From Hoptoberfest to Smoketoberfest ... and Greensburg Craft Beer Week

There’s a lot of drinking this weekend in and around Pittsburgh, starting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday when Lawrenceville’s Church Brew Works serves its Wicked Witch Pumpkin Ale from a big pumpkin.

Friday night, from 6 to 9 p.m., Downtown’s Rivers Club hosts Hoptoberfest, at which attendees can sample the wares of more than a dozen homebrewers, as well as the brews of Penn Brewing. There’ll also be food, live music and mingling at the usually private club ($35, 

On Saturday, from 4 to 7 p.m., Brew 32, the beermaking part of Nova Destinations, is holding is second-annual Field at Nova Brewfest in the Spring Water Pavilion at Pulaski, Lawrence County. For $30, attendees get a souvenir glass for sampling the beers made by the home team as well as several visitors, including Brewtus, Stone Church, Depot Saloon and forthcoming Lake Hill and Barnstone breweries, with unlimited appetizers and a pretzel necklace. Designated drivers get the apps and a non-alcoholic drink station for $15. There’ll also be music and games ( 

Millvale and its Community Development Corp. are hosting the 2017 Harvest Moon Wine Festival from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Millvale Riverfront Park. There will be not only a lot of Pennsylvania wine but also mead, tea, local food, desserts and coffee, plus a bonfire and music by the Funky Fly Project. Tickets are $50 or $25 for designated drivers; there’s a “very important wine drinker” ticket with extra perks for $80 (

Sunday, from 4 to 8 p.m., Lawrenceville’s Roundabout Brewing takes it outside onto 49th Street to celebrate it smoked beer and smoked cuisine from mobile vendors — including Asado, Blowfish BBQ, Driftwood Oven and Smoke — with its fourth-annual Smoketoberfest. Those tickets are $25 ( 

Also on Sunday, from 4 to 7 p.m., there’s a beer-tasting porch crawl in Ben Avon — the North Boroughs YMCA’s Annual Hops & Homes for Hope ($30,

Then, next week, it’s Greensburg Craft Beer Week. Monday through next Sunday, area breweries, bars, restaurants and other places are holding events pairing beer with everything from chocolate and dessert to bicycling and yoga and art, and several events will raise money for charity. On Tuesday, for instance, Beer Arena will host a tasting of beers from Sobel’s Obscure Brewery in New Stanton, with proceeds benefiting Tri City Meals on Wheels. “S.O.B.” also will be involved in other events, including a Friday the 13th Beer Dinner at Sun Dawg Cafe in Greensburg, with beer proceeds benefitting Kiski Valley Cat & Kitten Rescue. 

If you hadn’t heard about this Obscure brewery, it launched in June, says chief operations officer Jackie Sobel, who runs it with her brother, Gordon, and father, David. They started homebrewing several years ago, then went commercial by having their recipes brewed at City Brewing in Latrobe. “Within a year, we’d like to be in our own facility,” probably in Westmoreland County, says Ms. Sobel, who notes that the beer already is available in 36 counties across the state. One cool location they’re looking at: The former Jones Brewing Co. in Smithton. 

They started with Inspirational IPA and are gradually releasing new brews, including Prehistoric Pilsner and, soon, a Cherry Almond Stout. She promises that the recipes will get more “obscure” — creative — when they’re brewing them themselves, which they plan to do in about a year. Learn more at    

Meanwhile, Greensburg’s beer week offers some other new brews — collaboration made just for the week including a red IPA (by All Saints and Noble Stein), a pumpkin beer (by Yellow Bridge and Tapped), a Baltic porter with plums (by Fury and Levity) and a double IPA (by All Saints and Rivertowne). Get all the details and full schedule at

Bob Batz Jr.:, 412-263-1930 and on Twitter @bobbatzjr.


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