SOMERVILLE, NJ - "Ein Bier, Bitte."
Translated, that's "One Beer, Please," in German.
This time of year, that's a popular phrase in any language as nations around the world celebrate Oktoberfest, the German tradition that's all about beer.
Locally, Village Brewing Company will host its inaugural Oktoberfest celebration Saturday, Sept. 21 on the Division Street pedestrian mall, across the street from the brewery and restaurant, nine hours of music, dance, games, beer and "brats" starting at noon.
The event is free and families are encouraged to attend; no alcohol will be served to anyone under the age of 21. No outside food or drink is allowed.
Tents will be set up to serve beers brewed exclusively by Village Brewing, including a special Oktoberfest beer; a second tent will serve beers imported from Germany. A third tent will serve food prepared by the Village Brewing kitchen staff.
All beers will be on tap. Souvenir mugs will be sold.
Head brewer Mike Sella promises there will be plenty of Somerville brews and imported brews from which to choose. Topping the list is Village Brewing's own Oktoberfest beer, brewed especially for this weekend's celebration.
Also on tap will be "Stay Golden," a light blonde ale, and Jersey Haze, an IPA that Sella said is similar to a New England-style pale ale, where hops are added towards the end of the brewing process so that it doesn't impart much bitterness to the beer.
"It's a little bit art and a little bit of science," the head brewer said, describing Jersey Haze as having a fruity flavor and aroma.
Rounding out the selection of beers brewed on Main Street Somerville is a pumpkin spice beer, blended with ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and Allspice; Sella said there is only a limited amount of the pumpkin spice beer available.
Executive Chef Justin White and his staff have done their part to pair German delicacies with the selections on the beer menu.
Bratwurst tops the food menu - but this is not your average bratwurst.
Village Brewing Company works with local farmers, donating the spent grain from the brewing process which is picked up by the farmers and fed to their livestock.
River Bend Farms in Far Hills will butcher pigs raised and fed with the spent grain to make bratwurst for the Oktoberfest celebration. The brats will be blended with the brewery's 5 and Dime beer, a red ale, and cheddar cheese, according to Iris Frank, co-owner of Village Brewing Company.
The 5 and Dime beer takes its name from Woolworth's, the former occupant of the Village Brewing building at 34 West Main St.
Also on the menu will be chicken schnitzel sliders prepared by the Village Brewing kitchen, breaded and served on a pretzel roll and served with sweet and sour cabbage and pretzel bites, made in-house, coated with smoked sea salt and served with mustard or beer cheese whipped up by White, a blend of gouda, cheddar and Swiss cheese blended with one of Village Brewing's pale ales.
White, assisted by two other cooks, will also serve German fried potatoes - a hot version of German potato salad with smoked bacon cured and pressed in his kitchen. There will also be cheese fries served with a cheese dip blended with Village Brewing beer, and hot dogs for the kids.
Pretzel bites can also double as a dessert, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, paired with a chocolate sauce made in-house and blended with a dark beer brewed at Village Brewing.
The Blue Sheep Bake Shop on Division Street is helping out with fresh-baked chocolate cupcakes for Oktoberfest, blended with Village Brewing's Porter beer.
There will be live music all day on the Division Street stage, starting with the Peter Lister Trio playing traditional American bluegrass, 12:30-2 p.m.; the Bobby Syvarth Band with its own brand of funk, 2:30-4 p.m.; The Joe Stone and Black Forest Blues band plays 4:30-6:30 p.m. and This Old Engine, a Grateful Dead tribute band from 7-8:45 p.m. There will be plenty of room to dance.
Other activities include a selfie/Instagram station, hair braiding and games including a corn hole toss and traditional German Stein Holding contest, a test of strength and determination. Other games include life-sized chess and checkers and ping pong. Prizes will be awarded.
Village Brewing merchandise and souvenirs will be available.
Further information is available online at www.villagebrewing.com