Local restaurants team up for first-ever Oktoberfest event

Hoist your stein and don your lederhosen—the Greater Baton Rouge Chapter of the Louisiana Restaurant Association is launching its first-ever Oktoberfest on October 13 at 6:00 p.m. at Pointe Marie. The ticketed event, a fundraiser for the LRA’s ProStart program, features Oktoberfest beers and German-inspired cuisine prepared by several local restaurants and LRA members.

“We thought it would be good because there aren’t a lot of Oktoberfests around here,” says LRA Chapter President Jeff Conaway. “It’ll be the first time we’ve done it, but we hope to hold it annually.”

Indeed, while German celebrations take place in New Orleans and Roberts Cove (a German enclave in Acadia Parish), Baton Rouge has thus far been void of chances to soak in an evening’s worth of German beer and cuisine, an oversight that needed correcting, says Conaway, who was born in Nuremberg, Germany, to military parents.

“Who knows, we might even get a chicken dance competition going,” Conaway says, referring to the zany group activity common to established Oktoberfests.

The LRA’s Baton Rouge event will be held outside on the grounds of Pointe Marie and includes a complimentary beer stein for sampling seasonal Oktoberfest selections from craft breweries, including a light bodied German lager from Goose Island Brewing, Golden Road Brewing’s traditional Marzen, (the original Bavarian Oktoberfest beer),  Widmer Brothers’ Oktoberfest Ale, Breckinridge Brewery’s German Amber Lager and Karbach Brewing Company’s Karbachtoberfest, an authentic Bavarian-style Marzen.

Accompanying the beer menu are dishes prepared by several LRA member restaurants.

“We’ve got a lot of great food out there,” Conaway says. “Everybody is doing something with the theme.”

Patrons can sample cheddar cheese and beer soup from Jubans; pepperoni latkes and soft pretzels from City Slice; the German crumb cake streuselkuchen from Cecelia Creole Bistro; alligator beer bratwurst corndog with charred red cabbage and beer mustard from Kalurah Street Grill; beer poached brat bites on a pretzel bun crostini with sauerkraut from Iverstine Farms; German-style meatball sandwiches with Dijon mustard gravy and sauerkraut from L’Auberge Casino & Hotel; shredded Marzen braised pork shank with creamy Gouda polenta from The Overpass Merchant; bread pudding from Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux; and blueberry sausage from Country Pleasin’ Sausage.

A VIP area features charcuterie by Ruffino’s and a separate bar provided by Fred’s. Live music will be provided by the Chris LeBlanc Band, and there will also be a costume contest.

Tickets are $50, with a VIP option for $75. The event is held Thursday, October 13, from 6-9 p.m. Visit LRA for more information and tickets.