On 1st October, Bhavna, Shaan, and I celebrated New Jersey-style Oktoberfest with our friends at Flounder Brewing. Head brewer Doug Duschl Jr and founder Jeremy "Flounder" Lees are keen on building a local community around their brewery. The brewery was packed with people. The entire Flounder Brewing taproom crew were happily at work pouring ale.
We are about keeping it simple. It’s about hanging out with good friends, awesome family and even the cool neighbors that you don’t really know. It’s about just enjoying good company, good conversation, and great beer. Remembering a great time with great people and a great beer, is the best way to experience your beer™, and here at Flounder, it is all about the experience.
When the brewery was at the small garage space at the industrial park, Bhavna and I had a routine; drop Shaan and Kiran off at the tae-kwon do academy in Hillsborough and hop over to Flounder for a pint. Sitting at the one long table, Bhavna and I would strike up conversations with strangers, many of whom were also parents. This is one of the reasons we became fans of the brewery.
In Munich, specific Biergarten tables are used inside the Oktoberfest tents. These tables have narrow table tops and benches, most likely to fit as many tables as possible inside the tent. This arrangement also fosters conversation between fest-goers, most of whom are strangers. The benches at Oktoberfest are usually placed right next to the bench of the adjacent table.
The original planned layout for the tables at the 250-year-old barn used Munich-style long tables. Because of COVID, the brewery couldn’t open the way that Jeremy wanted, so they used their budget to buy tables that could seat two to four people and set them far apart to meet COVID guidelines. Post-COVID, they are stuck with those tables, but for Oktoberfest, the tables were all pushed together.
Of course, I ordered the festbier, Last Train to Munich, in a commemorative Oktoberfest half-litre "Maßkrug" style beer mug.