Hoedown To Feature Music, Special Menu, Craft Beer

BERLIN — The Atlantic Hotel will be adding a new food and music event to Berlin’s already well-loaded October schedule when they present its first-ever Hoedown on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Incorporating live music and unlimited beer from two of the area’s most popular breweries, the event will also have a specially designed menu that chef Leo D’Aleo promises will lend a “deck party” feel to Berlin in autumn.
The hoedown is shaping up to be something unique for the town, according to musician Bryan Russo, one of the four artists tapped to perform at the event.
“It’s one of those special events that they do, the big, can’t miss events that Fager’s has done in the past…I think they wanted to bring something over to the hotel and do something similar,” Russo said.
Russo expects the hoedown to be a perfect storm of craft beer, food and music.
“It’s going to be a nice mix of genres, musically speaking. People will be able to see a show and get some really great food and a good beer and the music, in this case is part of the draw, it’s not just background stuff to say that you have it. It’s a show. It’ll be cool,” Russo said.
While Russo labeled himself as a “stompy blues” player, he said that all of the artists will be bringing something different to the mix. Performer Justin Trawick has a strong folk and songwriting background, while Paul Keen and Kevin Bentley, formerly of the band Pawnshop Roses, are a classic rock “dynamic duo” that perform both covers and original songs.
Russo also mentioned the unlimited beer that will be available from Berlin-based Burley Oak and Salisbury-based Evolution Craft breweries. That combination of craft beer and regional music is something that the Eastern Shore is developing a knack for, according to Russo.
“The craft beer scene is exploding and I think that you’re seeing more and more regional musicians playing down here and doing well and doing shows out of the region with big people,” Russo said. “I think it’s just growing and trending in a great direction.”
Over on the food end, D’Aleo is working on a diverse menu to pair with the hoedown theme.
“That’s pretty much where we’re going with that. Good barbeque and bringing the picnic out to the back parking lot,” he said.
There will be everything from ribs to marinated pasta salads to fried oysters.
“We’re not only going to fry oysters and butter them around but we’re going to be shucking oysters, too,” D’Aleo said. “So we’ll have an oyster raw bar which obviously is great for that little nip in the air and sipping beer…”
The menu is fluid, however, and D’Aleo always likes to say, “to include but not limited to.” There will be a lot of what he calls deck party food that Fager’s Island is famous for but will also add a unique element to a beer and blues-style festival in October. The Atlantic Hotel is operated by restaurateur and hotelier John Fager and his team from Fager’s Island.
“Stuff that kind of goes hand-in-hand with beer and live music,” he said, adding that the event will be family friendly and kids will have plenty of options on his menu.
Russo and D’Aleo are both hoping that the Atlantic Hotel Hoedown will become another popular annual event in Berlin.
“It’s giving people something to get excited about in the offseason,” said Russo.
Tickets for the event are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. More information is available at 410-641-3589 or www.fagers.com.