Last fall I was digging through my semi-organized attic in search of a book. I shifted some bins and there, nestled among Christmas wrapping supplies, sat three six-packs of New Glarus Brewing’s Octoberfest beer. The presence of the beer itself wasn’t strange; my husband and I are both craft beer enthusiasts. I was just surprised to find it in the attic. Good beers don’t usually last more than a few days in the fridge at our house.
When I questioned my husband about the mystery Octoberfests, he enlightened me of his plan. As Octoberfest is a seasonal beer, it wouldn’t be available past December. My husband and a friend love this beer so dearly they decided to reserve some to open in the spring.
If a carmely, gently-spiced fall brew is part of your hoard too, Egg Harbor’s Ale Fest should be on your calendar. This fall beer tasting event is on a Saturday afternoon on September 14, just in time for fall beers. The event is in its eighth year, and it boasts a line up of 40 brewers. Breweries you’ll recognize from all over Wisconsin, like New Glarus, Lakefront and Hinterland, will be pouring their beers. A few out-of-state spots, like Keweenaw Brewing Company from Michigan, Terrapin from Georgia and New Belgium from Colorado, will also be in attendance.
With ales, lagers, pilsners and porters as a draw, the atmosphere is sure to be jovial. This year’s musical guest, Brass Differential, is a high-energy band from Green Bay, bringing a little southern charm in the form of jazz, blues, funk and soul music. The setting certainly couldn’t be more lovely. Harbor View Park has, as its name suggests, a fantastic view of Green Bay. The park is conveniently located in the heart of Egg Harbor, with plenty of restaurants to walk to after the Ale Fest. Parador, a delicious Spanish tapas restaurant, The Fireside, a southern comfort-food spot and Casey’s BBQ and Smokehouse, are some of my favorites.
The Ale Fest offers several options for tickets. Regular tickets to the event earn you a celebratory pint glass and samplings of over 100 craft beers. A VIP option offers a special stein and an invite to an exclusive beer and cheese sampling in addition to those 100 brews. A third option gives non-drinkers and designated drivers access to sodas, bottled water and camaraderie all afternoon. No matter which way you enjoy the Ale Fest, you’ll be rubbing shoulders and comparing tastes with other beer enthusiasts on this fun-filled afternoon.
Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 14 minutes (9.1 miles)
Pre-registration Required: Purchase in advance-prices increase at the gate!
Cost: $45-100, depending on ticket type
Make the Blacksmith Inn your home base for the Ale Fest weekend. Concerned about the drive? Book an Uber to get back safely. Relax into Sunday with a visit to Baileys Harbor’s farmer’s market. Check the Blacksmith Inn’s availability and book your trip.