The Food Column: Celebrate Groundhog Day with a deja brew from Straub

February 2, 2012 12:00 am
  • Straub Groundhog Brew.
    Straub Groundhog Brew.
  • Michelle Norris, who blogs as the Browned Eyed Baker (browneyedbaker.com)
    Michelle Norris, who blogs as the Browned Eyed Baker (browneyedbaker.com)
  • Stovetop Mac 'n' Cheese from the blog of Michelle Norris.
    Stovetop Mac 'n' Cheese from the blog of Michelle Norris.
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I've never made the trek to Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day, but friends have told me it pretty much consists of three things: camping out on a hillside, shivering and drinking beer.

Betcha I know what they're drinking out there today: "Groundhog Brew," made by Straub Brewery in St. Marys, 50 miles away.

You might also have seen the rodent on bottles locally. Distributors throughout Pennsylvania, including about 50 in the Pittsburgh area, have stocked the 24-bottle cases since shortly after Christmas.

In the past, Groundhog Brew was Straub Light with a different label. This year it's repackaged Peter Straub Special Dark beer instead. And it has a different label. Past labels were focused more specifically on Punxsutawney; this year's label features a landscape typical of north-central Pennsylvania, with "Straub" in red script and an attractive -- for a rodent -- groundhog atop the lettering.

The beer is available while supplies last; it's sold as Groundhog Brew only in the winter.

The label changes every year to attract collectors.

"It's kind of fun," said Bill Brock, Straub's CEO and the great-grandson of brewery founder Peter Straub. "It's that time of the year when I think people are looking for something."

Something like a groundhog shadow, perhaps?


Beer dinner

Speaking of beer, CISV (Children's International Summer Villages) Pittsburgh will hold a four-course beer dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Feb. 12 at The Sharp Edge, Friendship. Tickets are $60 per person; teens may attend for $8 each for a pizza party in the game room. Proceeds benefit a youth exchange program bringing international students to Pittsburgh. Information: 412-683-1908.

And speaking of international experiences ...


Ethnic food events

Saturday: International Market Day, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pittsburgh Public Market, Strip District. Handmade crafts, food and live performances by international immigrants and refugee merchants.

Also Saturday: Turkish cooking class, 1 p.m. at the Turkish Cultural Center, Dormont. Learn to make Turkish borek (pastry filled with feta) and potato salad. $10 per person or $5 for students; includes appetizers, tea and coffee. Reserve by today by emailing activities@tccpittsburgh.org.

In a small cup, dissolve the dry mustard in the 1 teaspoon water.

Rebecca Sodergren: pgfoodevents@hotmail.com .
First Published 2012-02-11 01:49:32
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