Sophie Bolich

Amorphic Hosting ‘CzechtoberFest’

A Riverwest brewery puts a twist on the Bavarian festival shifting its focus from German bier to Czech pivo.

By - Sep 8th, 2022 02:21 pm
Amorphic Brewing. Photo taken Sept. 6, 2022 by Sophie Bolich

Amorphic Brewing. Photo taken Sept. 6, 2022 by Sophie Bolich

With Oktoberfest quickly approaching, nearly every brewery in the city is gearing up to celebrate the famous Bavarian festival with traditional German-style beers and food. But Amorphic Beer in Riverwest is a notable exception.

Never one to conform, the seven-month-old brewery will instead host Czechtoberfest, trading soft pretzels for sausages and featuring three specialty Czech-inspired lagers for a fresh take on the classic festival.

Tickets are now available for this inaugural Czechtoberfest, which will take place Sept. 24 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the brewery at 3700 N. Fratney St..

Amorphic opened in in December 2021, serving a beer menu primarily focused on three categories: Czech-inspired lagers, IPAs and adjunct flavored brews, like cucumber Kölsch with cactus fruit and hibiscus.

The brewery doesn’t typically showcase German lagers, so as Oktoberfest approaches, founder Ron Hockersmith said he wanted to try a different approach.

Three Czech-inspired lagers will be available during the event. One of them will be a Czech-style Pilsner, which is fitting, as the Czech Republic, more specifically a city called Plzeň, was the birthplace of pilsner-style beer. Compared to its German and American counterparts, Czech Pilsners are brewed by a process and with ingredients that result in a beer that is slightly more malty and bitter.

For Amorphic’s take on the internationally beloved style, it will follow tradition and brew with Czech yeast and pilsner malt. The grain is a little more expensive than what the brewery could source from local maltsters, but it’s worth it, Hockersmith said.

Říjenfest is Amorphic’s take on an Oktoberfest brew. The beer is made with German Barke Vienna malt, Czech yeast and American hops. It will be available on draft and in four packs to-go.

As for the pronunciation of Říjenfest, Czech for Oktoberfest, “we don’t care if you say it wrong,” Hockersmith said. According to a recent customer from the Czech Republic, Hockersmith added, the word is quite difficult to pronounce, even for native Czech speakers.

The third lager featured at the festival is a re-release of W.I.M.P.S., or Weakly interacting minor particles, which is a Czech-style dark lager.

And because Amorphic is known for its IPAs, Hockersmith said he “won’t be able to resist” adding a tap line of hoppy ale to the festival lineup.

Aside from the variety of specially-brewed beers, festival attendees can expect sausages (regular and vegetarian) from Bunzel’s Meat Market, music and games.

The festival will be held on the garden deck at Crops on Top, an urban farm located directly south of the brewery.

“They’ve built a really cool space,” Hockersmith said of the deck, which features a 24-person table overlooking the expansive garden.

Hockersmith said he considered having the festival in the taproom or under a tent in the street, but decided on the deck in order to take advantage of what could be the final days of pleasant Wisconsin weather.

“I think we have an opportunity here to be a little closer to nature and stand underneath some hop vines on the deck, look at some zucchini plants and some cherry tomatoes and some onions…so it’s just a unique sort of atmosphere,” he said.

Amorphic will also collaborate with neighboring business The Urban Craftsman for wood to construct a temporary enclosed space for the festivities.

Tickets for Czechtoberfest are $25 each and come with a custom Amorphic-branded dimpled mug stein, good for two free fills. Food is also included in the ticket price.

Tickets are available for purchase online at Amorphic’s website.

Update: After the time of publishing, Amorphic Beer announced that the band “Pay the Devil” will play at the festival. The band plays “a local eclectic mix of original, bluegrass, folk, Irish, Americana, obscure and outlaw country tunes.”


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