Tag Archives: Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh: Logging brews, tracks, and hockey arenas

Heinz Field & PNC Park

Downtown Pittsburgh

The City of Bridges

On Saturday, before the Final, we went to “Fatheads” in the strip district for lunch & to meet with Tom’s neice & family. I had two of “Fatheads” own beers, which I had never tasted before. Quite the place, and well worth a visit if in Pittsburgh.
Two days before, we had hit the “Church Brew Works”, which quickly became one of my favorite all time brew pubs. Founded in 1996, and located in a restored Roman Catholic Church which was originally built in 1902, Church Brew Works offers some delightful beer in a wonderfully quirky setting.

Just prior to the championship game, we swung by the Penn Brewery, which is located in the old E&O Brewery Building. A slightly more traditional brewpub, but the beers were equally good, and I loved architecture of the old building.

Penn Brewery. Pure. Pittsburgh.

I thoroughly enjoyed Pittsburgh, although the traffic would make it difficult for me to mentally survive there. For a visitor, there is no rhyme or reason to the street layout, but with the rivers, hills, and old buildings it all adds to the cities’ charm. Even the walk down 5th Ave, from the hotel to the ice arena had a certain dangerous charm to it. It was obvious early in our walk that we were not in one of the more desireable areas of town. I suppose the half mile of broken auto glass was one of our first clues. Still, the ruins of the old homes, that in their day must have been something to behold, were cool to catch a glimpse of, as the vines and trees reclaimed the hill. And the old 5th Ave School, home of the Archers, that has been rebuilt into lofts… with high security parking… was worth the walk.

A little different hockey experience overall from Pittsburgh. The pre-game events were not well attended. In fact, it was a pre-event, live broadcast from the “Souper Bowl” near the arena that brought on our muggy running of the 5th Ave Gauntlet. Upon arrival, there were maybe a dozen people there, and I’m not convinced that half were hockey fans. We had a Yuengling to lessen our disappointment, then took our lapel pins as trophies and ran the gauntlet a second time.

Even on game day, is was not a problem to walk into the Souper Bowl and immediately find a table for four. I can’t think of any other Frozen Four where one could even get in through the door of a pub so close to the rink.

With all that said, the entire experience from the visits to racetracks… both defunct & active, to the hockey arena tours, Yale’s first title and the company of the travelers, this was one good Frozen Four.

Even though I haven’t come away with the urge to actually log my beers.

They’re not Underdogs; They are the Yale Bulldogs


So Yale never had a chance against Quinnipiac. Luckily, the Bulldogs didn’t listen.
Yale won the Frozen Four tonight, beating the QU Bobcats 4-0. Goaltender Jeff Malcolm had the 36 save shutout and captain Andrew Miller scored on a breakaway to make it 3-0. Miller, who scored the game winner in OT on Thursday was the tournament Outstanding Player.

Quinnipiac, which had a phenomenal season, just couldn’t quite get things going, and when they did have scoring chances the puck wouldn’t find the net.

Yale played a good game, throwing the Bobcats off their tempo, and made the most of their opportunities. They are the first 15th Seed to win the title. In their playoff run, they beat the second, seventh, third, and number one seed. Certainly deserving of the title.

Congrats to the Yale Bulldogs for an impressive playoff run, and their first national title in hockey.

Frozen Four



Puck drop between Yale & UMass-Lowell
Minnesota’s title banner

The first game between Yale & UMass-Lowell was a decent game, particularly from the half way mark on, when Lowell woke up to make it interesting, by scoring two quick goals. Yale eventually won in OT on a goal by Andrew Miller, which was just a phenomenal effort by the senior.

The second game was a dud, with Quinnipiac completely outplaying St Cloud State. The Bobcats went up 3-0 in the first ten minutes and never looked back. The third period was one of the most tedious I have ever watched. By then Quinnipiac was just trying to run out the clock, the stands were emptying in a hurry, and any energy that was in the Consol Center had left.

I was shocked to see so many empty seats. Especially between the blue lines at center ice. Corporate sponsors who didn’t show up? Hockey fans who didn’t like it that the big name programs didn’t make the field? I’m more than curious as to where the people were. I’m also curious to see how many people turn out for the final.

The stage is now set for an all ECAC final, with two Connecticut teams that are less than ten miles apart on the same highway.

Norfolk & Western Railway


N&W bridge built in 1950. Decking rated “good” 7 out of 9; substructure rated “fair” 5 out of 9.