The onset of fall means a number of things: leaves turning, football, apple picking. For beer fans, it means something else: Octoberfests. The yearly celebration of German culture and authentic beers like Marzens, Hefeweizens, and Festbiers is a staple in Pittsburgh, and annual festivals like Penn Brewery's Oktoberfest need no introduction. But now, there's a new kid on the block.
This weekend, Beers of the Burgh is hosting its first-ever Rocktoberfest in the SouthSide Works on Sat., Sept. 17 from 12-10 p.m. While this event will have many of the staples of the Oktoberfests you know and love (beer, food, live music, and dancing), each element will be just a little different than you’re used to.
“We were looking for a unique spin to put on a new event that mirrors our Traveling Beer Market series on a larger scale: more food trucks, more music,” says Mark Turic, founder of Beers of the Burgh. “Around the same time, there seemed to be a resurgence in the popularity of some seasonal styles and we noticed a trend towards Oktoberfest beers and some really interesting variations. That inspired us to put our own nontraditional spin on the fall celebration itself. We really wanted to plan something for drinkers and non-drinkers alike.”
The beer will feature some of the best local breweries in the area, including Dancing Gnome, Cinderlands, Golden Age, and Mindful Brewing. According to Turic, each brewery will be pouring a classic Oktoberfest-style beer they make, along with something else they produce, giving attendees a chance to sample a whole host of styles and breweries.
Food trucks will also be plentiful, although maybe not the typical Oktoberfest fare you’re used to. Black Dog Wood Fired Pizza, Veggies N’At, Brisketburgh, and Auntie Anne’s pretzels will all be on-site, again giving people a mix of traditional fare (never a bad time to eat a pretzel) and items these trucks specialize in best, ranging from pizza to plant-based soul food.
And then, of course, there’s the music. German tunes may be the defining element of traditional Oktoberfests, but those attending this Saturday's event can expect yet another new twist on the classics. Rocktoberfest will feature some of the most interesting music that Pittsburgh has to offer, including NASH.V.ILL, Stone Throwers, the Moat Rats, and more. For Turic, it may be the most exciting part.
“There's a really incredible line-up of eight local bands across two stages, curated by Danni and Maddy from Keystone Artist Connection," Turic says. "We're incredibly grateful for their help and can't wait to see the shows they helped bring to life.”
Beers of the Burgh presents Rocktoberfest. 12-10 p.m. Sat., Sept. 17. SouthSide Works. 2801 S. Water St., South Side. $15-20. southsideworks.com