Full Disclosure: Wilmington Ale Trail is a sponsor of Marchtoberfest and the owner of the Ale Trail is one of the organizers for the beer festival.  This is a puff piece.

If you have seen the videos you may be a little confused as to what Marchtoberfest actually is.  Well, at its core it’s a beer festival . We talked to Ellie Craig, the marketing director at Front Street Brewery and one of the organizers for Marchtoberfest.

AT: So what is Marchtoberfest?

EC: Marchtoberfest is a beer festival based on the German Fruhlingsfest, in Munich. Traditionally, they celebrate in late April or early May when the weather turns warmer. It is really just a smaller version of Oktoberfest with the same costumes, games, and rides just on a smaller scale. We wanted to throw a Spring beer festival and use that as the theme.

AT: Do we really need another beer festival?

EC: There was a beer festival called Cape Fear Beer and Wine festival during this time in previous years.  We found out that the owner was not going to continue so we approached the convention center about Marchtoberfest.  It will be a very different type of festival. All our breweries are from NC and they will all be bringing at least one “German-style beer”.  We hope everyone will dress in their finest German festival attire and come ready to have a great time!

AT: Who benefits from the festival? 

EC: ILM Beer is our charity partner. They host local beer-based events to raise money for charitable organizations and local people in need.  The beneficiary of this year’s Marchtoberfest is the Steve Haydu St. Patrick’s Day Lo-Tide Run. They are an all-volunteer organization that donate 100% of their proceeds to cancer patients in New Hanover county. They put on a great event and are a great organization that has helped some of our local beer peeps.

There will also be a smaller donation to the NC Brewer’s Guild. They are integral in ensuring that our craft beer industry continues to grow. We are grateful for their support and they will be on hand to sell some cool NC Beer merch as well.

AT: What’s up with the Oktoberfest Trip Giveaway? 

EC: Being a first-year festival, we knew we were really going to have to catch the public’s attention. We partnered with, AwayBug Travel, to plan an awesome Oktoberfest adventure. The owner, Angie, has been to Oktoberfest several times and lived in Germany. She was instrumental in our planning to make sure we got the best deal possible.

We are giving away two trips to Oktoberfest 2020 in Munich.  If you have a VIP ticket, you will be entered into the pool of VIP ticket holders. We are only selling a maximum of 600 VIP tickets.

We are doing the same for General Admission ticket holders.   We can only sell a maximum of 2000 general admission tickets.  The trip itself includes airfare, hotel, and a reservation in one of the beer halls. Check out our website for the details.  Angie will help you addon any extra days, tours, or excursions you want to do.

AT: Bottom-Line, why should people come to Marchtoberfest?

EC: Well first off, the beer.  Over 40 NC breweries, including all your local favorites as well as breweries from Asheville, Charlotte, Triangle, and other parts of the state. Many of these breweries don’t distribute to this area so this might be the first-time people get to try them.

We are also going to have the HarborTowne Fest Band which is amazing. They will pump up the crowd and get people dancing. I just met with Ken, the band leader, yesterday and he is really excited for the event.

Finally, we are going to have games. We will have around ten carnival-style games for people to win small prizes. We are also working on a couple larger surprises.

It’s going to be a great time and we are looking forward to turning it into a multi-day event in the future.

Aletrail fans use code WILMALETRAIL to take off $5.