Go to a barbecue competition and you'll hear stories behind this team's sauce or that contestant's customized smoker. Go to the Crescent City Homebrewers' Winterfest and you can hear similar stories of origin tales and technical notes and then taste the results all night long, along with plenty of food and live music.
For local beer fanatics, Winterfest has long been an annual, low-key follow-up to Oktoberfest as home brewers take over Deutsches Haus for a night, bringing in their homemade beers for all to sample and discuss. The event was canceled last year when Deutsches Haus moved out of its historic Mid-City clubhouse (now demolished to make way for the planned LSU hospital). But this year it's back, scheduled for 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday at the temporary Deutsches Haus (1023 Ridgewood Drive, Metairie, 522-8014; www.deutscheshaus.org).
Once again it will feature 20 different beers made by members of the Crescent City Homebrewers club (www.crescentcityhomebrewers.org) and a range of kegs from commercial brewers. The admission fee ($26 in advance, $30 at the gate) gives you the run of the taps.
"Not only do (guests) get to try all these different beers, but there are some really unique ones that people make for this event," says Winterfest organizer Derek Lintern. "There will be a lot of dark beers, fruit stouts, porters, a coffee stout. Then an American pale ale, a red ale. There's also a rum stout, made in an Old New Orleans Rum barrel."
Admission to Winterfest also features plenty of traditional German food to gird you through the extended beer sampling, and local blues guitarist Colin Lake performs.