It has good font and color on its freshly painted signage outside. And a cleaned out basement. It's a great start. And it might not look like much now, but upon full buildout CMU grads Asa Foster and Matt Katase look to bring a sleek mod industrial tap room and brewing facility to the corner of 8th St and Braddock Avenue with the launch of The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company. The operation, located in Braddock beneath a soon to be Kevin Sousa restaurant will focus on interesting and tasty beers like their flagship brew, a chai spiced white ale called White Sky; a super easy drinking white ale lacking that overwhelming sweet/softness that many whites have. Other brews are in the works as well. They look to bring something new to the mix of the burgeoning brewing community in Pittsburgh which in the past years has grown to include Full Pint, East End, Duquesne Brewing, Draai Laag Brewing, as well as others.
Started as a concept in college, Foster and Katase put there money where their mouths were and switched majors to curtail their degrees at CMU to directly align with plans of opening a brewing operation. The result is two people who are wildly enthusiastic about the product and business they are in; which is not hard when you realize the two of them are just recently legal drinkers at 21 and 22 respectively! An average day involves two batches of beer, as everything is hand produced at the moment, which can result in long days and evenings. But they see the work now as a necessary component to their long term plans which include a three barrel system for their tap room and larger systems as their business grows.
While brewing is taking up much of their time, there still is the need for promotion. The plan for the Brew Gentlemen is getting their product out there any way they can. They are working tastings at festivals, restaurant promotions, and seeking to pull together an event to showcase Braddock with a Tapped event (shameless self promotion) in September.
Their story is interesting on its own, but the question the two face most often, why Braddock? Why Pittsburgh? Neither Foster or Katase are Pittsburgh natives; Foster hails from Massachusetts while Katase is a Hawaii native. Their answer was simple. They both recognized that opening and operating in Pittsburgh has a much lower barrier to entry than a Chicago, Seattle, or a Boston. In almost every facet from cost to community, Pittsburgh became an easy answer. They also had grown to like the place alot after knowing nothing of it four years prior. They see opening in Pittsburgh as their way to give back to the city and help it grow and continue to attract a growing talent base. Braddock emerged after looking at sites in Lawerenceville and the Strip and found that they wanted something a bit more gritty and unique; Braddock fit the bill. The arrival of Kevin Sousa's restaurant was icing on the cake. When they signed their lease, they knew a restaurant was interested in upstairs, but didn't know who or what the restaurant would be. That being said, they want people to know them as a brewery and for their product, not as a neighbor of a Sousa restaurant.
So Pittsburgh, keep your eyes and ears peeled when it comes to this dynamic duo. They have a serious plans for their product and its growth. And if you have the chance to try their beer, do it, its good stuff.
The Brew Gentlemen Brewing Company