Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Penn Brewery

While some asslicking cockwhores are moving out of the city of Pittsburgh, some fine, upstanding citizens are going to great lengths to keep Pittsburgh brewing traditions alive.

Now that doesn't say much in that article I linked to, so I'll give you the scuttlebutt I've heard around town.  Cause, you know, it's just a blog.  What the fuck do you want from me, journalism?

The story I heard was that Tom Pastorius, founder and owner, who played with his band many Friday nights at the brewpub, wanted to retire.  He wasn't greedy, he just wanted to have fun with his life and he'd made as much money as he felt he needed.  I admire that.  But anyway, stories I heard had Tom retiring to do... whatever the hell he felt like.  So he sold Penn Brewery to some folks who thought they could continue on his good work.  But Tom didn't actually own the building, just the company; and the landlords wanted to write up a new lease for the new owners that included numerous anal violation clauses, and few to no lubrication addendums.  So the new owners started looking at moving or selling out.  (I don't really blame them for that, it sounded like a raw deal to me).  But Tom wasn't really cool with that, he wanted Penn Brewery to stay in Pittsburgh.  He'd started that place to be a Pittsburgh institution.

In Februray, his worst fears came to fruition.  The folks who bought it sold the bottling line and moved production to Wilkes-Barre.

This is not what Tom wanted.  In fact, he had gone on record saying that he didn't want the brewery to end when he retired.  So, he got together with some other investors, got a grant from the city's urban renewal initiative (to the tune of $300k), and bought the fucking place back.  Awesome!

Now, I understand that not everyone can afford to be so selfless and dedicated to community.  I sure can't.  But even if you can't do something like Tom to try to give back to a community, the least you could do is not shit all over it.  I'm talking about begging favors in the name of community, then pulling stakes, leaving disgusting amounts of debt, jobless locals, and a vacant building in a barely recovering part of town.  Yes, I'm still bitter about that.  And I will be until they either move back into a depressed area of Pittsburgh or rename their beer "Pissy Swill sold by Shady, Backstabbing Bastards".

Such can not be said about Tom Pastorius.  Brewermaster, entrepreneur, yinzer, awesome dude.  Here's to you!

So that's the story as I heard it, and I have now done my part to usher in the death of journalism by spewing unchecked facts and rumors into the blogosphere.  Feel free to read about what really happened but it will probably be less entertaining.

Sorry if you started reading this before I was done, I hit some key combination that posted it in the middle of writing.


  1. I have no clue what the fuck your article is saying. Have you been drinking before noon again?

  2. Nope, it seems if you smash the left side of the keyboard, it posts your article whether you're done or not. Sorry about that.

  3. C minus for journalistic accuracy, but A plus for enthusiasm. (OK since you're blogging, not reporting.) But PENN *IS* BACK on the Northside brewing again as of last week, and reopening the restaurant soon, rehiring, and reinvesting in the 'burgh - thanks to Tom, and also to his investors / backers - the pennbrewcrew. We're bringing it back, 100%, and SOON. So since the "shady backstabbing bastards" as you call them are out, and Tom is back in, and we're brewing our original recipe again back in our original kettles, can we please keep our original name? Thanks!

  4. Now I feel bad I didn't spend more time getting the story right. (though I hope the Post Gazette link at the end makes up for it). Yeah, I'm just still irked at Iron for giving up on Lawrenceville, just when the town is starting to turn things around. But yeah, you have my official approval to keep your name. I was just talking about the Iron owners. Didn't mean to imply any of you were licking any asses or whoring any cocks (unless you're into that, in which case, um... keep on truckin') Thanks for staying in the 'burgh!

  5. Holy Shit! Somebody in Pittsburgh actually reads our crap. Awesome! Welcome to the Booze Blog and thanks for keeping the beer flowing in da Burgh.

  6. Hell yeah, we not only read it, we love it. We're just glad to be in a position to help Tom make it possible, and grateful to fellow yinzer's like yourself that are behind Tom. We're going to need a LOT of that, to bring this back - but *that's* why WE did it... To make sure it IS back, and to stay!

  7. Press passes to the grand re-opening? I'll even wear a fedora and stick it in my hat band.