First Kitsap Oktoberfest: What Did You Think?

Nine breweries and wineries from Kitsap, Mason and Jefferson counties had offerings at the Oktoberfest.

With the sun shining and an empty stomach, we headed out to the first Kitsap Oktoberfest at the Kitsap Mall Saturday. We got there about 3 p.m., and there was quite a crowd. No official estimates on attendance yet, and I wasn’t there officially. I was there to eat food and drink beer with my husband.

But since I was there, I took a few photos to share and wanted to offer up a place for people to post their thoughts on the event. I thought the beer selection was great, and it was good to see local food vendors, though it’ll be nice to see a few more vendors as the event grows. I also think they really, really should have an adult version of the playland they had set up for kids. Beer and bouncing; how could that be bad? Don’t answer that.

(I know you’re not supposed to apologize for your work (a Julia Child lesson), but I’m not making any claims about the quality of these photos. They’re cell phone photos; they are what they are.)

Popcorn Chef's Hot Chocolate
Viking Feast Ice Cream

Along with beer and brats were local food makers. Among the foods I sampled was Popcorn Chef‘s Hot Chocolate, a dark chocolate with pepper that you don’t taste right away, but sneaks up on you and builds with each bite. As per Charles Keating’s suggestion (he’s the one in the background), it went really well with the Smoked Cherry Rye Ale (I’m not 100 percent sure on that name for the beer) from Valholl Brewing. I also tried some ice cream from Viking Feast Ice Cream, who will open a factory in Poulsbo soon. I’ll have more on that later. What caught my attention were two ice creams infused with Hales Ales, one with a cream ale and a chocolatey stout. I also tested a raspberry concoction made with berries from Suyematsu Farms. Apparently it’s not traditional ice cream, it’s closer to an Icelandic frozen yogurt. I’ll have more on them soon.

If you went, I’d love to hear what you tried …

8 thoughts on “First Kitsap Oktoberfest: What Did You Think?

  1. I was really geared up to go since I wasn’t going to make the Fremont Oktoberfest this year. I’ve gone to the larger state park (eastern side of sound) events that had huge tents, true beer lovers. My wife and I brought our food donation especially to our surprise of NO Admission. Wait what is with all the kids at the OKTOBERFEST? Oh I get it, these are the same people that take their kids to the rated-R movies because they couldn’t get a baby sitter. Come on, this is not a kids event and not MEANT to be a kids event. Strike ONE. Parking lot was well blocked off, but you mean to tell me there are no parks of ANY kind that they couldn’t find for a KITSAP WIDE event? Atmospere really sucked for me. Strike TWO. Anyone that has attended any Kitsap related event would recognize 50-57% of the vendors and tables there, (I’m a proud local supporter of these businesses). I love the Viking Ice-cream regularly at Poulsbo Farmers Market, and the variety of beers was welcoming but still limited for an Oktoberfest (especially since they were running out). Now the fact that everytime I had to spend $5.00 per beer in a plastic cup given to you every beer. You don’t think they could have saved money by giving every person at the entry point 1 cup? Aren’t we supposed to be a recycling community? I saw some guys walking around with 10 cups. Most festivals include the cup or glass in the charge of admission, this way it doesn’t just become another piece of trash (that I noticed thrown into the porta-pottys). Strike three. Did I mention everything there was $5.00? Needless to say my friends, wife, and I all went to Silver City as many orange wrist-bracelet folks did. Sorry Kitsap Oktoberfest, won’t see you next year and I won’t miss you either.

    ~Adam (Silverdale/Bremerton)

  2. It was great to go to an event like this and see the response by the public for it. We went about the same time and yes,there were a number of people there,but it didn’t seem crowded. The organizers did a good job of setting it up with plenty of room and the only problem we had was getting out with the exit being the same as the entrance.
    I had food from several different places,Hales pretzels,Tatu’s BBQ for a brat,Crimson Cheese,WSU grad, for some cheese,smoked salmon and nuts and then over to the beer tent for some REALLY good beers. I sampled,drank,beers from Der Blokien (good as usual),Valholl( a place I’ll be going to in Poulsbo)Grant street in Shelton (I’ll definitely go there during the Oyster fest next weekend) and Hales Harvest Ale.
    The music was all good and varied for everyones enjoyment. Hope that it met the sponsor’s expectations and that we’ll have it again next year.

