At this point, Barrel & Flow Fest needs little introduction. Year by year, the celebration of Black beer, Black music, and Black culture has grown in influence not just locally, but on an international level. It’s pretty simple what it is at this point; one of the most important and impressive beer festivals in the world.
So instead of re-hashing all the things that make the festival great, let’s take a look at some of what you can expect if you’re attending on Saturday:
Biggest Hype BeerOther Half x Rock Leopard - “What’s the Scenario?”
Not to be cliche, but anytime Other Half is involved, there’s a chance it’ll be on the most hyped beer list. The Brooklyn-based legends will be cooking up a new version of their famous IPAs, and they’re doing it with Britain’s Black-owned Rock Leopard Brewery, which also qualifies it for the furthest distance that a brewery is traveling for the festival.
Best Label DesignLevante x Four City x SVRVH Designs - “Fine Hearts”
With Barrel & Flow, this might be the hardest category to choose. With every label being done by a Black artist specifically for the fest, the beer is accompanied by a series of stunning graphics. But this design by SVRVH Designs is just beautiful, and immediately draws your eye to the Strawberry Hefe these breweries have concocted.
Best Musical ActNASH.V.ILL
Listen, I’m not being creative here, but NASH.V.ILL, the brainchild of brilliant Pittsburgh guitarist Byron Nash and vocalist Jacquea Mae, deserves the headliner slot for a reason. A mix of funk, rock, soul, spoken word, and so much more that is guaranteed to bring down the house.
Most Unique CollaborationGrist House x Wiz Khalifa - “Steel City Sunshine”
A collab between one of Pittsburgh’s most iconic craft breweries and … Wiz Khalifa and the rest of Taylor Gang? Yeah, that’s a moment. This wheat ale brewed with terpenes will probably be both delicious and as unique as the people involved in making it.
Most Underrated Brewery to Watch ForDream State Brewing
Another category that has so many choices, but if you’re there Saturday, make sure to try out Florida’s Dream State, and their collab with local legends Voodoo Brewery. Dream State, a Black-owned start-up from Miami, is hitting the hype that most new breweries only dream of, and they’re just getting going. Might as well get them now while you can.
Best Food Spot to HitSooo Delicious Kitchen
Look, it’s pretty simple. You’re drinking a lot of beers in the sun, right? So there is literally no better way to combat that than soaking them up with decadent waffles, fried chicken, and mac bowls. It’s a winning formula to get the most out of your indulgence.
Barrel & Flow Fest. 12-9 p.m. (VIP), 3-9 p.m. (Early Access), 5-9 p.m. (General Admission.) Sat. Aug. 13. The Stacks at 3 Crossings. 2865 Railroad St., Strip District. $27-215. barrelandflow.com