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Phipps simplifies grocery shopping with Green Light Foods app

Obesity has become one of the country's most dire health concerns, especially among children. To help curb the epidemic throughout the region, Let’s Move Pittsburgh has launched a new mobile application to help consumers make healthier choices at the grocery store.

Developed in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University students, Red House Communications and Wahila Creative, the Green Light Foods app works to quickly identify packaged food and beverages with the best nutritional profiles. Users can determine fat, saturated fat, sodium and sugar levels in products by scanning barcodes and pulling information from a database. An easy-to-understand traffic light color system then indicates whether the amounts fall into the low (green light), moderate (yellow light) or high (red light) range.

Let’s Move Pittsburgh is a program of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens modeled after First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to curb childhood obesity.

Phipps Executive Director Richard V. Piacentini believes that, unlike many wellness aids, Green Light Foods will streamline the buying process for busy parents and other consumers unable to spend time scrutinizing nutrition facts.

"There are a lot of green apps out there, and some of them might be cumbersome to use, or they might try to give you so much information that it's overwhelming," said Piacentini. "The goal for this app was to make it very quick and simple for people to make healthy choices while they're in the store."

A major advantage of the app is its ability to make sense of confusing food labels. As Piacentini explains, if one box of cereal contains five grams of sugar per one cup serving size, and another box contains four grams of sugar per half cup serving size, shoppers may make the incorrect assumption that the latter has less sugar. The app helps prevent this common mistake by automatically converting and comparing the equal weights of different products.

The app fits into Phipps' continued commitment to both environmental and human well-being. Through Let’s Move Pittsburgh, Phipps created Homegrown, a program that installs vegetable gardens at households throughout the underserved Homewood neighborhood. Phipps also promotes healthy living by refusing to sell soda and junk food at the Conservatory's eatery, Cafe Phipps.

Smartphone users can download the Green Lights Food app for free through iTunes and Google Play.

Dream Cream: Ice cream on a mission

Ice cream is everyone's favorite dessert, regardless of the temperature outside. Dream Cream Ice Cream in Downtown Pittsburgh has all the flavors you need -- and it's for a good cause. 

According to founder Thomas Jamison, Dream Cream has sold over 100 different flavors of ice cream and used the profits to give back $60,000 to various causes since its inception. "We like to say that we don't sell ice cream, we sell dreams," said Jamison. When you buy ice cream in the shop, you are immediately congratulated for your philanthropy and feel even better than you would normally feel buying ice cream. Jamison said he liked ice cream as a product because it already creates a great feeling: "It ties into what we are trying to do," he said. "It just makes you feel good."

The projects funded by Dream Cream range from personal passions-- a filmmaker wants a new camera to make that special movie-- to funding for baseball teams that need uniforms. "The litmus test is does it make you feel warm and fuzzy inside," said Jamison. "If you want a Ferrari, I may not be able to help you, but if you want to fix your car so that you and your daughter can drive down to the Army base to greet your husband when he comes home, then we might be able to work with you," Jamison said.

Dreamers wishing to have their projects funded by Dream Cream can apply on the company's website and select their favorite flavor. A percentage of the profits from the dreamer's chosen flavor are put toward funding his or her particular project for one month. When I went to Dream Cream, I ordered the pumpkin and the popcorn flavors. Both were delicious and each funded a different cause. Jamison said each cause has associated volunteers who work in the shop to keep overhead low, allowing him to donate 25 percent of the shop's profits to charity. 

The business started three years ago as a popup shop, thanks to Project Pop Up Pittsburgh and an idea that came to Jamison during a stint of unemployment. "How do you create a steady stream of money to help people," Jamison wondered at the time. He decided that he needed to have a product that appealed to all demographics. "And ice cream is one of those things that people always want to buy…it’s withstood the test of time," he said. 

After leaving the banking industry, Jamison said he cashed in his 401K and used it to fix up the shop. He will be running a Kickstarter campaign in the spring to fund future renovations and hopes to expand the Dream Cream concept beyond the city limits. "We want to be a Pittsburgh-based company that touches many people across the country," Jamison said, "We believe with milk, sugar and a profit we will change the world." 

