AFTER A WEEK plagued by an earthquake, hurricane and the loss of the guy who took the cheesesteak recipe to his grave, Philly hardly needs an excuse to drink. So let’s just say that, looking at the beerscape ahead, we’re in for a unique array of foam-filled diversions.
Mark your calendars: There’s a month of blues, barbecue, Bavarians and a battleship ahead. Enjoy a cold one while you . . .
Wear your lederhosen. One of the area’s most authentic Oktoberfests is this weekend at Northeast Philly’s Cannstatter (9130 Academy Road). It’s three days of German food, beer, music, beer and more. Saturday through Monday, noon each day. Tix are $6 at the gate; children under 12 get in for free.
Chow down on ballpark grub. The Phillies are away during the Beer Fest at the Ball Park, but you can still enjoy popcorn, peanuts and Cracker Jack while sampling 50 beers from more than 25 craft breweries at Citizens Bank Park. 2 p.m. Sept. 10. Tix $35.
Pop a pils. Pilsner, that is, one of the region’s classic styles. The golden lagers will be pouring at the 3rd annual Pils Picnic at Johnny Brenda’s (Frankford and Girard, Fishtown). “Noon to night,” Sept. 10. Pay as you go.
Rub elbows with Joe Sixpack. I’m finally going to one of the area’s oldest beer events, the 17th annual Warminster Micro Blues Fest. Expect lots of excellent craft beer and live music at the Verienigung Erzgebirge club in Warminster. 1-5 p.m. Sept. 17. Tix $40 at Hatboro Beverage (201 Jacksonville Road, Hatboro). Info: 215-675-1078.
Get blasted. The WMGK Brew Blast aboard the Battleship New Jersey in Camden brings beer to one of the region’s iconic sites. The hulking ship docked on the Delaware is a fine festival venue with a fresh, one-of-a-kind view of the Philly skyline. Lots of local brews and imports will be pouring, and guests can take a free tour of the ship. 1-5 p.m. Sept. 17. Tix $45.
Monkey around. The Elwood Park Zoo in Norristown hosts an Oktoberfest on its grounds, 5:30-9 p.m. Sept. 17. Tix $45.
Bounce in a school bus. That would be aboard the Pennsylvania Craft Beer Bus, a new suburban beer travel business. Next trip: A tour of Lehigh Valley (Weyerbacher, Fegley’s Brew Works) and New Hope (Triumph). The ride includes ample samples, snacks and games. 11 a.m. Sept. 17. Tix $65.
Get artsy. The Jenkintown Festival of the Arts features lots of cool creations for sale. Enjoy samples from Prism, Magic Hat, Uinta and other breweries, then splurge on that abstract sculpture. 1-6 p.m. Sept. 18. Tix $25.
Smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em. That’s the name of Yards Brewing’s third annual tribute to smoke-flavored beers – the world’s largest devoted to the rare style. These are unique ales and lagers made with malt that was dried over wood fires, the way it was done before brewers discovered the wonder of the coal-fired kiln. There’s an amateur BBQ contest and other smoked foods on the menu. 2-6:30 p.m. Sept. 23. Tix $50.
Wear your lederhosen again. The annual Oktoberfest at Brauhaus Schmitz (718 South St.) starts on Sept. 19, when the German beer hall hosts beer specials, a bratwurst-eating contest and other fun events. It doesn’t end till Sept. 24 with a daylong block party that shuts down South Street.
Get hosed. The Newtown Beerfest at the Stocking Works, with beers from more than 75 breweries, benefits the Newtown Fire Association. 12:30-5:30 p.m. Sept. 24. Tix $40 ($75 VIP).
Slap dance with your favorite pumpkin. Enjoy Bavarian oompah music and traditional German Schuhplattler slap-dancing at Joe Sixpack’s Fall Beer Expo at the United German-Hungarian Club Oktoberfest. We’ll be pouring classic German lagers and newfangled pumpkin ales all afternoon. Sept. 25, with sessions at 1-3 and 4-6 p.m. Tix $35.
Get prehistoric. The Delaware Museum of Natural History calls its annual fund-raiser “Wine and Dinosaurs,” but everyone knows T-Rex was a beer man. This is a civilized beer sampling with beer education sessions led by Peter Cherpack of BeerAppreciation.com. Noon-4 p.m. Sept. 25. Tix $50.
Enough excuses? Well, it doesn’t end there. I count at least three serious beer events on Oct. 1 alone, with the Midtown Village Festival, the Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin Beer Festival at the Institute, and Oktoberfest at Stoudt’s Brewing in Adamstown, Pa.