Logan T. Carlson 4:37 p.m. CDT September 14, 2014
Blue Heron Brew Pub Brewmaster Tyler Tanenbaum is drenched with water at the Pitch Burst booth Saturday at Oktoberfest in Marshfield. (Photo: Megan McCormick/News-Herald Media )
MARSHFIELD – The Blue Heron Brew Pub’s traditional Oktoberfest celebration got a whole lot bigger this year.
The annual festival celebrating beer and fall has grown from the confines of the brew pub’s parking lot to engulf much of West Ninth Street in front of the building, making it the official after-party of Maple Fall Fest at Wildwood Park.
Tyler Tanenbaum, the brewmaster at Blue Heron Brew Pub, said he hoped to see the celebration attract about 1,000 people this year, about a five-fold increase from last year’s festival.
“This is the biggest we’ve ever gone,” he said. “We wanted to get more exposure and have people see this going on as they drove by, and hopefully draw more people here.”
As planning for the event occurred this year, Tanenbaum said people kept brainstorming ideas to include during the celebration, quickly expanding to the point that it wouldn’t all fit in the parking lot.
While Joe Gustafson, Betsy Tanenbaum — Tyler’s wife, and Maria Sundaram serenaded the Oktoberfest crowd early Saturday afternoon, members of the Marshfield Area Society of Homebrewers, or MASH, had set up their equipment on the street to make their own beer.
Oktoberfest at the Brew Pub originally was a collaboration between MASH and the craft brewery, which would feature dozens of brewers spending their afternoon brewing up their special recipes.
Brewing the Oktoberfest beer on tap for Saturday’s event takes about three months to create, much longer than the two to three weeks needed to make the majority of the ales the Brew Pub serves.
“It’s a beer that takes a long time to make,” Tanenbaum said. “It’s quite a bit longer from brewing them to serving them for these kinds of beers.”
With much of the preceding week filled with cold, windy and wet weather, those spending the afternoon in the clear, sunny skies couldn’t have asked for a better forecast.
“For how awful (Friday) was in terms of the weather, we got so lucky today,” Tanenbaum said. “An Oktoberfest celebration is where you’re supposed to feel the fall.”
Logan T. Carlson can be reached at 715-384-3131 ext. 328.
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