Check out the video below to see Dream Cream in action.

Dream Cream is located at 539 Liberty Avenue.
Winter Hours: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Friday
Summer Hours: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday

Jamison said Dream Cream's ice cream in hot chocolate is a big hit in the winter months.

Children's garden in North Braddock has super powers

There is a garden in North Braddock where children can play Tetris with plants, and that's just the tip of the iceberg lettuce. Gardweeno, an interactive children's community garden space at 1014 Bell Ave. is working to intergrate technological learning into plant life, according to co-founder and artist Lindsey Scherloum.

"We are adding digital components to the garden through the use of Arduino," Scherloum says, explaining Arduino is a microcontroller that allows computers to sense and control more of the physical world than a desktop computer could.

Arduino will allow sensors in the garden to function as barometers, check the plant's Ph balance and most importantly, serve as teaching tools for children. The garden also has software called Makey Makey that can turn any conducting object into a button, and that's how the kids are able to play Tetris by touching the leaves of plants.

Scherloum explains,"Our idea was to introduce digital literacy through the garden and use open source computer programing to implement additional observation tools."

The idea to add computer components to the garden came after Scherloum's project parter, Zena Ruiz, discovered artists and makers were using tiny programable Arduinos to make magic happen in ordinary environments. The pair realized that when kids in the neighborhood were not outside, they spent most of their time playing computer games at their local library, and decided that introducing kids to computer literacy early was particularly important. The women, who are neighbors in North Braddock, thought it would be cool to use the computer tools "to quantify the qualitiative observations they made in the garden," Scherloum says.

As unusual as it may seem to intergrate technology into a garden, where things get hot, wet and dirty, Scherloum says the idea to garden with local kids happened somewhat naturally.

"All these kids on our block between the ages of 10 and 14 would come up to us and say 'we are bored, can we help you in your garden,'" Scherloum says.

So she and Ruiz obliged and created programming for them. Around 14 kids are now garden regulars and participate in Gardweeno's summer programs. The kids who came to the garden lived two blocks on either side of it, Scherloum says, explaining that the garden helped kids understand that they can make an impact on their small stomping ground. With funding from the aptly named Sprout Fund and support from North Braddock Cares and the Borough of North Braddock, Gardweeno will offer afterschool programing from 4PM to 6PM on Mondays and Wednesdays through October 26.

Scherloum says the program is open to all kids, but asked that kids who aren't coming from the North Braddock area BYOP—bring your own parent. Scherloum is looking for adults who might be interested in working on the technological aspects of the garden as well as others who might want to spend time hanging out in a garden with a bunch of kids. The garden is currently growing tomatoes, kale, green beans, herbs, cherries, radishes, beets, onions, asparagus---and possibly a future generation of high-tech farmers.

Pittsburgh Brewing Company pouring on new label

Are you over 21? If so, then keep reading because Pittsburgh Brewing Company just introduced a new brand seeking to appeal to craft beer drinkers and rolled out a Pumpkin Ale that will be available until October. The Block House brand is headquartered in Lawrenceville, with brewing operations taking place in Latrobe.

The beverage represents what Pittsburgh Brewing Company CEO Brian Walsh called an admittedly late foray into Pittsburgh's thriving craft beer scene in an interview with Pittsburgh Business Times. Walsh told the Times a double chocolate bock will be coming out in October, and another spring and summer product will round out the collection, providing a year round offering from the label available for purchase in stores.

Though we have yet to taste the Block House Brewing Pumpkin Ale here at Pop City, Beer Advocate gives the 7.00 ABV beverage 75 out of 100 possible points, which is a much higher score than Pittsburgh Brewing Company's flagship brand Iron City beer received. The beer is described as a medium-body ale in a glowing golden-orange color with subtle reddish shading. In a press release, the company says the beverage "enchants the nose with a wallop of graham cracker crust, ginger snap cookies, and subtle notes of brown sugar." The alcohol content isn't super high for a craft beer, but is above that of the brewing company's other products.

"The boldness of the 7.0% ABV is hidden beneath layers of creamy vanilla, hearty nutmeg and a hint of caramel that when blended together creates a homemade pumpkin pie taste," the press release states.

