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Big Timber Brewery

19th Annual, October 11th, 2014

photo by Jean Hanna Davis

Welcome one and all to the 19th Annual Bramwell Oktoberfest. This years festivities will take place on Saturday, October 11th, 2014 between 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm.

The Bramwell Oktoberfest is known for its excellent live musical entertainment, with traditional folk, blues, bluegrass and alternative artists performing throughout the day.

Bramwell, the "Home of the Millionaires", is located near Bluefield on the Virginia/West Virginia Border near I-77 south. Tucked beneath Pinnacle Rock State Forest in a horseshoe bend of the Bluestone River, tiny Bramwell is said to have once been home to more millionaires per capita than any town on earth.  The town is a hidden enclave of Victorian splendor amid the once-mighty Pocahontas coalfields. 


George and Lara Sitler 

Owen Ogletree and Kerri Allen will be back to judge this year!
Owen Ogletree: Founder of the Classic City Brew Fest held in Athens, Georgia and the Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting, Owen runs and writes for Southern Brew News and Beer Connoisseur Magazine. A National Judge as ranked by the BJCP, Owen has also served as a beer judge at the Great American Beer Festival and the Great British Beer Festival. Kerri Allen: writer and editor, BJCP Certified Beer Judge, Great American Beer Festival judge, world beer traveler and Classic City Brew Fest assistant director.
We are so fortunate that Owen and Kerri had time in their busy, globe hopping schedule to join us and judge our competition this year. We not only respect their judgment, we enjoy their company! They know their beer and they know how to have a good time! I look forward to hearing all about their recent adventures.
And so will our friend Larry Johnson!

Larry is Beer styles expert and columnist for Southern Brew News and Atlanta Craft Beer Examiner.

Larry assists in the Classic City Brew Fest, one of the largest fine-beer expositions in the Southeast.

(Click Larry's picture for his explanation of craft beer.)

Have questions about the Bramwell Oktoberfest? Click here!


Our home brew competition is an official American Homebrewers Association recognized event!

The categories for this year will be limited to BJCP categories 1 through 7, and number 15. This includes all lagers and light and dark hybrids, and German wheat and rye beers (this is an Oktoberfest, after all). Check the BJCP site at for more information on style guidelines. 

Two bottles per entry, $4 fee per entry, and the form - available on the web site (url to follow) - must be completed for each entry. There's no limit on how many beers you can enter, but only the approved style types will be judged.

Entries can be sent to K.R.A.Z.E., 4932 Dempsey Drive, Charleston, WV 25313 beginning September 1, 2014 and will be accepted up to Thursday, October 2, 2014.

Judging will be held in Charleston on October 5, with the winners announced at the festival (as is only proper). 

Many of the competition judges will be at the Bramwell Oktoberfest. Anyone who wants to bring a bottle or two of their home brew to the festival for an informal evaluation will be welcome.

Rob "mashing"

Homebrew Judge

Rob Absten

Rob has appreciated good beer ever since high school, when someone took the can of Milwaukee’s Best out of his hand and replaced it with a bottle of Guinness. Since then, he’s been a home brewer, beer judge, and general beer enthusiast, including running the home brew competition here at Bramwell the past two years. He is a founder and the president of the Kanawha Regional Association of Zymurgy Enthusiasts (K.RA.Z.E.), an A.H.A. recognized home brewing and beer enthusiasts group. And, as a lawyer, he has worked to help modernize West Virginia’s beer laws.

He’s attended every Bramwell Oktoberfest since 2005 and has been looking forward to this year’s event since about fifteen minutes after the 2012 one ended.



General Admission: Guests under 21 years of age gain access to the contest and musical entertainment area. General admission ticketholders over age 21 may obtain 2-ounce samples of competing beers. Children 12 and under are admitted free of charge. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. To purchase tickets in advance, contact the Mercer County Convention and Visitor's Bureau at (800) 221-3206.

For more information  contact the event supervisor, George Sitler, at either or (304) 248-8004 or contact the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 4088, Bluefield, WV 24701 (800) 221-3206. You can access their site at 

Food Vendors for 2014
Pete's Authentic German Sausages Bramwell Main Street
Eatery & Catering

On the left side of this page you will find links to some the friends that have made the Bramwell Oktoberfest possible over the years. Please visit their sites, find out more about them and taste their delectable brews!

Links of Local Interest 

Beer Links 

Bramwell Oktoberfest   PO Box 65 Bramwell, West Virginia 24715   (304) 248 8004 
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