Sunday, December 18, 2011

East End Brewery beer in London

When I was in London at the beginning of December of this year, I made it a point to have a pint of beer from the East End Brewery in Pittsburgh, Pa. The oddity of this is the fact that I am from Pittsburgh and drink the beers often, as the beers coming from Scott Smith's kettles are wonderful. So why would I travel to London at considerable cost to drink a beer I get down the street? Because it was there!

When I first started my travels to the land of fish and chips and pork pies I was not yet a beer drinker. Good thing too as there was not a lot of what we would call craft beer back in the 1970’s. As I got my training in good beer at Chiodo’s Tavern in Homestead I discovered that there was more than one beer style. Unfortunately nobody told London. I was drinking porter in Pittsburgh but no bartender in London ever heard of such a drink. “Do you have any porter?” “No, he went home early today”.

Finding good beer in London is pretty easy now. The Brits are finding that they can make interesting beers and so many are finding their way to London. European beers are as popular in the UK as they are here. American beers have been firmly planted on British soil and Sierra Nevada, Rough, Victory, Southern Tier and Duck Rabbit are as easy to come by as Young’s and Fullers.

Thanks to a rotating distribution system Scott was able to send 30 combined kegs of Black Strap Stout and Big Hop IPA to England and Europe. Two pubs in London had them on and the reviews that came back were positive. A long time buddy from London had a Black Strap and found it eye opening. One chap on twitter sent Scott a tweet with the word “blimey” in his review of the IPA. When a review incorporates the word blimey in it you have arrived. To stand next to a tap in a London pub sporting a beer from Pittsburgh is one that I am happy to stand next to. I support Pittsburgh brewers and will do so 4000 miles from home.

Photos are of the Craft Beer Company on Leather Lane, Clerkenwell EC1

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blue Barrels

The question was asked recently as to why the name barrel is abbreviated as bbl. There have been a few answers and I found a few more in the Internet as well. Some are almost right but a bit off the mark and some are just pure bunk.

It is widely believed that the abbreviation of barrel is bl and the bbl for blue barrels. Both of these are bunk. Yes, there were blue barrels but at the same time there were red barrels. Barrels (also known as casks) have been around for centuries and not until recently have they been standardized. Beer and wine barrels were standardized for a number of reasons. First and foremost that coopers (barrel makers) need a way to mass produce them. Although made by hand they cut staves to a uniform length so that the barrels would hold the same quantity of material. Beer barrels were made different that ale barrels so one produce could be distinguished from the other. This is where the blue barrels debut. It was not until western Pennsylvania became the oil capital of the world that color came to be applied. As the country was involved with a civil war, the northern government needed a way to tax oil to fund the war. It took some doing and industry basically came up with the standard size of 42 gallons. Thi sisze was in use during the 1700’s. Bunk 1: Standard Oil did not standardize the barrel, the industry as a whole did. Bunk 2: The barrel was not open topped and companies would not pay for spillage. Only an idiot would ship a valuable commodity this way. Bunk 3: A 42 gallon barrel was not used to guarantee anything to a buyer. It is just what the oil producers came to agree on.

Why was the barrel painted blue? Because it was not red. When the oil was refined there were a number of products derived. One was gasoline that nobody wanted. What did you need it for? It was also dangerous. The most important commodity derived from oil in the 1800’s was kerosene. This was the money maker for oil companies. As barrels were pretty much the same size (unlike beer and ale) another way was need to tell one from the other. Hence, kerosene was in blue painted barrels and gas was in red painted barrels. Even though kerosene was the more important product all barrels were still abbreviated bbl and not rbl. As shown in the link below, the abbreviation was used before the birth of “big oil” in 1859. Any further investigation will have to involve Ben Franklin.

See: This story also tells of the birth of the Heisman Trophy.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

South Side, Pittsburgh NID 1

Transparency and Disclosure

I have many issues with the SS NID and what they are attempting to market. They are supposed to be business owners so one would think they know how to sell. Yes, that was a purposeful dig by me. Their website is nice and green with warm and fuzzy fluff nut no real business plan. If they wish to sell me they need to answer some questions.

What do you want to do?

You want to clean sidewalks that owners are required to keep clean (by law) yet they refuse so you want my money to pay somebody else to clean it for them. Is that right? Many owners do clean their sidewalks. If you don’t like dirty walks then complain to the owners. If you take money to pay people to clean sidewalks, will everyone who pays have their walks cleaned? Will some not be? Will you keep an eye on my property at 2 AM when drunks are breaking mirrors and up-rooting plants? Who decides this?

What area does the NID propose to incorporate?

Before you can have a Neighborhood Improvement District you need to where it is. Do you have a map or descriptive outline of its boundaries? Will all properties within the area have to pay? Will all owners within the area get clean sidewalks and security? Will people outside the area have anything to say about this?

None of this is debatable. Tell me your plan and the area it encompasses. Put it on your website and facebook page and make it clear. If you want to get off to a good start (with me) do not call me a stakeholder. I am a citizen

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pa Clubs and Nudity

I received comments concerning my webpage, Pennsylvania Drinking Laws, from a reader who brought to my attention an error on my part with respect to nudity in licensed establishments. I was aware that establishments in Pennsylvania that have a liquor license were prohibited from having nudity within the place. What I was unaware of that this prohibition has been rescinded.

The US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals struck down (in 2006) Pennsylvania’s law on lewd behavior in licensed establishments. It did uphold New Jersey’s law on lewdness. The rulings were based on interpretations on the First Amendment of the US Constitution. In Pennsylvania, clubs (not bars) can permit nude dancing. As a club, they are private and everyone entering must be a member (40 Pa Code 5.72). Bars are open to the public. Clubs may allow dancing whereas bars have restrictions disallowing entertainment such as dancing. These are two clauses that distinguish a club from a bar.

So, in as much as a club can serve alcohol and have nude dancing, don’t look for an influx of booze and babes clubs to open soon. There are several reasons it is to a clubs advantage to not have a liquor license. Having another government bureaucracy control their activity seems like a good reason not to have a license.

In doing a bit more research on this I stumbled on Title 17 of the Pennsylvania Code. Apparently the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has something to say about booze and babes. Somehow my mind is working with the combination of nude dancing and natural resources, but let’s not take this further.

