DETROIT – An homage to traditional German beer, food, and music was served up at Batch Brewing Company in Detroit this past weekend. Many guests donned Dirndl and Lederhosen as they drank from commemorative beer steins at the brewery’s first Oktoberfest celebration.
“We have a lot of love for German beer, and this is the time of year that you get to worship at that altar,” said Stephen Roginson, Founder and Head Brewer at Batch Brewing Company.
Roginson, inspired by a 2010 trip to Munich’s Oktoberfest, set out to create an alter ego for the brewery for the duration of the festival. The transformation into Batch Brauerei was complete with themed decor, a take on Oktoberfest food by Chef Matt Johnson, and four German-style beers on tap: a Fest Bier, Dunkel, Hefeweizen, and Kolsch.
One hundred forty tickets were pre-sold for each day, and the brewery saw 300 people in attendance on Saturday, and 225 people on Sunday. Ticket-holders began their celebration as early as 1 p.m. and carried on until the festival closed at 1 a.m. Saturday and 10 p.m. Sunday.
Fest-goers gathered outside the brewery in a large beer tent that was decked out in Bavarian blue and white decor. They dined on a traditional menu of Bavarian pretzels, roast chicken, spaetzle with Gruyere cheese, sauerkraut, and spiral sliced radishes. In addition to a meal, ticket-holders received a commemorative one-liter stein and a fill-up of their choice.
Dick Wagner & Die Rhinelander band provided a soundtrack of lively German classics throughout both days, and a DJ carried the party atmosphere late into the night.
Though the weekend’s celebration is over, Batch will host an Oktoberfest Stein Club through Oct. 2, offering stein fills at a reduced cost for those who purchased traditional glassware at the festival.
As for next year, Roginson hinted at plans for a bigger celebration.
“I am excited for how Oktoberfest will be developing in Detroit for the broader beer community,” he said.