Looking for something boozy to do this weekend that has nothing to do with pumpkins or pumpkin-flavored brews? Here are two beer events in the area that should please the palate of local hopheads:
Oliver Brewing Company's grand opening of its new brewery is set for this Saturday, Nov. 7, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (4216 Shannon Drive,  244-8900, oliverbrewingco.com). Expect specialty bottles and exotic offerings at the event, such as pours of rum barrel-aged 3 Lions Ale and bourbon barrel-aged Expect No Mercy Scottish Ale as head brewer Steve Jones breaks in the tasting room. The event will also feature tours of the brewery, a band, and plenty of food trucks. The tasting room's permanent schedule will be announced in the next week or so and there is no charge to attend the grand opening, unless of course you want to drink beer.
On a related note, Oliver Brewing partners Justin Dvorkin and Donald Kelly were granted a new restaurant license by the Baltimore City Liquor Board on October 22 for 901 W. 36th St. "We're very excited to fill a niche in Hampden," he said. "Right now, there's a lot of chef-driven places and there's a gap for a comfortable place you can go to several times a week with great craft beer and watch a game."
So will this as-yet-unnamed restaurant be a Pratt Street Ale House North? Dvorkin said they haven't come up with a name yet, but said that it will be "a mixture of our three locations," as Dvorkin and Kelly are also partners in Park Tavern in Severna Park and the Columbia Ale House in Columbia, as well as the Pratt Street Ale House downtown. "We're going to bring that active craft-beer culture to the neighborhood. It's a great beer area, with Union Brewing and others. We think there's a gap in the market there and we look forward to filling it." By "active craft-beer culture," Dvorkin means weekly tap takeovers, pint nights, and beer dinners at the restaurant.
Dvorkin's and Kelly's lawyer, Abraham Hurdle, has bold dreams for Oliver. "I want to see them expand some more and not just see their beer regionally, but have them go nationwide," he told me at City Hall after the Liquor Board hearing. Dvorkin also senses a bigger goal, but seems to be most interested in consistently delivering good beer to the public. "We get constant and favorable reactions from beer drinkers. We can produce the product and get the immediate feedback from our regular customers in the restaurants."
Edgewater's Old Stein Inn (1143 Central Ave., Edgewater,  798-6807, oldstein-inn.com) is becoming a craft-beer destination after decades of being known as an authentic German restaurant with hard-to-get German beers. The restaurant celebrates the grand opening of its Bier Bär, with year-round outdoor communal tables, a haute cuisine menu of small plates, and more than 25 craft beers, on Nov. 6. Owner Mike Selinger said he plans to add 10 tap lines dedicated to craft beers in the next month. This will complement the restaurant's impressive 40-beer-strong German list. Though it shocks my conscience, it turns out not everyone loves German beer and giant portions of food. At Bier Bär, you can have all the fun of Oktoberfest every weekend but now with a hoppy IPA in hand. Its first and featured craft beer for the grand opening is Manor Hill's The Gathering, a wet-hopped IPA from Howard County.