Section 23.12 prohibits possession and consumption of alcohol on state forest picnic areas. Disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, and obscene or lewd acts or dress is prohibited in section 23.24.

I will be updating my page ( soon but I wanted to get this posted to address my reader’s comments. He also gave me some other feedback that I am reviewing for my update. I always enjoy positive feedback as it helps get the information corrected.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Smoking Bars

In Pennsylvania, a bar can be open on Sunday if they have a Sunday license issued by the LCB. To get one the bar has to have food and non-alcohol drink sales of 30% (was 40%). The state Department of Health says that if the bar wants an exemption to permit smoking, the food and non-alcohol drink sales cannot exceed 20%. They also have to show the State Health people their records. This tells me that smoking bars cannot be open on Sunday. Do I have it wrong? Anybody?

I see some bars open on Sunday with smoking permitted. I have to think that they are ignoring the law. And who can blame them? I was once told that some bars do this until they get caught. They just pay the fine and keep doing it/ So much for government protecting us.

The real law are the patrons. It is their choice to enter a smoking bar and the state seems limp in enforcement. A law with no teeth is no law. I am posting a new page on on Pa Drinking Law and getting my information together. As for smoking bars and the law, I am just trying to see thru the smoke.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cows on Carson Street

I have seen cows on Carson St. in the South Side for many years but I thought that they were just passing through. Little did I realize that they settled down and started to breed. They seem to be everywhere now and much like the beer stains on my shirts, they are here to stay.

I saw my first one late one evening in the 80's when I came home form an outing. I saw a female sitting on my steps. I though she just had too much to drink and wanted to rest. Being kind to animals then I was going to leave her stay. As the number of bars on Carson was fewer than today there were few cattle running about. But as I got closer I noticed that she had her pants to her ankles. She was all set to do a No.2 pie drop on my steps. Well, you should have seen what it took to get her to move. Yet she fought with me like I was being mean. Why are cattle prods illegal I ask?

Today they have taken over the South Side like teenage boys at a wet tee-shit contest. Most of the cattle seem to know to stick to the pathways but crossing streets seems to mystify them. They will get to a corner and look at the colored light on the other side and go into a trance. They will walk towards the lights slowly and without preference to the lights being red, amber or green. I think they are drawn to the red lights more. An effective method of making them move faster is to point the front of your car towards then and give it a go. That seems to take them out of their trance.

And it is not just crossing from one path to another. Very often they stop and gather in the middle of the street or crosswalk to collectively chew their cud. Pigeons do this as well but seem to know that cars are coming for them. Maybe the cows like the middle of the street because it reminds them of open pasture? As they don’t start moving about until mid-day they stay up late at night, which seems to be the preferred time for personal tasks. Many of them seek the farmer’s house to let free the day’s liquid intake. Never mind that they have barns of their own for this. Male and female cattle have been observed doing this. The females seem at ease with the outdoors, as they will, without hesitation, perform hygienic maintenance activity. Watching them in groups can be most disturbing. I think the sociology people at the nearby universities should look in this. Better still, video bloggers.

Some cattle actually know how to operate cars. Not well, but who can when ones tail is pushed up ones butt? Should they ever be required to have a license like the rest of humanity they could be instructed on proper parking, turning when permitted and the meaning of colored lights hanging down in front of them. I wonder what Darwin would have written had the H.M.S. Beagle landed on the South Side boat launch?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tripped Advisor

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette published this Trip Advisor entry on Sunday, August 21, 2011. In a response to a refused cab ride from Manhattan to LaGuardia, Lesley Carlin made reference to LaGuardia's location. She wrote: …but because LaGuardia's in Queens...

God did this gyrate me. I’m not too smart and I have the records to prove it. But if one were writing professionally I would expect proper sentence construction. Used in the above manner, an apostrophize shows ownership. Example 1: Ed’s beer is pale ale. Example 2: Did you find it in paragraph 1? What should have been written was that LaGuardia is in Queens. I don’t think this was a typo and maybe just a tad lazy. Maybe I am being overly picky but I was at the store yesterday when I listened to a husband ask his wife “is you got the money?” I may need several pale ales to settle down after all of this.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Clean Jugs

Scott Smith of East End Brewery posted a note on his website ( about cleaning out growlers. If I read between the lines I see that some people who buy growlers from him are bringing them back in a not too clean condition. May I shake my finger at them? One should always clean out a growler when the last drop of beer comes out.

First, you need to keep the growler clean so the nest beer does not become infected. Why spend good money on good beer to have it go bad? As any good bartender will tell you, there is a correct way to clean a glass for beer. Never use detergent and never wipe the glass with a towel. Hot water rinse a few times and let air-dry. But I think Scott tells you that.

Second, do not abuse Scott’s kindness. He is kind enough to clean your growler for you before he refills it. This also costs him water and labor. Not too much of a big deal but one that we should be doing ourselves. If he has to clean the growler for the guy in front of you then you will be delayed. It is also easier to clean a growler when just emptied than days later.

Please and thank you to Scott and his staff when doing refills are always in order and one way to say thanks for good beer is to bring back a clean one.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

No Big Pour for Ed

Tickets for the Pittsburgh Big Pour have gone on sale and I for one do not plan on going. I went to the first one and thought it was set-up wonderfully. They intermixed the beer vendors with the food vendors so that there were no clumps of drinkers blocking anyone out. The second Big Pour was packed and not too much fun for me. Over the years I have gone to several events and left after a short time. They are getting to be no fun for me. For the most part my liver has processed about every beer one expects to see at a beer festival. Seldom do I see a beer that turns my head away from some guy’s girlfriend. So, from the beer aspect, what’s the point of going?

Then there is the price. Ticket prices have gone up and when you factor in that you may have to buy them from a service the cost goes up more. As for the BP I am just not going to pay $65, nor the $140 (no early admit) for this years special. Anymore, due to popularity, it is a chore to park and wait in long lines to get in and a pain in the butt to get to a brewer. (Did anyone catch that sad attempt for humor?) And sometime the table does not even have the brewer. For me it is: “what am I getting for my money”? Can a vendor bring something that is soon to be released? How about a Beer Festival Only brew? Can we have some seminars?

