Brothers Johannes and Benedikt Mueller donned their traditional German lederhosen for the Chattanooga Oktoberfest on Sunday afternoon.
They hail from near Munich, Germany, and attend college in Chattanooga. They heard about the Oktoberfest at Chattanooga Market and knew they wanted to check it out.
"We thought we could get a little bit of the Motherland," Johannes Mueller explained.
But, he said, it wasn't quite what he expected.
"We thought there would be a little more German-ness around the whole thing," he said. "It's more like people trying to sell things. We were expecting a little more Oktoberfest stuff."
"Yeah," his younger brother chimed in. "It's missing the tents."
"The beer tents," Johannes Mueller agreed.
Hundreds of people attended the 11th annual Chattanooga Oktoberfest — and while there weren't many beer tents, there was no shortage of beer. Chattanooga Brewing Co. sold over 200 gallons during the two-day event, brewer Mark Marcum said, and every drop of his Oktoberfest beer was gone by midafternoon Sunday.
"It's a special beer — we brewed it back in June and it has aged in our tanks since then," he said. "We brought it out on the market in mid-September, and what we had for sale then sold out in about two weeks. We held some back just for this."
While Marcum sold beer, Sarah Love was at the other end of the market selling Brewhaus' pretzels, Reubens, kraut balls and homemade mustards.
"We have sold 400 pretzel necklaces today," she said. "They love them. It gives you a free hand for beer."
She said the Oktoberfest is a good way to market Brewhaus, Chattanooga's only German-American restaurant. It started last year, and people are still discovering it on the North Shore, she said.
Besides munching on pretzels, festivalgoers could browse dozens of booths featuring local artists and craftsmen, listen to the Wurstbrats Oompah Band, buy locally grown produce or take a look at several vintage Volkswagen vehicles.
One booth -- The Kettle Corn Man — drew extra attention from Sunday's crowd because of a 6-year-old standard collie named Shiloh.
Shiloh wore a green Bavarian hat over his thick fur and pulled a miniature beer cart to celebrate Oktoberfest, owner Jim Hornady said.
"He's probably had 1,000 pictures taken of him in the last two days," he said with a grin. "He's got an international audience. People don't come to see me — they come to see Shiloh."
He helps boost sales, too, Hornady said. Sometimes he'll pull a cart filled with kettle corn bags.
"He can only go 40 or 50 feet, but that's OK because by that time I'm sold out and I have to come back and get more," Hornady said.
He raised Shiloh from a 6-month-old puppy.
"It's just one man and one dog," he said.
The Chattanooga Market is free and open every Sunday through December from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the First Tennessee Pavilion. The Market moves to the Chattanooga Trade Center after Dec. 2 and ends Dec. 23. For more information, visit chattanoogamarket.com.
Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...