Say Oktoberfest, and the image that pops into your mind is a cold glass of beer, right?
The taps will certainly be busy Saturday at High Cotton’s first annual Oktoberfest, and the local craft brewery will roll out a new months-in-the-making Oktoberfest lager for the event.
Equally fun, the street festival on Monroe Avenue between Kudzu’s Bar and Grill and Lauderdale will include music from half a dozen bands (German folk music and the polka!) and big screen projection for watching the early season matchup between Ole Miss and the Crimson Tide.
But me? I’m going for the food: locally sourced bratwurst, sauerkraut from Van Chessman’s Flora at Bluebird Farm, and an inventive pickle bar from St. Jude’s Jerri Myers for VIP guests.
The Oktoberfest, slipping in at the end of the traditional Oktoberfest calendar, hopes to raise the bar for local culinary festivals, said Brice Timmons, co-owner of High Cotton Brewing Co.
“We don’t think Memphis does culinary festivals very well,” Timmons said. “There’s barbecue fest, but that’s really a closed club. We want a festival with an all-inclusive ticket open to everybody that covers your food, your beer, and your entertainment.”
Tickets to the event, which benefits GrowMemphis, come in two tiers: general admission for the beer, brat, and street festival entertainment and VIP inside the brewery’s taproom with extras such as a T-shirt and commemorative beer stein.
Even better, VIP tickets include a buffet with two 60-pound suckling pigs from Yorkshire Crossbreeds marinated and smoked by The Swinos barbecue team, a selection of imported cheeses from Germany and Austria, and a charcuterie of meats, including German-style pork pates and Raisin River Black Forest hams with plenty of grilled apples.
Oktoberfest, High Cotton Brewing Co., 598 Monroe Ave., noon to 7 p.m.