This is not just the BP. I have walked out of the Penn Fest and my last one on Long Island. The only ones I would consider are invites only (never happens) or small intimate events.

For $65 I can spend a weekend at my local and get pretty well put away. I can use this opportunity to create my own festival. I can drink beers that I normally do not drink and eat food that I also do not normally eat. Parking is not a problem as I can walk to my local. Long lines are nonexistent and I can sit by myself, which seem to occur more often than not now that I think of it. (?) Anyway, not to diminish beer festivals for the younger lads but for me I am getting older and cranky and can honestly say been there, done that.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Travel Writers & Bloggers

Just a note to all you other travel writers and bloggers out there. I have a small bone to pick with you guys. In as much as the Internet is replete with false information I have also noted that there is an abundance of misleading and omitted information. My day job, which pays my bar tab, requires me to keep accurate information. A key factor in this is the date stamp on all files, documents and printed matter. The month-day-year (or day-month-year to the Brits) is essential and always foremost in my daily routine. I see many websites that lack dates and the most disturbing omission is always the missing year. When I find information on trade shows, conferences or events, the lack of a full date confuses me (easily done) and I don't know if the event is past or up-coming. So please, all you writers out there, please ad a full date when posting something that has an expiration date.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

First Growler at Fat Heads

I was going through some of my writing that I did as editor of the TRASH Can, for the Three Rivers Alliance of Serious Home Brewers. I found this article from June 2001 and thought it would be interesting as growlers have been around Pittsburgh for 10 years now. Has it been that long Glenn?

Headline: All Smiles at Fat Heads

A while back Fat Heads South Shore Saloon on the South Side shut down for a remodel. They have been reopened now for several weeks with an expanded beer list. Going from 20 to just-under 40 taps put a broad smile on my face. They have always been noted for serving good US microbrews and this has not changed but they now expanded the English, German and Belgium offerings. But this is not why I write.

For the first time in Pittsburgh a tavern is selling growlers. Talk about one for the road. Yes, our local brew-pubs have been doing this for a number of years but Fat Heads is the first bar that I know of that is selling draft beer to go. If you think another pubs has or is doing this too please let me know.

It has always been legal for bars to sell draft take-a-way; this is how growlers got their start. The price of the beer is the same as on draft plus the $5 cost of the growler. They bottles hold 48 oz. of beer and the cost usually works out to the price of three 16 oz. pints. The specialty beers have an adjusted price but just remember you are paying for 48 ounces of beer. They will refill the jug if you bring it back for the cost of the beer.

Even if you have just one or two favorites on tap the new happy hour should start you smiling. From 4 to 6 all drafts are half off and not just at the bar. Either in the dining rooms or the new patio everybody can be happy at happy hour. Myself I’m pretty happy at the bar just to have a chat with Amy.

The above story was first published in June 2001 so the growler prices and happy hour ar edifferent at Fat Heads now.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ed's Beer of the Month: Old Ale

It was announced that East End Brewery in Pittsburgh is to bottle Old Ale. Just want is old ale and why should you drink it? Well, if contemporary drinking habits are followed it should be well received in the local bars. Old ale is an English beer term denoting a strong ale that was set aside to mature and mellow. Strong English ale is purposely made to a higher gravity with the intention to be served after a short maturation time. Maturation is the ageing of beer under controlled conditions. This allows the beer to develop various characteristics and qualities that people find more desirable over ordinary strong ale. Some strong ale may exhibit a bite from imbalance of alcohol. Old ale has been allowed to mellow out, much like the young warrior transforms to a wise old man, albeit wobbly knees and back pain. One of the reasons the beer is allowed to change condition is so it can be blended with other pale or brown ales. When set aside for this reason the beer is referred to as a stock-ale. Incidentally, when different beers are combined by a brewer or bottler it is called blending. When done during serving it is mixing.

Old ale does not have to have a high OG, although what the Brits think is high as to what we have on tap these days can open some eyes. Many English Old ales have less alcohol than the BJCP guidelines list. These ales fit in between strong ales and barley wines but the evidence of a lot of alcohol need not be overwhelming. Theakston’s Old Peculier (4.5 abw/5.6 abv) has an exciting taste yet is so mellow that is almost seems like a dark mild. Yes, the 5.6% is a bit much by UK standards but I always have a pint at The Swan in Cosmo Place, London WC1.

When strong ale is matured for a longer vatting time, preferably in oak, it is said to have gone stale. This is not a bad word. It simply means that it has been allowed to “stand” for a while. The word stale is a very old English word meaning, stand as in a stable where a horse would stand to rest. Old Ale should have expressive notes of fruit, hops and malt and should be bittersweet. To be true to style is should mature in oak for more than a year. Sadly I don’t think many American brewers are doing this. Roger Protz called one of his favorites port wine with hops (Protz, Taste of Beer, 92). Overall, the beer will be mahogany to dark ruby. Fruit should be expressed on the palate as well as a dryish hop bitterness. North Coast Brewery reflects Protz’s assertion of the port wine comparison. See what the BJCP has to say about Old Ale. This is what CAMRA has to say about Old Ale.

Other than Old Peculier (correct spelling by the way) good examples are:

Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale US 10.2% abv 1.098OG

Full Sail Wassail US 7% abv

North Coast Old Stock Ale US 12.5% abv

Robinson’s Old Tom (labeled as Strong Ale) UK

Ringwood Old Thumper UK 5.6%abv

Young’s Old Nick UK 6.8% abv

Weyerbacher Black Hole US 7.0% abv

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Parking on the South Side

Tell me what's wrong with this picture.
And it's not the picture that's wrong.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Growlers in a car

Growlers have been around for a very long time in one form or another. In recent years they have gained a new popularity with the coming of brewpubs and bars that offer draft beer to go. A little tweet caught my eye on having growlers in one’s car between pub and home. As the Federal Government has resorted to a form of extortion in mandating the states to impose added restrictions on how you operate your car I felt comments on this were in order. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (known as TEA-21) was enacted June 9, 1998 by congress. Although it is no longer in effect its damage continues. One aspect of this was the mandating to prohibit open containers of alcohol in vehicles. In a nut brown shell, it basically states:

Prohibit both possession of any open alcoholic beverage container and consumption of any alcoholic beverage.

