BRAWLEY- Friday night, the Stockman’s Club of Imperial Valley hosted the Brawley Beef and Beer Oktober Festival benefiting Imperial Valley Catholic Charities.
The smells and sights of Oktoberfest and autumn filled the room as guests and sponsors celebrated after a long hot valley summer. An “oompa-band” led by Frank Rote entertained on stage while hungry guests enjoyed “Heidelberg,” or better known in local venacular as appetizers. They consisted of cold sliced charcuterie and sliced Brandt Beef Bavarian sauerbraten with white cheddar that could be dipped in warm beer fondue.
The annual event funds local Catholic Charities such as the senior nutritional program, foster grandparent program, senior companion program, House of Hope, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Shelter and Food Resources Center. Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego and Imperial Valley work hard to provide a variety of diverse programs for working and poor families, as well as seniors and the homeless.
Chancellor of the Diocese of San Diego, Rodrigo E. Valdivia, spoke to guests before serving dinner. “The reason we are here tonight is to make sure the needs of Imperial Valley residents are met in some way by the Catholic Charities,” he said.
After blessing the main event, “The Hamburg” or “The Munich” was served and prepared by Chef Cathy Shank. The dinner consisted of Brandt Rindfleish Shieber hamburger (hamburger sliders) or Brandt Beef Bavarian brisket, served along with choices of ale. Outside at the “bier garten bar,” an assortment of wines and beer were available for guests to experience.
Dressed in full Oktober attire, sponsor and co-host of the night, Sue Brandt, expressed how excited she was about the night’s turnout. The Brandt Beef Company showed support for the Catholic Charities event by acting as one of the premier sponsors at the event along with Alford Distributing.
Eric Brandt spoke at the podium quizzing the room on “why did God make beer?” After an answer, Brandt would gift a large package of Brandt Beef Jerky to the winning guest. Calipatria resident Leonard Vasquez answered Brandt’s second question of “why did God make beef?” by responding, “to show us how much he loves us” and received two bags of Brandt Beef Jerky.
Brandt went on to explain to guests the background of the Oktober festival and why it came to be what it is. He explained Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture that has been held since 1810. The festival originated to honor the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.
A silent and live auction were included in the event to raise funds so Catholic Charities can assist in many programs helping Imperial Valley’s needy. For more information on the event or Catholic Charities please contact (760) 353-2748.