"Yeah with a tin cup for a chalice, fill it up with good red wine And I'm a' chewin' on a honeysuckle vine"

OK, so anyone that knows me should know where that quote comes from.  Some, of you that don't know me - may simply know the quote itself.  Its from one of my favorite songs from Jimmy Buffett - Tin Cup Chalice.  That song talks to me on so many levels.  Honestly, I think that is part of the reason I've founded myself here in the great city of Pittsburgh, PA.  I know there are many instrumental cities in this country of the great USA.  Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC go with out saying.  Then you have places of port, trains and airports.  Lets face it, there is a lot of greatness in our beautiful U.S.A.  But, I think, I feel many people give one city a bad rep.  I think historically one city in this country goes so UNDER RATED.  And honestly, I'm OK with that.  I live here now.  I have absorbed this city as my own and I think the city loves me and I know I love the city.  It is a city that isn't "fancy".  It is straight forward.  It is honest.  It is just!  Pittsburgh gives you so much in one little area that to over look it or think it a stinky/over cast/groggy city would be a huge mistake.  Healthcare is a HUGE industry here, and Google has a major office.  Technology is finding out that Pittsburgh has a lot to offer and isn't going to hide.  Even American Idol quoted something about 'why did we wait so long to come here'.  It is upsetting most reality shows, cooking shows and reality shows do not come here more.

So, when I decided to drink Duquesne beer and Paisano Wine, its because I have embraced my city and my person and I am comfortable with who I am.  I've always embraced my person.  Was I looking forward to having that first sip of Duquesne Beer?  I mean, my mouth wasn't salivating.  Was I thinking to myself, self - if I die driving home am I going to be happy that the last beer I drank was Duquesne?  NO!  But for what it is worth Pittsburgh and PA make a lot of low end beers.  They are traditional.  This city is/was built on sweat and tears of steel workers and coal miners.  This city is a BLUE COLLAR town.  It is a man's man town!  I've walked in the lowest of low bars here and the richest of rich restaurants and I feel comfortable in both.  I've lived elsewhere and it isn't the same.  I've lived where you go where your "class" is wanted - "BELONGS".  Not here, this city has the rich and the pour and I like to believe that there has been days I've sit at the bar with both and had a civil conversation about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  I don't like to classify myself as a huge traveler, but I've been in a few cities in this country.  And it is definitely a generalization to say that north/south/east/west - cities generally are the same.  They have their own clicks, their areas, their issues.  And I'm not here to say Pittsburgh is the only city to be this way, what I am here to say is that Pittsburgh deserves more respect.  Do we have the glitter/glamor/money of Miami, New York, L.A., or Las Vegas?  NO... but do we have real people, down to earth, that know what is important, and know what is real?  Yes?  Have great people come from Pittsburgh?  Plenty!  Just check out this list to name a few - but off my cuff - Michael Keaton, Dan Marino, Brett Micheals, Andy Warhol, Arnold Palmer, Andrew Mellon, Andrew Carnegie, Jeff Goldblum, to name a few.  Oh, and that wasn't even mentioning the FAMOUS NFL Football team the Pittsburgh Steelers winners of 6 Super Bowl Championships (the most of any NFL Team as of 2012 the writing of this article) - and all the incredible athletes that have donned the black and gold.

So, today's beer is Dueqense Beer.  Check out the website as it gives a lot of history on the beer.  In particular, I saw this page that I enjoyed reading.  Now, I enjoyed this beer the way it was meant to be enjoyed.  It was in a little LOCAL bar called the Tower Lounge.  I don't think they even have much of a Internet Presence.  Why would they?  Right?  I did see a facebook page or two that could be them, but the people that visit this bar would not be looking them up on Facebook or Googling them for sure.  This is a local bar.  This is a no shirt, no shoes, who gives a fuck kind of place.  They still are smoking cigs at the bar and still lamenting about the days that used to be.  So, Duquesne Beer.  This draft beer wasn't great.  It had little head - can't attribute that to the beer as it could have been from the poorly cleaned glasses or lines from this 'fine establishment'.  The flavor was... ummm... well... you know... not good.  It tasted of rice malts, and cheapness.  But it was cold.  It was slightly refreshing.  And it set my mind at ease as I sat at that bar, solo with my pint of brew and shot of jager (they didn't have ginger brandy).  It was comforting sitting there knowing that I could potentially be sitting beside a Billionaire and a homeless guy as they enjoyed their beer and talked about the snow that was falling outside.  Basically, that is Pittsburgh.  I'm sure there are locations that the rich are not wanted, or the poor are outed, but it is FEW and far between in  this city I call home.  I'm proud of this home.  I've lived here 11 years.  It is the second longest lived city of my life and I'm happy about that.

Thank you Pittsburgh!  Cheers!
 
