Have you ever thought to yourself “I’d really like to spend a weekend where I could check out a Kiss coverband, enjoy a Bavarian breakfast, get a guided tour of a beer museum with over 2,500 bottles, get the chance to attend a pay as you go beer sampling, attend a beer tasting seminar hosted by Acadie-Broue’s Patrice Godin and have some inflatable games (a.k.a. bouncy castles) and other events for the kids”? If so, you should plan to head to Northern N.B. Labour Day weekend.
The third annual OktoberFest des Acadiens will take place in Bertrand, New Brunswick (near Caraquet) August 31st, September 1st and September 2nd. A website for the event has been created but is only available in French. Here’s a run down of the festival for those qui ne peuvent pas parler français:
(All events take place at the OktoberFest site in Bertrand unless otherwise noted)
Friday, August 31st:
7pm: Official Opening / Tapping a keg
8pm: Oktobershow – Kiss cover band “Love Guns” and “Body Grove” (based on the video on the event’s website they are a cover band as well ranging from Disco, B-52s, Black Eyed Peas, U2, covers of “Skake that Body”, “Maniac”, “I Want Candy”, “My Sharona”, “I’m So Excited” and some songs I don’t recognize). Tickets are $22 taxes and handling charges in.
Saturday, September 1st:
9am – 1pm: Bavarian breakfast available at 3 area restaurants: Resto Chez Isa in Bertrand (basically next door to the Beer Museaum) and 2 restaurants in nearby Caraquet: Le Caraquette et Le Grand Bleu de Caraquet.
10am – 1pm: Guided tour of the local Beer Museum ( Musée de la bière) which is located next to the Tourist Information Centre in Bertrand. I stopped by to check out this place a few weeks ago and was really impressed. It’s only 2 bucks to get in and there are over 2,500 bottles on display and other beer related paraphernalia. There are bottles for the John Allen Brewing Company Hemp Ale (the precursor to Propeller Brewing Company) and older bottles from several local companies including Garrison Brewing Company, Pump House (man their packaging has improved!), Picaroons and the memorable subliminal message Red Dog bottle (look at it upside down) in addition to many other interesting bottles from the around the world. The most remarkable thing about the display is that none of the bottles have been opened! What a waste of beer…. It’s too bad there isn’t more information (1 newspaper article) about Acadie-Broue’s Patrice Godin from nearby Maisonnette.
1pm – 2:30pm: Speaking of Patrice…. He’s hosting an introduction to beer tasting at the Bertrand Community Hall. It’s $15 to get in and has a maximum of 30 entries. Tickets were supposed to be reserved by August 18th at 506-727-2982. You can always check to see if they’ll take late entries (I’m assuming the event is in French only).
1pm to 5pm: Inflatable games, face painting and other activities for kids are taking place at the “Hansel and Gretel” portion of the Oktoberfest site. This event will take place at the nearby Ola-Léger school in case of bad weather. This is free for kids under 13, $5 for those 13 and older.
1pm to 6pm: Beer tasting. $5 to enter the site, $8 for an optional mug and $1 for each 2oz sample. Beer list expected to be posted in the near future.
1pm to 6pm: Local bands playing at the Oktoberfest site.
2pm: Washers tournament – If you don’t know what washers is you’re missing the game that was meant to be played with a beer in one hand.
2:30pm: Vilgur the Clown show (in French) – free at the Oktoberfest site.
8:30pm: Two French bands will be playing, Noir Silence and Vilain Pinguin. Tickets are $24 taxes and service charges in for this event.
Sunday, September 2nd:
9am-6pm: Essentially the same schedule. A few differences:
1pm to 2:30pm: Introduction to Beer Tasting (Intermediate Level) hosted by Patrice Godin. I’ve had the chance to sample a variety of beers with Patrice and he really knows his stuff. Yours truly will be in attendance so if you’re having a bit of a hard time with the français at least someone is there to help with the translation. Same deal as Saturday session ($15, maximum of 30 participants, reservations were supposed to be made by August 18th).
4pm: Crowing of King and Queen of Oktoberfest based on best costume.
830pm: Jam session with local bands