The month that pays homage to all things sudsy has suddenly gone high-end in the suburbs.
WITH THE GRAIN
American craftsmen and woodworking extraordinaire Wharton Esherick is more known for his rich and innovative wood sculptures and furnishings than beer, but for three Saturdays in October (12, 19 and 26) these two different worlds collide at the iconic artist’s whimsical Malvern studio, which is a work of art unto itself. In honor of Oktoberfest, the studio is giving hourlong, guided and narrated tours at this National Historic Landmark, where his ornate wooden sculptures were first created, complete with a special pop-up exhibition. Afterward, guests can lounge on the deck with a cold brew and muse about their interpretations of this artistic mastermind’s greatest works. Tours to be reserved in advance, whartonesherickmuseum.org
ARDMORE’S BEER BONANZA
Nowhere on the Main Line, or dare we say, all of the Philadelphia area, is a town more tapped into the local beer scene than Ardmore—which makes Ardmore Oktoberfest a no-brainer. While it includes the standard Oktoberfest activities, serious beer connoisseurs might want to head over to one of Tired Hands Brewing Company’s two Ardmore breweries—Brewcafé or Fermentaria—for some world-class lather. Deemed one of the top 100 brewers in the world for seven years running, the food at the James Beard Award semifinalist is no slouch either. “The Fermentaria is a wide-open lush industrial freakout,” says co-owner Jean Broillet IV. Indulge in shared plates like inventive tacos, Korean-style barbecue ribs and more—plus 12 beers on tap, best enjoyed at the four-seat custom-made Viking table. Sept. 28, destinationardmore.com/oktoberfest; tiredhands.com
A ROYAL PAIRING
While King of Prussia Beerfest Royale (Oct. 5, kopbeerfest.com) is more along the lines of standard Oktoberfest beer-slinging, the King’s Plate culinary competition counterpart (Oct. 3) is like its more refined older brother. Featuring some of King of Prussia’s best restaurants, guests will pair culinary bites from the likes of Eddie V’s, Bartaco, Paladar and Morton’s The Steakhouse with refined craft beers from small-batch breweries such as Cape May Brewing Company, Locust Lane Craft Brewery, and Tröegs Independent Brewing. If beer’s not your beverage of choice, creative cocktails and wine from local vineyards will be pouring plentifully, all to the backdrop of live music from Verona, an EBE band that is known for covering everything from Motown to R&B and country.