Construction Junction

September 6
Noon – 3 p.m. & 5 – 8 p.m.

Craft beer and conservation will converge at one of September’s most buzzed about, and thirst quenching, events.

Those lucky enough to snag tickets (the event regularly sells out in under one hour) to the Steel City Big Pour will be treated to three hours of beer, food, live art and music, and more beer.

But not just any beer and not just any venue. Situated throughout Construction Junction‘s distinct warehouse interiors, the region’s preeminent craft beer festival, which has surely helped to spawn countless like-minded events, features a wide selection of high quality craft beers paired with fare from top area restaurants—and a great underlying cause.

For its 2014 edition, the Big Pour boasts 40-plus brewers and more than 25 local food and drink purveyors (humans cannot exist on beer alone), including restaurants, markets, seltzer and soda vendors, and cafes and pubs. An annual fundraiser for Construction Junction, the region’s only recycled building supply retailer, the Big Pour also raises awareness about and support for the Point Breeze-based nonprofit’s mission.

In between sampling craft brews and fresh fare, attendees will enjoy live music by Hoodoo Drugstore, vie for art in the event’s signature Kegerator art and bar raffle, test out the new Big Pour App for live beer and food ratings, peruse the Big Pour merch table and more. A Keger-what? With a new twist on the standard Kegerator (read: a refrigerator designed to store, cool and dispense beer), the Big Pour invites local artists to decorate the appliances in creative ways, raffling them off to attendees to raise funds for Construction Junction.

When curating the festival’s impressive lineup of breweries, organizers consider criteria such as quality, taste, local production and sustainable practices. Don’t leave without tasting the new Steel City Big Pour beer created especially for the event each year by Scott Smith of East End Brewing. Inspired by a recent visit to Brazil for the World Cup,  East End’s brewers have concocted a beer reminiscent of that country’s cacao spiced micro brews.

Pittsburgh’s most popular single-day beer festival (just see Rick Sebak’s “25 Things I Like About Pittsburgh“), the eighth annual Steel City Big Pour offers both a daytime and an evening session.

Your general admission ticket gets you a Taster Glass, Brew Caddy, coupon for a free Steel City Uni-Growler and Big Pour App news (including an opportunity to win two tickets to Big Pour 9). Underscoring  Construction Junction’s dedication to reuse and recycling, attendees can show their own support for sustainability with The Steel City Uni-Growler, a 64-ounce glass jug that can be refilled at local establishments. The event also offers a Designated Driver ticket, and encourages the use of public and private transportation services highlighted on its website.

View a complete list of 2014 breweries and food vendors.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.