Dickson St. Oktoberfest to showcase local home brewers

In a perfect world, every day in Fayetteville would involve beer tasting, home brew competitions, bratwurst eating contests, pony rides, and petting zoos.

Unless you’re a billionaire, or have chosen some kind of bizarro career that involves all of these things (are you guys hiring?), sadly, most days are not that awesome.

But thanks to Julie Sill of Hog Haus Brewing Company and Brandon Karn of Jammin’ Java, Fayetteville will have it’s very own day filled with all of these things this fall.

The second annual Dickson St. Oktoberfest is set for Oct. 16 in the Walton Arts Center parking lot. The Bavarian tradition of Oktoberfest is typically a 16-day festival beginning in September, but a conflict with the parking lot scheduling has moved the one-day Fayetteville version of Oktoberfest into the month of October this year.

The event will feature home brewers from around the region showcasing all types of beer, as well as craft-brew varieties from Hog Haus Brewing Company in Fayetteville. Admission is free, but $25 will get you an armband to taste as many of the beers as you’d like.

In additional to the home brew and craft beer focus, Sill said that there will be tons of activities for families at the festival.

“We’ll do keg-barrel races like last year, lots of live music, brat eating contests for adults and kids, pumpkin carving contests, and a pumpkin seed spitting contest. We’re also working on a kids zone with pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, magicians, and jugglers,” she said. “We want people to feel like they can bring their kids down here and have a great time.”

Sill said that she is looking for sponsors, vendors and volunteers for the festival that she hopes will grow into a Fayetteville tradition.

“One of the reasons I wanted to do this is because we don’t have Autumnfest anymore,” she said. “I’m passionate about craft beer. I’m passionate this community, and I hope this event can come a mainstay for for Dickson Street and for Fayetteville for years to come.”

The home brew competition will be held in advance of the event, and the winner will be announced at the festival. Sill said this change is so that the home brewers in attendance will be able to spend more time talking to attendees about their creations.

“We want the home brewers to be able to set up and talk with the people about their beer instead of being stuck in the competition during the actual festival,” Sill said.

Interested home brewers who’d like to showcase their beer in the competition, or during the festival, will be able to enter online starting Monday, Aug. 2 on the Oktoberfest website. Anyone interested in getting involved in the festival is also encouraged to email Julie as soon as possible.

Sill and Karn are also planning a similar festival for Spring, tentatively called “Fayetteville Foam Fest” that would feature home brewers as well as larger craft breweries from around the country.

Personally, I’m pumped. I think the potential for something like this in town is enormous, and with just a little bit of community buy-in and a few years of growth, we could have ourselves our very own weekend-long, super awesome beer tasting party.

Who’s in?

Dickson St. Oktoberfest

Date: Saturday, Oct. 16
Time 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Location: Walton Arts Center parking lot
Admission Free to attend, beer-tasting armbands are $25
More Info: Dickson St. Oktoberfest website