Cover the passenger area of any motor vehicle, including unlocked glove compartments and any other areas of the vehicle that are readily accessible to the driver or passengers while in their seats.

Apply to all open alcoholic beverage containers and all alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and spirits that contain one-half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume.

Apply to all vehicle occupants except for passengers of vehicles designed, maintained or used primarily for the transportation of people for compensation (such as buses, taxi cabs, and limousines) or the living quarters of motor homes.

Apply to all vehicles on a public highway or the right-of-way (i.e. on the shoulder) of a public highway.

Require primary enforcement of the law, rather than requiring probable cause that another violation had been committed before allowing enforcement of the open container law.

So the question at hand is a growler an open container? I don’t know if this was specifically determined in court but it could be a matter of interpretation between you and the police officer writing you a ticket. In the true sense, an open container has no cap, lid, seal or anything else that would prevent the contents from coming out. No, fixing your mouth to a growler is not sealing it. Also in the true sense, a sealed container is one that was sealed after filling by the manufacturer and as such the seal needs to be broken to open. Twist-off caps usually indicate if it was twisted off. In the case of growlers it cannot be determined if the cap was ever removed other that seeing that the bottle is still full. Still, there is a legal point that can be made that a person has access to the contents more readily in a growler than if it were in a can or regular beer bottle. The fact that a growler can be opened in a car may be legal enough to receive a citation. Actually, the last sentence in this writing does restrict alcohol from a passenger compartment.

Four Sons brewpub in Western Pennsylvania used to sell growlers when they were in business. They applied the letter of the law when selling growlers. They would apply heat-shrink tape to the cap and neck to show that the container was “factory sealed” at the point of sale. This established a president of sorts, as local cops would have known that this was done. Had you been stopped and not had a “sealed” bottle they could argue that you had an open container. Now, I’m no lawyer and maybe I drink too much but I would not take the chance in having one in the passenger compartment of my car. If you are sober and have a short ride home is one thing. Having a few big brews and then taking some more home may be risk.

The actual prohibition to having any alcohol in the passenger compartment of a car comes from the Commonwealth.

Page 16 of 29 states:

§ 3809. Restriction on alcoholic beverages.

(a) General rule.--Except as set forth in subsection (b), an

individual who is an operator or an occupant in a motor vehicle

may not be in possession of an open alcoholic beverage container

or consume a controlled substance as defined in the act of April

14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance,

Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, or an alcoholic beverage in a

motor vehicle while the motor vehicle is located on a highway in

this Commonwealth.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Alcohol Free Navy

The Navy should not drink any form of alcohol. They have a stealth boat that inspired the ship used in the 1997 James Bond film, "Tomorrow Never Dies." The Navy is trying to GIVE AWAY the Sea Shadow to anyone that will put it on PUBLIC DISPLAY. But nobody has shown any viable interest so the Navy will cut it up for scrap. Let’s have a recap here boys and girls. The Navy (ours) has a secret ship that it wants to give away so the public can see it. The ship will no longer be secret (like, starting now?) and viewable to every man, woman and child in the world.

So, where is this boat now? Norfolk? Basement of the Pentagon? Dr. No’s garage? No, The Sea Shadow now berths inside the rusting hulk of the Hughes Mining Barge, a fully submersible dry dock at the Navy's Mole Pier in San Diego, California. (Was that a secret?) The ship, as well as the dry dock, are kept out of sight of spy satellites and from public view. Oh yes, the dock is for the taking, too. So, just one more re-cap. The Navy is trying to give away two rusting ships in the hope that they can be put on public display but for the time being they are top secret.

Is it fathomable (yes, pun time) to think that it is time that AA has a group session with the top brass?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Parking Rates a Complaint

In no surprise to anyone, the Republican controlled Parking Authority and Republican controlled City Council jacked up parking rates in Pittsburgh. Remember, the Democrats are for the working man. In an added bonus for rate-payers, certain people who have the power to put this in affect get a discount on their parking downtown. They should as they do so much to us.

In a show of force just to let us know who is in control, the parking people were out in force after the rate hike writing tickets at a feverish pace. Allegheny County Emergency Services reported that many of the ticket writers had to be rushed to area hospitals for writer’s cramp. No doubt we will get the bill for that.

So, should we bitch about this? No! Politicians have a deep desire to take money from people who actually earn it. The purpose for meters is not to remove money from your pocket but to control traffic and PROMOTE shopping. Rates need to be set to allow for doing business but not to give shoppers reason to stay home. It is also to prevent all day parking for people NOT shopping. Do politicians need to listen to our bitch? No! As long as we bend over and pay it they are happy. As long as the parking money is coming in as well as the tax paid by the merchants, the lords of the manor are content. Is there a solution? You betcha! But I don’t think anybody wants to hear it due to its painful side affects.

And what affect will the new tax and enforcement have? I say none. We got a smoking ban and people said bars would suffer yet I can’t get a seat. The drink tax was going to make people stay home but I can’t find a place to park. Much like the drink tax is yesterday’s news we will move on to another bitch soon enough. Hey, football is right around the corner.

I do have one complaint for the Parking Authority; FIX THE METERS! If I am going to pay can I at least see through the frosted window?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

South Side Bars Update

Update the Pubnetwork South Side bars since my last web version update.

City Grill

2019 E Carson St (river side)

Closed and said to become a new bar called the Blue Coconut.

Claddagh Irish Pub<>

407 Cinema Dr (North off Carson Street at S. 27th) South Side Works

Next to the cinema and sort of behind the Cheesecake Factory

Phone 412 381 4800, Web:

Problems seem to have been cleaned-up so stop in for a real Dublin Guinness.

District 3

2009 E Carson St (river side) between S 20th & S 21st Streets

Phone 412 ??? ????

Open for business.

Fat Heads South Shore Saloon<>

1805 E Carson St (river side) just east of South 18th St

Phone 412 431 7433, Web:!/fatheadspgh

Glenn has been serving Arsenal House Cider (fro the other side of town) for a short while and he is now serving Rough Spirits (from Oregon).

Le Brew House

2512 E Carson St (hill side)

Phone: 412-488-2223 Fax: 412-488-2232!/LeBrewHouse

Beer signs illuminated in the windows, tables and chairs out front and an open door indicates service is on.

