Beer

Try a cold CoStar

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on

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Pittsburgh's newest, and perhaps smallest, craft brewer is officially launching tonight.

How small is CoStar Brewing?

Refreshingly, it doesn't even have much of a website yet, just a Facebook page. For now.

No crowd-sourced funding drive and all that.

Have you heard the term nanobrewery? This Highland Park brewery is so small, the principals behind it will be bringing the first official kegs to Shadyside's William Penn Tavern, where they'll tap them around 7 p.m. tonight.

That'll be CoStar's Top Down California Common, its flagship brew, says Dominic Cincotta.

I've been stalking him via email as CoStar made it through the state and federal licensing process and served samples of its brews at the William Penn and other watering holes.

But I haven't yet actually met him in person. I'd say it's because I'm busy, but I think he's busier, with a day job in marketing at an iconic Pittsburgh company, going to school for his doctorate and teaching college, too.

He says that he and his three partners all have day jobs as well, but they also love craft beer, which is why they started this little operation. They were all homebrewers. "We started to ask ourselves, 'Wouldn't it be cool to sit at one of our favorite watering holes and drink one of our beers?' "

In 2010 they decided to go for it and incorporated; they got their licenses this February.

But their "brewhouse" still is basically a big homebrew system -- a 10-gallon one. They can brew 30 gallons a day, "so we are EXTREMELY nano," Mr. Cincotta emphasized in an email to me Monday.

That means they don't have a whole lot of any of their beers, but what they do have, they're giving to the local bars that have supported them to this point. So in addition to the William Penn, they're getting beer to these places this weekend: 

Acacia on the South Side -- Purple People Coffee Porter (brewed with Zeke's Coffee of East Liberty)
 
Shady Grove in Shadyside -- Top Down California Common

UP Modern Kitchen in Shadyside -- Top Down California Common
 
Stack'd in Shadyside -- Top Down California Common

Mr. Cincotta says they hope patrons will taste these brews and like them and CoStar will spread.

On the way: Hopland Park Pale Ale, which is "a tribute to Highland Park."

"This whole venture started with four people who love beer, friends, and visiting local establishments. We hope that comes through in the CoStar Brewing brand," Mr. Cincotta writes. "We're not extreme brewers, and we're not big brewers. Our goal is to do good beers well. We don't want to do a lot of gimmicks ... we'd rather consumers discover us on their own. We understand, some people will love it, some will not. And that's just fine by us because that's what makes craft beer great, You can find something for everyone and you don't have to really like something to appreciate it. We just hope consumers appreciate what we are trying to do!"

Nothing fancy, CoStar.

Kinda refreshing.

And I haven't yet had a chance to taste the beer.

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