This year’s Fest was the biggest to date. We finished more than 60 gallons of homebrew with less than a gallon of the Weizen and Dunkel left. We estimate that we had more than 200 people throughout the day, and we were incident free with no injuries, fights or police. We received lots of compliments on the beer and the party. Everyone had a good time.
- Oktoberfest– 15g Almost as good as last year despite the US hops
- Weizen– 10g Too thick and strong for the style but same great flavor
- Kirche Weizen– 5g Not enough cherry flavor but a hit mixed with cherry soda
- Roggen– 5g Better than last year with a strong rye bite
- Pilsner– 3g The partial keg was gone quickly
- Kolsch– 5g Had almost a lager bite with the long lager over the summer
- Dopplebock– 5g Mellowed and improved with age
- Munich Dunkel– 10g Almost black in color, possibly the best beer of the Fest
- Black Kolsch– 5g An exciting addition comparable to the Dunkel
- Ginger Ale- Kinderbier! Naturally fermented, strong ginger bite
- Grapefruit- Not enough grapefruit flavor
- Cherry Soda– Mixed well with the Kirche Weizen
- Lemonade- Fresh squeezed and delicious
We had several beer/soda mixes that went over well. Traditional lemonade in the Weizen was an option, but many folks liked the Ginger Ale with the Weizen too. We also mixed the Cherry Soda with the Kirche Weizen for a sweet cocktail that was very popular.
We did pretzels in two shifts, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, which was a good idea. The crowd was larger later, so we couldn’t even make it to the table with the pretzels before they were devoured.
Alan and Kenny did a stellar job on the G&W brats and hung in there all day. All 120 brats, 20 weisswurst, and a bunch of hot dogs were eaten. That doesn’t include the folks, like Jim G, who brought additional sausages.
Michelle made a jug of kraut that was nearly gone. Charles’ spätzle with gravy hit the spot after a few beers. And of course there was a large potluck of options from a variety of revelers.
We started the morning streaming Bavarian radio, which is the best in terms of German variety, but their stream must get overloaded as the day progresses because it kept dropping. Charles had some backup Oompah music on his Ipad and our Emcee, Cyr, kept the party happy mixing from his selections. Cyr must return next year. Everyone enjoyed his addition.
Decorations and other niceties-
Kudos to Charles for his work on building the tap rail. It looks professional and makes serving the beer much easier. Charles also scored a bunch of taster glasses from Schlaflys’ Hop in the City. That was a great addition, and a big thank you to the folks at Schlafly. The glasses were small enough to give everyone a taste of all the beers (and not waste beer) but big enough to keep people drinking. Charles also brought more pennant banners and table covers. Dickie’s Bavarian Flag, Christine’s sunflowers, mums, balloons, pumpkins, and hay bales all add to the fall festivities. The blue xmas lights are becoming our AGU theme. There is no beer tent without Kyle’s tents and tables. We set the brewing equipment up because there’s always a discussion on how we do it. Dan Y supplied a bounce house for the kids again, which seems to level us up from party to carnival.
Certainly the biggest thing we need to deal with is the making of the pretzels. We would like to start rolling and cooking the pretzels outside to get us to the party. Christine has already found an attachment to a Weber kettle that bakes pizzas. We need to experiment with that before next year. We could outsource them but they aren’t nearly the same thing. Certainly making the dough in 5 pound sacks expedited Friday night, but we still spent too much time in the hot kitchen rolling, dipping and baking pretzels and missing our own party.
We need a better solution for the bar top. We used a door from the farm, which is functional, but we need something better, something that is our own.
We shouldn’t need solo cups next year. People were drinking from the 5 oz taster glasses, and many that wanted bigger pours brought their own cups. We had lots of left over water and soda too, so those purchases can be eased a little.
Kudos to Andy for taking Uber home. Maybe an Uber sign next year or list them on the invitation?
It was another big success, best Fest ever! We make good beer, but it’s all the little details that make us look professional, with the bar, signs, lights, and decorations. People, me included, are blown away with what we pull off.