Lawrenceville Brewery hosting Hoptoberfest
It won’t have the rigid, sit-down structure of a beer dinner, nor will it match the utter pandemonium of the Big Pour, but that middle ground is just what Matt Gouwens is aiming for. His Hop Farm Brewing Company, which turns a year old this month, will host its first annual Hoptoberfest on Saturday, September 27 from 2 to 5:30 p.m.

Hoptoberfest will feature 19 different beers from 18 different breweries (Hop Farm will have two), with each beer carefully paired to a small plate from a local food vendor. Local craft stalwarts such as Roundabout and East End will participate, as will out-of-towners like New York’s Brooklyn Brewery and Colorado’s Boulder Beer. The featured beers will be primarily harvest-themed, so expect a nice array of wet-hopped ales, pumpkin beers, Oktoberfestbiers and harvest ales.

“The food vendors are working directly with the breweries,” Gouwens says. “It’s fun to see the creative wheels turning.”

Kelly’s Bar & Lounge will be pairing a pumpkin’d-up version of their celebrated mac and cheese to go with a locally produced pumpkin ale, and French bakery La Gourmandine will be whipping up a pastry to complement the debut of Hop Farm’s Lemon-Basil Saison.

Local musicians The Red Western and Slim Forsythe will each play sets out of the brewery’s loading dock. Tickets for the event, limited to 300, are $45 (22 for designated drivers) and may be purchased through Eventbrite.

All proceeds from the event will go to Camp Chihopi, a program of the Children’s Foundation of Pittsburgh.

Wet Hoptober
Just as Yuengling Lager shouldn’t be confused with Yuengling’s Ice Cream (which, by the way, is freaking delicious), the aforementioned Hoptoberfest is in no way connected to GTECH Strategies’ second annual Wet Hoptober, which will take place Friday, October 3 at the Wigle Whiskey Barrel House in Spring Garden.

Last year, GTECH started working with The Hop Project to grow hop crops for East End Brewery on vacant portions of the Garfield Community Farm. It’s a great piece of creative reuse that, in addition to giving purpose to otherwise empty space, helps get you a little sauced.

On top of three distinct wet-hopped beers from East End, Wigle will use the event to roll out its new hopped whiskey. Marty’s Market will be on hand with delicious snacks.

Tickets to the event are $35 ($18 for designated drivers) and proceeds from the event will support GTECH’s creatively reused spaces.

Independent Pizza opening this Wednesday at Public Market.
Independent Pizza opening this Wednesday at Public Market.

Independent Pizza Co. opening at the Public Market
The Independent Pizza Co. will open for business in the Pittsburgh Public Market on Wednesday and you’re never going to guess what they’ll be making.

Alright, so maybe you have a vague idea. They’re slinging artisan pies made from fresh, local ingredients.

Indie debuted its pizza during Yelp’s Burgh Bash on Thursday evening with early reviews ranging from “yummy” to “adorable.”

While we’re not yet sure what makes the pizza independent—perhaps it can’t vote in a primary election, or maybe it’s signed to a label so underground that it hasn’t even heard of itself—Eat/Drink is super stoked to try their stuff, and we hope they can add another dimension of drama to the ongoing, ignominious feud between Pizza Boat and Bread and Salt.

Odds, ends and openings

  • Tako, the taqueria and tequila joint from Tolga Sevdik and Chef Rick DeShantz—owners of Meat & Potatoes and Butcher and the Rye—is under construction in the space next door to Butcher and is aiming to open in late November.
  • Willow, the Ohio Township spot from S+P Restaurant Group (owners of Spoon, BRGR and Grit & Grace), reopened yesterday. The restaurant had been closed for remodeling since July.
  • Bea Martinez opened Bea’s Taco Town last week at 633 Smithfield Street in Downtown. Bea’s offers tacos, dorados, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas and an array of sides at stupidly reasonable prices and makes for a very nice addition to the Downtown lunch scene.
  • Mezzo, the third and final phase of Downtown’s Sienna Mercato, will be open by early October. The second-floor restaurant, which is sandwiched between the first-floor Emporio and the third-floor Il Tetto, will offer wine, charcuterie and wood-fired pizza. 
  • Slice On Broadway continues to be the real deal in its new installation on Main Street in Carnegie. It’s not just that the pizza is solid, though it is. Here’s the thing: though condiments are sometimes nice to have, pizza shouldn’t require them. That said, if you’re going to make condiments available in a pizza-type situation, you’ve got to bring more to the table than shakers of grated Parmesan and red pepper flakes. We’re talking about oregano, folks, and Slice on Broadway understands this. it’s nice having them available. In that vein, Eat/Drink is thrilled to know that there’s at least once place to which we don’t have to bring our own oregano.

Matthew Wein

Matthew Wein is a local writer, editor, blogger, storyteller and proud native Pittsburgher. Once described as "a man of things," he covers city design, spirits and craft beer for NEXT, where he keeps all of the editorial meetings light-hearted and interesting. His interests include sorting books, looking at old things and candles which smell like old-growth pine forests.