There are a few events that make me feel like a kid at Christmas these days, Apple announcing a new iPhone, starting a new job, and Construction Junction's Big Pour would be at the top of the list. This year was my third Big Pour and I would have to say it was my most enjoyable experience to date. If you don't know what the CJ Big Pour is and you enjoy good beer and food, then you have been losing at life. The CJ Big Pour now in its 8th year, in my opinion, is the premier Craft Beer Festival in Pittsburgh. It occurs the Saturday after Labor Day, with two sessions, a 12:00pm - 3:00pm and 5:00pm - 8:00pm. Tickets typically sell out in 15-20 minutes and cost $75 each. I attended the afternoon session.
Let me start with my chief complaint from the previous years. When you spend a premium on a ticket to taste beers and delicious bites (there is food too), you don't want to spend 20 minutes of your three hour tasting window in line for the porta-potty. I think there were two forces at work this year that drastically improved this situation. First, it felt like it was less crowded, yet was still a sellout. This leads me to believe the smart folks in charge made this a more exclusive event, thus making porta-potty lines shorter, almost non-existent. Secondly, I think there were more porta-potties available. In the end it doesn't matter if my theories or perceptions are correct or not, since my experience was pleasant and more importantly FAST! Back to the beer.
As in years past the quality of the beer and the breweries represented was second to none. I would also have to say that each year the food gets better and better. Over the last several years the food scene in Pittsburgh has exploded, and these chefs bring their talents to CJ's Big Pour. To top it all off, this year as an added bonus we got to see and actually meet the mayor of Pittsburgh.
As you would expect I had a camera with me and this time it was my Fujifilm X100s. Here are a few of my favorites images from the event, waiting in line, tasting beers and food, hanging out with some friends, the Mayor, and the walk to my next beer at BRGR.
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