Bits & Bites: Edible Gifts in Pittsburgh

By Rachel Jones + Maggie McCauley | Photographs by Michael Fornataro

Sipping Through the Season

Photograph by Michael Fornataro

Photograph by Michael Fornataro

Just in time to help you find the perfect present for the beer connoisseur in your life, Straub Brewery released its 2016 Straub Legacy Sampler. The St. Marys, Pa., brewery assembled the sampler with four fan-favorite brews: Helles, 1872 Lager, Doppelbock, and Dunkel. “Straub’s Legacy Sampler is one of our best examples of local handcrafted brewing that combines all that is good about craft beer and the deep traditions and heritage of Straub Brewery,” says Straub Brewery President and CEO William Brock. Each brew brings a different flavor profile to the table, expanding the opportunities for beer-and-food pairings throughout the holiday season. Ideal for hop-happy sippers, Helles brings a bit of bitterness with notes of spice and floral while staying true to its name (“helles” is German for “pale”). Pair it with a seafood, pasta, or vegetable dish that will match its lightness. Then, honor the brewery’s beginnings with 1872 Lager, which is inspired by Straub Brewery Founder Peter Straub. The classic, pre-Prohibition-style lager makes a fine partner for your next brinner — that’s breakfast for dinner — or a holiday ham or turkey. Delving into the darker options, we start with the Doppelbock. The smooth sips give off caramel, toffee, and dessert-like flavors that need to join you on your trip to the dessert table. And finally, we have the Dunkel. Rich in color and flavor without being too heavy, the medium-bodied, Munich-style brew is best enjoyed with foods from the country its inspired by, such as bratwurst, sauerkraut, and German potato salad. Prost! Straub Brewery, 303 Sorg St., St. Marys. 814.834.2875. — Rachel Jones

Grate Gift

Photograph by Michael Fornataro

Photograph by Michael Fornataro

Put together a beautiful charcuterie board this holiday season with help from an Emerald Valley Artisans cheese basket! Whether you need a last-minute gift or have guests dropping by, you’ll be a winner with these impressive gourmet selections. The gift basket comes complete with a variety of textures, as well as rich, savory, and sharp flavors. Black Jack, Isabella, Ricotta Chiesi infused with Italian black summer truffles, Mediterranean-style Feta, and Dry Curd Aged Smoked Mozzarella are among the cheese options. Additional pairings include Lancaster Farm House Coppa Trieste, Twirly Girl Pretzels, Olive Tap Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Tap Tuscan Herb Olive Oil, Emerald Valley Artisans Marinated Red Roasted Peppers, A519 Chocolates, and Christian Klay Chestnut Ridge Sunset Wine. What’s not to love? Emerald Valley Artisans, 166 Fava Farm Road, Scenery Hill. 855.67.GOTCOWS. — Maggie McCauley

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