What do you get when you combine beer, chocolate, and, perhaps surprisingly, family fun? Good Nature Farm Brewery’s second annual “Great Chocolate Wrecktoberfest” celebration, which took place this past weekend, September 29-30.
The historical chocolate wreck took place in September of 1955, making Hamilton the only village in the U.S. to ever have a chocolate train wreck. Wrecktoberfest celebrates that train derailment, and the site of the wreck has been preserved with help from Art Zimmer Productions. It can be found right next to the Hamilton Fire Station on Lebanon Street. As the story goes, the train was carrying Nestle chocolate products when it derailed right next to the school and children helped themselves to the spilled chocolate.
The Brewery decided to create an event that served as a celebration of the wreck and as a festival for October and the coming Fall—hence the name “Wrecktoberfest.” The Brewery event served both German food and chocolate.
It was the Brewery’s second annual celebration of Wrecktoberfest and their seventh year producing the beer called “The Great Chocolate Wreck.” This beer is brewed with pure cocoa and is 10% alcohol, canned for the first time ever this year. Each 16 oz. can of beer has a short history of the chocolate train wreck printed on its label.
Wrecktoberfest ran from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on both days, and included a variety of exciting activities for guests as well as an exclusive menu offered for the weekend. Each day at 2:30 p.m., a bus donated by the Hamilton Historical Commission took guests to and from the historical site, where Joan Prindle from the Commission provided a free tour. Saturday night included a performance by Nate Gross Band and surprise guest Mike Davis and the Laughing Buddha Episodes, a band based in Norwich. Sunday was a day of games, including a keg toss and a stein hoist. Sunday’s musical guests included Rob Norris and the Oktober Bones Trombone Quartet.
The Brewery’s specialties were the chocolate paired dishes—one order included three samples of beer, each paired with a complementing chocolate truffle.
Despite the Brewerys’ focus on beer, the event was family friendly. People brought their children and dogs, creating a lighthearted, fun atmosphere. Colgate students came to the event as well, adding to the diversity of the crowd.
Carrie Blackmore ’08 is the President and Co-founder of Good Nature Brewery, and has been running the brewery for 8 years. Her familial ties to Colgate are what brought her to the area—her grandfather was a previous professor and Dean of the Faculty at Colgate. Blackmore’s positive experiences as a student at Colgate led her to stay in the area and continue hosting events that connect the Colgate community with Hamilton’s history. Wrecktoberfest will continue to live on in infamy in Hamilton, NY, assisted by the Brewery’s dedication.
Contact Ani Arzoumanian at [email protected]