Three Rivers Alliance of Serious Homebrewers
Almost twenty years ago several homebrewers from the Pittsburgh area had found each other at Chiodo's, the only local bar serving a good selection of imported beers. They decided to meet on a semi-regular basis and called themselves the Turtle Creek Homebrew club. This name seemed logical since the meetings took place at the founding father and "president for life", Tom O'Donnell's house in Turtle Creek.
The group numbered around a dozen and several of those original members are still active in the club. The members had read of a homebrewer from Jeannette, PA who won the HWBTA National homebrew competition and decided to do some recruiting. That led to the joining of Rob Enrico, later becoming the first formally elected club President and a current member for life. The clubs name was changed again to reflect the fact that the members were from areas outside of Turtle Creek. The Western Pennsylvania Homebrewers Organization was born and registered as a club with the AHA. Soon, the membership began to grow. The year was 1987 and homebrewing was enjoying a surge of growth as a hobby in the area. As a few new members joined and the meetings became regular, it was decided that another name change was needed. The floor opened for suggestions and discussions
Some of the suggested names produced acronyms that were less than desirable for a serious group of homebrewers. One popular suggestion was "Pittsburgh International Suds Suckers. This was a fairly accurate description of the club but the acronym wasn't something you'd want your kid to wear on a t-shirt. Then a female member, Cathy Benson, made the ultimate suggestion. She thought deeply about the macho attitudes of the mostly male group and changed the word association to alliance to suit the outlaw mood of the guys. A majority vote confirmed it and the Three Rivers Alliance of Serious Homebrewers, aka T.R.A.S.H., was born!
The club meets once a month at members homes and local restaurants.
T.R.A.S.H. is fortunate to have as members many award winning brewers and quite a few BJCP judges.
Tony Knipling is craft beer manager for Vecenie wholesale beverage distributor.
Some of the many activities of the club include a yearly nationally sanctioned homebrew competition, trips to breweries and pubs, educational beer making demo's and an annual family picnic.