Photo courtesy of Sobel's Obscure Brewery.

Sobel’s Obscure Brewery, or S.O.B., located in Jeannette, PA, might not be so obscure anymore.

The business, owned by father-daughter duo David and Jackie Sobel, has been cranking out lots of interesting beers lately, including a collaboration with Spork Pit in Garfield.

The Overnight Smoke is a hickory-smoked vanilla brown ale that clocks in at six percent ABV. It’s available in 16-ounce cans as singles and four-packs at Spork Pit at 5349 Penn Ave. The demand for the brew has been so high, they might have to make another batch.

“We partnered with Sobel on this because they had previously brewed a beer for us in the summer of 2019 called Sporkberry Ale. Sobel completely knocked it out of the park on that one,” says Dane Calo, the barbecue joint’s general manager. “When we decided to stay open for the winter this year, we reached out to Sobel again to see if they would brew something special for the upcoming winter. Again, they did an amazing job! The Overnight Smoke turned out to be everything a patron looks for in a brown ale.”

Calo recommends pairing the beer with their prime brisket, which is smoked for 10 hours. The vanilla notes on the front end of the beer, as well as the finish, complement the richness of the meat.

The Overnight Smoke was created in Sobel’s one-barrel pilot brewing lab, a place where they like to have fun and get creative.

This summer, the family hopes to open their taproom, which is located in a 99-year-old structure on Clay Avenue in Jeanette. When renovations to the 18,000-square-foot Gillespie Building are complete, it will boast a kitchen and a three-barrel brewing system. Once the venue’s up and running for a while, SOB will expand to a 10-barrel system.

Located about 25 miles outside of Pittsburgh, the company already produces several large-scale flagship beers that they distribute throughout Pennsylvania, but Jackie Sobel says they’re releasing more experimental brews and making “house beers” for local restaurants like Spork Pit.

She wants to raise the bar, so to speak, on what constitutes a house beverage.

“When I go to restaurants and order the house chardonnay, it’s usually a bottom-shelf, lower-ABV wine,” she says. “I haven’t heard of many breweries producing house beers for people. We want to change that image.”

Speaking of images, S.O.B. regularly posts hilarious photos and videos. Don’t look at them while imbibing your beer … the liquid might just shoot out of your nose.

The NEXT Beer is a new column highlighting different brews, breweries and events in and around Pittsburgh. If you’ve got a beer-related news tip, send me an email. Cheers!

Kristy Locklin

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.