Food & Dining
Downtown Newnan ready for Oktoberfest
by Bradley Hartsell
On Friday, Oktoberfest returns to downtown Newnan.
From 5pm to 9pm, the annual beer tasting event, hosted by Main Street Newnan, will feature 25 beers at the locations of 25 local merchants, and business owners couldn’t be more excited.
“It’s gotten bigger as the years go on,” said Valerie Dumas, owner of Gillyweed, an artisan shop on Jefferson Street. “It’s a really good date night event. The beers are getting more sophisticated. I think the beer connoisseurs really enjoy it, like someone would a wine tasting.”
Patrons will be provided a brochure and a map as they begin the tour; the brochure will list all the available beers. Finding a specific beer is easy — simply correlate that beer to its vendor and follow the map there. Gillyweed will serve Magic Hat #9, mysteriously named to match its mysterious taste. It’s dubbed as the “not quite pale ale.”
LaGrange Grocery, a sponsor of Oktoberfest, is providing a majority of the beer. The beers themselves will be a mix of craft beers, IPPs and dark lagers. As Dumas indicated, there is a sophistication to the beer offerings that stretches beyond college dorm quality.
Vendors will have snacks available and there will be a water station so that the experience can be enjoyed comfortably. Oktoberfest is planned and hosted by Main Street Newnan, and director Courtney Collins says the tickets allotted to patrons are capped so that the event is just a tasting, not a “pub or bar atmosphere.”
This year, Ken’s Bargain Outlet and Kendra’s Jewelry will be pulling double duty. Ellen and Ken Phillips own both stores, with Kendra’s opening this April at the spring Taste of Newnan. Ken’s Bargain Outlet has participated in Oktoberfest for several years, but the Phillips enjoy it so much, they’re doubling up. “We’re excited and we’re ready for it,” Ellen Phillips said of not only Oktoberfest, but of downtown’s food and entertainment ventures. “We love these events, they’re a lot of fun. You get to meet a lot of people.”
Kendra’s Jewelry will serve Sweetwater Blue, a light ale with a hint of blueberry, while Ken’s Bargain Outlet will offer Sweetwater Georgia Brown, a blend of caramel and chocolate malts. It’s these types of interesting and flavorful beers that bring patrons out in droves. Last year, most vendors saw 300-400 people in their store, which is great exposure.
“We’re definitely excited about [Oktoberfest],” said Chris Bell, owner of Bell’s Handcrafts. “It was a great event for us last year, good exposure, especially during the holidays. It was one of our better events.” Bell’s will be serving Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale, a scotch ale with a hint of smoke.
Tickets for Oktoberfest can be purchased online via Main Street Newnan, and in store at Morgan Jewelers, Gillyweed, Blue Moon Boutique and Bell’s Handcrafts. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 the day of the event, and can be picked up in front of Cook’s Office Equipment on East Court Square.
When patrons arrive at the ticket booth, they’ll receive a glass mug souvenir filled with their allotted tickets, the brochure and a map.
From there, Oktoberfest commences, where people can enjoy downtown Newnan, sipping on IPAs and porters, in one of the more fun nights on the downtown calendar.