Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? 2015 is slipping away until it’s gone forever, the winter onslaught arrives and the dark night feels like it arrives earlier and earlier…so HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

WESA’s Josh and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to cheer you up and get you ready for that festive time of year with some amazing events around town.

Let’s kick it off with Light Up Night. There are two celebrations going on- Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s 55th Annual Light Up Night and Duquesne Light Santa Spectacular. Come down to Market Square for the grand opening of the European Market. There is also a bigger and more spectacular ice rink this year at PPG Place. You’ll be able to catch Santa and his reindeer and get your #SelfiewithSanta in Santa’s custom workshop. Pittsburgh Symphony is doing a free concert, Friday November 20th at Heinz Hall as well. Basically if you go downtown you will be immersed in Christmas everywhere.

Republican Liquor Plan Passes State House Amid Budget Talks

Nov 19, 2015
Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

  A divided state House is sending a new proposal to privatize Pennsylvania's government-run liquor system to the Senate, but it's not much different than a Republican-backed plan that Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed in June.

The House voted 110 to 86 on Thursday for a bill that would close all 600 state stores and create 1,200 permits to sell wine and liquor.

Beer distributors would get the first opportunity to buy the permits, and what's left would be auctioned off.

    While we can always hope for an artisanal water party, we will live in reality and enjoy some of these amazing events going on in Pittsburgh this weekend! Josh from WESA and Rachel from Yelp Pittsburgh tell you everything you need to know post-Halloween. Let’s celebrate Christmas! Just kidding…not yet.

Pittsburgh Record Fest # 14 is this Friday at Spirit. Buy and sell vinyl and enjoy a night-time record swap! Join for music, booze and more!

November Food Truck Roundup is happening this Saturday at Brew Gentlemen Beer Co in Braddock. Enjoy some of the best food trucks Pittsburgh has to offer including Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches!

The build-up of anticipation of Halloween finally comes to a peak this weekend! Pittsburgh has a spider web of events to choose from for you holiday celebration.

Friday, October 30th is the Chills, Thrills, and Gills party at the Pittsburgh Zoo at 8 PM. The Pittsburgh Zoo is partnering with the Scare House, so guests can get VIP RIP admission to the haunted house and its horrifying basement (if you dare). The zoo’s aquarium will host a DJ, and there will be snacks and a costume contest. The event is 21+.

   What’s on the agenda this weekend? Whiskey, beer, zombies, and of course, Halloween! But first, coffee.

It’s Specialty Coffee Week in Pittsburgh, and the events wrap up this weekend, starting with An Evening of Curated Espresso Beverages on Friday, October 23rd from 5-8 PM at Commonplace Voluto in the East End. You can try signature espresso beverages, espresso-based specialty cocktails, and hopefully avoid correction of pronunciation of espresso as “expresso.” Saturday, October 24th features a “Worst Coffee Competition” at 21st Street Coffee from 5-7 PM. You can get in one last coffee run at Sunday, October 25th’s Taste of KLVN at the Melwood Screening Room from 3-5 PM, providing samples from Pittsburgh’s newest roasting additions.

    Have you picked your Halloween costume? Rachel is going to be “Pizza Rat” or “Sexy Pizza Rat” for Halloween. Rachel threw it out there, but Josh, maybe you could be Sexy Donald Trump?  …let’s move on….

This Friday is 21+ night at Carnegie Science Center with the theme Back to the Future. Fun fact, did you know October 2015 was the time Marty goes to the future in the second movie? Come for food, drinks and learn some science. Also, WHY DON'T WE HAVE HOVERBOARDS YET?

Brew Cinema at the Hollywood Theater benefits American Heart Association and Hollywood Theater. Come down Friday night and enjoy brews and the show. Grist House will be there and you can get all of this with a $10 ticket price

    First off, Rachel has never seen the Big Lebowski. Let’s all just take a moment and let that sink in.

Also, Josh had a birthday recently. Happy Birthday! Let’s party with some great events brought to you by Social Club.

Carnegie Museum of Art is bringing you Hops and Hopper event celebrating the great American artist Edward Hopper! Lots of different breweries will be on tap, including Grist House Brewing, Hitchhiker Brewing and more! Come on down Saturday night!

