Chase your Whiskey with a Brewski at Wigle Beer Week

Published On October 22, 2015 | By Tiffany Johnson | Food & Drink

How many of our readers know that American whiskey was born in Pittsburgh? What about that Western PA was the epicenter of American Whiskey production throughout the 1700-1800s?

In fact, Pittsburgh’s own Wigle Whiskey is named for one of those pioneering Pennsylvania distillers. After the Whiskey Rebellion in the 1790s, Pittsburgh continued to be the epicenter of it all, providing the entire country with American Whiskey. By 1808, Allegheny County was producing half a barrel of whiskey for every American citizen.

Wigle Whiskey was the first operating distillery in the city since the Prohibition Era, and, to this day, it’s the only one open.

Wigle exists to continue to work towards restoring the Pennsylvania tradition advocated by the rebellious distillers. As a family owned and operated business, the organizers devote an enormous amount of resources to their innovation, making all of their spirits from Whiskeys to Bitters–grain-to-bottle–from local, organic ingredients.
Thus, Wigle Beer Week was created to demonstrate these opportunities for growth and inspiration by hosting innovative events in the crafts and spirits world through partnerships and collaborations with Sly Fox Brewery, New Belgium Brewing Co., Green Flash Brewery, EatPGH, Bado’s Pizza Grill and Alehouse, The Vandal, and Penn Brewery (just to name a few).

There’s no denying the huge recent spike in Pittsburgh’s whiskey and craft beer marketplace, due to lovers of homemade alcohol embracing their neighborhood makers and facilitating its growth. When it comes to brewing and distilling, the similarities not only apply to the rate of growth, but also to innovation in technique and practice.

These experimental processes and end results are exactly what’s getting the people going, and we can’t blame them. Whiskey is distilled beer after all, so go figure that the two very seamlessly go hand-in-hand when expressing Pittsburgh’s love of locally crafted booze.

Beginning October 23, you can take part in the festivities by participating in one or all of the events planned throughout the week. The week will feature a series of events including: the Shot and a Beer sampling, Beers & Books, collab samplings with Spoonwood Brewery and Flying Dog Brewery, Wigle’s Alternative Whiskey Fest, a Homebrewers Competition, and plenty more crafty, spirited fun to indulge in.
Beer Week 2015 will kick off with Shot and a Beer at Wigle Distillery, featuring four beer, whiskey, and food pairings brought to you by multiple brew companies (Flying Dog, Sly Fox, New Belgium Brewing Co.) and Green Flash Brewing reps. Your $25 ticket will give you the choice of three 8-ounce beers, three paired whiskey pours, and three snacks from Lawrenceville’s new restaurant, The Vandal. And if you’re having a little difficulty choosing which options you should sample, reps will be onsite to provide assistance with creating the proper pairings.

Although most of the week’s events will be held at Wigle Distillery, Boilermaker Night with Flying Dog Brewery may be worth the venture to Bado’s Pizza Grill and Alehouse. Bado’s will feature Flying Dog and Wigle tasting flight specials for the duration of Wigle’s Beer Week, but on October 27, this special event will be the only night you can taste additional samplings and access giveaways with flights. Plus, both vendors are providing guests with a little something eximg05tra.We don’t know about you, but we wouldn’t want to miss out on this special treat from the folks behind the booze.

On October 28, you’ll want to open your ears and your bellies for some delicious discussion and pours at Beers & Books. This free event at Wigle Distillery will feature three local authors paired with three local beers. Spirits will be available for your sampling pleasure along with a discussion of the upcoming Brewery Collaboration series of spirits. Books featured will include “Brewology” by local author, Mark Brewer, “The Food Lovers’ Guide to Pittsburgh” by the EatPGH team, and one more TBA.
spoonwood brewing-3

On October 29, there will be paired beer and whiskey flights featuring Spoonwood brews and Wigle spirits for all during the Meet the Makers event with Spoonwood Brewery. Spoonwood brewers and Wigle distillers will be there to discuss the processes of making craft alcohol, as well as upcoming releases for the two companies. Wigle Whiskey invites you to be a guinea pig for a night and sample some experimental spirits they’re planning to bring along for the Wigle Beer Week celebration.

Instead of spending the $1100 table fee for the Pittsburgh Whiskey Festival, Wigle Whiskey is giving away $1100 worth of samples to those who RSVP for this special, free affair on October 30. All spirits in Wigle’s portfolio will be available for sampling, including Straight Whiskey, Small Cask Series spirits, Landlocked honey spirits, Ginever, and experimental whims. Of course, this party wouldn’t be complete wigle-6without a food truck to satisfy those post-whiskey cravings, and a DJ to satisfy that post-whiskey need to bust a few moves.

After an extremely successful, talent-stacked competition the previous year, Beer Week will present the 2nd Annual Homebrewers Competition. Here, Wigle encourages all of Pittsburgh’s neighborhood brewers to participate. Not only will you get to sample the People’s Choice entries, but you’ll also be able to enjoy some barrel-aged cocktails and take home a snifter glass with your $15 ticket. The panel of judges for this year’s event includes beer lovers from businesses and local establishments like Butcher and the Rye, Hitchhiker Brewing Company, Piper’s Pub, and more.

Tasting Room During Aged Whiskey ReleaseWigle’s Beer Week exists to bridge the gap between beer and whiskey producers and fans, while showcasing the many breweries that make up our rich landscape of craft alcohol production in the city. A series of brewery-distillery partnerships will be highlighted, all while recognizing and celebrating Pittsburgh’s love for all things brewed.

We (and your tummy) hope you won’t miss out on this selection of tasty opportunities; in addition, you’ll get to experience and contribute to a big part of Pittsburgh’s history as the original Papa Whiskey.

You can purchase tickets or find out more info for one or all of the events on Wigle’s event page.

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