  3. Historically, Oktoberfests (particularly in Europe or Munich-style) are family-friendly events. Fremont’s is as well, though the beer gardens are off-limits. So is the annual Washington Brewers Festival held during Father’s Day weekend.

    The location was good given the parking needed. There are few locations in Kitsap which can accommodate 5000+ people without needing shuttles. Perhaps a future event will be at Fairgrounds, but this year’s was central and worked well with an exit near Bella Bella and an entrance near Popcorn Chef.

    Silver City was selling cute boot/mugs. Some attendees were also carrying tall mugs. Tokens were sold for the brews. Volume-based pricing with a commemorative mug isn’t a bad idea – WBF and Fremont do it – but Kitsap Oktoberfest had the same end goal. I’m sure they’ll work out the kinks for next year.

    Beer ran out early, an event which exceeded expectations, and many walked over to Hale’s Ale, Silver City and other nearby businesses…easier to do given location. Love the local and regional vendour support, especially in this challenging economy.

    All in all, a great effort by a dedicated team of participants. Well done! We’ll be back to watch it get even better with age.

  4. You could have died of thirst standing in line forever with the mass of people trying to get a beer. First having to stand in a long line to buy beer tokens, then waiting forever in the beer lines. On the plus side, I stayed sober, since I never got a beer.
    And kudos to the band CHYEAH CHYEAH, 5 teens playing 60’s garage band type music. And they played their own songs. Their 7 song CD was only $5, and is excellent. It was so refreshing hearing young people interested in this kind of rock and roll, a most welcome change from the dreck that stinks up the radio today and passes for pop culture.
    And with this short summer lacking in decent weather, it was fitting to have a day late in Sept. with 75 degrees and perfect blue skies.

  5. I was sorely disappointed. I arrived Saturday around 5 or 6 pm. Many of the beers appeared to be sold out. I saw one food vendor leaving. I assume he was sold out.

    You waited in one unnecessarily slow line to buy beer tokens. You then picked from several unnecessarily slow beer lines to pick from 1 or 2 beers when you got to the head of the line. I was in shock the beer vendors weren’t continuously pouring beer. They just stood and stared at you until you put a token into their box. Did they expect the beer to go bad between me and the next person in line if I didn’t have a token? There was no place to sit! People were rudely camping all of the empty chairs.

    If you want to enjoy beer, visit our local pubs where you will get a waitress and a chair to sit in.

  6. I know several of the vendors who were at the event and being a vendor at other events myself I want to say that it’s hard to know how many people you’ll get at an event the first go-round. Expect that a lot of the kinks will be better next year and if you’re concerned and are willing, email the organizers with some constructive feedback. Don’t be a jerk, just share your experience as an attendee and offer suggestions.

    Next, sign up to help out because ideas and complaints are free. 😉

    I’m so excited for my friends who did well and sold out and I hope that next year they bring triple their supplies and keep the happiness flowing. 🙂

  7. The putting together of a large community sponsored charity event is never an easy undertaking for those involved. The first time a new event in launched what can go wrong usually does and the average attendee has no understanding of how many band-aid, personal compromises and backbreaking work by volunteers and participants go into making things at least have the topside appearance of being smooth or easy.

    Having been an involved volunteer who was part of similar events over the years it is rather disheartening when the “please me or else” crowd starts to complain about every little thing that did not go THEIR particular way. Complaints that do not venture into the constructive criticism category and simply head straight for unproductive whining. This behavior is a common problem with volunteer run or based organizations or events. So common that I wrote about it this week in my column.

    Congratulations to everyone involved in putting the event together. Making improvements are just part of the wonderful journey going into the next year’s event. For those that care nothing for experiences, community interactions or journey’s then they should plop their bottoms down on the nearest bar stool at the closest chain restaurant, enjoy their beer and wrap the warmth of their “outrage” around themselves.

  8. My 13 year old son and I had a good time. I have actually never been to an Oktoberfest which was not family friendly, especially growing up in a military community out on the East coast. I did not have any beer or food, although my son had a grape soda from the vendor in Silverdale who was selling their own (sorry, I forgot the name, but will be looking it up, it was a great product!). For $5 he got a wristband for unlimited bounce house time. This is where we spent the majority of our time, although we took time outs now and again to listen to music. Was it perfect? Nah, and I think next year I’ll go with my best bud instead of the boy so I can enjoy the more adult side of it, but all in all I think it was a great first event.

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