“If one were to establish a Pittsburgh Beer Hall of Fame, inducting local-area beers that have achieved widespread acclaim and cultural relevance beyond our own region, then East End Brewing’s legendary Gratitude barleywine would be a foregone inclusion.”
In an emerging world of craft beer where very few options existed outside of mass-produced lagers, East End was an immediate stand-out in the local scene. Established in 2004, the Larimer brewery is one of the flagships of the Pittsburgh beer scene, gaining its footing years before craft beer was a go-to option for many people.
The centerpiece of all of this was Gratitude. One of the first “hype” beers, Dancing Gnome founder Andrew Witchey says in an email, “Gratitude was the first beer I ever stood in line for when I was a wee 22 year old falling in love with fermented beverages.”
East End has been brewing the barleywine since its very first year, and soon, Gratitude became its own local beer “holiday,” a beer worthy of celebrating across the city. This year, the brewery will celebrate Gratitude Day on Sat., Feb. 19.
“Mostly this year, I'm excited that the world has stopped burning enough for us to host a proper Gratitude Day here,” says East End founder Scott Smith. “It's always been more than 'just the beer' for us, so we're pleased to be able to see friends in person again and share a beer with them.”
Visitors to the event will be able to choose from the following new releases:
- 2022 Gratitude
- Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrel Aged Gratitude
- Templeton and Sagamore Rye Barrel Aged Gratitude
- Laphroaig Scotch Barrel Aged Gratitude
- “Also, Thanks!” - a brand new Wheat Wine
All of these offerings will be available on draft and in cans on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. Also available in bottles will be multiple vintage Gratitude offerings, dating back to 2016. And East End didn’t forget about its renowned pizza. East End Chewing, the brewery’s pizza shop, is cooking up a special release pie, Pizzatude, for the event, with garlic herb oil, mozzarella, sliced figs, blue cheese, bacon (veg available), arugula, and hot honey drizzle.
However, maybe the coolest part of this year's event is that it's not limited to East End’s taproom. For those who can’t make it to the brewery on Saturday to enjoy a pour of Gratitude, chances are your favorite local brewery will have it on draft. 16 local breweries are showing their love for the Pittsburgh icon by pouring a keg of it, including 11th Hour Brewing, 412 Brewery, Allegheny City Brewing, Brew Gentlemen, Brewdog, Cinderlands Foederhouse, Cobblehaus Brewing, Dancing Gnome, Golden Age Beer Company, Headley’s Brewing, Inner Groove Brewing, Mastic Trail Brewing, Old Thunder Brewing, Spoonwood Brewing, Trace Brewing, and War Streets Brewery.
“I don't think I'm overstating it when I say this, but the notion of all of these breweries wanting to tap kegs at their places, and share Gratitude Day with us like this ... it really feels like an all-time high point in my beer career,” says Smith. “Seriously ... this is like the coolest thing that's ever happened to East End Brewing. This is really an incredible community of beer that we have here!”
Gratitude Day. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat., Feb. 19. East End Brewing. 147 Julius St. Larimer. eastendbrewing.com