by Mark Powell

More than 10,000 people will swarm to Troy Hill this weekend for local beer, live music and ethnic foods as Penn Brewery hosts its annual Oktoberfest celebration.

Oktoberfest is Penn Brewery’s largest annual event, attracting thousands of guests each year to enjoy a day deeply rooted in German culture. This year the festival is offering seven Penn Brewery beers, authentic Germans dishes and live oompah-style music.

Last year more than 12,000 plastic milk jugs of beer were given out. This number is expected to increase as it has every year since 2009.

Beer will be served in half-gallon jugs
Beer will be served in half-gallon jugs

Penn Brewery has made some slight modifications from last year’s event.

“We’re always trying to improve the customer experience,” said Director of Marketing Linda Nyman. “Little changes go a long way.”

There is now additional parking near the end of the 16th Street Bridge to go along with the lots at the Sara Heinz House, North Catholic High School and Schiller Academy. There will also be bathroom attendants in every restroom.

Penn Brewery organizers say they plan to take extraordinary steps to limit drunk driving at this year’s event.

Pittsburgh Police will survey the event for possible drunk drivers. They also hired private security to ensure everyone stays safe. The safety precautions don’t end there.

“Our servers are trained not to serve anyone who looks visibly intoxicated, and we put numerous signs up throughout our facility providing the phone number of a taxi service,” said Nyman.

Oktoberfest runs 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday through Saturday, and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Guests under the age of 21 cannot stay later than 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and must be accompanied by an adult.

Oktoberfest has been a day of celebration in Germany for over 200 years. In Munich, close to a million people enjoy beer, sausage, and music during the celebration. The tradition was brought to America by German immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Penn Brewery has hosted the event more than 20 times since they opened in 1989.

Mark Powell is an aspiring journalist and currently a Junior at the University of Pittsburgh.

Penn Brewery to hold annual Oktoberfest this weekend