Saturday is the 11th annual Millvale Brewfest, which offers attendees a chance to sample nearly 200 beers, including a “mystery beer” that they can try to identify.
Sampling sessions run from 1 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 in advance or $60 at the event, if there are any left. Designated drivers get water and soft drinks and get in for $10. “Very important” tickets are available for beer drinkers for $75 ($85 at the event), granting them half-hour-early admission and other perks including tent-covered seats, food pairings and souvenirs including a growler. There’s a $20 “very important” ticket for designated drivers, too. There’s live music during both sessions.
Those who bike or kayak to the festival — via the Three Rivers Heritage Trail or roads and the Allegheny River — will get a bottle koozie.
Several food trucks will be on hand to feed folks for additional cost. You can look for the site of the Pittsburgh Food Truck Park that’s planned for the area.
Admission proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Millvale Borough Development Corp., which works to stabilize, revitalize and rejuvenate neighborhoods there.
Missing this year will be Tony “The Beerman” Knipling, the Vecenie Distributing salesman who died last month. He was “such a force” behind starting and maintaining the event, says borough director of administrative services and zoning officer Eddie Figas, “he will be sadly missed.” But also, some how, recognized.
For tickets, visit showclix.com/event/millvalebrew107143624.
Also on Sunday, from 1 to 4 p.m., the Northside Brew Trolley will visit four neighborhood breweries — Southern Tier, Allegheny City, Penn and War Streets — and Wigle distillery’s Barrelhouse and Whiskey Garden before finishing where it started, with dinner at Benjamin’s Burger Bar on Western Avenue. Drinks at each stop and dinner included for the $95 ticket (plus $6.22 in fees at eventbrite.com/e/north-side-brew-trolley-tickets-36358613592). Organizer is War Street Brewery’s Jake Bier. Spoiler alert: This trolley ain’t stopping at his original brewery location in the 1877 fire station on Arch Street. Mr. Bier now plans to locate the brewery’s taproom at what’s now Benjamin’s. Watch this space for updates as he finishes all the paperwork.
Grove City looks to be getting another brewery. We wrote last week of the opening there of Koehler Brewing Co. Meanwhile, Big Rail Brewing Co. — it’s been brewing at the Harmony Inn — has announced the purchase of a 12-acre lot for its own taproom at 2158 Mercer Butler Pike that should open by 2019. Owner Bill Smith is planning “a cozy tap room, with a bar, fireplace and comfortable tables and benches” with a light menu that could be supplemented by food trucks or caterers. “When the weather’s nice, there will be large garage-style doors that we can open wide and let in a fresh breeze, as well as a beer garden among the trees.” More at bigrailbrewing.com.
From 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, it’s “Growlers & Flowers,” a beers-and-blooms fundraiser for the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden in Oakdale. You can enjoy local brews and horse d’oeuvres in the park’s Discover Stations and gardens, where there’ll be live music. Admission is $35 ($30 for Garden members). For tickets and more, visit PittsburghBotanicGarden.org or call 412-444-4464.
Also happening Saturday, a bit farther afield, are the State College Brew Exp — the 19th one (statecollegebrewexpo.com) and the Drake’s Folly Brewfest in Titusville -— the eighth (thebluecanoebrewery.com).
Bob Batz Jr.: email@example.com, 412-263-1930 and on Twitter @bobbatzjr.