Though Walsh is late to the craft beer party, Pittsburgh Brewing Company has been around for a VERY long time. The regional brewery started in 1861, giving it over 150 years of experience making various beers in various cans as well as various amazing commercials for them. I just spent WAY too much time on their website watching their amazing oeuvre and have selected several vintage ads for your viewing pleasure. If you don't get a jingle in your head or a sense of Pittsburgh pride in your heart, check your pluse. We can only hope commercials for the Pumpkin Ale will be as inspiring.

Pittsburgh Brewing Company Commercial Oeuvre

Workin' on a Cold Iron presents a unique view of the city: 

But check out the rich history of the brewing company: 
And the song that will absolutely stay in your head, "The Pumper":
Another extremely catchy jingle aka my new favorite dance song:
#PittsburghPride :

And the strangest commercial, which I call "elevator music": 
Tell me which was your favorite commercial @fakepretty because I want to know I am not alone in my old ad #PittsburghPride obsession.

How Penn Brewery was saved. The "ladies of lager" tell their story at Chatham this Friday.

It’s a refreshing story just waiting to be told--how two smart Pittsburgh businesswomen came to the rescue of the Penn Brewery on the North Side. 
Sandy Cindrich and Linda Nyman had successful careers in corporate America. Nyman worked in marketing and brand management for corporate clients like HJ Heinz and Sara Lee. Cindrich specialized in software engineering and project management for USX Steel Corporation and BNY Mellon.
Their husbands, business partners and craft beer drinking guys, were looking at real estate when they noticed the brewery, which was about to be shuttered and closed. The year was 2009.
“It was serendipitous,” says Nyman. “We were not looking for it. It came out of the blue.”
With the help of two other partners, the women purchased the brewery and embarked on a new path in an industry that has been traditionally male. Since then, they have rehired several of the original brewers and rebranded and created a new craft beer line.
The brewery is back in production on the North Side and the restaurant is again open for business.
“Penn was one of the first craft breweries on the scene in the entire country,” adds Cindrich. “When it closed down, people felt they were not only losing a beer they loved, but a piece of Pittsburgh history.”
Now they are ready to tell their story. This Friday the “ladies of lager” will speak at Chatham University’s Women Business Leader’s Breakfast Series. The event gets underway Jan. 10th from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
“Neither of us is the type to crave the spotlight,” says Nyman, explaining why they chose to quietly go about their work without fanfare, until now. “As much as we’d love to believe Pittsburgh adores us, we know it’s all about the beer!”
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Linda Nyman and Sandy Cindrich
Photo courtesy of Becky Thurner

Red Star Kombucha, the brewed in Pittsburgh glob to love

Pittsburgh has a kombucha to call its own.
Red Star is a local version of the fermented tea beverage and the first licensed kombucha brewery in Pennsylvania. The company is expanding to new digs in Pittsburgh and adding a second location in Philadelphia.
Founded by Joe Reichenbacher and Naomi Auth, business partners and brewers, Red Star opened last year on Lowrie Street in the Pig Hill Café, starting out as a growler filling station for kombucha drinkers.
Auth developed the recipe, three flavors: Zingerbuch, Green and 1877, the latter a robust black tea with lemon notes. Reichenbacher had the bar business know-how to get the venture up and running.
The brewery is relocating to Dallas Avenue in Point Breeze; the growler shop will reopen early next year in the Artisan Café, 5001 Penn Ave.
“There’s a pretty good kombucha base in Pittsburgh,” Reichenbacher reports, “although it will never be as popular here as beer.”
Kombucha, pronounced kom-boo-cha, is a fermented fungus that is gaining in popularity, especially on the West Coast in health-conscious and hippie circles. China, Japan, Korea and Russia stake claims to being early brewers.
Many believe Kombucha has health-boosting properties, although it has not been scientifically proven. It should be noted that others, namely health experts, warn against the home brewing of non-pasturized kombucha due to the risk of contamination.
The tea is brewed using a culture of bacteria and yeast, called the “scoby,” a process that takes place in large glass bottles. It’s similar to sourdough, Reichenbacher says, and "the glob" can be eaten or removed. Hence the company’s motto “in glob we trust.”
The final product is mildly alcoholic, .5 to 1 percent, giving it a place in several Pittsburgh bars where it is sold on tap or used as a mixer. (Beer contains 5% alcohol.)
Reichenbacher agrees it can be an acquired taste, generally resembling a light brown carbonated, slightly bitter tea-like cider.
“I believe if it makes you feel good, you should keep doing it,” he adds, noting that he has found it to be the perfect midday pickup. “It makes me feel good so I keep drinking it.”
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Joe Reichenbacher, RedStar Kombucha

