Local Spotlight: Full Pint Brewing in North Versailles

Walking into Full Pint Brewing, located off of Route 30 (near Rivertowne), I wasn’t quite sure what to think. I’ve read plenty about the craft beer they produce and how great it is, and visiting the brewery and the pub has been on my Summer to-do list for some time. However, I was kind of thrown by the location and nature of it, in a good way. The brewery and pub are tucked away on the hillside and kind of difficult to see from the road. Walking up to the warehouse, all of the garage doors were wide open. I could see the kettles and busy people working to box the products. The pub area is sort of just a “come on in and check us out” kind of area, and the casual nature of Full Pint is really awesome.

Pub Entrance to Full Pint Brewing

Pub Entrance to Full Pint Brewing

There wasn’t anyone else in the pub except for another guest enjoying a beer at the bar. Because of his friendliness, knowledge of the brewery, and comfortable attitude, I just assumed he was an owner. He wasn’t, but he was still helpful.

Ironically, I found while writing this post, he’s Eric Starkey– the host of the YouTube channel “Beers in the Burgh.” And he did a great spot on Full Pint a couple of months ago which highlights parts of the brewery, the brewing process, the types of beers offered, and some of the owners:

Beers in the Burgh has some other great spotlights on other local brewers. Check out their channel, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to take a tour of my own. The brewery was very busy, probably in preparation for the inaugural “Pittsburgh Summer Beerfest” at Stage AE TODAY and tomorrow, in which Full Pint will be featured. Ticket information is available here.

Decisions, decisions..

Decisions, decisions..

I did sample a few of the beers, however, including the “All In Amber,” “Little Brown Ale,” “Spruce Ale,” and the 2012 Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medalist and 2013 World Beer Competition Silver Medalist “White Lightning,” and ended up having a “full pint” (ouch) of the latter, award-winning Belgian-style white ale.

Along with the open, comfortable pub atmosphere with seemingly limitless drink options, Full Pint will be expanding their pub menu to include food as well. Right now they offer house made pizzas (which one of the founders talks about in the video above-it sound delicious), but a full pub menu will be available August 1.

The wall behind the bar in the pub was stacked with stickers of other local brewers, bars, and businesses from the Pittsburgh area which was another awesome thing about Full Pint: the hometown feel and authenticity of the place. The people I met were nice, knowledgeable, and very helpful. The whole place just has this really unique feel to it. As evidenced above, the names and label designs of the beers are all really cool and creative. The label for “White Lightning” even features a fictional version of one of Full Pint’s founders.

Customers can come in and grab a drink or two like I did, however full purchases of cases, six-packs (custom variety packs are available as well), clothing, and soon to be food are also available. So if you’re ever in the North Versailles area, pop into Full Pint Brewing and see what it’s all about– I know I’ll be going back.

A Chill Evening with Zac Brown Band at First Niagara Pavilion

The view from the lawn at First Niagara Pavilion for Zac Brown Band

The view from the lawn at First Niagara Pavilion for Zac Brown Band

This past weekend I attended the Zac Brown Band show and it was the first time I made the trip out to First Niagara Pavilion to see a concert. Strange to think, I know. I was a little apprehensive, I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about what a pain it is getting in and out of there and most of them were true. I actually got lost going out there and took a detour, plus the traffic just getting to the point where you can get lost is trouble in and of itself.

But once you get past the fact that it’s in the middle of nowhere, First Niagara Pavilion turns into an awesome venue. The stage is huge and offers a lot of options for artists to use it in different ways- something Zac Brown Band took full advantage of during their show with flashing lights, narrative images on the big screen, as well as a live concert projection for those of us hanging out in the lawn. The giant lawn opens things up and gives people room to breath and the acoustics are fantastic. No matter where I was throughout the night I could clearly hear everything coming from the stage. Unfortunately I missed opening act Levi Lowrey because of my little detour getting out there, but when Zac Brown Band finally took the stage everyone was itching to get the night started.

