After navigating the complicated web of Pennsylvania liquor laws, East End Brewing Company is releasing its popular Along Came A Cider in kegs and cans.
The Larimer brewpub at 147 Julius St. has been making some form of the hard cider since 2009. Due to nebulous federal and state regulations, patrons could only sip pints on-site or grab growlers to go.
But starting Saturday, Feb. 22, cases and six-packs of 12-ounce cans will be available at the facility. Millvale-based Vecenie Distributing Co., will sell cans and a limited amount of quarter barrels.
The semi-dry Along Came A Cider is 6.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) and lab-certified to be naturally gluten-free.
It’s made from pressed apple juice — from Kistaco Farm in Apollo — so the federal government considers it wine. But, it’s under 7.5 percent ABV, so Pennsylvania says it’s a beer. Getting approvals for packaging permitting kegs and cans to leave the brewery caused more of a headache than an all-night bender.
Owner Scott Smith sorted out all the legal issues to meet customer demand for cans. The brewery has been churning out a lot of aluminum over the past nine months, creating canned libations for each of Pittsburgh’s 90 neighborhoods.
Smith says he plans to make different cider variations (one might even pop up as a neighborhood beer).
Representatives from Kistaco Farm will be at the brewpub Saturday for the release party. Visitors can sample apples and unfermented cider and dine at Larder of East End, Chef Justin Severino’s casual, counter-service restaurant.