St. George's Day: Beer, a Saint, a Knight and a Collie!

04/23/2023 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM ET


History Society Event


  • Free


Leaning Cask Brewing Company
850 Pittsburgh Street
Springdale, PA 15144
United States of America


Beer, a Saint, a Knight and a Collie!


“. . . a little place in the country with a dog and a few good books.  Every Englishman's dream, really.” 

           ― Line spoken by David Niven in the 1963 film, 55 Days at Peking.



2023 marks the 150th anniversary of The Kennel Club, the first national Kennel Club in the world!  We are celebrating St. George’s Day with our furry friends at The Leaning Cask Brewing Co. in Springdale. Bring your pups and the family and discover the amazing life story of Eric Mowbray Knight, the author of the beloved classic, Lassie Come-Home. Make some new friends, with 4 legs or 2, as we lift our pints to cheer both England’s patron saint and man’s best friend!


We will start arriving at 1 p.m. with the presentations starting at 2 p.m.  After a brief look at St. George’s Day and why we celebrate it presented by Andy Kirtland, Britsburgh’s Kim Szczpinski will introduce us to Eric Knight, who rose from adversity and created one of America’s most enduring and beloved canine characters. Kim will share details of Knight's extraordinarily multi-faceted life - as Yorkshireman, journalist, novelist, British-American patriot and soldier, Hollywood screenwriter, Pennsylvania farmer and World War II spy - and who was tragically killed at the age of just 45 while on a secret war mission for President Roosevelt.  Also on hand will be Kathy O’Neill, trainer with PetsMart in Cranberry, with her collies. She will introduce us to and answer questions about this majestic, amazing breed.


NOTE: We will have that talk in the back room which has a capacity of approximately 40 people. Seating will be on a first-come first-served basis.


PHOTO OP:  Highclere Castle ("Downton Abbey") back-drop will be available for a stunning photo op for you and your pooch on the front lawn!  Highclere's current Lady Carnarvon (photo at right) is also a dog lover.


The Steer and Wheel food truck will be on site for food purchases (vendor subject to change if circumstances warrant).  Leaning Cask also permits you to bring in your own food at anytime and supplies menus for many local shops who will deliver to the pub.



Children are welcome but please be aware that all minors (anyone under the age of 21 yrs) must be monitored by a parent/guardian at ALL times.  Note that the talk on Eric Knight is geared to adults and older children (ages 13+).



PLEASE NOTE that all dogs must be leashed, well behaved and barking kept to a minimum. Sorry, but please leave all other furry friends/pets at home!



PARKING. Leaning Cask recommends parking in the lot directly behind the brewery. If steps are a concern, street parking is also available.



For more information, contact Kim Szczypinski of Britsburgh at





Kim Szczypinski is Study Abroad Coordinator at Duquesne University, from which she holds a master's degree in History.  Her area of particular interest is British History, Victorian era through World War II.  She has taught study abroad courses in the UK and Europe about the First World War for Duquesne students.  She currently serves as Vice President (Events) and Secretary of Britsburgh.  She is also on the Board of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Dickens Fellowship and is a member of the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers, a club for Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts.


Andy Kirtland is Vice President (Marketing and Membership) of Britsburgh. He is the co-founding Artistic Director of Pittsburgh's New Renaissance Theatre, with extensive acting credits, including with Pittsburgh Public Theatre (Our Town), Unseam’d Shakespeare Company (Complete Works… AbridgedOrlando), and Prime Stage (Walk Two Moons).  He has trained in classical theatre at the British American Drama Academy in London, and he specializes in unrehearsed cue script performances of Shakespeare.




Kathy O'Neill is a collie enthusiast and highly recommended obedience trainer for PetsMart in Cranberry.  She says, "Captain is on the left and Lassie is on the right. They are therapy dogs. They were certified in 2019.  They are siblings. I grew up with collies. My first collie, Lassie, was with  me from my birth for 12 years.  My second childhood collie, Lassie, helped me through my teenage years. Lol.  I have had nine collies in my lifetime, including the five I presently own.  I love dogs but I do have a soft spot for the rough collie.  I have trained a variety of breeds over the years."






1:00 p.m.  Gather for a pint and perhaps a bite, mingle with friends both human and canine

2:00 p.m.  St. George's Day observance and customs (Andy Kirtland)

2:10 p.m.  The Extraordinary Life of Eric Knight (Kim Szczypinski)

2:40 p.m.  An Introduction to the Collie (Kathy O'Neill) - talk and questions





Leaning Cask is a family owned/operated brewery and English style pub founded in 2016 by Josh and Stefanie Lipke. After traveling to England for a few years to see family, Josh and Stefanie took advantage of every opportunity to visit as many pubs as possible. They sought to bring their love of the English pub culture to the Pittsburgh area.  Josh started as a home brewer with an additonal passion for cooking. He quickly began incorporating English methods into his brewing seeking to create ale that reminded him of what he experienced in England with an American twist. This passion and method grew into what has become The Leaning Cask Brewing Company. 


You will find dog inspiration in many aspects of the Brewery.  Josh and Stefanie are the proud owners of a Beagle named Remi and a Vizsla named Kimber.  You are sure to find them wondering around the pub!  Leaning Cask appreciates all dogs and you will find inspiration behind each beer made here. Please remember that while dogs are welcome in the pub they must be well behaved and leashed.



Explore fascinating British-themed topics with the guidance of experts and enjoy the company and conversation of fellow enthusiasts as a member of Britsburgh. Members enjoy programs on topics such as the Arts, Beer, History, British Mystery, Literarature, Theatre, and Tea among others. If you are not already a member, we would like to invite you to consider becoming one. To become a member, visit the Britsburgh membership page.




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