Mamma Mia!: Social Club August 21

Aug 20, 2015

Josh and Rachel are getting ready for back to school. Josh is entering 32nd grade and Rachel has her Lisa Frank backpack ready to go.

There is a lot going on this weekend in Pittsburgh, starting off with the Bloomfield Little Italy Days. This festival, voted one of the best Italian festivals around, features music, molto bene Italian food, bocce tournaments and more. It will run from Thursday to Sunday at 7pm.

Courtesy The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company

In most industries, companies want consumers to buy their products, not go make their own versions at home.

The craft beer world is not most industries.

The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company in Braddock will host the American Homebrewers Association for a rally celebrating all things craft and homebrewed beer from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Spring Gallery Crawl will look a little more like a pub crawl this season.

The Trust has partnered with Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week to bring 11 taste-testing stations to the Cultural District’s quarterly arts festival.

Joseph / Flickr

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has clarified a container requirement rule – clearing the way for beer distributors to sell 12 packs.

This came after several requests for clarification by a beer distributor and brewery which asked if, under current PLCB regulations, they could “prepare a single large container of malt or brewed beverages consisting of twelve smaller containers, each holding approximately 12 ounces, designed to be sold as a single unit.”

Flickr user Phil Dragash

In the last 4 ½ years, 35 commercial properties in Wilkinsburg’s central business district have been sold, 22 new businesses have moved in, and 12 formerly vacant storefronts have been filled.

That’s according to Tracey Evans, Executive Director of the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation.

Like many towns in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Wilkinsburg is slowly emerging from the combined effects of the 2008 economic recession and the steel industry’s demise in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

This weekend, Rachel and Josh have all the bases covered for fans of beer drinking, art observing, do-gooding, and live music-rocking (with the family!)

Pour For a Cure, held at the US Steel Tower on January 23, invites guests to sample new and different beers (Rachel's favorite? Well's Banana Bread Beer,) while raising funds for The Leukemia & Lymphona Society Western PA & Western VA Chapter. 

Also on Friday, Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District will offer a wide sampling of free attractions to patrons downtown: from art gallery browsing to yoga class offerings, karaoke to comedy shows; there's something for every refined (and more relaxed) taste. 

A winter spinoff of the popular Shadyside Nursery Weather Permitting concert series, called (surprise!) Winter Weather Permitting, will kick off at The New Bohemian on Sunday, January 25 and will feature tunes from The Working Poor, The Pressure, and Charlie Hustle & the Grifters. Food, drink, and games for even the youngest music fans will be available in the all-ages space.  

Being Busy is So 2015: Social Club, Jan. 9

Jan 8, 2015

Let’s talk about New Years Resolutions.  

Want a new hobby? Sip beer and learn about the brewing process while meeting brewing experts at Pittsburgh Brew N Chew!

Perhaps your goal is to try new things. Schedule a reservation for that so-hip dining spot during Pittsburgh Restaurant Week.

How about the old classic: “This year, I’ll get in shape!” Grab a kettlebell and get ready to pump some iron at a free class at Get Fit at Stout Training Pittsburgh.

Or, maybe you just want to enjoy life a bit more: prepare your best belly laugh for Second City’s N’Ats All Folks show – a comedic act making fun of everything Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Brewers Host Beer Sampling for Charity

Oct 9, 2014

Knocking back a couple of brews has never been more charitable.

The eighth annual Brewing Up A Cure craft beer festival, this Saturday at PPG’s Wintergarden in Downtown Pittsburgh, will feature more than 75 beers from microbreweries in Pittsburgh, with all proceeds benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Lower taxes may be brewing for small beer makers if the state’s Democratic U.S. senator has any pull.

Bob Casey is calling for a reduction in taxes for the breweries.

He says the same legislation would also increase how much beer companies can sell and still be considered “small.”  

"Taxes as it relates to breweries have really not changed since the mid-1970s," Casey said. "Since that timeframe, breweries have grown substantially in size."

Casey visited Troeg’s Brewing Company in Hershey, Dauphin County to tout the proposal.

The free beer from PortaBeer should be enough to draw a crowd out to the premiere installment of Smorgasburgh, but it’s the food that will take center stage.

Urbanist editor Michael McAllister and local startup investor Kit Mueller are launching Pittsburgh’s first pop-up all food (and beer) flea market on Saturday.