From beer and pretzels to an oom-pah band, Waterman's Brewing Co. is staging a big Oktoberfest celebration this Saturday.
The date of what co-owner Don Weber hopes will become an annual tradition at his establishment was timed to coincide with the start of Oktoberfest in its epicenter: Munich, Germany. He and his wife and co-owner Tricia Dell will hoist a big tent in the brewery's parking lot. Oktoberfest-compatible costumes are encouraged.
Among the 12 beers on tap for the occasion are a new pilsner and a kölsch that made its debut just last week, Weber said. The Barreled in Blue brew is a "crisp, clear blueberry" beer, according to Weber.
The food lineup has a distinctly German flavor: sauerbraten, grilled beer bratwurst, pretzels and pretzel rolls, fried pork schnitzel and loaded tater tots.
The inspiration for Waterman's Oktoberfest celebration was the availability of Harbour Towne Fest Band, an oom-pah ensemble based in Wilmington that plays events up and down the Carolina coast and across the state of North Carolina, Weber said.
"Some band members were having dinner here one night and said we had the perfect spot for an Oktoberfest," he added. "Our general manager said it could be Wrightsville Beach's Oktoberfest. The band had a cancellation in September."
The festival, which takes place from 3 to 8 p.m., features a stein-holding contest and other activities. A limited number of Ein Mass ("one more") glass steins are available for purchase. There is no cover charge for the event.
Weber has already booked Harbour Towne Fest Band for next September.
Why Oktoberfest in September? It's a question Weber has gotten a lot recently. He cites the Munich tradition. The original multi-day festival was held in Munich in early October 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. As the celebration caught on and was repeated in succeeding years, its start was moved to September when the weather was warmer and the days slightly longer.
This year, Munich celebrates Oktoberfest from September 17 to Oct. 3.
Dogwood Bank is the Waterman's event sponsor, and a portion of proceeds will go to Masonboro.org, the organization formed to preserve access to and promote responsible use of Masonboro Island by the public. For more information on the Oktoberfest event at Waterman's, click here