I have the hardest time explaining Oktoberfest to the non-beer lovers. “Why is it in September?” Well, it’s complicated. High Point Brewing Company founder Greg Zaccardi gave us a bit of history at the 2009 Open House tour at the Brewery this year. Oktoberfest commemorates the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese in 1810, which was held on October 18th. But in modern times, it has begun in the last two weeks of September and runs until early October. It celebrates the end of the harvest, when there is actually time to celebrate. Nowadays, we just celebrate great beer and how it brings friends together. And that’s reason enough!
The brewery’s Oktoberfest lager is unfiltered, but the lagering process makes it a sparkling clear dark amber reminiscent of fine whiskey. It has a crisp yet malty flavor but is remarkably light and delicious, a refreshing brew great for the end of a workday that won’t be heavy in your belly. This award-winning lager remains a spectacular beer that is well worth the wait, every year. According to the excellent Beer Stained Letter blog the brewery doubled their output this year, but it remains keg and draft only. The bars have siphoned up the supply, so if you want to try it, find a bar that serves it, or come to the October open house (second Saturday of the month) and get a growler filled. They have growlers on hand, and take credit cards. The brewery is open most workdays and some weekends, check their website for their phone number and call ahead.
We had a great time, meeting friends old and new. The brewery served up some wurst, German potato salad, sauerkraut, pretzels, cheese and more. It was all very good, and there was plenty for everybody. Also on hand was Ted of SR Fresh Hot Sauces, offering tastes of their Cherry Cayenne and Habanero Gold sauces. They were both very tasty and not dangerously hot. Of course, myself and Milky had to try the Pure Habanero that Ted had on hand. It was ridiculously hot but still had flavor. I hope they’re back next time, I may pick up one of each!
The Oktoberfest lager is served from kegs, but to make things special they crack open a barrel of it, to open the celebration. Here’s video of the grand event:
Let’s not forget the men who do all the hard work serving us up the beer. Check out those guns from pulling beer taps all day.
And here’s Brian, the man who fills the growlers. A bad day working at a brewery is better than the best day working in an office! He does a great job filling our bottles and keeping the foam down. Thanks for the hard work, man!
I haven’t written about the Brewery in a while, but they truly make some of my favorite beers. Their flagship Ramstein Blonde Weiss with its toasty notes, is a classic of the form. Their seasonals like the Oktoberfest Lager and Maibock are simply fantastic, and worth hunting down. In winter, their Winter Wheat doppelbock is one of the tastiest, chocolatey beers you’ll ever find- and is available in stores. Their Classic Wheat dunkelweiss shouldn’t be overlooked either- it’s readily available, when dunkels are fairly rare, and it’s great to drink all year round. They truly make a craft beer at the High Point Brewing Company, and any lover of good beer should make time to try their world class brews.