Le Pommier Bistro Francais

2104 E Carson St (hill side)

The plywood window treatment indicates they may never reopen unless new owners take over. They have been closed for a long time, due to a fire, and should have been cleaned-up by now.

Piper’s Pub<>

1828 E Carson St (hill side) between South 18th & South 19th Streets

Phone 412 381 3977, Web!/piperspub

The three beer engines have been removed (RIP) and replaced with 4 new ones. Talk coming down the bar stools has it that there could be a cask ale festival this coming fall. Let us pray. Drew is no longer serving cask ale from the UK due to the warmer summer months coming thru but he continues to serve fine ales from Pennsylvania’s local brewers.

Smokin’ Joe’s

2001 East Carson St (river side) at South 20th St

Phone 412 431 6757,!/smokin_joes

I have not been able to get down for a first-hand check but it looks like they put out the butts and have gone smoke-free despite having a smoking exemption from the state. They do good food and good beer and that is good news. If you are concerned about the smoke please call first.

T & T Hardware

E Carson Street (hill side)

Long established hardware store closed and set to be transformed to a beer distributor “like you’ve never seen”. So says the sigh in the window. Not much one can do with a distributor so this could be interesting.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Flag on the Play

I have to say that the new media in this country is getting on my nerves. They generally leave out a lot of information in stories these days and sometimes write inflammatory headlines. The one today about Hines Ward being pulled out of a stolen car at gunpoint and handcuffed is one of them. What made it worst was the fact it was done by the local news chirps. Reading only the headline, one would think he did something to warrant this. After reading the story, it turns out that he is absent of any wrongdoing nor was any action on his part suspect. He wore a golden halo.

It turns out the driver reported it stolen, forgot where it was, found it and never told the police it was never missing. The police did what they did as a manner of procedure. Everyone was professional at all times, the story states. So, what should the headline have read? Hines Ward in car with idiot! Hines Ward shows off the best of Pittsburgh! He ain’t Ben! The fact that the facts in this story were true, they should not have been the headline. They were only to sensationalize the story and cause Iron City drinkers to choke of their suds. It was clear that Mr. Ward brought out the best of being a Pittsburgher. Too bad the news people can’t follow along.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

NRA Off Target

To paraphrase one of our past presidents: My fellow Americas, get a life. LBJ often spoke the beginning of that phrase. I added part two after hearing the attack on one of Pittsburgh’s institutions: Primanti’s. It seems that the NRA thinks Primanti’s has a political point-of-view not in line with theirs. The NRA wants to boycott Primanti’s, which I think is off target. I think they need to get their sights adjusted and see the real America, the one that accepts everybody no matter side of the menu one may be looking to order from.

To their credit, the Democrats did not condemn the real food maker after Glenn Beck (they hate him but he had harsh words for W, so go figure?) bought 400 sandwiches at the Strip District location for his show in Pittsburgh. Nor did the Republicans launch a boycott after Hillary paid a visit: undoubtedly looking to do take-out for Bill.

It was noted in the Post Gazette that one NRA member will no longer go to Primanti’s. May I ask: does one ask for political connections before going to any restaurant, barber, banker, grocer, butcher or candlestick maker? I don’t know if the NRA has an official policy on this and I don’t care. But guys; get a grip. The very place you are holding your convention was build by anti-gun democrats in a town run by democrats who you are giving your money too. Yet you want to boycott a company whose only interest is in making sandwiches. Get real. Heaven forbid you find a registered Democrat in your group. Primanti Brothers welcomes all who walk thru the doors and the NRA should welcome all Americans. It’s the American way.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Keep it Corked

Pittsburgh City Councilman Doug Shields has launched an attack on massage parlors in the city. They are not only illegal they are not good for the well being of a community. About the same time Mr. Shields started rubbing the parlors the wrong way, an interesting article appeared in the Post. Apparently Papa J’s restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh has adverts on their coasters that is catching more than overflowing beer. The coasters have pictures of women that encourage finger exercising. You need to read the story yourself.

From what the Post writes, it would appear that these ads are demeaning to women. It is one thing to look at a women tastefully posing in a magazine but something else all together to have holes in strategic location to insert ones fingers, followed by instructions. Not a good move on Pap’s part. The coasters may be placed on the bar and not on tables but they are a restaurant none the less and children could come to see them. What does dad say when little Jane sees the mats? For that matter, should female wait staff have to deal with comments made by customers?

Papa J’s is a good place and maker of the best white pizza around. They stopped the ad campaign, which was the smart thing to do. Bars and restaurants should be a place for enjoyment by all and not a place to cultivate lewd or offensive behavior. The coasters could just get things fermenting. It is sad that some people may think this is “sour grapes” but some things just need to remain corked.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Beaver Brewing at OTB

Dan Woodske of Beaver Brewing had a Pittsburgh release of their brews yesterday at the OTB Bicycle Bar on E Carson St. On tap and in growlers were the three regulars: I Porter Ale, Camoline, and Basil. Also in growler form but in limited quantity was the excellent Kvass.

I Porter Ale is a bit of a porter with hop character found in an IPA.

Basil is an amber ale made with basil grown by Dan.

Chamomile Wheat made with Chamomile Flowers, Fuggle and Hallertau Hops. Not your typical wheat beer but very pleasant.

None of the beers are over 6% so one can have more than one should you desire a personal beer tasting.

Kvass should get Lew Bryson to town as it is well within the “session ale” range; coming in between 1% to 2% ABV. Yes, that’s right; a drinkable beer that is not 17.76% ABV. This original Russian style beer is made with baked bread, water, lemon peel and raisins with just a dash of barley and hops, too.

One thing that I noticed was the people at the bar and in the back. They were all young (over 21, of course). You could feel the exuberance as they all were drinking what we call craft beer nowadays. Between the bar crowd and the OTC Beer Club the focus was on the beer. This was not a drink fest but a bunch of young lads and lassies enjoying well-made beers. I was told that the number of club members in that evening was unexpectedly high. Probably a result in looking to see what the new kid on the block was brewing. Judging by the turnout and reception the beers received I tooks like Dan will be busy as a … No, I just can’t say it.



