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Event Recap | Barrel & Flow Fest 2022

Barrel & Flow Fest 2022
Jen Bril

On Saturday August 13, Barrel & Flow Fest lined the streets of Pittsburgh with some of the best Black arts and craft beer from across the country. Barrel & Flow, which started as Fresh Fest in 2018, celebrates and showcases the Black community. It brings together Black artists, chefs, business owners, musicians and more during the annual event. Overall, it was resounding success for yet another year.

The festival was a place where people could come together to eat, drink, celebrate and vibe. Patrons entered the gates, grabbing a glass adorned with signature festival branding, and took stride down their desired path. Each corner of the event was dripping in art, music, food and libations. It was impossible to take a wrong turn.


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Despite the nearly 2,400 attendees, the flow of the day was breezy. The new location, The Stacks at 3 Crossings, provided an interesting and functional layout. There was enough space to enjoy the surrounding scene without being overwhelmed by the weight of a dense crowd. Additionally, the stewards at this event functioned like a well-oiled machine, enhancing every experience.

With so much to see, the four hour General Admission access left some yearning for more time. Early Access admission allotted six hours to enjoy the festival and VIP access provided a massive nine hours of entertainment. Future fest attendees would be wise to spring for some early access and ensure they maximize the jubilation.

The day concluded with the official after party at Thunderbird Cafe & Music Hall in the Lawrenceville neighborhood, featuring the popular Slappers N Bangers. The energy that spilled into the music hall following the fest was electric. Crowds of festival attendees continued the celebrations into the night carried by carefully curated beats and dancing.

Photo Credit: Jen Bril

Top Beers

  • MagNOLA Soulja, Smoked Jalapeno and Satsuma Blonde Ale, 6.7% from Burgh’ers Brewing (Pittsburgh, PA) x Roux Orleans (Pittsburgh, PA) featuring smoky jalapeno and notes of citrus.
  • Blackberry Bliss, Schwarzbier, 5.4% by Troegs (Hershey, PA) x Black Viking Brewing (Oakland, MD) boasting a juicy, berry earthiness on a base of caramel.
  • Sour Seltzer (SSR V1.0), 4.5% by Abjuration Brewing(Pittsburgh, PA) x Chip’d Toof Brewing Co.(Pittsburgh, PA) created by heavily fruiting with pink guava and everyone’s favorite candy peach rings.
  • What’s the Scenario?, IPA, 7.5% by Rock Leopard Brewing Co (United Kingdom) x Other Half Brewing (NY)  with sticky citrus bomb-like qualities saturated with Citra and Mosaic hops.
  • Fox and Flowers, Witbier, 5.6% by Coven Brewing (Pittsburgh, PA) x The Undeniable Vixen (Pittsburgh, PA) including an orange and rose infused specialty tea made to resemble Persian Love Cake.
  • Macksimum Duplicity, Imperial Stout, 11.5% by Mack Brewing Co. (Philadelphia, PA), a beer that sneakily tucked a high ABV behind the shadow of a smooth body.
  • Torchy Brown, Grodziskie, 4.75% by ShuBrew (Zelienople, PA) x Khonso Brewing (Atlanta, GA), a smoked wheat ale conditioned on peaches. The beer’s name paid homage the first female Black cartoonist, Jackie Ormes. Ormes’ cartoon first appeared in the Pittsburgh courier in 1937.
  • Pineapple Ginger Braggot, 21%, by Brickterranean Beer Hut (GA), hosting sweet honey notes followed by a pleasant amount of ginger. The ale was restyled as a braggot and was then finished on rum-soaked cypress.
  • When Life Gives You Lemons, IPA, 6.5% by  Butler Brew Works (Butler, PA) x Jackie Kennedy Catering (Pittsburgh, PA) reportedly provided a refreshing feel for the summer weather and closely emulating a liquid lemon meringue pie.
  • Got ‘Em All Buzzin, DIPA, 8% by Hitchhiker Brewing Company (Pittburgh, PA) x Warcloud Brewing (Rowland Heights, California) brewed with local orange blossom honey and another crowd fest favorite.

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