Kaltenberg brews a bold Bavarian festival
KEYSTONE – Keystone’s Bavarian Beer Festival made its mellow debut four days after Sept. 11, 2001. This year, Keystone is brewing wild yodels and chicken dances, and what better way to party than with the Kaltenberg Brewery – whose founder, King Ludwig, inspired the original Oktoberfest in the 1800s with his wedding reception.
A Brewmaster’s Dinner kicks off the festival today, with gondola boarding at 5:45 p.m. Four beers from the Kaltenberg Royal Bavarian Brewery pair with a cheese fondue appetizer, a High Country field salad and Colorado rack of lamb. The last stein served is a chocolate one filled with fresh berries, topped with a dunkel cream anglaise.
“It’s a special night at the Fondue,” said special events manager Elizabeth Tobias. “Chefs from the Stube and the Fondue get a chance to share their expertise.”
In addition, two brewmasters from Kaltenberg Brewery share their knowledge about the history of the brewery and methods used to brew the weiss, pilsner, Oktoberfest and the main variety, dunkel, as they present the four beers.
The straw-colored Pilsner presents a crisp, lasting, hoppy flavor, while the clove-flavored weiss leaves a slightly tart taste. The clear-amber dunkel has a dry, malty flavor, and a creamy head tops the golden Oktoberfest.
Those Austrian Guys break out its five-piece band for the chicken dance, in addition to wild Bavarian tunes tonight.
Saturday’s festival begins with a moment of silence and Jennifer Kirby singing the national anthem at 11 a.m., followed by a welcome address from the Snake River Fire Department. The department will bring fire trucks and place firefighters’ work boots at River Run to collect donations.
In addition, more than 25 percent of the proceeds from food and beer sales Saturday will benefit Summit County’s Volunteer Firefighters Fund, Tobias said.
“We wanted to keep it local to celebrate what our firefighters have done, but this festival is in remembrance of Sept. 11,” Tobias said. “Last year, the Red Cross was our beneficiary. We raised more than $5,000, and this year our goal is to surpass $5,000. Doesn’t Summit County love drinking with a good cause behind it?”
The festival’s bügermeister revs up the party at 11:15 a.m., accompanied by the Alpine Folk Dancers on the main stage. Those Austrian Guys play German polkas, waltzes and marches, and of course, the chicken dance throughout the day.
German cuisine booths offer sausages and wërstl, German potato salad, bratwurst, lebkuchenherz and apple strudel. The Kaltenberg Brewery presents its pilsner, dunkel and Oktoberfest beers for $4, and beer lovers may purchase a $10 commemorative, half-liter mug, which includes a free brew.
From 1-4 p.m. wild, wanna-be Bavarians compete for fondue dinners, lift tickets, beer steins and more with their loudest yodel, best rendition of “Edelweiss,” best Bavarian costume or fastest, longest chicken dance.
Today’s brewmaster’s dinner is $65, and reservations may be made by calling (970) 496-4386.
Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Bavarian Beer Festival
? When: Brewmaster’s Dinner kicks off festival at 5:45 p.m. today (board gondola). Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14
? Where: River Run, Keystone
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