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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bad Press

Most Sundays the hard copy Pittsburgh Post Gazette is thin. Not much going on in the world so no need to print a fat paper. But today's was thick and heavy. After getting to breakfast and opening it I found (as I often do) that half of it was missing. This is partially the fault of the Post as they make underpaid out-sourced workers assemble it at point of sale. What made today's different? It had 11 sets of the PG Store inserted whereas it should have had only ONE. It this the Post's way of ridding itself of unwanted paper? Oh the trees that gave their lives for sports.

The fact that the Post does a better job of reporting on beer news (thanks to Bob Batz) and has more local news, I would switch over to the Trib. But they do not print Dilbert. I will stay with the Post but look for another place to buy it. How could I change papers? I would miss how the Post crinkles the paper in production at no extra cost to me.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Brik Room

Mantini’s changed its name to the Brik Room and has reopened as of Friday, 15 April 2011 after a rebuild. Here is the link to their website, The Brik Room. Their Facebook page has been updated but it still goes by the old name of Mantini’s.

I find it interesting that the crab cake apitizer went up from $7 to $10, yet the crab cake sandwich is also $10. The crab cake diner has two cakes for $19.

I was too tipsy yesterday to stop in but plan to soon. No telling if the old bar staff has been retained or replaced. Harry on Saturday was a good bartender. I hope they kept him as he seemed a good fit there.

South Side Living

Just two reasons why South Side is a great place to live. Toys to play with at night and so many places to drop off your empty bottles.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Patio 10

I checked out Patio 10 one Saturday afternoon just before 6 so I can legally say I was there in the evening. What a pleasant time I had. With Guinness in hand I was talking to the bar manager Rae, a young lady who obviously has a grasp on customer service. One could have a nice talk in this place, as it is not ear-bleeding noisy as some other places. The d├ęcor was easy on the eyes too. I liked the space age lamps hanging over the bar that reminded me of George Jetson’s home.

Parking can be tough anywhere on the South Side and here is no exception. You can pull in off 10th Street and enter the hotel parking lot before 3 pm; just say your going to Patio 10. After 3 for is hotel guests only but you can leave any time. Parking is available at the Riverset Credit Union lot one block away at Bingham, on the left. Only after they close please; after 4:30 weekdays but 6 on Thursdays.

On a subsequent visit I had a crab cake sandwich and potato soup. The food was good and service was quick. The other bartender was nice to talk with and judging by the others at the bar nobody was leaving anytime soon. Ok, so this isn’t a review that you would read by a real food writer but head on down and give the place a try. They are tied to Nakama.


20 S 10th Street at Muriel Street at the foot of the South 10th Street Bridge

Phone 412 904 2898

Located in the Holiday Inn Express building and where Amalfi on Tenth used to be.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

St. Patrick's Day 2011

I was surprised by the lack of noise on this past Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day public urination fest. It was a lot better than years gone by and I am at a loss to figure out why. Perhaps it was because the kiddies spent more time drinking instead of yelling? The Post Gazette reports that there were 37 citations for public urination (only 37); eight for failure to clean up urine (how?); 18 for public intoxication (Joe Wilson: You Lie!); six for possessing an open container of alcohol (how does one drink out of a closed container?); two for harassment; six for disorderly conduct; one for criminal mischief; and two for obstructing a passage way (just walk over him). This was just on the South Side.

Also, there were a handful of arrests: one person was arrested for drunken driving (I think there were more); two for possessing a controlled substance; one for public intoxication; one for prowling; one for criminal trespass, resisting arrest and theft; and one for marijuana possession, public intoxication, escape, public urination.

What I want to know is how do you clean up urine and did the cops cite the homeowner? Actually, the Post went to bed (that’s real newspaper talk) too early or they would have gotten the big scoop. One young woman had a night she will never forget and it wasn’t sex in the city. She was in the 1800 block of East Carson Street at 3 am when some male wanted to show her his manhood. He hit her in the face and knocked out three or four of her teeth. The police nabbed him on 17th & Carson and took him to the County Jail where he should have his lucky charms removed.

I was a bit concerned that the cops were going to close Carson Street when I saw all the barricades at every intersection. Apparently they were just placed there so the kiddies would have something to play with at 3:30 am. As I went to breakfast early Sunday morning I got to watch some of the partygoers sleeping at intersections and going thru those pesky red lights. Hey, this is why people from the world over are flying in to America’s most drinkable city.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Primanti's South Side

In a story that you will only read when you are in a comma, Primanti Brothers have settled a lawsuit that started when they printed too much information on credit & debit card receipts. Had you used yours at the South Side location between certain dates you can get a free sandwich. But in doing so you loose you right to sue and spend more money that the sandwich is worth. Apparently, WTAE reporters interviewed customers who paid cash and are upset. It was reported that: “Customers who accept a free meal give up their right to sue, but some said they don't have an option because they used cash”. To these people I have to ask: do you have coleslaw for brains? Do you plan on breeding anytime before I am admitted to a nursing home? You have not been harmed unless you paid by card or chomped down on a toothpick, in which I feel sorry for the pick. Mother Mary of God help me for there are people walking the earth that make me look smart.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Le Brew House South Side

Updating the site to include a new brewpub opening on the South Side this April. Sorry, this update (March 21) to clarify that this is not a brew pub but only a bar/restaurant. Still, I am excited.

Le Brew House (Not a Brewpub, but a bar) Scheduled opening in April 2011

2512 E Carson St (hill side) former Mill Site tavern

Phone: 412-488-2223 Fax: 412-488-2232




Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pennsylvania Wine Monopoly

Former US Ambassador Dan Simpson wrote a story in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette (2 March 2011) that caught my eye. The sub-headline was “They enjoy feisty politics and wines you can't get in Pa.”. That alone caused me to ask a question. Upon reading the story I had a few comments to add, but for another time. My first question to Mr. Simpson is to give an example of what wine(s) one cannot get in Pennsylvania that he apparently enjoys in France. It has always been my understanding that to avoid a monopoly the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must sell any and all wines sold in this country on the open market. There may be some caveats but we should be able to get them. Do any of my readers know of brands that are prohibited in Pa, but not in the other 57 states? Are the wines he drinks in Paris only available in Europe? There may be a reason that he cannot get his here. Mr. Simpson writes for a newspaper long known to support privatizing the state store system. Should that ever happen would any and all wines sold on the open market be sold in EVERY wine store in the state?

