Chocolate and cherries

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on


Tonight at Brews Brothers Six-Pack Emporium in Castle Shannon, they'll tap a relatively rare firkin of Penn Brewery Chocolate Meltdown Stout that has been infused with black cherry extract.

"The whole goal was to taste lilke chocolate-covered cherry," says Penn brewer and cellarman Dave Cerminara, who created just seven of the small 5-gallon kegs of this customized brew. One they tapped at the North Side brewery last night. It was gone in about two hours. There's just one other cherried Chocolate Meltdown firkin left at the brewery.

The keglet at Brews Brothers is to be tapped at 7 p.m. tonight and the first two dozen who buy pints of the stuff get to keep the glass. The beer's not likely to last long. It only holds about 40 pints. Mr. Cerminara plans to be there.

Reached at the Penn brewhouse today, he explained how these German-made firkins are fun for all sorts of experimental brews. Last summer, Penn made a passion-fruit kolsch, which also was tapped at Brews Brothers. They surely will do something cool with the firkins for upcoming Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week, not that you'll necessarily know about it early. As the brewer notes, “We try keep it a secret."

This is the time of year when chocolate beers pop up all over the place. Draft-only Chocolate Covered Cherry Stout is pouring this weekend at the Larimer brewery and the Pittsburgh Public Market locations of East End Brewing Co. You can find regular Chocolate Meltdown on draft and in bottles at Penn Brewery and locations around town.

Brews Brothers is at 315 Mt. Lebanon Blvd; the phone is 412-561-2075.

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