What’s Brewing? Drink to the 219th year of Oktoberfest | TribLIVE.com

What’s Brewing? Drink to the 219th year of Oktoberfest

Mark Brewer
Jeff Zoet Visuals
The Grkmans take part in multiple bands throughout the Pittsburgh area performing traditional German music.
Penn Brewery
Penn Brewery’s Oktoberfest is Sept. 20-22 and again on Sept. 27-29.

Oktoberfest celebrates the traditions of Germany, in particular Munich, for the 219th time this year.

It has only been canceled 24 times due to war and epidemics. The annual festival, which originated with the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Princess Teresa, begins Sept. 21 and lasts until Oct. 6. The festival is celebrated worldwide with the main attraction being well-crafted German beer.

Patrons of establishments around the Pittsburgh area celebrating Oktoberfest can expect to see men dressed in the traditional Bavarian lederhosen — short or knee-length breeches made of leather that include suspenders worn over a checkered, collared shirt. Women wear dirndls — tight-fitting bodice over a puffy, white, low-cut blouse and a full skirt. A bow cinched on the right side of a woman symbolizes she has a significant other while a bow on the left means she doesn’t.

As most of us know, Oktoberfest is also synonymous with traditional German music. The Grkmans are an amazing musical family that takes part in multiple bands throughout the Pittsburgh area to bring us that great music. Seek them out and other German musicians at local Pittsburgh breweries including Hofbrauhaus and Church Brew Works. Check out the Grkmans page, grkmania.com.

Here are a few Oktoberfest celebrations you’ll want to check out as well:

Penn Brewery is selling tickets including VIP passes to its own Octoberfest on Sept. 20-22 and again Sept. 27-29. There will be plenty of German beer, German food and traditional German music all under huge tents, just as the tradition happens in Munich. The event will be packed, so be sure to purchase tickets soon if you plan to go. Details and tickets: pennbrew.com/ oktoberfest

Hofbrauhaus is all about German tradition 365 days a year. This year, they’ll be steeped in Oktoberfest tradition on Sept. 13-14 and then again on Sept. 20-21, for those of you who can’t get enough. Plenty of lederhosen, dirndls and traditional German music, too. See details at hofbrauhauspittsburgh.com

Spoonwood Brewing Co. in Bethel Park puts its own spin on Oktoberfest called Septemberfest. Starting on Sept. 20, there will be various events which include the tapping of Cinnamon Ghoul Pumpkin Ale on Sept. 20, the Septemberfest Bavarian menu release Sept. 24, axe throwing Sept. 27 and live music along the way. See events page at spoonwoodbrewing.com

Seven Springs Mountain Resort celebrates two days of Oktoberfest Oct. 5-6 during the annual Autumnfest. There will be plenty of live music, more than 80 craft vendors, a pumpkin patch and a hay maze in which kids can help adults find their way out. See it at 7springs.com

Mark Brewer is a Tribune-Review contributing writer. He’s the author and illustrator of “Brewology, An Illustrated Dictionary for Beer Lovers.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.