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Pittsburgh’s Two Female Brewers Brew Up a Little History With ‘Square Dancing’

Caiti Sullivan, brewer at Dancing Gnome and Lauren Hughes, recently named Necromancer Brewing‘s Head Brewer, joined forces to resurrect an old, nearly forgotten style of beer: the Kentucky Common.

Square Dancing was brewed at Dancing Gnome partly because the folks at DG have been so supportive along the way and partly because the two female brewer friends never had the opportunity to brew alongside each other! It was a no brainer to reach out to them for Necromancer’s first collaborative effort.

Necromancer Brewing is expected to open a production facility by 2021 and taproom by 2022, which will be located in the North Hills.

The focus of the forthcoming brewery is to resurrect older, less popular styles from the pre-Prohibition era. The Kentucky Common is a great example of such styles.

“At it’s core, it is a dark cream ale,” says Lauren. “It was one of the most common styles before prohibition – probably because it is a crushable, easy drinking beer, but also because it could be quickly turned around  (6-8 days since they finished fermentation in casks to send to pubs) and not super expensive to make in those times. Unfortunately, after Prohibition it hasn’t made much of a comeback having to compete with American lagers.”

The reason the Kentucky Common had such a quick turn around time is because back then, they would rack the beer in barrels while it was actively fermenting and tightly bunged allowing it to naturally carbonate by the time it would hit the tap at saloons.

Square Dancing is brewed with 2-row, caramel malts, chocolate rye and flaked maize which will give the beer a toasty, caramel, bread-like profile as well as a moderate corn sweetness. The beer was then hopped with American hops and fermented with Cali Lager yeast, set at a warm temperature.

At 4.5% ABV and 25 IBU’s, folks can expect a malt forward beer that is rounded out by a hoppy bitterness leaving a delicate, well-balanced, and all around crushable beer with just enough maltiness for the season.

Square Dancing will be available a week from today in cans and on tap at Dancing Gnome and at the latest pop-up project from the creators of Lagerlands PGH (which is now closed for the season), Fir Junction.

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Image courtesy and property of Necromancer Brewing.

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