The month known for its crisp air, colorful hillsides and flavorful brewskis has arrived.

York beer lovers, welcome to October.

Kicking off the local beer-festival season this weekend is the annual Brews, Brats and Bands at Sovereign Bank Stadium. On Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m., 30 breweries hailing from 10 states and two countries will be pouring beer.

Among them are three York-based breweries, including one that hasn’t yet opened its doors.

Described by one organizer as “an amusement park of awesomeness,” the event is now in its fourth year.

Nationally, craft brews are growing in popularity. In York, the scene has been around for “quite a while” and is gaining traction, said Ryan Hayman, a member of York Young Professionals, which is organizing the event with the York Jaycees.

Brews, Brats and Bands should impress even the snobbiest of beer snobs, Hayman said.

“We have some really, really out-of-control stuff,” he said.

New this year is the Biergarden — or beer garden — featuring bratwursts and four beers actually served this year at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

VIP extras: Organizers are also offering 125 VIP tickets for the first time this year.


The $55 tickets cover the cost of tasting five exclusive beers, food pairings and a chance to meet Jesse Prall, brewing supervisor at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Del.

For $1, those with beer-fueled energy can play Dunk the Brewer. Local brewers and York City Councilman Michael Helfrich have volunteered to take the occasional plunge.

Helfrich’s nonprofit, Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna, will benefit from a portion of the event’s proceeds.

As in past years, there will also be live music.

Tickets for all-you-can-sample beer cost $25 and will be sold at the door. Admission is $10 for designated drivers.

The three local breweries with beer on the menu are Mudhook Brewing Co., 34 N. Cherry Lane; Liquid Hero Brewery, 50 E. North St.; and Crystal Ball Brewing, which may open at the former Met-Ed steam plant at 147 W. Philadelphia St.

Coming up: Wine and brew aficionados might want to mark another event on their October calendar.

The second annual Yorktoberfest wine and beer festival runs from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, and Sunday, Oct. 28, at Sovereign Bank Stadium in downtown York. Tickets to that event cost $30 for beer tasting and $20 for wine tasting.

— Erin James may also be reached at