I will state up front that someone else should have been sent to cover the Old Monk’s Oktoberfest kickoff event. In fact, someone else was scheduled, but I was called in at the last minute to pinch hit, due to my passing familiarity with the Old Monk and generally open schedule. My field of expertise is bourbon. That’s pretty much all I drink. On occasion, yes, I will drink beer. But I am no beer snob. I like Dos Equis or, you know, whatever. I don’t know from cask-conditioned and so on. I drink bourbon and water.
So, like I said, there were probably better choices to cover the event, which centered on a 200-year-old keg brought over from Germany by Franconia owner/brewmaster Dennis Wehrmann. The beer inside was not, of course, 200 years old. It was Franconia’s freshly brewed Oktoberfest beer. What did it taste like? I don’t know. Like beer probably. Really good beer, I would imagine. I got up close to see Monk manager Jake Jacobsen tap the keg (with a hammer, which ended up breaking the first tap on the fourth strike) and take a very bad photo of same, a very bad photo that I will not even post because I might as well have taken a picture of basically anything because that’s what it looks like. I listened to Wehrmann talk about his creation and it definitely sounded like he was talking about a very tasty beer.
Here’s what I can comment on: the Monk was more crowded than I’ve ever seen it. I overheard waitresses and patrons say “This is like St. Patrick’s Day” numerous times. And it was, except I never saw Tim Rogers in a cowboy hat drinking a green beer. Also, plenty of people took home a striking ceramic beer stein with the Old Monk logo on it. I thought about buying one, but that would have meant drinking almost two beers and, as I said before, I don’t really drink beer. And I certainly don’t waste beer, which is what I would have done had I bought the stein and the almost two beers that came with.