Drinks on them: Pitt leaders dish their favorite sips

By Alexa Bakalarski / Staff Writer

If you’ve ever wanted to buy Chancellor Patrick Gallagher a beer, you should probably order one he likes: a hoppy IPA.

But if you’ve ever wanted to buy Dean of Students Kenyon Bonner a brew, well, you probably shouldn’t. He prefers water. In the spirit of sharing good drinks, alcoholic or not, The Pitt News asked some familiar faces around Pitt and Oakland for their favorite sips.

Along with Gallagher and Bonner, we heard from other prominent figures on campus, including Senior Vice Chancellor Kathy Humphrey and Pitt’s “genius” poet, Terrance Hayes, on what brew, mixed drink or non-alcoholic drink they kick back with.

Patrick Gallagher


Favorite beer: Sierra Nevada

Gallagher began developing his taste while making his own beer as a postdoctoral physics student in Boston.

“I’m a home-brew guy, so I like a good, hoppy IPA,” Gallagher said. “I’m a hophead.”

In the summer, though, Gallagher said he switches out the Sierra Nevada for a wheatier beer, like a Hefeweizen.

“Very refreshing, I should add,” Gallagher said.

Kathy Humphrey

Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff

Favorite drink: Coffee

Humphrey abstains from the hard stuff, opting instead for the dark nectar all college students know: coffee.

But she didn’t begin drinking it until after her college days, when she was 40, discovering she loved it.

Now, Humphrey loves “the taste and smell” of coffee, taking the drink with two Equal sweeteners and cream.

Kenyon Bonner

Vice Provost and Dean of Students

Favorite drink: Water

Bonner sticks to the simple and healthy choice of water as his favorite beverage, but that wasn’t always the case.

“As a young person, his favorite beverage was ginger ale, but once he started playing college basketball, he became more health conscience and began drinking a lot of water and has never looked back,” Bonner’s spokesperson and Student Affiars Director of Communications, Shawn Ahearn, said.

Jeanne Marie Laskas

Director of Pitt’s Writing Program, author of “Concussion”

Favorite drink: Chardonnay

Laskas discovered her favorite drink — “crisp, dry chardonnay,” while in grad school at Pitt.

“It has bite,” Laskas said.

Terrance Hayes

Poet, English Writing Professor

Favorite drink: Stella Artois

Hayes realized his favorite beer was Stella Artois, “the Budweiser of Belgium,” his first time visiting the country.

“It was the only beer I recognized my first time in Belgium,” Hayes said, who defaults to it whenever he’s faced with too many choices.

Chris Cox

Executive Chef at Market Central

Favorite drink: IPA beers

Recently, Cox discovered he liked IPA beers, though he hasn’t found a specific favorite.

“I just like them,” Cox said. “I like how they taste in general.”

Maxine Bruhns

Director of the Nationality Rooms

Favorite drink: German dark beer

Bruhns said German dark beer is her favorite fermented drink because it “has much more body and flavor than light beer.”

She realized it was her favorite while abroad with her husband in Austria.

“We went to Germany (Berlin) for Oktoberfest. For the first time, I drank dunkles bier [“dark beer” in German],” Bruhns said. “From then on, I’d only drink dunkles bier, if I have a choice.”

Iris Matijevic

Executive Board Director of Pitt Program Council

Favorite drink: Hofbrauhaus Oktoberfest Beer

Matijevic said she likes all different kinds of beer, but she particularly likes the kind from the annual German autumn festival, Oktoberfest.

“I enjoy trying a lot of different beers, and it’s fun tasting all the variety there is out there,” Matijevic said.

She favors the seasonal Oktoberfest Beer from the South Side German brewery and restaurant Hofbrauhaus, where Matijevic had her first drink.

“They’re very crisp and refreshing, while having a lot of flavor to them as well,” Matijevic said. “Plus, it’s something that only really comes around once a year, so it’s a nice treat to look forward to.”

Nathan Clark

Cashier at Cathedral Coffee

Favorite drink: Not Your Father’s Root Beer

Clark found a new favorite drink after he had Not Your Father’s Root Beer at Applebee’s.

“I like root beer,” Clark said. “The drink tastes just like root beer, so it goes hand-in-hand.”

Maria Mugrage

Supervisor at Market Central

Favorite drink: Jack Daniel’s and Coke

While Mugrage’s favorite overall drink is the skinny vanilla latte from Starbucks, she likes to drink Jack Daniel’s Whiskey and Coke socially.

“I don’t like the taste of beer, so when I go out, that’s what I have,” Mugrage said.

Chavonte Dean

Cashier at Market Central

Favorite drink: Three Olives Loopy Bomb

After the second time she tried it, Dean said her favorite fermented drink is a Three Olives Loopy bomb — a mix of Three Olives Loopy vodka and Red Bull.

“It’s small, but it packs a punch,” Dean said. “Now it’s a drink that I can’t go without getting when I’m out. It tastes like Fruit Loops.”

Scott Kiesling

Linguistics Professor

Favorite drink: East End Monkey Boy

Kiesling said if he has to choose a favorite beer, he would go with East End Monkey Boy.

“I just like it,” Kiesling said. “[I realized it was my favorite] a couple of years ago when I tasted it sitting in the sun at Bettis’ Grill on the North Shore.”

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