Oktoberfest — for a cause
New Hampshire Food Bank holds its third annual festival of German food and drink
By Linda A. Thompson-Odum firstname.lastname@example.org
Lots of beer, good food and lively music — all for a good cause. That’s what guests will find on Saturday, Sept. 20, at the New Hampshire Food Bank’s Oktoberfest at McIntyre Ski Area.
Food Bank development associate Erin Torrey said, “This is our third annual Oktoberfest ... We’re expecting 1,000 people, but we’re hoping for even more. We’ll take in as many people as we can fit.”
Beverages will take center stage that day, with beer as the star. Eleven beer companies will take part: Pennuchick, Woodstock Inn Station and Brewery, Martha’s Exchange, Milly’s Tavern, Shipyard, RedHook, Portsmouth Brewery, Smuttynose, and Magic Hat.
“There is going to be a lot of beer there,” Torrey said. “We have everything from the little local microbrews to the big beer companies. Plus Vinlandia Wine Distributors and Pefecta Wines will hold wine tastings, and Farnum Hill will bring their ciders.”
Of course, what fun would it be to drink beer without food to go with it? Torrey listed seven food vendors who will have tables at the event, including local favorites Commercial Street Fishery, Red Arrow Diner, T-Bones, Famous Dave’s, the Meat House, and KC’s Ribs, plus Cabot Cheese from Vermont.
Music for the first part of the afternoon will be provided by King Ludwig’s Bavarian Band, with lots of yodeling, alphorns (those long, long horns) and cowbells.
All the beverage vendors have donated their products for the day, and the food vendors each made donations to the food bank. There will also be what Torrey described as silly little German hats for people to buy. “It’s all about having fun and feeding the hungry,” she said. “Things are tough for the food bank right now. For the most part, the money from this event will help to cover the cost of gas for our trucks and to buy food to distribute. We have the ability to purchase food at a much discounted rate from our vendors, so we can stock up on the basics like pasta, peanut butter and tuna fish.”
The New Hampshire Food Bank is part of New Hampshire Catholic Charities and distributes more than four million pounds of donated and surplus food to almost 350 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day care centers, senior citizen homes and substance abuse treatment centers throughout the state. The organization estimates that this food feeds approximately 95,000 people, though with the recent economy, they say they’ve seen a 34-percent increase in the number of people who need food.
The Oktoberfest fun goes from noon to 6 p.m. With the $10 admission, everyone will get an Oktoberfest pint glass. Drink tickets cost $4 each, which gets you one beer, one glass of cider or one sampling of wine. The food vendors will each sell their menu items directly to the guests.