Dick Brothers Brewery focal point of new Oktoberfest

Tracy Orne, co-chairman of the Roatary Club's Oktoberfest, sets up items at Dick Brothers Brewery in preparation for the event. (H-W Photot/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: Oct. 11, 2013 8:16 am Updated: Oct. 25, 2013 9:15 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

It's time to put on a pair of lederhosen, grab a brat and a beer, and celebrate Quincy's German heritage.

The Quincy Rotary Club is bringing back a German festival for the first time since Germanfast was last held in 2011. The club is reviving the German streetfest tradition with Oktoberfest from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Dick Brothers Brewery on York Street between Ninth and 10th streets.

"This event really is different than what the Germanfest was, but it's got that flavor to it," said Rotary Club member Terry Orne. "We'll have the Heidelberg Band, of course, and the food and the beer. But obviously we're adding more because of the venue and the history that we're bringing back to it."

The Heidelberg Band is set to play traditional music from 4 to 6 p.m., with the Cheeseburgers playing from 6 to 10 p.m. At 6, a brat eating contest will be held, followed by a stein endurance contest at 8.

Orne said the event will be family friendly. The Dick Brothers Brewery got its start in 1857. During its prime, Dick Brothers was larger than Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis. After Prohibition and the effects of World War II, the brewery struggled, and it was auctioned off under bankruptcy in 1951.

"Between the tour of the tunnels in the bottle house, also across the street in Gallery Solaro, there will be a wonderful exhibit of Dick Brothers memorabilia to see what was there," Orne said. "We also have some blown up posters of a walking tour of Quincy's Calftown that show what people probably miss every day driving through the area. It's really an interactive history lesson in addition to having some great German food."

There is no admission fee, but tours of the tunnels will cost $5 per person, which includes free samples of beer from O'Griff's Grill and Brewhouse and private brewers for those 21 and older. It will also cost $2 to tour the brewhouse.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Rotary Club community projects. Rotary provides scholarships to students pursuing career and technical programs, sponsors literacy projects in Quincy schools, provides weekend backpacks full of food to needy children, stockpiles food pantries at Thanksgiving and Christmas and sponsors capital improvement projects throughout Quincy.

"All of it is going straight back to the community," Orne said.

The event will take place rain or shine, with room inside the building in case of inclement weather. There will also be tents on the street.

Oktoberfest will feature single-stream recycling with the support of Allied Waste. Recycling receptacles for paper and plastic will be placed alongside trash cans to eliminate waste. Empty bottles may also be recycled.