left IUP at about 10:30 and drove to Edgewood to visit D's Six Pack & Dogz, arguably the best bottle shop in the Burgh. The students were able to find many more styles and brands of beer that just aren't available to us over here in Indiana, and most walked away with some bottles of good stuff. We also met briefly with the owner (and I just completely blanked on his name - sorry!) and Hootie, "The Executive Director of the Nectar".
Next, we drove over to the Sharp Edge Beer Emporium on St. Clair Street for a late lunch and tour of one of the best Belgian beer bars. Hart, the director of beverage acquisitions for the 4-store chain was there to talk to us about the locations, their beer selection, and all the challenges of running a place in the Pittsburgh area. He was also gracious in giving us happy hour beer flight prices! After a great lunch, we got a tour of the place, including the beer storage area.
Finally, we made our way over to our final stop, East End Brewing. Scott and his assistant brewer (sorry - forgot his name, too!) were on hand to tour us around the brewery and offer up some samples of their beers. When the tour was over, the students (and the instructors) purchased a growler of stuff to go (in my case, two growlers and two bottles). We hit some rush hour traffic but did make it back home in fairly good time.
After a long day on the road, I then had to host the May meeting of the Indiana Homebrewers' Club. Students from the class were invited, but only one showed - not surprising since they'd been with either Tom or me all day: why ruin their evening ;)
Anyway, a homebrewer and former student of mine was the guest tonight and he showed us how to build some nice mash/lauter tuns and hot liquor tanks from picnic coolers using PEX tubing. Other than missing a few pieces not available at Lowe's, I'm just about done with mine. I'm anxious to start the all-grain brewing for the summer again.
Thanks to our hosts today at D's, Sharp Edge, and East End! Tomorrow, it's off to Pittsburgh again for the Hofbräuhaus and Church Brew Works.