Brews, brats and boogie: KDLL serves up Oktoberfest in Soldotna this weekend

Posted: Thursday, September 16, 2010

Grab your lederhosen and get ready to party at KDLL's 11th Oktoberfest fundraiser at the Soldotna Elks Club Saturday.

KDLL serves up Oktoberfest in Soldotna this weekend.

The annual event is usually held at the Kenai Elks Club. But Allen Auxier, general manager of KDLL, said that they wanted to switch it up this year.

"We're moving to Soldotna because it's a much bigger place, much bigger dance floor, hopefully we can get a lot more people in there," he said.

Moving to the Soldotna Elks Lodge also means a change of the event's micro-brew supplier, from Kassik's Kenai Brew Stop to Kenai River Brewing Company. Kassik's supplied the beer in the past because of an agreement the North Kenai brewery had with the Kenai Elks, Auxier said. Kenai River Brewing, based in Soldotna, has a similar agreement with the Elks lodge there.

Joe Gilman, a brewer at Kenai River Brewing Company, said a special new Oktoberfest beer -- a dark wheat beer with Bavarian yeast -- will be unveiled at the fundraiser this Saturday.

"It's still in the fermenter," he said.

Gilman said the brew has a 5.8 percent alcohol by volume content and a very mild hop to it. The brewery will be supplying another choice beer at the event as well.

And to accompany the brew a hearty dinner of bratwurst and sauerkraut will be served with apefelkuchen (a sort of "apple cupcake," according to Auxier) to top it all off.

Auxier said that besides the change of location and brews, the fest would be full of the usual German-themed fun, with live music from the Anchorage-based oom-pah band, Die Alaska Blaskapelle.

While traditional German attire is not required, he said, "comfortable dancing shoes" should be.

And while some may think the public radio station is celebrating the festival a month early, Auxier said, the timing for the real German party is during the harvest season.

"Originally Oktoberfest was actually a marriage or celebration for one of the German princes," he explained. "Everybody enjoyed it so much they made it into a yearly tradition kind of around harvest time, so there's plenty to eat and drink."

"It's a good excuse for us to get together to enjoy some good German beer and food," Auxier added.

Tickets for the 11th KDLL Oktoberfest are $12 and available at the Soldotna Elks Club. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m.

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