Liberty Pole Spirits Review – A Pennsylvania Whiskey Revival

Western Pennsylvania has always been a hot spot for whiskey. Since the country's early days, the region has been producing (and aging) whiskey using local grains to end up with a spirit unlike those found elsewhere.

Liberty Pole Spirits embraces this history by doing the same for their business with the added benefit of modern technology.

The ingredients are all local, many recipes are unique to historical Western Pennsylvania distilling, and the tasting room is a throwback to the history of the Whiskey Rebellion- one of the region's most infamous events surrounding alcohol which took place shortly after independence from the British.

This all comes together to make one unique family-run business that should be on everyone's radar.

Note: In 2023, Liberty Pole Spirits expanded to a new location in Washington, PA, with a larger tasting room, a proper rickhouse, and a stunning production space.

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Architects of Air: Daedalum Offers a Walk Through the Art

We always love seeing what new art exhibits come to the Cultural District in downtown Pittsburgh, and in the summer of 2023, the Backyard at 8th and Penn has one of the largest pieces yet.

Architects of Air: Daedalum is a unique, immersive, and inflatable art piece that guests can go inside and explore a world of color, geometric patterns, and the influence of light.

We visited this one shortly after it opened in July 2023 and want to share a bit more about what you can expect when visiting this one during its temporary run through Labor Day.   

Note: We are limiting our shares of imagery from inside the experience to not give everything away- particularly of the two biggest art pieces found inside. Note that advanced sale tickets are available as are walk-ups, pending demand.

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Sommerfest at Teutonia Mannerchor for German Beer and Fun

The era of the social club often feels like a distant memory. But Pittsburgh is actually home to many private clubs focusing on heritage, sports, and a whole lot more.

Perhaps one of the most well known is Teutonia Mannerchor, the German club residing in none other than Deutschtown in the North Side. Not only is this one of Pittsburgh's oldest and largest private clubs, it is also somewhat difficult to get into without knowing a member or joining yourself.

Thankfully, Teutonia Mannerchor offers a number of public-facing events throughout the year. For roughly nine days each summer, the aptly named Sommerfest is your chance to check out this beautiful building, listen to German music, eat German food, and, of course, drink copious amounts of German beer!

As we have a soft spot for all things German beer, we naturally visited as soon as possible.

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Brown Bear Bread Cafe Review – Bakery in Mt. Oliver

In 2024, Brown Bear Bread Cafe closed their Mt. Oliver location and announced a new store coming to New Brighton. They presently serve local stores and farmer's markets.

Brown Bear Bread Cafe is a bakery located in Mt. Oliver offering up sourdough bread, English muffins, pastries, and more to go, plus a small cafe menu for dining in. If there's one thing we think Pittsburgh can always use more of, it's excellent bakeries (especially bread-focused bakeries)- so we are ecstatic that this lovely new spot has found a home in Mt. Oliver.

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Sweet Rust Review – Libations and Farm to Table Cuisine

Sweet Rust is now closed.

Sweet Rust is a Vatting House concept that bottles and sells single-barrel, cask-strength spirits from Pennsylvania and around the world. While the company doesn't distill their own spirits, they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from their Pennsylvania Libations business to offer high-quality spirits in and around Pittsburgh.

Sweet Rust also operates a restaurant of the same name in Ligonier, located inside the historic Thistledown Hotel. We recently visited as guests of the restaurant to try their farm-to-table cuisine, plus a few cocktails made with Sweet Rust products, of course!

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10 Reasons to Visit Pittsburgh in July – Summer Activities

July in Pittsburgh is one of our favorite months. There are long, hot sunny days, numerous events, and many opportunities to get out and enjoy the great outdoors of southwest Pennsylvania!

As such, it should be no surprise that this month's guide includes a number of outdoor activities as well as a few indoor favorites to round out the list. No matter what you do, you'll be having a great time if you visit Pittsburgh in July!

Looking for things to do in Pittsburgh in July? Check out the following options!

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Chef Alekka Offers a Pittsburgh Chef Experience at Home

We have to admit that cooking at home is one of our favorite activities. When we're not out exploring the city or eating at local restaurants, odds are good you can find us in the kitchen whipping up an involved meal that takes all day to prepare, baking, or setting up an unusual fermentation project.

But as we are always excited to learn more cooking techniques, we were really excited to have Chef Alekka, a in-home chef in Pittsburgh, come over to our house for a cooking demonstration with some delicious summer appetizers.

All the best things about cooking with a chef but in the comfort of our kitchen? Sign us up.

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Gussy’s Bagels & Pizzeria Review – One Stop Shop in Oakland

Gussy's Bagels has been listed as temporarily closed for several months without updates. We believe this one is unlikely to reopen.

Gussy's Bagels & Pizzeria in Oakland is one of those business stories we loved to see unfold. 

During the pandemic, chefs around the city were pivoting to provide food to hungry Pittsburghers and keep the lights on at their restaurants. Chef Scott Walton of Acorn in Shadyside (now closed) started making bagels, an exciting departure from the restaurant's normally fine-dining-oriented menu, and met near-instant acclaim with a die-hard following.

Cut to 2022, and Chef Scott left Acorn to open Gussy's Bagels & Deli in Oakland and expanded in early 2023 to become Gussy's Bagels & Pizzeria. 

Incredible bagels, stellar (and massive) slices of pizza, and a central location in bustling Oakland? Gussy's truly is starting to put some of our favorite spots on the east coast to shame.

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City Winery Brings Live Music, Comedy, and Wine to the Strip

City Winery has been taking the entertainment world by storm with its unique combination of being one part winery, one part entertainment complex.

While City Winery has been operating in several major cities in the USA for many years now, their first Pittsburgh location opened right in the heart of the Strip District in the Terminal building complex in 2023.

Wine, live entertainment, and late-night hours in the Strip? We're in for that!

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