End of Oktoberfest, among Rappahannock’s most popular festivals, is practically upon us, all set for Saturday, Oct. 27, noon to 7 p.m. at Pen Druid Brewing in Sperryville and beyond.
“This is our seventh festival and what we love so much about them is that they truly are farm-to-table — they bring culture and farming together to create agriculture,” says Pen Druid Brewing brother Jennings Carney. “The farmers who grow the crops and raise the animals actually cook and serve the food.”
Jennings points out that for this season’s Oktoberfest, with the absence of Mike and Molly Peterson’s Heritage Hollow Farms, “we are now working with Bean Hollow Grassfed for our pasture-raised pork, which Casey Gustowarow and Wil Sands will slow cook over wood-fire overnight for tacos. Gluten free corn tortillas made in Culpeper will be provided.
“Other food will be wild fermentables from Number 1 Sons, herbally inspired desserts and beverages from Wild Roots Apothecary, beer from Hopkins Ordinary and apple cider from Potter’s. Across the parking lot Copper Fox Distillery will have cocktails and oysters,” says Jennings.
And of course there will be plenty of Pen Druid beer — wild, wood-fired, spontaneous, barrel fermented.
“I’m sitting on some really fun stuff,” Jennings teases.
“The festivals celebrate community, our food systems and our environment,” the brewer continues. “Food systems shine a light on a culture’s attitude towards its environment and approach to farming, the value systems and the community’s health. And we hope that the festivals’ celebrate a larger community of Rappahannock and our unique environmental and agricultural character.
“In that spirit this year we are extending the festival to include an after party at Headmaster’s Pub where we will host a tap takeover,” he adds. “There will be live music and food also. We hope that this is a first positive step toward larger Sperryville inclusion.”
A reminder that pets are happiest and safest at home. In other words “humans only” — costumed or otherwise — are permitted on the festival grounds, which surround 7 River Lane in Sperryville. Come one, come all!
— John McCaslin