As for beer, there is no upper limit on how much alcohol can be in a beer. All beer can be sold in Pa. but with one BIG difference. The state does not care if you can get it. The importers and distributor decide what you will drink. They can respond to market demands but sometimes need electro-shock to get moving. Go to Fat Head’s, Smokin Joe’s, or any Sharp Edge and I can point out about 75% of the stock that I was told cannot be sold in Pa. because “we would have to buy a pallet”. Sometimes I wish I could buy beer like I can buy wine.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pittsburgh Beer Festivals 2011

There are a number of beer festivals coming up this year that we may want to place in your calendars. One special note not on a festival is the introduction of Beaver Brewing Company tasting at Bocktown on March 9 at 6pm.

April 16 is the Erie Brewer’s Festival. This year’s focus will be on Ohio brewers.

April 29 and 30, 2011: Seven Springs has a brewski festival and who could do better than a ski resort? Scheduled for .

May 6 Fat Head's will hold a Brewer’s Ball and local beer tasting event to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. At the IBEW Union Hall Ballroom on the South Side.

May 13 & 14 brings the International Beer Festival to Cleveland, Ohio. There is not a lot of info yet out on this festival.

June always starts the first Saturday with the ever-popular Penn Brewery Micro Brewer’s Festival.

June 25 & 26 finishes with the Sharp Edge European Beer Festival . This is the only one in America that gives focus on European brews.

August 13 is set for the Millvale Brew Festival

August 20 has the State College Brew Expo. One a sad note, the Penn State Beer Expo, which was one of the best, has changed locations. It was always held at the Penn Stater in State College. I enjoyed the indoor venue as well as being able to take an elevator back to my room. This year it is re-locating to the Tussey Mountain Ski Resort.

September Big Pour

Schedule for late September, this has always drawn a huge crowd. I may not be in attendance. They promote the buy local school of thought and who can argue against that? In as much as they do bring in out of towners, they seem to have gone out of their way to exclude one of our own brewers. Rock Bottom Brewery in Homestead was not invited last year and it looks like they may not be invited this coming September. I do not know why. I know there is a board of directors in charge of the Big Pour but I do not know if they are behind this or the owner of Construction Junction. I happen to enjoy Rock Bottom and see no reason to exclude them. If anyone knows why let me know.

No glasses were dropped or broken in the preparation of this post.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Big Ono

I see that I picked up another reader. Thanks to all of you who do read my work. I have to call out to the Big Ono just to say that I love his graphic image that is off to the side here. Nice work. Cheers.

District 3 Bar

After reading last week of Town Tavern closing and District 3 coming in its place, I took a walk down today to see how things are moving along. The new local owners must be politicians or lawyers or both. They have the LCB liquor license posted in the front window but they could not have got it higher up. Do they what people to be able to read it? It must be so that we can take in the marvelous art work standing in for window covering. I wonder if they will be open for St. Pat's Day?

South Side Club Fight

Big fight at the Caravan Club on Carson at 3 AM. Must have had 100 people inside. Anybody want to bitch about the "bars" being trouble. This place has more fights than inside the House of Representatives. Anyway, it brought a big police response and medic request. I bet the community leaders look the other way with this club. And why does the bank give them private parking? And yes, this was posted at 3 AM. I just with I did video so I could post the pee-a-thon outside.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wine Beer

Very often I hear people say how some high strength beers are like wine. Like wow! I grit me teeth when I hear this, as it is sometimes misleading to make a point. There is a correct perception that wine is higher in alcohol that beer relativity speaking. Factually it is incorrect as some wines approach beer strength. In today’s market of ever increasingly beer strengths, some brews may exceed some wines. What determines a type of alcoholic drink is its ingredients and manufacture. Beer is a fermented malt beverage while wine is fermented grape juice. Cider is fermented apple juice and perry is fermented pear juice. Although ordinary beer is 5%, it can be made much stronger but it does not BECOME wine. Yes, I know that the beer-wine comparison is used to illustrate a point, but it gives me reason to rant.

Actually, scotch is more like beer than wine. Scotch is a malt bases drink that is born from the brewing process. In a nutshell, grain is germinated, which converts starch into sugar. The germination process is stopped and it is now malt. The malt is added to hot water so the sugar can be extracted from the malt. Yeast is added which feeds on the sugars. The by-products of this buffet are carbon dioxide and alcohol. Plants consume one substance as food. Humans consume the other to make the opposite sex more attractive. This beer is distilled and the alcohol vapors are condensed into scotch.

This is a nice article on making scotch.

To make wine: smash grapes, yeast ferments juice, drink. Simple.

Mantini’s Wood Fired

I was reading the reviews posted on Tripadvisor and was a little surprised by what I saw. I am always amused when I read comments by people who do not review restaurants, etc. with a guidance plan. They usually state their experience by what they saw on their visit. This is fare as it is what actually happened to them. It can also be a bit misleading due to a one time glitch or a problem not caused by the restaurant. Still, some people have the opinion of “best place I’ve ever been to” to “worst place I’ve ever been to”. I often think “are these people in the same place?”

In the case for Mantini’s on the South Side, the reviews were so top heavy with negative reviews that I had to give a lot of credence to them. Although some reviews were about the service by the staff, the majority had to do with the owner. I have to say that what was said about the owner was overall correct. As for the staff, how the owner runs the ship is how the crew responses. I am happy to inform all those who had a bad time that the old owner has left the ship and a new captain is at the controls. I have had excellent service by all members of staff and enjoy going there. They also do steak far better than me. Anyway, here is one of my tenets on restaurants. If I had a problem with a restaurant I will always go back. If a problem persists that would be a good sign that things are not well. Don’t let one bad experience turn you off to a place. With new ownership at Mantini’s things are much better now.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pooch Back at Penn Brewery

In a move that shows they know what they are doing, the new owners of Penn Brewery have brought back Pooch to the operations. Don't ask me his real name as I don;t think anyone ever hear it. But, if your a long-time regular to the brewery then you know who I mean. He will be dealing with back room operations such as material handling and other what nots. Nick, Any and Steve are still the brewing end of the business.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Katherine Jenkins

In as much as I would love to rant about something this fine Sunday morning, I shall not. Instead I am going to give you a treat. Well, not ranting may be a treat in itself. Please click on this You Tube video for some delightful singing by a beautiful Welsh singer, Katherine Jenkins. Nothing more needs said.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pa State Stores and Our Business

Ah, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and the State Store system. So much can be written about that and so much has. So let me give it a “shot”. When talking about the LCB the subject most discussed is the state store system. Here is Pa. we have to buy wines and spirits from the government. Why? Just because! Some people want the system to be privatized while others want to keep it under the control of people don’t have real jobs. Let’s take a look at some this. But first I am going to get strong coffee.

