A man in glasses and a red hoodie sips from a can of beer at Pittsburgh's Barrel & Flow Fest.

Pittsburgh’s Barrel & Flow Fest

Celebrate Black artists, craft brews and the arts at the award-winning Barrel & Flow Fest Aug. 12, 2023.

Two-time USA Today’s 10 Best honoree, Pittsburgh’s Barrel & Flow Fest returns to celebrate, embrace and uplift Black artists, musicians, chefs and brewers around the country. Taking place Aug. 12, 2023, with an eclectic, creative and empowering schedule of events, the festival is a must-see Only in Pittsburgh experience.

As the first brew fest dedicated to Black brewers, drinkers and artists, Barrel & Flow Fest has put Pittsburgh on the Black brew map, and has helped position the city as one of the leaders in brewery diversity and inclusion.

Barrel & Flow Fest

What's with the name? Well, the Barrel refers to the brews and Flow references the performing artists and speakers. Together, Barrel & Flow represents what attendees can expect at the event: one-of-a-kind brews fresh from the barrel accompanied by live art, food vendors and entertainment all day.

This year, festivities will take place at The Stacks at 3 Crossings in the Strip District, where festivalgoers can enjoy exclusive craft brew collaborations, a uniquely curated collection of vendors, live music and entertainment, networking opportunities and plenty of fun. The festival is open from noon-9 p.m. Saturday for general admission and will feature more than 150 vendors.

Looking to enjoy Barrel & Flow Fest before the general public? Explore the VIP and Early Admission tickets (on sale Feb. 1, 2023) for early access and exclusive swag. Only 250 VIP tickets are available, and provide admission to all events Friday through Sunday and includes the conferencing events, bottle share, fest + catered luncheon by Roux Orleans and Sunday brunch.

A group of Barrel & Flow Festival attendees gather together and pose for a photo in Pittsburgh, PA.
Credit Barrel & Flow Fest

A Day of “Edutaining”

The weekend-long festival officially kicks off on Friday, Aug. 11, with a full day of events that are both educational and entertaining. Conferences, symposiums and panels with some of the biggest names in craft brewing. The festival’s first day will wrap up with an Evening Bottle Share event where attendees are invited to swap and sample craft brews from around the country.

A collection of beer cans sits on a table at Pittsburgh's Barrel & Flow Fest.
Credit Barrel & Flow Fest

A Week of Great Events

Barrel & Flow Fest is much more than a one-day event! Check out the full schedule below which includes events throughout the city at breweries, theatres, hotels and cafés.

  • Friday – Aug. 11, 2023: Day-long conference featuring panels, classes, and symposiums followed by a Friday evening bottle share. 
  • Saturday – Aug. 12, 2023: Festival Day: craft brew + art + music + marketplace, from noon - 9:00pm, with over 75 breweries, 50 collaborations, 75 vendors, and dozens of Black artists, musicians, and performers. 
  • Sunday – Aug. 13, 2023: Sunday Brewers Brunch, featuring beer and food pairings.

Must-Try Collaborations

Your tasting glass is your passport to trying all of the best beverages on tap at Barrel & Flow Fest. 40+ Black-owned breweries and distilleries will take center stage, serving their own brews alongside more than 55 craft brew collaborations. These unique creations are made by pairing local and national breweries together or with local artists, charities and restaurants to create a craft beer lover's paradise of beers you can only find here all in one place.

Here's just a few collabs to keep tabs on:

  • Pittsburgh-based and Black-owned Noire Distillery partnering with 412 Food Rescue and Angry Orchard
  • Lauded local brewery Dancing Gnome with local Black artist Malcolm Xavier
  • Montclair Brewery (one of my favorite pours from the 2022 festival) is back with a collab with Allagash Brewing
  • Atlanta-based and Black-owned Khonso Brewing collab with the master of the sours in Pittsburgh, Strange Roots

Other local collabs to look out for include brews from TLC Libations, Cinderlands, Burh'ers Brewing, Threadbare Cider, Kingfly Spirits, Brew Gentlemen, Goodlander Cocktail, Abjuration Brewing, Necromancer, Coven Brewing, Lucky Sign Spirits, Inner Groove and many more.

A shirtless musician strums a guitar on stage at Pittsburgh's Barrel & Flow Fest.
Credit Barrel & Flow Fest

Four Stages of Entertainment

2023 Entertainment TBA

Barrel & Flow Fest will feature multiple stages with full lineups of local, national and international Black artists. Performances include A'Leighsha (from Pittsburgh's South Hills), Kuf Knotz & Christine Elise, N3ptune & Rusty Steve, Burgh-based Mars Jackson, Pittsburgh saxophonist Lee Robinson, Kenny Stockard and Burgh-native ANQWENIQUE, plus sets from live DJs and live artist demonstrations throughout the day.

For the full lineup including times and stage locations, visit the Barrel & Flow website.

More than Music and Brews

Be sure to check out the The Freshest Market '23 where vendors will be selling their art and wares from the Cigar Father's Cigar Lounge to The Tiny Bookstore and everything in between. 

Hungry? Grab some Street Fries, some BBQ from Uncle Rick's Smokehouse and dessert from CobblerWorld among the dozens of food vendors in attendance.

Network with Black focused non-profits and companies and support projects like the restoration of Pittsburgh’s National Opera House, the longest running Black opera company in the country.