If you attended the 2019 Pittsburgh Whiskey Festival, you undoubtedly had a a great time, just like we did. If you didn’t, and are looking for a recap, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s the scoop on the festival fun including photos and video. Cheers!
Disclosure: We were graciously hosted by the folks at Pittsburgh Magazine for the 2019 Pittsburgh Whiskey Festival. All opinions (and photos!) are our own!
When you have a husband that loves whiskey and bourbon, there’s no way to not attend one of the biggest Pittsburgh fall events of the year. Sure, he has a few favorite brands, but he’s always willing to open up his proverbial spirits palette to find some new ones.
When we travel, we often find ourselves looking for local craft brews and spirits via pour tours. One, it helps the local economy. Two, at the end of a long travel day, it’s a fun way to wind down. And third, local brews and spirits generally offer amazing quality. And, if you’re in the Pittsburgh area and love bourbon and whiskey, there’s a Pittsburgh Whiskey Society. Just sayin’.
This year was our first time attending and it really was a hoot. Here’s why we enjoyed it so much compliments of both local and global, brands.
2019 Pittsburgh Whiskey Festival: The Details
This year, the 2019 Pittsburgh Whiskey Fest by Pittsburgh Magazine took place at Rivers Casino on the North Shore. The large even space upstairs is lovely with its industrial chic look and feel and there was plenty of room for guests. Heck, there was even a pop-up PA liquor shop to purchase our favorite styles.
As in the past, the Fest offered a couple of different ticket levels. Our VIP tickets got us into the event at 5pm, gave us unlimited access to the buffet (surprisingly good), and a $10 discount token for savings off a bottle purchase of $30 or more.
Once inside, there were plenty of fun eye catchers including Maker’s Mark glasses dipped in its famous, red wax, a Local’s lounge (next to the local spirits section), and even a Dewar’s Vape table. Yep, it’s spirits were infused with water and vaped out. While it reminded me more of the smoke scent inside a haunted house, Mr. Locke thought it was pretty cool.
Pittsburgh Whiskey Festival Meet and Greets
There were a couple that really stood out to me: Franco Harris (of course!) signing bottles of Comasario Tequila and Al Young. If you’ve never heard of him, you’ve probably heard of his bourbon: Four Roses. A Senior Brand Ambassador and bourbon legend, Mr. Young couldn’t have been kinder or more amenable to signing both books and bottles.
What’s Different at This Year’s Pittsburgh Whiskey Festival?
To start, not all of the vendors were the same. But, more importantly, I heard several times that the atmosphere was much better this year than the 2018 Whiskey Fest. That’s a good thing. For me, personally, the event was very classy. It was also laid back, which I was very excited about. Folks wandered from table to table and there was no harried pace or rush to try everything. After all, with over 80 tasting opportunities, that would be nearly impossible.