With many wearing pretzel necklaces, lederhose and felt hats well suited for an Octoberfest, brew fans converged on Veterans Green Saturday afternoon for the Westport Downtown Merchants Association's 2nd annual Biergarten on the Green.
Several hundred visitors turned up, paid $20 admission and, with a mini mug in hand, went from brewer to brewer under a large white tent to sample seasonal beers, sudsy favorites and unusual and one-off varietals. Beer makers included Westport-based Beaver Beer, Long Island-situated Blue Point, Chicago's Goose Island and East Coast Brewing from New Jersey.
Beer connoisseurs made tasting notes and discussed ingredients and aromas. Others were just glad to have a splash of something different, mingle with friends and make new acquaintances with similar interests.
Giveaways were in abundance, from glassware and coasters, to bottle cap refrigerator magnets and bumper stickers. Also featured were special foods prepared by area chefs from such restaurants as Tavern on Main and the Spread in Norwalk.
The Zany Oompah Band also performed everything from classic waltzes to polkas to drinking songs. The latter spurred sing-a-long and spontaneous dancing, not to mention cries of "Ticky-Tocky. Ticky-Tocky, Hoy! Hoy! Hoy!"
At Oscar's Deli nearby on Main Street, Ali Papageorge got in the spirit of the occasion serving up knackwurst piled high with sauerkraut, paired with hot apple cider laced with Maker's Mark bourbon and chased by pumpkin pie with a hat of whipped cream.
Others wandered over to Blue Lemon's set-up where chef/owner Bryan Malcarney was grilling fat bratwurst with sides of slaw.
Among the attendees were husband-and-wife Michael and Nicole Ward -- he was sampling Southhampton Double White while she was pouring Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Nearby, were brother-and-sister Adam and Sarah Fullilove. Meanwhile, Kristen and Carlos Martinez were pouring Charter Oak Brewing Co. suds.
Jason Troini and Chris Braccia were making the rounds, sampling the various beers, with Braccia sporting a shirt emblazoned with a large black eagle (the Bundesadler from the German coat of arms) and the letters "OMR." Asked about the abbreviation, Braccia replied it means, "One more round."
Others shared that sentiment.