Local restaurants team up for first-ever Oktoberfest event

Hoist your mug and put on your lederhosen — the Greater Baton Rouge Chapter of the Louisiana Restaurant Association kicks off its first-ever Oktoberfest on October 13 at 6:00 p.m. in 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 here,” said Jeff Conaway, LRA chapter president. “It will be our first time doing this, but we hope to hold it every year.”

Indeed, while German celebrations take place in New Orleans and Roberts Cove (a German enclave in the parish of Acadia), Baton Rouge has so far not had the opportunity to soak up the ‘an evening of German beer and food, an oversight that needed to be corrected,’ says Conaway, born in Nuremberg, Germany, to military parents.

“Who knows, we might even have a chicken dance competition,” Conaway says, referring to the goofy group activity common at established Oktoberfests.

The LRA’s Baton Rouge event will be held outdoors on the Pointe Marie grounds and includes a free mug of beer to sample seasonal Oktoberfest selections from craft breweries, including a Goose Island Light German Lager Brewing, the traditional Marzen from Golden Road Brewing (the original Bavarian Oktoberfest beer), Oktoberfest Ale from Widmer Brothers, German Amber Lager from Breckinridge Brewery and Karbachtoberfest from Karbach Brewing Company, an authentic Bavarian-style Marzen.

The beer menu is accompanied by dishes prepared by several LRA member restaurants.

“We have a lot of great food there,” Conaway says. “Everyone is doing something with the theme.”

Customers can sample Jubans cheddar cheese and beer soup; pepperoni latkes and soft pretzels from City Slice; the German crumb cake streuselkuchen from Cecelia Creole Bistro; alligator beer corndog bratwurst with charred red cabbage and beer mustard from Kalurah Street Grill; beer-poached brat bites on a pretzel bread crostini with sauerkraut from Iverstine Farms; German meatball sandwiches with Dijon mustard sauce and sauerkraut from L’Auberge Casino & Hotel; Shredded Marzen Braised Pork Shank with Creamy Gouda Polenta from The Overpass Merchant; the bread pudding from Sports Bistreaux at Walk-On; 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 takes place on Thursday, October 13, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Visit LRA for more information and tickets.

Gladys T. Hensley