Americans tend to associate German beer with October, but Wild Dunes Resort’s food and beverage director – a native of Karlsruhe in Baden-Württemberg – says his countrymen don’t wait until fall to hoist their steins.
“I like Oktoberfest, but in summer, every week, there’s a reason to drink a lot,” Thomas McKinney-Stehr says. “One time they call it chicken festival, one time call it fish festival. That’s what I want to bring to Wild Dunes.”
In deference to American expectations, McKinney-Stehr is holding off until October to host his first-ever craft beer festival for tourists and local guests, but the Isle of Palms event otherwise reflects traditional German sensibilities.
“I look at the event as a puzzle,” he says. “Every item has to fit: The beer, the food, the service, the location, the cornhole. Every little thing has to be perfect.”
McKinney-Stehr is still hammering out a menu for the Island Brews and Chews Craft Beer Festival , but Westbrook, Palmetto and Holy City breweries will provide the beverages. , the resort’s planning to pour two beers each from Holy City, Palmetto, Frothy Beard, Westbrook, Thomas Creek, Coastal Empire, Highland, Lonerider and Brooklyn breweries.
“No, it’s not German beer,” McKinney-Stehr says. “But we will have pretzels. We have to, we need to.”
In addition to the beer and snacks, the Oct. 12 event will feature lawn games and live music.
Tickets to the festival, which runs from 3 p.m.-7 p.m., are priced at $30. An overnight package including two tickets and one night’s stay costs $219.
To purchase tickets, call 886-6000.