Music, beer and food at the 17th annual Eurofest
EuroFest is in its 17th year in northern Nevada and is hosted by the Sands in downtown Reno. This celebration of European culture, running June 5, 6 and 7, offers something for everyone – young and old, Lederhosen-sporting or not, and most certainly for those with an appetite for out-of the ordinary live entertainment, hearty food and tasty beverages.
One might wonder what keeps EuroFest going strong for 17 years. The answer lies in what is not to be missed when attending the event. The free, live entertainment tops the list.
The day-time crowd, which is often different from the evening crowd, loves dancing their knee-socks off to the Gruber Family Band who has played EuroFest in northern Nevada for more than a decade. The band plays everything from waltzes to polkas with many songs sung in German, and with Alpine melodies and button box accordion tunes mixed in to keep tradition alive.
The band headlining on Friday and Saturday nights is another band who has become a repeat favorite at EuroFest. The Young Dubliners' music is often referred to as "Celtic Rock" and rock they do. For those new to the band, expect an energetic performance with Irish folk music kicked up to the nth degree.
Music isn't the only reason to attend this event. The beer selection brings Europe to Reno, even when a local brewery, Brasserie St. James, is responsible for brewing one of the featured craft beers. Its Red Headed Stranger, which won the Gold Medal in the Belgian Specialty Category at the 2013 U.S. Open Beer Championship, is a fruity and spicy farmhouse ale, with roots in the simple, rustic ales once brewed on farms in Flanders and Wallonia.
The Chimay Cinq Cents is another beer for which to look. This Trappist beer combines a sweet and bitter balance, not unlike the balance sought by the Trappists who combine a monastic lifestyle with the manual labor of beer- and cheese-making. The Borra Moretti de Rossa, a double bock or "dopplebock" beer, is produced with a high quality 100% malted barley giving it a rich, sweet taste and intense fragrance of malt with very little bitterness.
The beer garden features over 40 beers ranging in flavor from fruity and light to dark and stout. There is also a full bar available. In case guests would rather spend the night at the Sands than drive home, online reservations offer the best rates (link to: http://sandsregency.com/room-packages) and are a snap.
Last, but certainly not least, is food.
Never mind the rule that one should eat lunch or dinner before dessert, the first item on many people's "to eat" list is the "bienenstich", which is German for Bee Sting Cake: a combination of sweet yeast dough, a caramelized almond topping and a cream filling.
As anticipated with Euro-cuisine offerings, sausages are readily available. Try a knockwurst or a bratwurst. What's the difference? The knockwurst has a heavier load of spices and gets its name from "knacken" – to crack – and "knackig" – crisp and when cooked and eaten it tends to crackle and break open. A bratwurst has a lighter spice load and is traditionally made of pork and veal. For those who might want a meatless dish, the braised red cabbage with apples is worth a try. A traditional German dish, it cooks slowly, simmering and develops a lovely flavor that balances sweet and sour.
It's a good thing this event lasts three days. With so much great food and ample beverages to try, not to mention free entertainment, attendees may need to visit more than one time. Attendance is free so they can come and go as they please.