Friday, January 23, 2009

The Price Of Tea In China

Why should we be excited to be in the Super Bowl?

After the Olympics were in Greece, tourism sky-rocketed for that beautiful country. The recent Olympics held in China did more for opening up the world to the wonders of China than any marketing campaign ever could with athletes walking on the Great Wall and reporters sampling food in the markets.

These national and international events are not just about the sport. I remember in the 90s when the Super Bowl was held at the New Orleans Superdome and all-of-a-sudden Massachusetts was flooded with recipes for Jambalaya and Gumbo. What did that have to do with football?

The spotlight is on Pittsburgh, Arizona, and Tampa right now. Bask in the glow. Promote yourselves.

Why would the New York Times be writing articles about Pittsburgh?
Why would a St Louis beer program come on yelp to ask about Pittsburgh beers?
Why would the Miami Herald write an article about Pittsburgh?

The Steelers are in the Super Bowl.

We, as a city, have a symbiotic relationship with the Steelers. From the guys who freeze their asses off selling black-and-gold everything at the Strip to the head honchos that own the gazillion parking spaces adjacent to Heinz Field. The Steelers make money. We make money. We get publicity.

Why not embrace it?


Schultz said...

I agree that now is the time to step up our marketing of the non-Steeler things that make this a great town, but major league sports championships do not lead to economic success - if you disagree then I guess we are still waiting for the trickle down from the '06 Superbowl win. The only exception to this is an event like the Olympics. Atlanta boomed after the '96 games, partly due to the increased visibility of the city but mostly because of all of the new development and infrastructure that took place to accomodate the games.

Speaking of beer - I am shocked that a beer drinking town like the burgh doesn't have a kickass microbrew industry, or at least one phenomenal microbrewer. When I travel to other cities I try to sample some of the regional beers. Cleveland has Great Lakes, which is decent. The windy city has Goose Island, which is pretty good. One of my favorites is KC's Boulevard Brewing Co. Here in the burgh we have...Iron City. :(

Bram Reichbaum said...

All depends on how you seize the opportunity...

illyrias said...

2 points schultz.
First. Yes, we don't have an equivalent of Great Lakes Brewing, but we do have respectable local (and semi-local) breweries - check out the discussion on

Second. I never intended to imply that the Super Bowl would bring economic success to the city. I meant some local bands might get some national airplay and some local brews might get some national drinking and the people of the city will get a bit of a bonus if their jobs are in any way tangentially related to the hospitality industry. As an added bonus, Visit Pittsburgh gets some free national publicity.

Jerry said...

Schultz, I think at least one of Penn Brewery, East End Brewing, or Church Brew Works deserves the title "kick-ass microbrewery".

Schultz said...

Yes, I think Penn has some good beers. Haven't had anything from East End Brewing yet. Church Brew works is a restaurant and technically microbrewery, but I guess I was referring to microbrews that sell their beers in retail outlets, like a Great Lakes. I guess maybe microbrew is a bad term as I am thinking of regional brewers, like an Iron City, or a Yuengling, which is now sold all over the place, at least on this side of the country.

Jerry said...

Church Brew Works actually does sell beer in retail outlets. Nowhere near the volume (or, I think, geographic reach) of Great Lakes, but they sell at some local stores.

Let's hope that Penn Brewery remains a regional brewer from the western part of the state.

illyrias said...

Schultz, definitely check out East End Brewing, their growler hours are great. Also, they're on tap at numerous places such as Tessaro's and Smokin' Joes.

I'm sure that the soon-to-open Fat Heads Cleveland will have some Pittsburgh brews on tap.

Schultz said...

I'll have to look for them next time I'm at Smokin Joes. Thanks for the tip. One thing I noticed about the other cities I mentioned above is that you could go in pretty much any bar and find the top regional beer on tap. If these regional / local beers are as good as you say then our bars need to do a better job at getting them on tap. We take pride in being a drinking town with a football problem, and we love to boast about the Stillers, so how about we spread some of that love and pride for our local beers?

illyrias said...

It turns out about 40 bars on this list have a dedicated tap:

I suggest you request it at your local bar. The bars won't serve it if we don't ask for it. :)

Schultz said...

Holy sh!t !! Johnny's Wife's Place out in Jeannette has it on tap! LOL! I worked out in Jeannette for few years back in the day and that was one of our lunch spots. I think it rules that they serve that brew all the way out in Jeannette. Thanks for the list. I will be on the lookout!