Not to miss hot events: Pittsburgh Environment & Health Conference, Power Shift and Think Big

Pittsburgh is hosting three big events in the coming weeks: Women for a Healthy Environment’s first Environment and Health Conference, Power Shift and Chatham’s Think Big Forum.
The Environment & Heath Conference is a daylong event featuring an illustrious panel of national speakers, writers, environmental scientists and activists who will speak to the connection between the environment and our health.
“It is a very broad agenda with a deep bench of experts and professionals,” says Phil Johnson, senior program officer for The Heinz Endowments, one of several lead sponsors. “These are things worth knowing so we can be healthier in our work and play.”
The conference, the first of its kind, shouldn’t be confused with the Women’s Health & The Environment conferences held in recent years and sponsored by Teresa Heinz, The Heinz Endowments and Magee Women’s Hospital. 
Women for a Healthy Environment (WHE) was formed following the 2007 Women’s Health & The Environment conference to continue the conversation and offer educational programs to both men and women on the topics of food and consumer product safety. WHE also collaborates with like-minded organizations across the state to raise awareness on environmental health issues.

The conference will be held on Friday, October 25, 2013, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. The cost is $25 and includes lunch. Registration is required.

The event is presented by Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows Program and WHE. 
A second conference will bring thousands of young people to Pittsburgh for the big meeting of Power Shift 2013, a grassroots-driven organization of young people actively seeking to engage on issues relating to climate and the environment.

The conference will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center from Oct. 18th through Oct. 21st. Those still wishing to attend can register the day of the event; late registration is $100 for young professionals and $80 for students.
Finally, the eighth annual Think Big Forum hosted by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University will focus on “Women Who Lead” on Friday, Oct. 18, from 8 a.m. to noon.
Tastefully Simple owner and founder Jill Blashack Strahan will be the keynote speaker and share how she grew her business into a $100 million enterprise with more than 23,000 independent consultants nationwide. She has been recognized as one of the nation’s top CEOs by Inc., Fast Company, and Pink magazines. The cost is $45, $25 for students.

Writer: Deb Smit

The Porch in Oakland keeps bees busy, reaps 50 lb. harvest

Bees are an integral part of our diet. They are also struggling to survive.
Burgh Bees is giving bees a fighting chance with a program they launched in 2008 to establish bee hive colonies around the region. They created the nation’s first community apiary in Homewood, which operates like a community garden, and put hives at Whole Foods, the roof of Google Bakery Square and the Pittsburgh Zoo.
Last year they established a bee colony on the roof of the Oakland restaurant. Those busy bees sweetened the pot. The Porch harvested 55 pounds of honey this month and a second large harvest is expected later this summer and in the fall, says Stephen Repasky, certified master beekeeper and aviary director for Burgh Bees.
“Last year was one of the worst die offs in bee history,” says Repasky, who lost 70% of the hive behind his Dormont home. “No one thing is causing it. The whole issue of colony die off continues to plague the whole U.S.”
The honey at The Porch goes from hive to table, says Becky McArdle, spokeswoman for Eat'n Park. The restaurant uses it in its pizza dough, homemade sourdough bread and cheese and dessert plates.
Pittsburgh’s Wigle Whiskey added it to its distilled rye as well. A bottle resting on the bar is fermenting as you read.
It’s all part of Eat'n Park’s master plan to produce locally grown food on its premises, says Repasky.
“The more and more the word gets out, the more educated the public will be,” he adds. “We can’t sit back and let bees perish or we will all be eating rice.”
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Stephen Repasky, Burgh Bees, Becky McArdle, Eat'n Park

Pop Stop Popsicle Company, fresh and fruity treats peddled to your door

Who wouldn’t love a frosty treat in the summer with a name like Pop Stop? Especially if it arrives on two wheels.

