Wigle hosting Tar & Feather Party Friday
This year marks the 220th anniversary of the Whiskey Rebellion—a time when Pennsylvania’s farmers took up arms against the newly formed United States to protest taxes the government levied on makers of sprits. Citizens harassed, beat up and tarred and feathered tax collectors until George Washington led a complement of troops into the area to quash the rebellion.

Since it’s Wigle Whiskey’s mission to bring Western Pennsylvania back into the whiskey spotlight, Wigle will host its third annual Tar & Feather Party on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at its distillery in the Strip District.

“It’s a good way of acknowledging the history and celebrating the tradition that Pittsburgh has,” says Wigle’s Jill Steiner. “Everything we do here is very much informed by the history of the region and its whiskey.”

Tickets are available for free on Wigle’s website until the day of the event and may be purchased for $5 at the door. The party will feature $5 cocktails, live music, appearances by the PGH Taco Truck, Lomito, the Pierogi Truck and Oh My Grill, and as usual, a tarring and feathering competition.

Each year, participating organizations are invited to come up with ways of “tarring and feathering” party guests, but in a way that’s far more playful than it was in early America. This year’s participants include Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Quantum Theatre, Attack Theatre, the Heinz History Center, the Carnegie Science Center and Yelp Pittsburgh.

“There are always a lot of wacky and abstract editions of tarring and feathering,” Steiner says.

Heal Crest Urban Farms and The Pop Stop will also be on hand, and after-party specials will be available at Franktuary and Bar Marco.

Brick oven death match: Pizza Boat, Bread and Salt ready for pizza supremacy battle
This might come as a shock to some Pittsburghers but—are you sitting down?—pizza exists outside the 2100 block of Murray Avenue. And this Friday, two of Pittsburgh’s most promising pizza artisans will square off in a good old-fashioned pie-slinging contest.

Back in March, Rick Easton, owner of Bread and Salt bakery—set to open on Pearl Street in Bloomfield this summer—and Jeff Ryan’s Pizza Boat, a truck with a wood-fired oven which cranks out individual-sized pies, had a friendly contest at Bar Marco to see who could produce the better pie.

Though it’s still unclear who won that day, as both sides declared victory—a sort of Pizzantietam—the rivalry has heated up on Twitter with the rematch set for 6 p.m. Friday, again at Bar Marco.

While Ryan takes a more modern approach, experimenting with different varieties of sauce, toppings and cheese, Easton is a self-proclaimed pizza fundamentalist. He insists the dough is the most important part and focuses mainly on spinning the classics, such as pizza margherita.

Five Points Bakery coming to Squirrel Hill
One up-and-coming baker who isn’t slinging dough at his colleagues—at least, not yet—is Geof Comings.

After 15 years of working in economic development, most recently with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Comings is shifting careers to chase his dream of opening a bakery. He’s leased 2,200 square-feet of space at 6520 Wilkins Avenue and plans to open Five Points Artisan Bakery this fall.

Comings named the bakery for the nearby intersection, at which the five points of Wilkins, Beechwood Boulevard and South Linden Avenue converge on the border between Squirrel Hill and South Point Breeze.

Comings will focus mainly on breads, but will offer a small selection of tarts and other sweets.

Matthew Wein

Matthew Wein is a local writer, editor, blogger, storyteller and proud native Pittsburgher. Once described as "a man of things," he covers city design, spirits and craft beer for NEXT, where he keeps all...