Summer’s warmth is still lingering, but it won’t be long until the leaves will change and instead of visiting the beach we’ll be visiting apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Already the shandy’s are disappearing from the package stores and being replaced with autumn ales.
While we may mourn the passing of summer, there is much to look forward to about the fall, especially if you are a beer enthusiast. One particular event that you will want to check out is the 2014 Oktoberfest at State Pier in New Bedford on Saturday, October 4th. New Bedford Guide has all the details for this year’s beer extravaganza.
1. What is the SCBA Oktoberfest?
The South Coast Business Alliance, AKA the SCBA, is a group of ambitious, business-minded people who are dedicated to making the South Coast a better place to live and work. The SCBA provides networking opportunities and business connections to help groom future business and community leaders for the South Coast region. The SCBA also donates to nonprofit organizations and scholarship funds to help provide better opportunities and resources to the community.
For those of you who are down for little history lesson, Oktoberfest began in Munich Germany on October 12, 1810 to celebrate Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese of Saxony. The horse races at the event were a big success, and so the tradition was continued in subsequent years. Over time more and more beer stands popped up at the festival to quench the thirst of attendees. By 1896 full beer tents and beer halls were a major feature of the fairgrounds, making it a renowned destination for beer lovers far and wide.
Today, Oktoberfest in Germany attracts 6 million visitors each year, and different locations around the world have begun to host their own Oktoberfests. The SCBA began their Oktoberfest in New Bedford 9 years ago, and each year it has been a growing success, bringing 21+ visitors into the city to try out local beers, eat and listen to live music.
2. The Beer
Oktoberfest is not Oktoberfest without good beer. This year, the NB Oktoberfest will feature the largest selection of any of the years past, with over 25 beers on tap. The breweries that will be present are largely local microbreweries and they will be bringing that unique autumn ale flavor that can only be done right in the North East!
In terms of super local talent, Buzzard’s Bay Brewing Company will be present, as will Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project, both of which are brewed fresh in Westport, MA. Another local favorite, Mayflower Brewing from Plymouth will be present, as will Cisco Brewers from Nantucket.
Naturally some of the other big names in Massachusetts’ finest will be there, such as Sam Adams and Wachusett. There will also be a brewery from New Hampshire, Woodstock Brewery, who is definitely worth checking out. The very popular Southern Tier will be representing New York, and another semi-local favorite, Foolproof, will be bringing their beer in from Providence.
Those are only to name some of the breweries that will be present, so there’s sure to be something to suit any palate! Beers can be purchased by the cup, so you will want to bring cash. This year there will also be an “Oktoberfest Sampler” card option, which allows you to sample up to six beers for $10.
3. The Food
Good food and good beer are meant to be together. Luckily for Oktoberfest attendees, the SCBA has put together a food lineup worthy of its beer counterpart. As in years past, No Problemo’s will be present and will be serving up their now famous Oktoberfest special, Wurst Ques, a bratwurst queso. Oxford Creamery’s Oxcart will be providing steamed hot dogs and more (the more may include lobster rolls), and O’Crepe will be serving both sweet and savory crepes. O’Crepe’s options range from the traditional nutella crepe to some unique and mouthwatering inventions, like the C.B.L.T. (sriracha mayo, bacon, lettuce, tomato). Finally, Ma Raffa’s will be in attendance. To anyone who has lived in Greater NB for more than a year, Ma Raffa’s should need no introduction; if you’re looking to do the beer and pizza combo you could hardly hope for a better pairing.
4. The Entertainment
Last year’s entertainment certainly got some people dancing, and this year looks to promise much the same. Local favorite Craig DeMelo, who always warms the crowd up with his full band each year at Oktoberfest will be taking the stage with a range of catchy covers and originals. Another stellar addition to the line up is Four Legged Faithful, a four-man band that uses traditional bluegrass/ folk instruments to create a beautiful and unique musical experience.
The Felix Brown Band is headlining as they did last year, and if 2013 was any indication this band’s energy and talent is sure to get people on their feet. The Felix Brown Band has played throughout the Northeast and beyond; bringing a fusion style of music that blends elements of rock, blues, R&B, jazz and funk. They bring their unique sound to many popular songs, ranging from Eric Clapton to 50 Cent.
This year’s event will also feature a corn hole tournament, so make sure your throwing arm is in good shape if you plan on participating!
5. Time, Date and Location
As previously mentioned, this year’s Oktoberfest will take place on October 4th from 3:00 PM until midnight. As with last year, it will be located at State Pier in New Bedford, which is a truly excellent spot in my opinion.
With lots of indoor cover but plenty of space to roam the pier outdoors, State Pier is an ideal location for sipping a beer and looking out on the working waterfront. Additionally, the high ceilings make for a good acoustic experience as the live performances keep everyone rocking throughout the night.
Portions of proceeds from this event will go to the UMass Dartmouth South Coast Business Alliance Scholarship Endowment. Other charities and nonprofits will also benefit from these funds throughout the year. So just think… not only will your ticket price buy you a great time, it will benefit the community in numerous ways!
Oktoberfest is also paid for in part by sponsors, whose generosity allow for this fantastic fundraiser to go forward. This year’s Gold Sponsors were Advanced Eye Centers, Baycoast Bank, Blue Hills Bank, and Claremont Companies.
Tickets can be pre-purchased through Eventbrite (http://www.eventbrite.com/e/scbas-9th-annual-oktoberfest-2014-tickets-12777555011?ref=ebtn) for $15 per person. Please keep in mind you must be 21 or older to attend, and you should bring a valid ID.
Thanks for the info! I’ll use some of it in this week’s Good Brew Hunting column for the Standard Times. A couple of quick points: Berkley Beer from nearby Berkley, MA will also be there. Second, it’s Foolproof. 🙂
Shandy’s? There is no need for an apostrophe in that word. That’s like saying car’s and pizza’s and bicycle’s.