Photo courtesy of Inner Groove Brewing.

Looking to beautify your garden? Have a beer while buying begonias at Botany & Booze, the Verona Garden Club’s fundraiser on May 21 and 22 at Railroad Park, 736 E. Railroad St.

Now in its second year, the event features 15 breweries, 40 craft vendors, live music, and plant sales, of course. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. both days with beer poured until 4 p.m. There will be 250 tickets sold online for each session, although you don’t need a ticket to browse the vendor area.

Verona Garden Club President Kim Roller says Botany & Booze raised $10,000 last year. Photo courtesy of the Verona Garden Club.

Kim Roller, president of the nonprofit garden club, says the $10,000 raised last year helped to maintain several public flower beds and supported garden tours and educational workshops. The club recently purchased 24 self-watering, hanging baskets for Verona’s business district, which Botany & Booze attendees will see along Allegheny River Boulevard.

Roller, who joined the club two years ago, says new members are always welcome and you don’t have to be a Verona resident to join. The group meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Verona Borough Building, 736 E. Railroad Ave. Send an email for more information.

Roller and Verona Garden Club Secretary Erin Palermo partner with the owners of Verona’s Inner Groove Brewing to help pull off a plant-filled beer fest.

“There’s a stigma that gardening clubs are for an older generation,” Roller says. “Gardening is for everyone, and beer seemed like a good transition into that.”

Inner Groove Brewing now has a flipside

Like the plants sold at Botany & Booze, Inner Groove is growing.

The brewery, named after the spot on the vinyl record where bands lay hidden tracks, is ready to spin tunes and pour beers in Allentown when its new taproom opens on Saturday, May 7 at 827 Warrington Ave.

Operating hours are noon to 10 p.m. The 1,400-square-foot storefront will feature the same laidback aesthetic as the Verona production facility, which opened in 2019.

Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Mixed Culture.

Pittsburgh Mixed Culture beer festival

Cinderlands Beer Co. and Trace Brewing are teaming up for a new summer beer festival that underscores their shared love of saison and mixed culture beer.

Pittsburgh Mixed Culture will take place on July 30 at the Freedom Farms Event Center in Valencia.

Attendees can sample fermentation-forward styles from more than 40 breweries representing 19 states and two countries. The festival will feature two sessions, capped at roughly 800 patrons per session, with a VIP tier available as well as a shuttle service. Tickets are available online.

In addition to showcasing unique beers, festival organizers are offering free table and booth space to a number of local organizations to get the invitation out beyond craft beer’s well-worn boundaries: the Pittsburgh Brewery and Diversity Council, Barrel & Flow Fest, True T Pittsburgh, SisTers Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Aid.

To help ensure that festival attendees have a positive experience, Pittsburgh Mixed Culture is partnering with Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) on training sessions for all festival staff, vendors and participating breweries. The goal is to create a safe, harassment-free experience for everyone “regardless of sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, national origin, religion, or other characteristics.”

PAAR will also facilitate a well-being station that attendees can use to relax in a safe space and access resources if they need them. Pittsburgh Mixed Culture is also contracting with the #NotMe app for anonymous reporting of instances of dangerous behavior, harassment and assault. The festival’s designated driver support area will offer coffee and non-alcoholic beverages to encourage designated drivers to safely participate during the day’s festivities.

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.