Pittsburgh, like Erie, welcomes back its Diaspora for the Thanksgiving holiday. The result was a lively scene downtown. Many restaurants were packed with patrons. I can only guess who were the expatriates, but Tuesday is not traditionally a big night out. If I'm wrong about the reason for the large crowds, then Pittsburgh's nightlife is no longer on life support.
My evening began at Craft Beer School, The Cabaret at Theatre Square. There wasn't an open seat left for the event. I could see and hear beer geeks explaining to the uninitiated the pleasures of a great brew. The highlight for me was the first beer, Stoudt's Pils, paired with hot Italian sausage from the kitchen of Tony Pais, Cafe Zao.
Beer talk provides a good entry into a city's circle of insiders. While some may consider beer snobs to be bourgeois, the passion for beer cuts across class and can provide a common ground for socializing. But beer geeks have a special bond. We often have more in common with a fellow geek halfway across the country than with anyone in our neighborhood or local circle of friends. As I navigate Pittsburgh during my weeklong visit, you are likely to find me at quite a few predictable places.