Spring is here, let’s grab a beer!

By Jon Pratt

The birds are chirping, the buds are budding, and I don’t need a light on my commute to and from work; it must be time for Pittsburgh’s infamous Pedal Pale Ale Keg Ride, held this year on April 28.

Each year local brewer Scott Smith from East End Brewing gathers up a few hundred of his closest friends to deliver the first kegs of Pedal Pale Ale to a local pub, by bicycle of course. For the past seven years Smith has been riding through the streets with a keg towed behind him in everything from a kid’s bike carrier to a space-age flatbed hauler.

Starting out at the brewery, the group follows him around on a lazy meandering ride to a destination only known by Smith. Upon arrival you can trade in your token, anything from a derailleur pulley to a postcard, for a fresh pint of his heavenly creation. Pedal Pale Ale is a moderately hoppy American Pale Ale with a touch of malt and fruit. It was originally brewed to celebrate Bike Fest, a 10-day bicycle festival organized by our local bicycle advocacy group, Bike Pittsburgh.

The last few rides have become fund raisers for local charities. This year’s ride will put some much needed change into the pockets of ABOARD’s Autism Connection of PA and Bike Pittsburgh.

If you’re into bikes and beer there are a number of similar rides around the country, and world. A few of note:

  • The Tour de Brew in Kansas City, a bicycle tour of the historic brewing landmarks in Kansas City to finish off Bike Week 2012, May 20.
  • Oskar Blues’ 2nd annual G’Knight Ride in Longmont, Colo., on June 16.
  • Harpoon’s B2B ride covering 148 miles between their breweries in Boston, Mass., and Windsor, Vt., on June 16.

What other beer, or non-beer, themed rides are going on in your neck of the woods?




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