Every year near the end of September, the celebration of the famous Oktoberfest begins. While the actual Oktoberfest is celebrated in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, breweries all across the United States take part in the festivities. You may be asking, “Why’s it called Oktoberfest when it begins in September?” Well, originally the celebration began in 1810, and was celebrated in October in honor of a Bavarian prince’s marriage to a princess. Eventually, over the years, the festival got pushed back to start at the end of September to allow for better weather conditions.
Every year, the Oktoberfest in Munich is a spirited, one-of-a-kind time. Having attended, it is easy to say that no other version of the festival could ever quite match it. Millions of people from around the world attend, with over seven million people attending in 2017 over the course of the three-week event. Yet, last Saturday, on Sept. 22, Joymonger’s Brewery Co. put on their own version of the festival, and though quaint, it carried a similar liveliness and spirit to the Oktoberfest that started it all.
The festival began at noon and lasted until midnight. The brewery, which is owned by Greensboro natives Jim Jones, Mike Rollinson and Brian Jones, was slam-packed for the festival with many patrons and friendly dogs.
Along with the various beers flowing on tap all day, games were scattered around for patrons in attendance to enjoy, such as scrabble or cornhole outside on their beer garden.
To add to the feel of a real Oktoberfest, a few of the beers available were traditional German-style beers. The more festive beers on tap included the Oktoberfestbier, a rich lager, and the Dunkelsweissbier, a wheat ale. Patrons could choose from that or the many other beers that were available at the brewery.
If patrons were to get hungry, the brewery had that taken care of with food trucks in attendance to cater to everyone. From noon to 4 p.m., Top Dawgs Mobile Grill was there to cook up tasty entrees such as their Southern BBQ Sandwich and Jumbo Southern Style All Beef Dawg. The Almost Homecooking food truck arrived at 5 p.m. and offered various items from pork belly tacos to southern poutine. Manna came at 6 p.m., offering internationally-inspired meals that included delicious vegan and vegetarian options.
There was also live music at the event, something that has become a staple at Joymongers festivities. At 5 p.m., True North, a Winston-Salem based band, took the stage to perform a series of bangers, including the rock band Kaleo’s “Way Down We Go.” Blistered Hearts, a bluegrass folk band took the stage at 7 p.m., followed by Beau James, a singer, guitarist and songwriter at 9 p.m.
While Saturday’s Oktoberfest was a different scene from the one in Munich, it was still a fun time with lots of entertainment and beer to enjoy. It was a great way to celebrate the first day of fall, as well as the season of Oktoberfest in downtown Greensboro.
According to a bartender, the traditional German style beers will be on tap for a while, so if you missed last Saturday, still come on out to Joymongers Brewery Co. for a treat and a good time.