Octoberfest features local beer, food and serves a local cause

October 18, 2013 

This weekend’s Octoberfest grew out of an anniversary celebration held last year in October, one for Alpine Adventure Trail Tours. Attendees at that event wanted to create something bigger and better, with more beer and more giving back to the Middle Georgia community.

“Last year, we had the 35th anniversary for (Alpine Adventure) and held it at the Armory Ballroom as an Octoberfest. It went very well and we decided to come back this year and do a three-day event,” said Shannon Harris, Macon Octoberfest president and president of Alpine Adventure Trail Tours. “We wanted to start an event to raise money for local charities. There was a window of opportunity in October to have a large event like this. We plan on doing this in Macon every year. We wanted to give back and each year, we will be looking to add more charities.”

In order to create the feel of Munich’s Octoberfest, Harris and others had to build a beer garden.

“We have a bar that has 35 craft beers on tap, all from Georgia! This is a Georgia event, specifically a Bibb County and surrounding county event,” Harris said. “We are sourcing all our food locally. The vendors are from surrounding counties. All the charities we are raising money for have to be in Bibb County or the surrounding counties, and all the money spent must be spent in Bibb and the surrounding area. And, of course, all the beer is crafted in Georgia.”

Harris said they disassembled some old barns from around the area to create the bar.

“It’s like a home improvement show, only we are setting up a little village, with 15,000 square feet of tent space and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame rented as a VIP area,” she said. “We will have beer and bands, but mostly we are trying to spread the message of ‘look locally.’ We are trying to capture the spirit of Octoberfest and celebrate the culture and feel of our local community, which is why the food, drinks, vendors and the bands are all from Georgia.”

Harris advised that with so many events planned for the Octoberfest celebration, it’s best to look at the website (www.maconoctoberfest.com) to plan your time. Of course, the beer garden, the highlight of the festival, will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. Friday night will be more reminiscent of last year’s event, with a 300-person Founder’s Feast kicking off the festivities at the Armory Ballroom.

Food for the weekend will be catered by Moonhanger Catering.

“We are also having different events scattered through the weekend,” Harris said. “The Homebrew Contest will be Saturday, giving folks the chance to taste a lot of locally made beers.”

Sunday features the Brewers Brunch at the 1842 Inn, giving beer aficionados the chance to rub elbows with, and ask questions of, the professionals. Sunday also will feature the Macon Octoberfest Cyclocross Race and Macon Harmony Singer-Songwriter Competition.

“The highlight that closes the weekend will be a performance by headliner Shawn Mullins,” Harris said. “Charles Walker & the Dynamites perform at the Founders Feast on Friday night. Saint Francis performs Saturday at the Beer Garden stage. And Sunday, the Macon Harmony Singer-Songwriter Competition brings the best in fresh talent to the stage.”

Macon Octoberfest

When: Beer garden and live entertainment is from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Oct. 19 and noon-7 p.m. Oct. 20

Where: Cherry Street Plaza, downtown Macon.

Cost: Beer Garden tickets are $20-$32 for a one-day pass, or $36-$60 for a two-day pass, early bird prices

Information: For tickets or details about the other Octoberfest events visit www.maconoctoberfest.com

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