WARREN — As the last kegs were tapped and the final mugs were filled during the closing weekend of Munich’s Oktoberfest, another celebration was happening closer to home — Kuhnhenn-style.
Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. in Warren held its own Oktoberfest celebration on Saturday, complete with a tented biergarten, German food, live entertainment and plenty of festbier.
“What’s cool about our Oktoberfest is, well, everything,” said Jon Piepenbrok, Kuhnhenn Director of Marketing and Sales, adding that the brewery tries to schedule the annual event a little later in the season, after other metro Detroit breweries have held their own festivities.
“We don’t like to directly compete with our friends who do Oktoberfest,” he said.
Kuhnhenn’s staff members were decked out in dirndl dresses and lederhosen as they poured and served the brewery’s diverse selection of beer, wine and mead. Kuhnhenn Fest, a traditional märzen-style beer, was especially popular, and visitors even had a chance to take a sip (or two) out of a communal, two-liter glass drinking horn that made its way around the crowd.
Piepenbrok noted that Kuhnhenn Fest is unique in that it’s brewed year-round rather than seasonally, so it can be enjoyed any time. It was one of a few beers, along with Fluffer IPA and Oatmeal Stout, that could be purchased in the biergarten during the daylong celebration.
Oktoberfest also featured food from Dan the Smokin’ Man, who put his own spin on traditional German fare. The menu included bratwurst, krautwurst, weisswurst, knackwurst and eisbein (a smoked pork shank), as well as German potato salad, sauerkraut, red cabbage and apple dumplings.
The day’s revelry continued into the evening, with musical performances by George Heritier and the Orbitsuns.
Kuhnhenn fans can expect even more events down the road, including off-site “tap assaults,” special bottle releases at its popular Winter Solstice celebration and the opening of the brewery’s new production facility in Clinton Township.
“I’d like to have (the production facility) open prior to St. Patrick’s Day,” said Piepenbrok. “Our plan is to have the production facility online at the end of February.”
Next up, Kuhnhenn will release its All Hallows Ale, brewed with locally-grown Michigan pie pumpkins, on Oct. 20.