Good pubs, Good Beer, Good People

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Artisan's Oktoberfest: Epic, As Usual

Kurt, Roger and Dave--Bavaria in der Haus
As predicted, the throngs of happy festers got in a good mood early, thanks to some spirited "Ein Prosit" singing, some jokes, some great company, some outstanding food and beer, five Dirndl Beauties and a general atmosphere that would have made Munich proud.

The 12th Annual Oktoberfest, conducted in Artisan's newly refurbished back room was another one for the record books as this was the first at which a Masskrugstemmen was conducted, and the winner--who managed to outlast 7 other competitors--took home his choice of a growler of Braumeister Dave Hoffman's beer. (Personally, I'd have taken the Pumpkin Porter, though my affinity for Dave's Oktoberfest hasn't faded, and his new Abbey Ale was kick-ass.)

Mandy "dirndls" at her 12th O-Fest
As usual, Super Chef Steve Farley's culinary creations brought smiles and grunts of approval throughout the course of the night, with his Maultaschen getting especially high praise this year. The oompah sounds of The Polkadelphians, at least six choruses of "Ein Prosit" and a "God Bless America" chorus rang through the beer hall to uplift spirits and maintain the mood. Even the glitterati from the press were impressed, with NJ Brew Publisher Gregg Hinlicky and Star-Ledger Columnist Paul Mulshine getting completely engrossed in the festivities.

Paul Mulshine and Dave Hoffman say "Cheers!"
Mulshine, an avid runner, even went so far as to enter the Masskrugstemmen, and acquitted himself with honor before getting eliminated for spillage. Two brave women even challenged the men; they got an "A" for effort, but couldn't hang on till the end, which was approximately 4 minutes. If that doesn't sound like a long time--try it. Rather than spill good beer, we used water, but you can use any beer you don't care about wasting. It was all in good fun, and that's just what was had by all.

Pete: "This is hard!"
The ceremonial "tapping of the keg," (or as some wags called it, "banging the bunghole") was initiated by lovely Evelyn with her husband Thurston (below) cheering her on. The San Francisco table was in the haus, though somewhat removed from their usual table of honor, much to the dismay of the emcee. Beth did her annual spirited polka dancing with The PubScout and--by obligation--with her husband Brad.

(But she secretly confessed she preferred the older fellow.)

John Rivers and Company were in the Haus for the first--and hopefully not last--time, and lovely first-timer Mikaila from Slovakia entertained the crowd with her impressive command of the English language. She was as garrulous as a mobster on the witness stand, but that, too was all in keeping with the spirit of the evening.

Bunghole Banger Evelyn and Thurston
The "Petes" are to be commended for yet another superlative event, and for actually lowering the price to a most reasonable $49.99 pp.
"We love to see our guests--repeat customers and new-- having a good time in our place. That's what Artisan's is about," said Pete, who refused to try
Masskrugstemmen, though his brother

Pete (don't ask--it's a long story) gave it a whirl in warmups (above). After a little over two minutes holding up the filled 1-liter stein, his arm was in a sling for the rest of the night. He drank with his other arm, though.

In all, another memorable and festive Artisan's Oktoberfest was enjoyed by everyone in attendance.

"I'd never been to one," said one guest who requested anonymity. "But as Arnold Schwarzenegger said, I'll be back."

The PubScout

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