The cool thing about Zac Brown is that he has this uncanny ability to stretch across a wide range of topics and niches. He’s country to the bone there’s no doubt about that. But he’s also got some Jimmy Buffet-Beach Bum in him and that Beard-Beanie trademark screams (pun intended) aspects of hard rocking metal. This all-encompassing genre medley is seemingly effortless for him and his band as they rolled through song after song for over two hours. Just take a gander at some of the covers they played: snippets of Bob Marley’s “One Love,” John Mayer’s “Neon” (pre Born and Raised, country-ish Mayer), Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion”, Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”, and a fast-paced rendition of the Charlie Daniels Band’s “Devil Went Down to Georgia.” It’s such an odd assortment of songs, and would definitely be an iTunes playlist fail in theory.

But Brown strings reggae, classic rock, metal, and back-woods country in a manner that comes across so naturally authentic, which is what makes him such a mass appeal. One look at the crowd and you can see the people there were just as diverse as the set list. There were rowdy Marlboro men, hard rockers, hippies, borderline Parrotheads- all thrown together with families and people just looking to have a good time and see a great show-something everyone can agree on. If you asked me to describe the show in one word I would honestly say “chill”, in the best urbandictionary definition possible. People hung out on the lawn, danced, and had a blast. The crowd couldn’t get enough, and Brown delivered with a stacked show full of jam sessions and a 25 song set list. It got to the point where I was checking my phone to see what time it was because I thought he’d never get off the stage.

Plus Brown loves Pittsburgh, look he specifically says he means it:

So to all of the other cities that Zac Brown has loved in the past, HE DIDN’T MEAN IT.

Full Setlist:

  1. Jump Right In
  1. Whiskey’s Gone
  1. Settle Me Down
  1. Highway 20 Ride
  2. Where The Boat Leaves From/One Love

    Zac Brown Band @ BamaJam Music Festival

    Zac Brown Band @ BamaJam Music Festival (Photo credit: ConcertTour)

  3. Toes
  4. One Day
  1. As She’s Walking Away
  1. Neon/Isn’t She Lovely (John Mayer cover)
  2. Free/Into the Mystic (Van Morrison cover)

Acoustic

  1. Seven Bridges Road
  2. Babylon (David Gray cover)
  3. Day That I Die
  4. Sweet Emotion (Aerosmith cover)
  5. The Frozen Man (James Taylor cover with Percussion solos)
  1. Keep Me in Mind
  1. Colder Weather
  1. Knee Deep
  2. The Wind
  3. Enter Sandman (Metallica cover)
  4. Goodbye In Her Eyes
  1. Chicken Fried

Encore:

  1. Uncaged
  1. Kashmir (Led Zeppelin cover-short version)
  2. The Devil Went Down to Georgia (The Charlie Daniels Band cover)

Via setlist.fm

Thanks to the awesome fan in attendance who took this really clear, great quality video (unlike most self-shot concert videos) of “Knee Deep.”

 

The “Yinz”-ternship: Commonwealth Press, Knit the Bridge, Nathan’s Hot Dogs, and more

Note: Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are NOT IheartPGH interns

Note: Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are NOT IheartPGH interns

What is it that the interns at IheartPGH spend most of their time doing all week? Well, aside from writing posts and helping to develop the web and social media content of IheartPGH, we take field trips and get out of the office and into the ‘Burgh frequently to check out what’s happening!

Just in the past two weeks we stumbled upon the Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest in Pittsburgh (Market Square) for the regional qualifier for the 4th of July competition in Coney Island.

Appetites for hot dogs still intact, we headed to Franktuary downtown for some delish dogs.
IMG_2817We also popped into Boutique 208, which was a part of the Project Pop-Up Pittsburgh Movement and is here to stay now.
IMG_2828
Some of us even took a few tours of Techshop last week, learning all about the tools and projects housed there (look for upcoming posts on some of the exciting start-ups operating out of their space).

This past week we’ve done some really exciting stuff. On Monday, we took a trip down to the South Side to tour the “start-up accelerator” space, Alphalab, and met with some really awesome Pittsburgh entrepenuers. We also extensively toured and learned about the process of designing and printing at Commonwealth Press, and will mostly likely be working with them in creating and designing our new merchandise.

