Millennial Brewing Company’s 3rd annual Oktoberfest opens Thursday
This weekend in downtown Fort Myers, for a four-day Oktoberfest celebration will be held at Millennial Brewing Company featuring eight new authentic German beers.
Millennial Brewing Company founder and CEO Kyle Cebull said of all the potential events a brewery can do, Oktoberfest is the most exciting one, especially when it turns into a multiple day celebration.
“We wanted to do one really big event every year and decided Oktoberfest would be it,” he explained.
The first event began to get the idea off the ground and the second year it was scaled up a little bit.
“This is going to be the biggest one yet,” Cebull said of the third annual Oktoberfest.
This year the Oktoberfest, presented by Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, will be held from 4-10 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 12; 4-11 p.m., Friday, Sept. 13; noon-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14; and from noon-8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 15, at Millennial Brewing Company in downtown Fort Myers, 1811 Royal Palm Ave.
There is no entrance or parking fees. Food and drinks are for purchase.
The event, deemed a family affair, is safe for children and those four-legged friends as it is being held in a safe area. He said they close the whole street down in front of the brewery.
“It’s closed in by a parking lot, a fenced area all the way around it,” Cebull said, adding that it creates a nice safe environment for everyone to hang out.
This year the event will feature a new entertainment set-up with a much bigger stage with the main beer garden area right next to the space. He said it will be easier for people to see the entertainment and, in case it rains, the stage and beer garden tent are both right there.
The live performances will feature Honey Hounds, Charlie Moon, James Prather and Roots 2 Vines.
There will also be the Original Stein Hoisting Competition on the stage every two hours. Cebull said a liter will be filled and people have to hold it straight out in front of them.
“The person who holds it up the longest wins that particular round,” he said, adding that the person who has the best time for the whole weekend will also be a winner.
The third annual Oktoberfest will also feature more German beer brewed by Millennial Brewing Company. Cebull said they brewed eight different styles of authentic German Beer.
“It is very unique. There is not another brewery in the area that does that many German styles for any Oktoberfest celebration,” he said. “To be able to put out that many authentic German styles is really exciting for us.”
The process of creating the new authentic beer began by sitting down and discussing the variety of styles they could make — light, amber, dark — all with different fun twists. The planning for the beers began six months ago when they started working on recipes. Cebull said they started brewing the beer in late June.
“It takes time to do a lot of these,” he explained.
Two of the beers are lagers, the first they have done, which takes six to eight weeks to brew and complete the process.
“Those we really had to plan super far in advance. We are over the moon about it,” Cebull said.
There will be 23 other beers offered.
The food is another huge component of Oktoberfest. The planning for the food began a year ago when he sat down with local food truck vendors they wanted to be involved in the celebration.
“One of the trucks, Schnitzel Express, they are in Germany right now and getting things to bring to this event,” Cebull said. “We have multiple other authentic food vendors.”
Another food vendor, Artisan Eatery, will feature an authentic vegan German menu.
“We are big into the environment and conservation. The cornerstone in eating vegan is the lifestyle. We have created this big following of the vegan community for what we do. We have gone above and beyond that every food festival has at least one, and multiple additional vendors offering vegan,” he said.
Dynamite Street Eatz Food Truck is creating traditional German dishes with a twist, such as the bratwurst burger.
“There are so many different cool ways to eat this authentic food,” Cebull said.
Ten percent of the sales during the event will be donated to special causes. Saturday’s proceeds will benefit WGCU Public Media, and the remaining will go to the Millennial Fund, the Millennial Brewing Foundation.
“The fund we set up with Southwest Florida Community Foundation. We disperse those funds twice a year to a selective charity,” Cebull said. “We found that we were doing so many big events, in some cases we had a charity and donated directly to those profits. (Other big events) we didn’t have someone picked out right there and then. We wanted to safely put the money somewhere where it matured and was managed and controlled.”
Millennial Brewing has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in two years for more than 75 different nonprofit organizations through beer and sale donations, as well as providing a venue for events to raise funds and awareness.
The event will also feature local German craft vendors and a kids carnival area. There will also be special merchandise available — Millennial Brewing one liter steins and Tuna Skin long sleeve fishing shirts.
For more information, visit the microbrewery’s Facebook page @Millennial Brewing, or call 239-271-2255.