Pittsburgh English teacher Todd Saulle was inspired by the local food truck scene and a Pop Shop he heard about in Philadelphia to start his own mobile pop business.

He enlisted the help of friends at The Franktuary in Lawrenceville, who lent him kitchen space, and launched the operation this summer with the help of a bike imported from England.

“It made sense,” says Saulle. “There are lots of ice cream stores. Why not popsicles?”

Saulle mounted two popsicle coolers on either side of his Donkeybike, the burro of the biking world, built to haul payloads. He figures he peddles about 100 pounds or 400 popsicles when at full capacity.

“I’m working on lightening the load,” he says. “Maybe with dry ice.”

His most popular flavors sound refreshing, if a bit surprising. There’s strawberry and sweet basil, parsley-infused watermelon, peach, raspberry, cantaloupe and a creamsicle made with greek yogurt, honey and berries. All fruits are locally grown and change with the season.

He is concocting an alcoholic version as well, something with Wigle Ginever, cucumber and lime, or a La Dorita Dulce de Leche pop, both liquors from Pittsburgh.
Pop Stop made the rounds last weekend at the Pittsburgh Bike Fest and will be at Peddle Pittsburgh. It also does special events, catering, weddings, gallery openings and church bazaars.
Who knows, maybe a Pop City Pop will be next, something with an Andy Warhol twist, he says.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Todd Saulle, Pop Stop

Handmade Tea, a local blend steeped in flavor. Bring on the chile peppers and mission figs

A cup of tea on a bleak winter’s eve might be the most healing tonic of all time. If so, how about a Handmade Tea
Caleb Brown, tea lover and full-time web developer for startup NoWait, thinks so. Bored by the taste of so many bland loose-leaves, Brown began mixing his own blends in 2011 out of his Lawrenceville home. With a little help from quality fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, he's turning up the taste with Handmade Tea. 
Just as beer has gone from a blue collar drink to a beverage with distinction and complexity, so tea may be thoughtfully paired with a meal, says Brown. Imagine a light oolong with a flaky baked or broiled fish.
Handmade Tea is comprised of three ingredients; the tea leaves and two accompanying tastes. One popular blend, Bodhi Tea, mixes Chinese green tea, black mission figs and coconut chips, giving it a molasses-like sweetness. The Chile Pepper Black Tea was another eye opener. The teas are imported and the ingredients are from reputable wholesellers, some of whom are local.
Customers purchase a monthly subscription for $19.99 and receive a tea blend each month, enough for a cup or two every day. Each tea is unique because you brew the tea yourself, and choose how to mix the ingredients, he says.
It's kind of a reverse engineering spin on tea making, he explains.

The packaging is equally inspiring; the artwork on the tins was executed by local artists.
“I feel that quality tea is an art and it should be encased in equally beautiful artwork,” says Brown. “Handmade Tea is about building people’s palates in an easy, approachable way.”
The company has about 100 subscribers so far, a humble beginning. Word has spread with the help of social media, especially his blog on Tumblr and Facebook Gifts, which helped to double his sales last month.
For now, the tea will be sold through monthly subscriptions. In the future, Brown may package some brands to sell in stores and local cafes.
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Caleb Brown, Handmade Tea

Aurochs Brewing Co., Pittsburgh's first gluten-free, craft beer

Childhood buddies Ryan Bove and Doug Foster of Pine Richland would have loved a good beer occasionally, but neither of them could drink it.
Foster was diagnosed with Celiac disease, the body’s inability to digest foods containing gluten, when he was five. Bove was placed on a gluten-free diet in 2009 for health reasons.
Not to be deterred, the duo decided the world needed a better tasting, handcrafted, gluten-free beer. They became "apartment farmers," malting from plants and brewing in Bove’s Shadyside flat, using ancient grains like oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat.
So Aurochs Brewing Company was born, the name taken from prehistoric bulls that once roamed the earth. Never Domesticated, Always Free is their motto.