We also stopped to check out the Knit the Bridge project in which quilted railings and panels will be used to cover the Warhol Bridge. It’s a really amazing idea and there has been an outstanding amount of participation from the community.

Outside of Knit the Bridge Pittsburgh

Outside of Knit the Bridge Pittsburgh

A couple of us met with Brett from OnlyinPgh at Zeke’s to brainstorm and share ideas about a photo submission we’re thinking of starting here at IheartPGH since Brett has had a lot of valuable experience to share with us. Keep a lookout for photo submission contests as well and get snapping!

A lot of the times when we’re out taking these tours and seeing the really cool things going on in the Pittsburgh area, we’re taking pictures. Many of these pictures are posted on our Instagram, FOLLOW US! You can also stay up to date through our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Here are some of the choice pictures from our past few “field trips”:

So where should the interns head next? What exciting and fun events are going on next week? Leave a comment, Facebook or Tweet us!

“Ian Watches” PGH Movie of the Week: Adventureland

Adventureland (film)

Adventureland (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the inaugural post of what will hopefully become a weekly event. Basically I watch movies based or filmed in and around the Pittsburgh area, give a quick spiel about the movie, and display all of the Pittsburgh locations shown in the movie. That way, if you so please, you can visit said locations and say, “Hey, Batman was on this sidewalk!” If that’s the kind of thing you’re into. Also for those movies filmed in Pittsburgh, but not set in Pittsburgh in the movie’s plot, I will reveal the giveaways of how the movie messed up in hiding the fact that it’s Pittsburgh (kind of a snobby, “nice try, but you won’t fool us!” kind of thing). For film suggestions that you’d like to see, please comment or submit them via e-mail at Ian@IheartPGH.com

This week’s installment is the 2009 comedy Adventureland, starring the likes of Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader, and Kristen Wiig, among others. It was filmed on location at Kennywood park and some other local areas that we’ll get to later. Set in 1987, it’s about a recent college graduate who ends up living at home for the summer in Pittsburgh and working a job at the local theme park “Adventureland” (Kennywood). It’s a little dated, but seeing as it’s early into Summer, I thought it would be an appropriate start with all of the Kennywood picnic outings and memorable (for better or worse) summer jobs in full swing. Plus, it seems like plenty of people still make the connection between Kennywood and the film.

Though I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone (it garnered an R rating “for language, drug use, and sexual references”), I thought it was a charming, funny, coming-of-age/finding-your-place film. It’s well-casted and there are Pittsburgh references and familiar sites all throughout the film.

However, within moments of the start when Eisenberg’s character learns that he has to live at home during the summer, one of his snobby, yuppie friends comments “Summer in Pittsburgh, that’s [expletive] harsh.” To which Eisenberg responds, “They don’t like people like us where I’m from, we’re romantics.” Speak for yourself, pal! Another unbelievable part occurs when Eisenberg’s character scoffs at the idea of taking journalism courses at Pitt with the possibility of interning on “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood,” calling it a “children’s show with marionettes.” Now what Pittsburgher in their right mind would ever have anything negative to say about Fred Rogers?

Grudges aside, there are some other nice local references. For instance, one character tries to get Lisa P. (the “popular” 80’s chick working the Music Express) to go to a Judas Priest concert at the Civic Arena. Although I’ve found no evidence that Judas Priest actually ever played the Civic Arena, the small detail was a nice touch. The rest of the soundtrack is pretty awesome as well, especially if you like Lou Reed. Eisenberg makes K-Stew cassette mix tapes with Lou Reed songs and talks about how he’s his personal hero, while Ryan Reynolds claims to have jammed with Lou Reed to the awe of all his coworkers (even though he consistently mispronounces “Satellite of Love” at one point). Seriously, Lou Reed is all over this movie (I ain’t mad). Note: there are some nice shots of local sites in the video as well.

Woah heads up, Jack Lambert jersey sighting:

Move K-Stew, there's a vintage Yinzer behind you!

Move K-Stew, there’s a vintage Yinzer behind you!

