“There is an ancient Celtic axiom that says ‘Good people drink good beer.’ Which is true, then as now. Just look around you in any public barroom, and you will quickly see: Bad People drink bad beer. Think about it.” Hunter S. Thompson was right. You can tell a lot about a person by the quality of beer they prefer. Copper Kettle Brewing Company has embraced this idea by creating the first and only brew-on-premise location in the Pittsburgh area.
Brew-on-premises are big in Canada since through taxation, it’s actually cheaper to brew your own beer than to purchase it. This concept is new to the area and Copper Kettle is attracting a well-deserved following. The art of brewing beer (and it is an art) is something that has always been a mystery to me. I wish I was there at that great accident when ancient Mesopotamians accidently stumbled upon the first recipe for the majestic nectar… and there was much rejoicing.
Through homebrewing, brewery tours and picking the brain of knowledgeable beersmiths, one can create a better understanding of how beer is made. From personal experience, homebrewing is hit and miss. One of the best beers I’ve ever had was a beer my buddy and I drunkenly made (and subsequently have no idea how to recreate it). Contrarily, if the brewer is the slightest bit off or the batch is somehow contaminated, precious time and money go down the toilet along with the five gallons of beer.
This is where Copper Kettle comes into play. They will guide anyone from the experienced brewer to the novice social drinker through the entire brewing process from adding to hops and extract to slapping that label on your finished product. If that isn’t cool enough, Copper Kettle is adjourned to the family bar (Hough’s on Greenfield Avenue). While you’re brewing beer, they encourage you to drink beer. Stop talking, CKB. You had me at hello.
The prices to brew your own beer are very reasonable and it ends up being about as much as you would pay for a case of good beer from a distributor. Copper Kettle has over 40 recipes to look through and their list is growing continuously.
The beer is broken down into three categories: Classic ($35/case), Premium ($37/case) and Select ($39/case). The brew yields five cases of 12 22oz. big-boy bottles, which are included in the price and can be reused in future brewing to discount your next total cost. They provide generic labels for free or you can customize your label for an extra $25. Let’s get down to brass tax (or copper tax). A trip to Copper Kettle is a perfect outing for the start of bachelor/bachelorette party, wedding, birthday, date night or just an excuse to make your own beer.
Vermont Porter (we dubbed our batch “Mountain Man Porter”)…$39/case
A very smooth porter with hints of chocolate and molasses.
Copper Kettle Brewing Company (next to Hough’s)
557 Greenfield Avenu
Pittsburgh, PA 15207
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