The flagship white ale is made with millet, quinoa, beet sugar, orange zest, coriander, chamomile, and european hops, which Bove describes as a refreshing taste with good carbonation and hints of citrus and spices, and mild floral hop notes. The company, an Alpha Lab startup, has space in the Strip District and is waiting for a liquor license to start production.

“For many years, I was the only person anyone knew with the disease,” explains Foster. “In just the last few years, it has exploded. This is something unique, different and fresh. It normalizes beer drinking.”
“Most gluten-free beers are marketed as gluten-free,” adds Bove, who graduated from CMU’s Tepper School last May. “We are a craft beer that happens to be gluten-free. We think consumers will be attracted to our unique taste.”
The two are looking forward to going out and ordering a beer in a bar and not having to worry about not having a great tasting option, they say. Especially one made in Pittsburgh.  
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Ryan Bove and Doug Foster, Aurochs Brewing Co.

Image of Ryan and Doug courtesy of Aurochs Brewing Co.

Pittsburgh Craft, a magazine for the discerning beer drinker

As we all know, beer is among the things that Pittsburgh does well.
And now we have a regional magazine to go with it. Launched in 2010, Craft Pittsburgh is embracing the local craft beer industry in response to the resurgence of interest in craft brewing here, says founder and editor Tim Russell. 
Pittsburgh just wasn’t getting its due, he says.
“I want to enlighten everyone, bring in people on the fringe who are just beginning to discover craft beer,” explains Russell. “If people start drinking better beer, it will grow the industry and help everyone.”
Craft Pittsburgh is for connoisseurs to wanna-be better beer drinkers who are interested in following the business, or brewing a batch at home. Stories range from the several well-orchestrated events that happen around beer, including Steel City’s Big Pour and The Reverse Keg Ride, where an empty keg is returned to its neighborhood brewery with the help of more than 100 cyclists. (All in the name of charity, of course.)
The most recent issue (No. 7) relates the wonderful history of beer making in Pittsburgh. Did you know, for example, that long before President Obama was throwing back hotcakes at Pamela’s, President Roosevelt was swilling Duquesne Brewing Company’s “near beer” during prohibition?
There’s also the events and festival listings, cooking with beer, home brewing tips and regular installments from columnist The Drunk Yinzer.
The only problem is that  when the magazine comes out, about 10,000 copies a run, the free hard copies disappear fast. Fortunately, it's also available online.
Craft Pittsburgh officially became a profitable enterprise with the sixth issue, thanks to the support of local establishments and restaurants, says Russell.
“I hope it gets the craft beer community going, because I’d love Pittsburgh to become one of those cities like San Diego or Philadelphia (who are on the forefront of the craft beer movement),” he says. “But Pittsburgh is catching up.”
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Tim Russell, Craft Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dancers raise the Barre on vegan snacks

Who better to trust when choosing a healthy snack than two ballet dancers who have spent their whole lives maintaining their body?
For Julia Erickson and Aaron Ingley, their body is their career. Erickson is a full time principal dancer at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT). Ingley danced with PBT until 2008 and dances now as a freelancer.
The two have teamed up to create Barre, a nutritious, vegan snack for both the dance world and general consumers. Playing on the word barre, French for the ballet apparatus, Erickson cooked up the idea in her kitchen from whole, natural food ingredients. 
“It had kind of the perfect goldilocks just-right combination,” says Erickson who eats it during rehearsals. “It gave me great energy.”
Fellow dancers gave Erickson positive feedback on the experiment, and, joined by Ingley, went to work making more bars to sell at farmers markets, bake sales, and to fellow dancers. The bars are now made in Ohio and the duo is selling it, with the help of two part-time employees, within stores and online. 
Barre is currently selling at about 160 dance locations throughout the country, as well as in Whole Foods, and Giant Eagle Market District will begin carrying them in the fall. Erickson and Ingley plan to continue expanding to the general market.  
 “We’ve had incredible feedback from the dance world,” said Erickson. “They love the idea.”
The bar comes in 3 flavors. Each flavor's name is a play on a dance term or reference in pop culture. There’s pirouette cinnamon pecan, black swan chocolate berry, and ballerina spirulina. 
A portion of Barre’s profits are given back to charity, including Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School.
“Pittsburgh has been an amazing place to start a business,” said Erickson. “It’s a great city I think for a businessman, because it’s small enough to have that community feel but large enough that--”  “it has all the resources,” finished Ingley.
Writer: Kaija Nealon
Source: Julia Erickson and Aaron Ingley, Real Food Barre

U-Brew comes to Greenfield with Copper Kettle Brewing Co.