Anyways, there are some other really awesome Kennywood locations featured throughout the movie. Here are just a few that I picked out:

Check out Eisenberg and Reynolds hanging out by the shooting gallery, which I’m unsure is even still in existence.

Ah, Eisenberg and Reynolds are at it again (best friends forever)! This time at the Music Express.

And what’s this? Are those some Parachutes I spy lighting up the background? This was during the 4th of July scene of the movie (another popular real-life Kennywood affair) and there’s a great shot of fireworks lighting up the sky over “the Racer.”

You may recognize many of the sites in just the opening credits as well, like the 16th Street Bridge (which gets a lot of action throughout the film), hills lined with houses in Homestead, and the Stardust Lounge in Moon Township (it’s a real bar).

16th St. Bridge

16th St. Bridge

Homestead and the Phantom's Revenge

Homestead and the Phantom’s Revenge

Homestead (background) and the Thunderbolt

Homestead (background) and the Thunderbolt

The Stardust Lounge in Moon Township

The Stardust Lounge in Moon Township, a popular hang-out in Adventureland

So there are some of the spots featured in Adventureland. Trust me, there are plenty more, and if you haven’t seen the movie, check it out (if you’re over the age of 17 and are not offended by  “language, drug use, and sexual references” of course). Then you can go to Kennywood and (gasp) stand in the same spot as K-Stew or Ryan Reynolds, or just enjoy the familiar sites of summertime in Pittsburgh.

One more thing:

Ok, something’s definitely up here. Everyone knows it’s utterly impossible to have any control over the bumper cars at Kennywood (maybe all bumper cars for that matter), and to successfully enjoy them without waking up to a stiff neck since no one bothers to wear the nasty, dirty, sweatband-like material seat belts of the bumper cars and absolutley NOBODY avoids head-on collisions. But that’s why we love you Kennywood.

Remember for a movie filmed in the Pittsburgh area that you’d like to see over-analyzed for local references here, comment below or drop me a line at Ian@IheartPGH.com

Concerts in Review: Edward Sharpe at the Arts Fest plus Local Natives at Stage AE

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at PGH Arts Fest Friday, June 7

Pittsburgh was treated to some West Coast music flavor the past few days as multiple Los Angeles-based bands made their way through the ‘Burgh. Starting with last Friday night’s 2013 Arts Fest Music featured act Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

The ten-member troupe made their way onto the Dollar Bank Stage at the Point to a roaring crowd. While past Arts Fest shows have been relaxed and inviting for audience members to sit and relax on the lawn, leading up to the Edward Sharpe show the area quickly filled and became a standing-room-only affair.

But that didn’t stop the fun, positive atmosphere as lead singer Alex Ebert belted through the opening song “40 Day Dream.” Before long the whole crowd was clapping and singing along as Ebert and fellow singer Jade Castrinos encouraged everyone to dance and scream (“if they wanted to”) through the stomp-tastic “If You Wanna.” The warm evening and open venue complemented the band’s sound, as every song was clear, audible, and well-performed.

At one point Ebert leapt into the crowd, disappearing in the sea of people while his voice still echoed on stage. The band kept the crowd involved the entire show, even pulling one lucky audience member on stage to sing a song and participate in a stage dive. The set-list seemed spontaneous, as Ebert would ask the crowd for suggestions or look to the rest of the band for next song ideas. The enthusiastic crowd was also treated to a sneak peek at the band’s upcoming third, self-titled album with the song “Better Days,” the video for which was published yesterday. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros closed out the show with the hit single “Home” as well as “Om Nashi Me” in front of light patterns that resembled stars in the night sky. Audience members were given the opportunity to tell their own stories in the interlude of “Home,” as Ebert and Castrino passed their microphones around.

After finishing up, Ebert reluctantly told the crowd that there “will be no coming back out,” due to a time limit (which it seemed they had already exceeded anyways).

“Talk to your City,” Ebert proclaimed, “Pay more taxes!”

No thank you, Mr. Ebert, I’d much rather pay nothing to enjoy a fantastic evening of music.

