Originally Published: September 24, 2015 6:04 p.m.
Put on the lederhosen, grab the stein and cut some cabbage to make sauerkraut because it's time to head downtown for Oktoberfest. Raising funds for the Sister City Association's student exchange program, the event on Saturday, Sept. 26, will feature 50 beers plus cider and wine from 1 to 7 p.m. on Gurley Street. This event is only for adults 21 and over; attendees will get 10 samples for $20.
Event organizer Steve Gottlieb has been running Oktoberfest for about six years, but said he believes it's been happening for about 20 years. It was previously run by the Chamber of Commerce and John and Roxanne Nielsen, the owners of Prescott Brewing Company.
"It's one of those events that I saw that they weren't going to run and grabbed it," he said, adding that he thought of making it a fundraiser for the Sister City Association of Prescott. "They do an exchange program. I thought that was very cool. It's for all the high schools in the Quad City area."
This year, he hopes to raise anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for the organization, Gottlieb said.
Last year the event was rained out, with full cases of wine floating down the street and all the tents destroyed, Gottlieb said. This year, Gottlieb is tracking the weather and is prepared with two liquor licenses, he said, noting that if the event gets rained out on Saturday, Sept. 26, then he'll pull the second license and have it on Sunday, Sept. 27. Although it rained during the event last year, the following day was warm and sunny, Gottlieb stated.
Oktoberfest is held in front of Prescott Brewing Company because it was Prescott's first microbrewery, Gottlieb said.
"It's kind of a respect to John and Roxanne because they ran it for a while and they gave it to me," he said.
This year's Oktoberfest will have 50 beers, which include beer from Prescott Brewing Company and Granite Mountain Brewing, with Trader Joe's providing the four different wines. This year will also see an expansion in food, Gottlieb said, noting that last year there was only bratwurst. This year, there will still be brats by Rock n' Dog, but also pizza and pretzels by Papa Johns, Safari Samosas, lemonade, kettle corn and soft drinks, he said.
"The beers we selected this year are fantastic and have won medals at different beer festivals," he said. "We've also got a lot of flavor to them, in the sense that we've got traditional pumpkin stuff and your Oktoberfest beers being there, then we've got some of the mainstreams, some of the traditional beers people like drinking."
But alcohol isn't the only thing on tap for Oktoberfest. Polka accordion music begins at 1 p.m. followed by performances by Trial by Fire and Funk Frequency at 3 p.m. At 2 p.m., the German Council to the United Nations, based in Phoenix, and Mayor Marlin Kuykendall will do a Firkin Tapping. A firkin is a small barrel of beer, one-quarter the size of a regular barrel that houses cask-conditioned ale.
Tim's Auto Group is paying for all of the entertainment, Gottlieb said.
"I've never had a sponsor at an event like that with them before," he said. "It's kind of huge - it just gets more money to the charity."
For more information, visit www.visit-prescott.com/events-in-prescott-arizona.
By Jason Wheeler. Follow reporter Jason Wheeler on Twitter @PrescottWheels. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2037 or at 928-642-5277.