Fedoras, Sam Adam Seasonals and Pub Crawlers were in full motion on October 6th for Phoenixville’s Annual Oktoberfest. At noon, people were ready to hit up the Pub Crawl spots for Pumpkin Ales and German Lagers! It didn’t matter if you were an Italian Restaurant or an Irish Pub, the bars of Phoenixville were decked out for German festivities. Thanks to Origlio Beverage, each bar was nicely decorated and loaded with awesome giveaways. Always good to have another key chain that works as a bottle cap opener. Most of the bars were offering Samuel Adams Oktoberfest and Samuel Adams Fat Jack, an Imperial Pumpkin Ale, for $3.50.
It didn’t matter where you began on Saturday afternoon. Pub Crawls in Phoenixville are all about having fun and supporting each participating restaurant, but for me personally, PJ Ryan’s is always a good way to kick things off, especially if you are a fan of Shock Top. In addition to the featured Sam Adams brews, they had a Pumpkin Wheat from Shock Top for only $3! My other Irish Pub favorite, Molly Maguire’s, also featured Sam Adams, but if you felt like celebrating in Irish fashion, there’s nothing like a pint of Guinness on their outside patio!
Pepperoncini Sotto kept the spirit of Oktoberfest with their own Italian flare. On special were $5 Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches. To compliment the Pumpkin Ales were Homemade Pumpkin Raviolis as well as Pumpkin and Amaretto Bisque with Caramelized Apples. Again, Irish or Italian, everyone was on board!
Across the street, the staff of Franco Ristorante were outside serving up some tasty German plates with a lineup on ice that included Victory Brewing Company, Spaten and Weyerbacher. And what’s Oktoberfest without a brat and sauerkraut?! For only $4, you could order a Bratwurst, German Potato Salad, German Bow Tie Pasta or Apple Butternut Squash Soup. So many decisions, but I had to get my hands on a Brat. It’s an Oktoberfest tradition and boy, did this hit the spot! These hot dogs were succulent, juicy and a pretty hefty size. I would have loved to sample everything else, but hey, it’s all about the beer today and I had more stops to hit!
I took a minor detour off the “designated” list and popped into the Fenix. If you weren’t feeling the beer scene on the Pub Crawl, you can always count on the Fenix for a selection of tasty martinis. The bartenders were serving up cocktails made with Pumpkin Pinnacle Vodka. I didn’t want to steer off course and mix liquor with beer, but the customers seemed to be enjoying them!
The rest of the day fared well and the weather was good for both businesses and crawlers alike. If there was outside seating available, you bet there was a wait. I stepped into Pickering Creek Inn at the other end of the block. All the action was going on outside with their awesome outdoor patio. They had a live band and plenty of awesome craft ales on tap. I already had my fair share of Sam Adams that day, so I made sure to have a glass of their New Holland Dragon’s Milk, a Stout aged in bourbon barrels. As much as I love what Fall has to offer, there’s nothing wrong with switching it up. This beer wasn’t “Pumpkiny” with cinnamon spices or “Oktoberfesty” with toffee & caramel notes, but it was sure tasty. Selections like this are why I love Pickering Creek Inn! This brew in particular was packed with roasted malts, chocolate, caramel and a hint of bourbon. Again, not Oktoberfest, but with an ABV creeping up at 10%, it warmed me up with the Fall chill afoot!
I took some time to speak to bar owner, Ken Kauffman, who’s a huge fan of these events. I took into account that his draft list went beyond what was featured that day, Sam Adams’ Oktoberfest and Fat Jack. Ken made sure, in addition to the specials, there was some rare brews available, such as Atwater Bloktoberfest, Breckenridge Autumnfest, Full Pint Weizenbock and Weyerbacher Autumnfest. It’s good to spice things up, especially on a pub crawl
The same goes for Bistro on Bridge, located on the other end of the block. If you were looking for something beyond the norm, Bistro had them locked, loaded and on tap. Just recently, they added three drafts to their lineup and a new fridge. Perfect timing I’d say!
Everyone’s favorite, Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale was available in conjunction with Williamsburg AleWorks and Central Waters Oktoberfest. By the end of the pub crawl, the downstairs was loaded with patrons wearing Sam Adam fedoras and drinking Samuel Adams Oktoberfest from Boots. Only $15! That’s a full pitcher of beer! If you were looking to get your swagger on, the Jägermeister Girls were also there serving up complimentary shots and free giveaways. Both DJ Muve and DJ Valid were working the entertainment.
Well past 6 o’ clock, everyone kept the party going, which is what Oktoberfest is all about! I even managed to purchase a Pretzel necklace from a fellow pub crawler. Yes, you read correctly, a pretzel necklace! For those who partake in full days of drinking, they’ll make a necklace loaded with mini pretzels. I’ve seen these at a number of beer drinking venues. They’re great for snacking in between beers and quite fashionable. Hey, anything goes at these pub crawls!
All in all, it was a well-received event. It’s great for the restaurants to get some extra business plus a great opportunity for people to get together over a pint and possibly make a new friend. I happened to make a few myself! I, for one, can’t wait for the next one. Hope to see you there!
Follow Phoenixville Pub Crawl on Facebook to stay in-the-know for future events, by clicking here. All photographs credited to Kevin Dragone.