Full set list:

  1. Jade Castrinos of Edward Sharpe and the Magnet...

    Jade Castrinos of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    40 Day Dream

  2. That’s What’s Up
  3. Man on Fire
  4. Janglin’
  5. Fiya Wata
  6. I Don’t Wanna Pray (with multiple verses added)
  7. Truth
  8. Up From Below
  9. If You Wanna
  10. Jade
  11. Mayla
  12. Better Days (New Song)
  13. Home
  14. Om Nashi Me

Local Natives at Stage AE Monday, June 10 

Stage AE Pittsburgh's North Shore

Stage AE Pittsburgh’s North Shore

Fellow L.A. natives Ex Cops opened for Local Natives, and actually held their own. Like most openers, the band got the crowd into them through the assurance that the main act was coming up after them, asking the crowd if they were excited. The evening started like an awkward middle school dance as the crowd was not entirely sure what to make of this five-piece rock band. But as the evening went on, heads indeed were bobbing while knees jumped up and down to the swinging, catchy grooves of this unique band who did a proper job of priming the crowd without upstaging the main act.

The Local Natives, also from Los Angeles, rocked to an ecstatic crowd at Stage AE on the North Shore. The four-person group is just beginning their Summer/Fall tour and Pittsburgh is just the seventh stop. With the buzz from their sold-out Spring tour (and Coachella performance) for their sophomore album Hummingbird hanging in the air, the Local Natives really delivered to the enthusiastic Stage AE crowd.

The Local Natives have been getting attention since 2010’s Gorilla Manor (ironically at one time they were the opening act for Edward Sharpe), and for good reason. The combination of strong vocals and vocal harmonization as well as diversity in sounds (from slower, passionate songs, to fast-paced stompers) give the Local Natives a really unique sound, one that has been dubbed “a prominent, assured voice of contemporary Los Angeles rock…a transformational arrival” by the Los Angeles Times as well as “indie rock’s next great hope” by Entertainment Weekly.

The group wasted little time between songs, powering through the set list as each song brought even louder cheers from the jumpy, dancing crowd. Stage AE suited the Local Natives well as it was large enough to let out their big sound, but small enough to allow some intimacy with the crowd. The band made things fun, swapping instruments and vocal duties and at times even playing multiple instruments at once. Lead singer Kelcey Ayer (who played keyboards, a drum, and picked up a guitar at times) expressed appreciation for the passionate crowd, admitting the last time they were in Pittsburgh was roughly 5 years ago to a crowd of about twenty or so people at an art gallery. Needless to say they’ve come a long way in a short amount of time and the enthusiastic support from the crowd could have suggested that the band members were “local natives” (ouch, too much?) of the Pittsburgh area.

Local Natives performing at Stage AE in Pittsburgh

Local Natives performing at Stage AE in Pittsburgh

The Local Natives finished up their main set as the cheers of the crowd rang out in harmony with the final guitar strum while the packed audience cried for more. They came out for an encore, appreciative of the strong support.

Tentative set list for Local Natives (it’s one they’ve used recently, but I’m not sure if it exactly matches Monday night’s show-feel free to comment with any corrections).

Main:

  1. Black Spot
  2. Breakers
  3. Wide Eyes
  4. You & Me
  5. Ceilings

    Local Natives performing at Stage AE North Shore

    Local Natives performing at Stage AE North Shore

  6. Heavy Feet
  7. World News
  8. Columbia
  9. Warning Sign
  10. Who Knows, Who Cares
  11. Bowery

Encore:

  1. Three Months
  2. Airplanes
  3. Sun Hands

Local Natives recently performed on Letterman, and guitarist/keyboardist/singer Ryan Hahn just did a full interview with Pittsburgh’s 91.3fm WYEP.

Between Friday night’s Arts Fest-ivities (see what I did there?) and Monday night’s show, it was the largest collection of square-framed glasses, mustaches, rolled pant legs, and tossle hats in June I’d seen in one place (my own Ray-Bans and unkept facial hair included). And to be honest, all jokes aside, it was welcomed– a friendly, positive, fun-loving crowd which can only bring other great acts through Pittsburgh.