 
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True German beer is awesome.  In an earlier post I stated that I learned to like good beer drinking Belgium brews.  But when it really comes down to it my German heritage comes through and I like clean, true, German beer.  There is something to be said about a product that can be so vast with just 4 ingredients.  Penn Brewery is a great example of German style brews.  I'm confident that I have not drank a bad beer from them yet.  This beer most recently won silver metal at the Great American Beer fest in German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock.

From the pour of this beer you get a deep amber almost burnt copper color to it.  The head froths up with a decent white one finger thickness that lasts for awhile on top of this brew.  First sip impression is that there is a malty caramel goodness waiting to be drank.  The styles typically uses a Hallertau hop so I'm assuming this is the variety used in this brew.  The hops are present but hide them self conveniently under the nice semi-sweet caramely goodness.  I drank this beer straight from the fridge and it didn't last long enough to warm.  I get the impression though that this beer would be better enjoyed at a slightly warmer temp.  I believe this is actually the brew I recently drank at Fat Heads in Pittsburgh on cask.  What I remember from that beer was that the warmer temp and lower carbonation made this a very sip able brew worthy of any gold medal.  I see that the brew that took gold in this category was Autumnal Fire Capital Brewery Co. from the GABF Winners page.  I will be adding this beer to my wish list.

The thing I like about this beer is that it is full of "holiday cheer".  At 6.5% alcohol it is warming to the soul and almost as nice to drink as mom's chicken noodle soup is to eat on those cold winter days.

Personal note:  I'm actually feeling the start of something in the back of my head and sore throat so hopefully this brew will help kick it out of me.  If not this could be the start of a 3-4 day tough beer journey.  Have no fear - I shall drink either way but it may not be easy.  Good night and get some rest - Monday is always the hardest day of the week.

 
 
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I have not lived in Pittsburgh all my life.  But next to my home town of Wrightsville, PA I've lived here longer then anywhere else.  I like it.  Its a no frills kind of a place.  This city loves its football.  And it is also an educated city on Beer.  The German population is strong and it shows if you go over towards the North Side of the city.  This beer is a tribute to the German heritage of this city.  It is a man's man kind of beer.  It is a working class beer.  Reviewing some info on line I found that this brewery was opened in 1861 by a German immigrant by the name of Edward Frauenheim.  It was one of the first breweries in the united states to produce a lager.

Iron City Brewery was formed and ran for almost 150 years in Lawarenceville until recently 2009 they moved the brewing to Latrobe PA.  It happens to be brewed in the same brewery as one time great Rolling Rock beer until they were sold and moved (BOO!).  Though, I can't find any redeeming quality to say about the taste/quality of this beer it as with many other "cheaper" beers serves a purpose.  The reason I got started on this venture was not to find the best/most expensive beer.  It was not to avoid any one style.  It was/is to experience beer in all its glory.  And in my opinion Iron City is a perfect example.  I can't go down to Strip District, to Belle Notte Pizzeria (check the link on urban spoon), or Primanti's with out ordering at least one of these on draft.  Its crisp and "fresh of the tap".  It is refreshing since most of the city that serves this brew takes pride and serves it super cold.  So, here's to you Iron City!  Thank you for coming back and thank you for continuing to brew a beer that is the "official beer of the Pittsburgh nation."

As I stated, drink this beer extremely cold.  As cold as you can find it without freezing.  Now, any one that enjoys a good brew understands that beer like wine all have their own temperatures to be enjoy at.  The reason for this is because you will find "hidden flavors" that come bursting out at different temps.  Its almost like the hops/yeast/barley all know as most of us do that when it is to cold... just stay in side.  Why do you think Coors and the Colorado Rockies beer has the color sensor on the outside to tell when it is super cold.  Its marketing of course.  Genius marketing if you ask me!  The colder you drink a brew the less of any imperfections you will find in any given brew.  Ever wonder why most people want to drink ICE COLD BEER.  Cause the #1 sellers in America are the big brews, the Millers, Coors, Bud beers that if drinking a single degree above 32 degrees starts tasting like the bottom of an ash tray.  Of course, of these beers - they all have their degree of badness.  BUT they all have their purpose as well.  On a hot summer day after mowing the grass, or digging a post hole for a fence post, or even a nice run on the trail - give me the refreshing taste of an ice cold brew.  After scrimmaging in the back yard football or making a triple double on the courts, nothing better then an ice cold Miller.

That said, in tribute of Pittsburgh Steelers starting another journey to the big dance, I chose Iron City.  Its crisp, fresh and local!  The hops do seem to pop out of this beer a bit more then the barley.  Many people say it is undrinkable, and an equal amount of people will ONLY DRINK IT.  If you are one of those beer snobs that REFUSE to drink certain beer that is fine.  To each their own.  I chose to embrace all beer equally!  And find a use for them all.

Thanks for reading - and LETS GO STEELERS!!  Lets beat them Broncos down!!

NOTE: My notes for this mostly came from wikipedia at this link.  Feel free to continue the research and review.