I ended up arriving at the brewery before kickoff time, but I ran into some friends who were there to man a table for the Ancient Order of Hibernians. I laughed at the juxtaposition of the Irish having such a strong presence at the German festival. Of course, the Irish organization's table was right next to the beer wagon, which meant I was also well situated to get my much anticipated pint of Blue & Gray Baron von Steuben Oktoberfest right at the start!
One of my favorites from the brewery, this year's batch didn't disappoint. The aroma was sweet bready malt. The flavor is exactly what I look for in a Märzen/Oktoberfest beer. The taste is rich in caramel and bready malt, with the sweetness and bitterness in just the right balance. The finish is dry and clean. Very well-done; I think I'll have another!
I spent several hours of listening to Oompah music, watching the stein holding and beer barrel bowling contests, and talking to friends. Of course there was plenty of good food too. Frankfurters, Bratwurst, Weisswurst, Sauerbraten, Bavarian Pretzels were available for purchase. I grabbed a lunch of Weisswurst and German potato salad. Later, a large warm pretzel with spicy mustard made a tasty snack.
An afternoon rain shower didn't dampen the fun. Folks moved under the tents and continued to enjoy the activities, food and drink. The events at Blue & Gray are always fun, and family-friendly. The Oktoberfest was a great way to spend an afternoon. And I think I'll try to hit the brewpub later this week for some more of the Oktoberfest before it's gone for the season.