Recently, Antony Davies, associate professor of economics at Duquesne University and a senior scholar at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va. wrote a letter to the editor in the trib. He asked if the private sector could sell alcohol more efficiently than the state? His retort was that government has never done a more efficient job than private sector. My comment to Mr. Davies is to get off the campus more and see how private business is run. There is no law that says private business has to run efficiently, make money or give customers what they want. If that were not true then Dilbert would not exist. I have seen things done in retail that would make a government bureaucrat weep with envy.

The practice of operating efficiently does not have to be applied with the state store system. They have no competition other than boarder states and as long as we go in to buy wines and spirits at said price, what are they loosing? Could they make more money? Yes, But they are making money and being more efficient will not translate to lower costs for us. Under private hands, price could go up, selection could go down and we would still be bitching. And let’s us not forget the restaurant people. They now buy from a single source. How would they obtain stock? A central wholesaler who could control cost or multiple vendors fighting for sales? Should “big alcohol” go private don’t expect your Thunderbird to be delivered with unicorns.

Mr. Davis brought up the issue of underage drinking and drunk-driving (that’s drink-drive for my British readers). First of all, if alcohol was the only thing youngsters were taking in, it would be better than what they are taking in now. Getting booze and smokes have always been obtainable. How about dad’s liquor cabinet?

I have several issues to Mr. Davis’ comments on drunk driving and binge drinking. He said that Pennsylvania had equivalent underage drinking rates but higher drunk-driving fatality rates than privatized states. I cannot dispute this but what does it have to do with anything? First of all we need to remember that not all alcohol comes from state stores. Beer comes from distributors. I don’t think many people walk out of a state store or beer distributor and start drinking on the way home. Other than drinking at home, a lot of people drink in bars, clubs and restaurants. This is all private. Right now people are drinking beer, wine and whiskey and getting drunk and driving. Privatizing the system will do nothing to change this. If you want to link drunken driving to the state store then you need to eliminate all drunk driving incidents what were due to beer only. If that could be done it would mean nothing.

I have concerns and interests in how the LCB operates in general but as for state stores I don’t buy wines or spirits for home so I don’t care one hoot about them other than the state budget and my taxes. Anyway, should the system go private I am sure that we will have a good selection. As for price, we will pay for the value and not the worth. By that I mean that the price will based on what we are willing to pay as opposed what it cost to stock an item plus mark-up.

I am sure that all who read this has an opinion one way or another. I don’t see how a change in a products distribution will change its end use. All that is germane to this topic is taxes generated, price and selection. Right now we can bring our grievance to our representatives. We have been doing that and it has not gotten any better. Once the system goes private none of this will be any of our business.

Incidentally, I am only using Mr. Davis’ comments as he wrote a letter today and I could not pass it up. He said what a lot of people are saying and I think much of it is moot.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Architects and builder work together to create beautiful buildings for pubs and restaurants. Why do the owners of pubs and restaurants go to great measures to make them blighted for the sake of attracting customers. I am talking about vinyl signs. They are a blight on the landscape and if proposed at a zoning or planning commission hearing the project would be shot down. Community groups demand building owners abide by strict standards. Here on Carson Street owners need permission to paint the buildings and the city even gets to approve the colors. Yet the vinyl signs get strung up and nobody bitches. I drove past Patio 10 today. Lovely place with a nice patio (but just 1) with a nice view of the Bluff. But out front are 3 eye-sores. Guys, can we do better. Maybe it's just me. It always is. But I just don't like vinyl signs on buildings. Across the river can be seen the UPMC and BNY Mellon signs. You may or may not want them there but aren't they better than having a vinyl sign flapping in wind? Well, that's it. No more rant. I am off to Fat Heads.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Adult Magazines

Should beer magazines and newspapers be covered in plastic akin to many of the “other” adult magazines that have more pictures than text? This may seem an odd question but what leads me to ask this is what I see on the Internet. It is very common to get to a brewery or distributor home page (usually based in the US) and having to select the “I am over 21 button” to go further. Is there some Federal law that prohibits those under 21 from reading a site that describes beers and trying to sell said product? I know of no such law yet many having such sites seem to think otherwise.

If we are to protect the kiddies from viewing naked beer bottles on the web then should not all viewing of alcohol be prohibited? Young people see adverts in newspapers, storefronts (if you are not in Pa.), State Store windows (in you are in Pa.), and so on and so on. And good god lets not forget about those sports events and TV commercials. I can’t fathom the adult nature that is presumed in brewery and distributor website and I have ever seen anything “adult” about them. Maybe the powers to be are trying to save the children from accidently seeing photos of Miss Frothingslosh? If there is some rule on this I’d like to know. I would also like to know if anyone looking for “model trains” has ever clicked the “No, I am NOT 21” button!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pub Walk in the Snow

I just have to say that I love living on the South Side. Other than when a sports team wins as I get pee on my house for days. But I love to walk to my pub. Today it started to snow during rush hour and everybody is in a panic. I came home from work and did a load of laundry and then said, "how what"? I took a nice stroll down to Dish Osteria for a pint (3 actually) and some octopus stew. Nobody on the street and nobody in the bar except for me and four lovely ladies. Ah, the enjoyment of living on the South Side. It does have its down side at times but to be able to walk to your pub in any kind of weather is worth the city tax. After an hour or so several other locals came in with the same thought as me. Walk a few blocks to a nice warm bar with good food and friends and with no fear of getting pulled over for a DUI. This is what a pub makes. Yes, you guys in the suburbs can have your Saturday lawn mowing and driving a mile to get a quart of milk. Me, I will be enjoying a pint (3 actually) at my pub with four lovely ladies. Just wanted to rub it in a bit.