Copper Kettle Brewing Company has opened the region's first brew-on-the-premises brewery in an old Greenfield hardware store.  Let the hand-crafted, single-batch beer brewing begin.
Duquesne University grad Greg Hough and his cousin Jeff Medjimorec, beer lovers both, hit on the idea when they were brainstorming the brew pub business. They heard about U-Brew, a trend that originated in Canada as a way to circumvent the high taxes on alcohol. 
"It's kind of like Build-A-Bear or Color Me Mine, but beer," says Hough, 26, who graduated with a degree in marketing and entrepreneurship. 
Copper Kettle is conveniently located next door to Hough's family's craft beer bar and restaurant, a brew pub (not surprisingly) called Hough's. Patrons can schedule a brewing session and grab a beer and a meal while they're in the neighborhood, he adds.  
It takes two appointments and one to five people to brew around a copper kettle. During the first session, patrons select a recipe, pick ingredients and commence brewing, a process that takes about two hours. A second appointment is made 14 days later, after the beer has had a chance to ferment, and involves packaging, capping and (make-you-own) labeling. The beer (five finished cases) is cold and ready to drink.  
"You brew the beer, we have the fermenting room downstairs and do all the cleaning and sanitizing of the equipment," says Hough. "You get to do the fun stuff, we do the dirty work."
Patrons can bring beers over from the bar; the brewing atmosphere is festive. The price ranges from $125 to $145 depending on the recipe and alcohol content. Twenty-two ounce Bottles are $10 a case, or you can bring your own. 
Copper Kettle is already beginning to generate interest on Facebook and Twitter. "It makes me very HOPPY," posted Alice Cottone. 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Greg Hough, Copper Kettle Brewing

The Pittsburgh perfect summer cocktail (and eats) with Slow Cooked Food

And now, the perfect Pittsburgh summer drink for these dog days of summer, The Berry Basil Muddle.

Gather a delightful combination of locally grown and made ingredients--a blend of blueberries, a few strong sweet basil leaves, some icy cold Boyd and Blair--on ice and strain. Add a squirt of Pittsburgh Seltzer Works.

This refreshing recipe comes from Pittsburgh personal chef Elizabeth Schandelmeier Gilgunn, author of the foodie blog, Let's Blog About Food and the chef behind Slow Cooked Pittsburgh.

Elizabeth founded Slow Cooked Pittsburgh as a way to promote the preparation of locally grown, whole foods, especially for people with special dietary needs, whether gluten-free, chemical-free, vegan or low-fat cuisine. The idea is to encourage local residents to bring the freshest the farm has to offer to the table, she says.

As a personal chef, Schandelmeier Gilgunn cooks for people in their homes several times a week, many whom are challenged by dietary restrictions. She's entirely devoted to bringing the freshest food from local farms to small groups, no larger than 50.

"My goal is to help people find joy in eating again," she says.  "I'm purely culinary (as opposed to a nutritionist), looking at food and combining it with cocktails and drinks. If you don't want to use a lime--because we don't grow limes here--I consider what I can add to give it a zing. That's the kind of journey I'm describing."

When she's not busy feeding her own family of three girls in Squirrel Hill, she can be found working in the public schools and at the community theatre, where she once presented a vegan chocolate truffle. You may have seen her at the Pittsburgh Public Market where she teaches and offers demonstrations. 

"I cannot get away from food," she says good-naturedly. "It's an outlet for me, putting things out there to see what kind of responses I can get. Throwing my seeds to the wind. Where will they go and what will I harvest? It's all been very positive."

Writer: Deb Smit
Source:  Elizabeth Schandelmeier Gilgunn, Slow Cooking Pittsburgh

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