The impact that East End Brewing and its annual Gratitude barley production have had on the craft beer scene in Pittsburgh deserves mass recognition, and this can best be summed up in a customer email sent by fellow brewer Braddock’s Brew Gentlemen. :
“If the Pittsburgh Beer Hall of Fame were to be created by introducing local beers that have achieved widespread recognition and cultural significance outside our region, the legendary Gratitude Brewing barley from East End Brewing would be ruled out.”
In the new world of craft beer, where there were very few options outside the mass camp, the East End immediately stood out on the local stage. Founded in 2004, Larimer Brewery is one of the flagships of the Pittsburgh beer scene, acquiring its foundation years before craft beer became a choice for many people.
At the heart of it all was Gratitude. Dancing Gnome founder Andrew Wichy, one of the first beers, said in an email, “Thanksgiving was the first beer I stood in line for when I was 22, falling in love with fermented beverages.”
The East End has been brewing barley wine since the very first year, and soon Gratitude became its own local beer “holiday,” a beer to be celebrated throughout the city. This year the brewery will celebrate Thanksgiving on Saturday, February 19th.
“Mostly this year, I’m glad the world has stopped burning enough for us to have a proper Thanksgiving,” said East End founder Scott Smith. “For us, it’s always been more than ‘just beer,’ so we’re happy to see friends in person again and have a beer with them.”
Visitors to the event will be able to choose one of the following novelties:
- 2022 Thanksgiving
- Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrel Aged Gratitude
- Templeton and Sagamore rye barrel weathered gratitude
- Laphroaig Scotch Barrel Aged Thank you
- “Also, thank you!” – brand new wheat wine
All of these offers will be available in bulk and at banks on Saturday, starting at 11 p.m. Also in bottles will be available some vintage Thanksgiving gifts starting in 2016. And the East End hasn’t forgotten about its famous pizza. East End Chewing, a brewery, is preparing a special Pizzatude pie with garlic oil, mozzarella, chopped figs, blue cheese, bacon (available vegetables), arugula and hot honey.
However, perhaps the coolest part of this year’s event is that it’s not limited to the East End restroom. For those who can’t get to the brewery on Saturday to enjoy a Thanksgiving liqueur, chances are your favorite local brewery will be in line. 16 local breweries show their love for the Pittsburgh icon by pouring it into a barrel, including 11th Hour Brewing, 412 Brewery, Allegheny City Brewing, Brew Gentlemen, Brewdog, Cinderlands Foederhouse, Cobblehaus Brewing, Dancing Gnome, Golden Age ‘Beer Brewing Company, Inner Groove Brewery, Mastic Trail Brewery, Old Thunder Brewery, Spoonwood Brewery, Trace Brewery and War Streets Brewery.
“I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say this, but the notion that all these breweries want to buy barrels in their places and share with us Thanksgiving is like this … a time of the highest moment in my beer career,” says Smith. “Seriously … it’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to East End Brewing. This is a truly incredible community of beer that we have here! ”
Thanksgiving. 11: 00-22: 00 Sat., Feb. 19. East End Brewing. 147 Julius St. Larimer. eastendbrewing.com