WOBtoberfest celebrates German culture
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Sunday, October 14, 2012 10:10
Glasses clink, scents of beer and bratwurst mix in the breezy air and music radiates from the balcony above. Oktoberfest is in the air as families, couples and friends sit around tables that flow out onto the closed-off street to laugh, listen to music and celebrate the traditional German holiday.
The Lake Mary location of World of Beer hosted its second annual WOBtoberfest on Saturday, giving people the opportunity to come and enjoy live music by Christian Wilson, C-Lane and Scratch and Dent, as well as drink beer and eat traditional German food catered by Willow Tree Café. World of Beer mixed both German and American traditions by providing rare ales and lagers in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere with modern American music.
Kristin Kiskin, general manager at World of Beer Lake Mary, said she hoped this year’s celebrations would be a big hit within the community.
“I really hope it’s going to be busy,” Kiskin said. “We are offering a really special beer today called Schofferhofer Grapefruit & Hovels, which has never before been distributed in the United States. It’s shipped straight from Germany and abides by their strict standards that only include four ingredients. It’s kind of their take on American craft beer.”
World of Beer also offered the popular Sam Adams Oktoberfest, which seemed to be a hit among the guests who attended the event.
“Of course I had to have at least one [Sam Adams] Oktoberfest, considering the occasion,” said James Knusalla, a regular at World of Beer Lake Mary. “But then I moved on to my usual Indian Pale Ales.” Knusalla and his friend Kristy Stephenson said they come to relax and try different beers at the Lake Mary location fairly regularly.
“We come here pretty often because we participate in their point system,” said Stephenson, referring to the WOB Loyalty Card Program. Now, having earned about 190 points, the two enjoy earning their points and gathering the various prizes that are awarded for each tier of the program.
Brian White, another regular at World of Beer Lake Mary, has earned his keep with a plaque on the wall that celebrates his initiation into the 250-point club.
“I’m at about 300 points now and I come here all the time,” White said. “I’ve actually started slacking off a bit, but you can’t pass up coming to Oktoberfest.”
White brought along his cousin, Ben Loman, to celebrate WOBtoberfest. “We went to last year’s event, so when my cousin called me up and told me that [World of Beer] was hosting one again this year, I came right over,” said Loman. Trying to mix things up a little, Loman opted for trying another favorite of World of Beer customers: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. “It tastes kind of like a Guinness with a slight chocolate aftertaste,” Loman said.
Laura Frieden of Hype Group said World of Beer Lake Mary expected about 500 people to attend the event this year and offered collectible liter mugs for $15, which included the first fill.
“They offered some fantastic deals and prizes this year,” Frieden said.
Prizes included T-shirts, collectible glassware and rare beers and ales including Dogfish 120 bells Hop Slam, which is only released once per year.
“We had two people win the stein-hoisting competition, and they each got a $50 World of Beer gift card,” Kiskin said.
The live music and celebrations continued on until 1 a.m., and even the rain couldn’t hinder the positive mindset of the attendees.
“We actually missed out on most of the rain, so we got pretty lucky and the weather didn’t affect us,” Kiskin said. “The whole event was highly successful; it was a really great turnout and we had a lot of fun.”