The tease of fall has brought the arrival of pumpkin-spice accoutrements, Halloween décor, cable-knit sweaters and hay bales to area stores.
There is another sign the season is on its way. Left Hand Brewing’s Oktoberfest is bringing the beer-soaked fall party to The Garden from 4-9:30 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday.
With hot pretzels, plenty of flowing beer, a brat-eating contest, bands and the comforting sound of polka, the beloved event gives folks plenty of reasons to raise a frothy stein to the autumnal celebration.
“We’re excited to get the community together for some great live music and beer drinking,” said Ally Levise, Left Hand Brewing’s digital marketing specialist. “Oktoberfest is important to us because it’s a celebration of traditional beer styles — the same types of styles that inspired Left Hand’s Founders to start a brewery in the first place.”
While the two-day event is a great excuse to get decked out in your Bavarian best, it is also a chance to give back and help local organizations. Proceeds will benefit the Left Hand Brewing Foundation, an endowment that was formed in 2013 after the intense Colorado floods to help those impacted rebuild.
The Left Hand Brewing Foundation has continued to support community efforts by pouring funds generated from yearly happenings back into the hands of those who need them most.
Since starting 10 years ago, Oktoberfest has collectively raised more than $250,000 for regional nonprofits.
“We hope to raise $10,000 for the Left Hand Brewing Foundation through proceeds from ticket sales, merchandise sales and parking,” Levise said. “Next spring, the foundation will select local nonprofit beneficiaries that will receive grants from our two 2022 events, Leftapalooza and Oktoberfest.”
While attendees can revel in traditional offerings from Steve Rock’s Tanzkapelle Polka, they can also check out groups that bring a different sound to the stage.
“We really wanted to showcase local Colorado bands this year and develop a music lineup that offers something for everyone,” Levise said. “This year, we’ll have everything from traditional polka to funk and indie folk. The Hot Lunch Band will headline on Friday night and Card Catalog on Saturday night. These are both bands you won’t want to miss.”
Hailing from Louisville, the four-member band Card Catalog continues to wow audiences with foot-stomping rock and so much more.
“Any day that we get to play music for others and help them escape into a world along with us is amazing,” said Brooke Holman, bassist for Card Catalog. “We are very excited to be headlining Oktoberfest at Left Hand. I would say the thing we are looking forward to the most is putting on a fantastic show for everyone. We love playing out. To my knowledge, we have never been to the Oktoberfest in Longmont, nor have we ever performed at Left Hand Brewery. We are ecstatic.”
The group is fronted by singer and guitarist Jenn Tatro, a powerhouse vocalist who seems to be reviving the sound of the ‘90s — a time where female-fronted bands got airplay and didn’t shy away from grit or rawness.
While she remains a fan of Alanis Morissette, Fiona Apple and The Cranberries, she also reveled in tunes by Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins.
“I was always drawn to music, but my mom was really someone in my life that believed in my abilities and pushed me in that realm,” Tatro said. “I was always telling her that I was an athlete and I was not really interested in music. She ended up putting me in singing lessons and challenging me. I just stuck with it and later took guitar lessons as well. Then started looking for a band to play out with.”
While Tatro didn’t always envision music as guiding her career path, she is more than happy she found her calling and fellow band members.
“Rob Spears plays a mean lead guitar, with amazing guitar riffs,” Tatro said. “He always directs us and pieces together our songs and sets. Brooke Holman lays down a solid rhythm, sings like a bird and is a showman for sure on the stage. Kevin Kirkpatrick is an animal on the drums and holds the beat steady for our grooves, and he doesn’t back down. He’s always honing his skills.”
The band’s chemistry onstage is undeniable.
“We are a unit, a family, and I’m just glad I get to be a part of it,” Tatro said. “For me personally, that’s one of the main reasons I’ve kept coming back to music. We all share a love for music, and we enjoy sharing that with others.”
While there are no plans to incorporate a polka number into the band’s set, attendees can look forward to a high-energy performance.
“You can expect us to bring the heat,” said Spears, lead guitarist. “We will definitely be pulling out some of our originals and covers to keep the crowd going into the night.”
In 2017, Card Catalog won Boulder’s Battle of the Bands — an award that provided two recording days at eTown.
As far as the group’s name, members where inspired for it to reflect the variety of styles they play.
“We like to think of the name Card Catalog as being something that is limitless, open-ended and evolving,” said drummer Kevin Kirkpatrick. “It’s almost like the possibilities are endless. We can cross over genres. We can play the hell out of rock, country, punk, blues and R&B and do it justice. Have you ever thumbed through an old card catalog in the library? You should try it, you never know what you might find.”
Other groups scheduled to perform include Unauthorized Absence, Voltage 85, The Parlor Pickers and Cat Jerky.
With bands providing a danceable soundtrack, attendees will likely want to quench their thirst with refreshing brews. Much like the diverse songs offered up, the array of beer being served is sure to satisfy a variety of palates.
Oktoberfest Märzen Lager returns for the season, offering malty notes of bread crust, biscuit and toasted pretzel. Left Hand will also serve up Pumpkin Spice Latte Nitro and favorites like Sawtooth Amber Ale and 1265 Pilsner.
“Beer has a rich history and culture, which is very apparent around Oktoberfest,” Levise said. “It’s something we’re proud to be part of, and we hope visitors to Left Hand Oktoberfest feel that they, too, are part of a bigger beer community and tradition.”