There has been a VERY quiet movement happening in the Highland Park, Pittsburgh, PA. A movement of the Craft Beer kind. As the East End and specifically, the East Liberty corridor grows and renews itself, CoStar Brewing has decided to make this area its home as a start-up brewery. In 2010 Jeff Hanna and Dominic Cincotta decided that the time was right to make the move to nanobrewery. Recruiting two other partners in Jeff’s wife and brother, CoStar was launched with the mission to deliver a high quality beer.
This entire process started with a passion for beer. Dom and Jeff sitting in a local watering hole asking themselves what it would take to serve their wares to more than their friends. With a combined background made up of finance and beverage marketing, they realized they would need help. Jeff and Dom decided to engage the process fully, and to all of the ground, paper, and legal work on their own without hiring professionals. They thought this would give them a better understanding of the industry they were entering. After some very helpful insight from the PLCB on legal issues and building specs, along with an agreement with the Highland Park Community council, CoStar was launched and incorporated in November of 2011
CoStar was licensed by the federal and state boards, and began sales in February, 2013. Launched in a converted garage with a 10 gallon brew system and a 40 gallon fermenter, CoStar worked through the year to sell their brews and reinvest every dollar to expand production. As of December 2013, CoStar rotates 3 temperature controlled 40 Gallon fermenters in individual refrigeration units. Brewing once a week and running their system 3 times a day leads to 12 hour work days. This may seem like a hectic schedule but it is allowing CoStar to have a supply of their Pale Ale at all times, while rotating a seasonal.
CoStar does not describe themselves as extreme brewers or having the next big trend in beer in waiting in the wings. What they do pride themselves on is delivering a high quality product that is approachable. They embrace the concept that you can’t push the limits of what is new without excelling at understanding and delivering the basics. In that, CoStar launched themselves into the market with their Pale Ale, Hopland Park paying homage to their location and community. They have since developed a roster of 12 brews including basics like the Brick Alley Brown Ale to a Belgian Strong Ale labeled Seminary Sacrilege.
Costar has been quietly brewing, kegging, and delivering 30 gallons at a time every Saturday to local establishments such as Kelly’s Bar and Lounge, Highland and Harvard, Up Modern Italian Kitchen, Harris Grill, and their newest customer, Mad Mex. CoStar does not currently bottle or can their beer, and that is done on purpose. During its founding, the CoStar principals recognized the opportunity of community before them. By only delivering sixtels, patrons seeking a taste will have to go to a local establishment. CoStar hopes that this will entice them to buy a pint or two of their constituents’ brews as well as some local food benefiting the local economy.
CoStar was founded on the principal that the simple things in life can be the best. You don’t have to break all of the rules to be new, fresh, and inspiring. You just have to do it well. This is what CoStar strives to do and deliver a product that allows the brewery to be true to themselves in creating a quality and consistent product that engages the consumer in an experience that goes beyond a single brew. They realize that their wares will not be for everyone, but they also recognize that you don’t have to like something to appreciate where it comes from and what it stands for. CoStar stands for the beer, not the hype along with a humble sense of carrying on a great tradition with roots as far back as mankind. They hope this comes through in their beer and that you can find one in a local watering hole near you soon!