TRASH is among the oldest continuously operating homebrew clubs in the USA.  In 1985, 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 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. The club’s 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 began.

Club Member Cathy Benson ultimately developed the name we are still known by today. She thought deeply about the attitudes of the group and suggested “alliance” to suit the seriousness of the club. A majority vote confirmed it and the Three Rivers Alliance of Serious Homebrewers, aka TRASH, was born!


TRASH meets monthly at member’s homes and local breweries. At our meetings you can sample beers brewed by our members ranging from simple ales and lagers to exotic spiced seasonal brews, sours, and beers made with fruit, wheat, oats, or smoked grains. We also have an annual homebrew competition, picnic, a holiday party and several other group events.


BJCP Competitions


TRASH holds an annual BJCP competition, and, like the club itself, it is among the oldest homebrew competitions out there, with the first annual competition being held in 1990.  It is among the region’s largest competitions (375 entries!) and has developed a reputation for being well-organized. This reputation helps attract some of the most highly qualified BJCP judges.  The October 2018 BYO Magazine profiled the TRASH 28 competition in its article on running competitions.


National Success

TRASH members have enjoyed great success at the National Homebrew Competition.  Medaling at Nationals is a spectacular accomplishment, and a dream goal for many competitive homebrewers.  These TRASH members are among the best homebrewers on the planet.


Top Awards

Zach Kosslow – Homebrewer of the Year – 2017


Gold Medal Winners

Sean Kinnas – Imperial Stout – 2018

Zach Kosslow – Brett Beer – 2017

Andy Weigel – Vienna Lager – 2015

Keith Kost – Fruit Beer – 2012


Silver Medal Winners

John Rozborski – Belgian Specialty – 2015


Bronze Medal Winners

Malcolm Frazer – California Common – 2017

Armand Houle – Eisbock – 2016

Matt Backman – Belgian Specialty – 2014


The TRAShy Award

The TRASHy award was created in 1998 by club member Terry Sasala to be awarded to the best beer at the annual club picnic.  The TRASHy has awarded approximately annually ever since. With now 20 years of names, the Stanley Cup of TRASH has become a piece of living history.


TRAShy Winners

1998 Ed Bloom

1999 Ralph Colaizzi

2000 Michael Wright

2001 Terry Sasala and Rick Story

2002 Armand Houle

2003 Mark Sewell

2004 Keith Kost

2005 Greg Wormley

2006 Jim Bluemle

2007 S&M Brewing

2008 Armand Houle, Keith Kost, and Chris Meta

2009 Armand Houle

2010 S&M Brewing

2011 Andy Kwiatkowski

2013 Derek Rosso

2014 Malcolm Frazer

2016 Ed Bloom

2017 Ed Bloom

2018 Sean Kinnas


Going Pro

Many TRASH members and alumni have made the leap from brewing at home to brewing professionally.  TRASH alumni can be found at many Pittsburgh-area breweries such as Hitchhiker, Helicon, Burghers, Fury, East End, and Apis Meadery as well as more widely known breweries such as The Alchemist, and MilllerCoors.