It’s no secret Brooklyn is a huge source of inspiration for food, flowers and everything artisanal and handmade in between, so when a bit of Brooklyn comes to the ‘burgh, I want in! Fortunately for artist Thommy Conroy and me, we had the chance to join the Brooklyn festivities here in Pittsburgh, in the form of the Brooklyn Brewery’s Mash Tour.
n.1: The first step in the brewing process; mixing malted barley with water, then heating to extract its sugars.
n.2: An adventurous mix of emerging culture from our neighborhood and yours; dinner parties, concerts, comedy, readings and humanity’s favorite beverage.
Part of this adventurous mix is a pop-up dinner party in each city, hosted in a unique, non-traditional location. For these dinners, Brooklyn Brewery brings together some of their favorite people to create a memorable meal and moment.
The curated evening brings people together around a common table to share cuisine crafted by Brooklyn Brewery Chef Andrew Gerson and a local. For the Pittsburgh dinner, Gerson collaborated with Kate Romane of e2. The two created a five-course menu to highlight varieties of Brooklyn Brewery’s beer.
The event took place at the John V. Heineman Company, which is a food distribution warehouse by day. The industrial nature of the venue made this a unique opportunity for Pittsburghers and Brooklynites alike, in that this was a one-time dining experience.
To hype the audience’s anticipation, we had the welcome cocktail, appetizers and music happen in the parking lot, while the big table awaited behind closed garage doors. The chefs worked on the loading dock of the building, feeding into the notion of food preparation as performance.
Chef Andrew thanked the guests for coming and then invited them to enter the warehouse and behold the table…
Our focal piece for this event was a 60-foot, suspended floral installation, featuring mostly foraged florals from the nearby riverside, as well as hanging votives. The suspended decor allowed for the food and beer to take center stage on the table once the meal began. The rope suspension system nodded to the iconic bridge structures of both Pittsburgh and Brooklyn.
Inspired by the industrial space, we borrowed wooden pallets to create stages to highlight the beer pairing for each course.
Brooklyn Brewery provided a rustic tea towel as a gift for each guest, and I illustrated a menu to walk diners through the meal. The concept of the layout was for the menu to unfold as the meal unfolded. We collaborated with designer Alanna James on the layout and printing.
Thanks to Brooklyn Brewery for the chance to transform one of our industrial spaces for one night only. We look forward to your next visit! To read more about the food, check out my blog post about the menu on my food blog, With The Grains.
Event: Brooklyn Brewery Mash Tour, Pittsburgh Dinner
Location: J. Heineman Company, Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh
Food by Brooklyn Brewery Chef Andrew Gerson & Chef Kate Romane of e2
Photography by Rodger Obley.
Event Design by Quelcy & Thommy Conroy.