When the lovable yinzers at YaJagoff! Media asked me if I was thirsty for a new brew n’at, my immediate thought was “I could drink three rivers of beer right abaht now.”
Plus, I’m a nebby reporter, so I wanted to know more about the libation.
Partners Rachael Rennebeck and John Chamberlin teamed up with Slippery Rock’s North Country Brewing Co. on a YaJagoff! beer that’s more Pittsburgh than a parking chair.
The classic American-style light larger is made with a two-row malt and corn and comes in limited edition black-and-gold cans. Pre-order sales for YaJagoff! began on March 16 and the beer’s official release date is April 1 … no foolin’.
The idea for the beer came up last September during a YaJagoff! podcast recording at North Country’s cannery. Rennebeck and Chamberlin thought they should have a YaJagoff! brand beer. Patrick Morris, the brewery’s regional sales manager agreed. They shook hands. That’s how the deal went dahn.
“We tried the Firehouse Red beer and learned that its sales support local fire stations and realized they are a fantastic local company,” Chamberlin says about North Country. “They do so much good for the community as a business.”
The jagoffs (it’s not an insult, it’s a term of endearment) polled their followers on social media to help them decide what kind of beer to brew. A suds style inspired by strawberry pretzel salad — the staple of any ’Burgh picnic — was nixed in favor of a more traditional offering. It’s a quaffable liquid you can pair with a fried jumbo sammich or sip while you’re worshing the car or running the sweeper.
I imagine they waved Terrible Towels and sang Donnie Iris songs while brewing to imbue some of that Steel City grit into the beer.
They only made 100 cases of the stuff, but it’ll be on tap at various spots arahnd tahn, including Wahlburgers at The Mall at Robinson and The Block Northway as well as in McKees Rocks at the Bronze Hood Grille and Bar and Bobby D’s.
Throughout April, YaJagoff! will host happy hours at the participating restaurants (check their calendar for dates and times). Three outdoor pop-up events will take place at Johnny Angel’s Ginchy Stuff, a museum/gift shop/cultural oddity in the R.J. Casey Industrial Park on the North Side.
Proprietor Jack Hunt, Rennebeck’s father and frontman for Johnny Angel and the Halos, has been collecting music memorabilia since the 1950s. Imagine redding up your babushka-wearin’ grandma’s haus and finding a ton of old records, tchotchkes and other cool rummage … and that’s what this shop is like.
On April 10 and 17, you can buy merch, listen to live music and comedians and drink some ice-cold YaJagoff! beer in Johnny Angel’s parking lot at 1800 Preble Ave. during two Pick Up N Go Lot of Fun Shows from 6 to 8 p.m. On April 11, the site will host a Beer, Bling & Bakin’ extravaganza from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets for each event are $10 a pop.
After a long year of isolation and canceled events, I’m looking forward to drinking beer in a parking lot with my fellow Pittsburghers like we’re tailgating at Heinz Field before a Steelers game. Only the view from Mt. Worshington could rival that sight.