Plans for Pittsburgh Libations Week are in full swing. We have assembled a Board of Directors that is committed to carrying out our mission to enhance the businesses that make our adult beverage community tick. We’ve launched our website. We’ve rolled out our first line of t-shirts for you to sport. We’ve began establishing Pittsburgh Libations Week as a brand dedicated to education, entertainment, camaraderie, and fun…all revolving around the thriving libations renaissance that has captured Pittsburgh in its loving grasp.
We’ve even set a date for our inaugural week. Pittsburgh Libations Week will officially kick off on Friday, October 12th, 2018 and go through Saturday, October 20th with several exceptional events already in planning that will increase your knowledge and investment in this incredible industry.
But, that’s…like, a year away and stuff.
Well, if you look at Pittsburgh Libations Week as just a ‘week,’ then yes…yes, it is. But I look at it completely different. I have for a long time. We have a dedicated team in place that looks at it completely different.
Yes, we are planning on putting together a full week of activities the likes of which Pittsburgh’s drinking community has never experienced compiled into a 9-day period before. But it’s so much more than that.
Because it needs to be.
This following explanation is designed to answer any questions you might have about why we are doing Pittsburgh Libations Week and shed light on any confusion about what Pittsburgh Libations Week is all about. Let’s begin.
It’s Not Just One Week
Like the businesses we are planning to celebrate and partner with, Pittsburgh Libations Week is a year-round brand. We run 24/7/365 because our partners do, too. The breweries, distilleries, bars, restaurants, wineries, meaderies, cider houses, et cetera may have select hours each week where you can frequent their establishment and taste their wares. But the hours they pour into operating that business are immeasurable. The seconds, the minutes, the hours devoted to making their products, appearance, and atmosphere shine so you can share a memorable experience with the ones you love cannot be limited to a few hours a week, let alone nine days.
Our adult beverage purveyors exist all year. So our brand does, too.
Pittsburgh Libations Week is here to promote our partners for 365 days, not just nine. All year long, these businesses are hosting dinners, introducing new products, putting on great events, and giving you numerous reasons to visit their establishments and bask in the enjoyment they bring to you. We want to put these efforts center stage and celebrate the hard work of everyone who has chosen to chase their passion and make a living in this field.
And to do that appropriately, we’re gonna need the whole calendar.
Education Is Key
The More You Know. Knowledge Is Power. Don’t Be a Fool, Stay In School. For years, these slogans have exemplified the importance of education. In reference to adult beverages, product and industry knowledge is becoming more prevalent. It stems from the age old adage that people like to do business with people, not businesses. And in today’s social, transparent world, many small businesses have done a phenomenal job connecting with their customers and establishing communication on a one-to-one basis.
In my opinion, no industry has utilized the power of social media better than libations. Many small breweries, wineries, and distilleries have relied solely on the reach of networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to not only communicate with their consumers and establish high levels of trust, but to provide education about their products and their business practices. The more someone knows about a business, its products, and the people behind it, the more powerful their connection and loyalty will run.
When I first began developing the idea of Pittsburgh Libations Week, I knew education was the foundation on which the entire idea needed to stand. There are many knowledgeable people in this industry willing to share insights, passions, and lessons learned through trial and error regarding their craft and we plan on featuring all of it.
When Pittsburgh Libations Week rolls around next October, our event calendar will be filled with symposiums, open-table discussions, beer and food pairings with cicerones, wine tastings with sommeliers, how to write a worthwhile review, why line cleaning is important for bar owners, and much, much more. Our emphasis in those nine days will not be centered around tap takeovers and happy hours because we’ll be celebrating and promoting those the other 356 days of the year.
Education is key. And as the Pittsburgh Libations Week brand continues to develop, expect the very best in regards to industry knowledge and connection.
Camaraderie and Collaboration
One of the most beautiful aspects of the libations industry (and, more recently, certain law changes) is how intertwined the businesses have become. Breweries work with wineries and distilleries to obtain barrels to age beer. Wineries and distilleries get those barrels back and age more whiskey and wine. Breweries and meaderies have joined forces to create hybrid beverages with ingredients prevalent in both their base products. Tasting rooms feature whiskey but also have beer on tap. Taprooms feature beer but also offer mead, cider, wine, and whiskey for those looking for an alternative. It’s a beautiful thing.
While these businesses may be in competition at the end of the day, it’s friendly competition. They push each other to make a better product and, ultimately, care about enthusiasts having the best experience wherever they visit. If you have a great experience at one craft brewery, you’ll most likely have a similar experience at the next.
It’s in that spirit that collaboration projects between these businesses have become an industry staple. Personally, collaborations are my favorite creations. They showcase the passion of multiple individuals and marry different ideas and philosophies into one delicious final product.
For Pittsburgh Libations Week, the celebration of camaraderie and collaboration will take center stage as we plan to showcase these projects on several levels. We have began the process now with the objective of having some of these creations aged in rum, whiskey, and wine barrels for your enjoyment come October 2018. Next, we are working on ways to have local breweries collaborate with larger breweries in neighboring cities and states to continue building positive connections among the entire industry. And finally, we are not limiting the number of collaboration projects that take place nor do we plan to be the ones who decide who teams up with who. We encourage as many projects as possible and applaud those who partner with charities and local causes in their efforts.
Our goal is simple: to shine a spotlight on the power of collaboration in this industry. We plan to kick off Pittsburgh Libations Week with a gala affair where ALL collaboration projects prepared for PLW will be center stage, thus giving you the ability to taste everything under one roof in one memorable evening.
Pittsburgh Libations Week was designed with giving back to the community in mind. We are in the process of naming a charity partner that will be announced in the very near future and partial proceeds from sponsorships, events, merchandise sales, and fundraisers will be donated to their cause.
PLW is a celebration of Pittsburgh as a whole. The libations scene is a major part of the allure of our great city and we can think of no better way to show our love and affection for what Pittsburgh is all about than by giving back to one of its causes.
Stay tuned to learn more about the charitable aspects of Pittsburgh Libations Week.
Because Our City Deserves It
This initiative is long overdue. The Pittsburgh adult beverage scene, from craft beer to whiskey, from wine to cider, from mead to rum, and everything in between has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade and it deserves a platform that takes that growth seriously. The libations industry deserves an engine that continues to drive its mission forward and enthusiasts deserve a platform where they can learn about events, enhance their knowledge base, and connect in numerous ways to the people and businesses that fuel this industry and live its unwavering mission each and every day.
And you don’t just deserve this for a few days. You deserve it every day. The industry deserves it every day.
In conclusion, I hope this helps you understand why we are developing this brand as a year-round entity. We don’t plan to be present for just a few short weeks. We are here for the long haul. And we’ll be doing our part to bring you fun, entertaining, educational events and information every step of the way. Our collective group of PLW officers consists of industry professionals and enthusiasts with a vested interest in helping our culture grow. They share my vision for pushing everyone’s philosophies and practices forward and I am damn proud to work beside each of them.
Our efforts, combined with hundreds of local businesses doing their part to make our scene evolve, as well as your continued loyalty to the cause as a libations enthusiast will raise Pittsburgh to the upper echelon of adult beverage destinations in the world today.
Pittsburgh Libations Week is the platform this city’s exceptional adult beverage culture has asked for. The waiting is over. It’s time to do this thing right.