Germany's Oktoberfest may have officially ended on October 6, but for one night last week inside the Nat Sherman Townhouse, the spirit of the sudsy celebration lived on as dozens gathered for plenty of German beer and food, mixed with a few cigars, of course.
The event was Quesada Oktoberfest, and on hand was none other than Manuel Quesada, the patriarch of Manufactura de Tabacos S.A (MATASA), passing out Krone, the newest size in his line of Oktoberfest cigars, along with his nephew Terence Reilly. The duo has been traveling the country since August, hosting beer and cigar pairing events in more than 20 states.
An ardent beer man, Reilly had the great idea to blend a cigar that could pair well with the Märzen-style beers, or just Märzenbier, served in Munich, Germany, during Oktoberfest. In 2011, Oktoberfest the cigar debuted in two vitolas, and since then four more sizes have been added. The cigars, Dominican puros, wrapped in what Reilly calls Dominican Cibao leaf, are the perfect complement to not only the malty flavor profile of a typical Märzenbier, but really any beer that has a healthy malt backbone.
Upon walking into the store, located on 42nd Street in the heart of Manhattan, guests were given a number which they then exchanged for a decorative beer stein with a lid. (A good solution to keep stray ash from falling into one's beer.) The steins were then filled with either Beck's Oktoberfest, Paulaner Oktoberfest-Märzen, or Erdinger Oktoberfest Weissbier. While Paulaner is the only one of the three breweries officially recognized as an Oktoberfest brewery, the other two beers are no slouches.
Most attendees conversed, imbibed and smoked in various social circles, but a few gathered around a flat-screen television to watch the first game of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals. Being a Sox fan myself, my eyes were glued to the television for much of the night. Occasionally (i.e. during commercial breaks), I'd make my way to a table filled with typical Oktoberfest fare: doughy, oversized pretzels, cabbage, schnitzel, and plump sausages. Perfect food for the night.
Doing a great job ensuring the comfort of all guests was Larry Sherman, one of the owners of Nat Sherman, and Michael Herklots, the company's director of retail development.
While the Quesada Oktoberfest events are largely complete, there are still two left, both scheduled for November 15: Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Old Oaks Cigar Co., in Thousand Oaks, California. If you love cigars and beer, I suggest you buy a ticket now.