Food and spirits were in great abundance at the Shrewd Fox Brewery's Uktoberfest on Saturday, September 29.

Bonds of Community

One of the best things about being out and about in the Upper Delaware is that I get to experience the bonds of community first hand.

The bonds were evident on Saturday at the Barryville Farmers Market. The market was the culmination of the Barryville Chamber of Commerce's Butterfly Ride, where riders on their way from Lackawaxen PA, tossed out special seed pods as they rode along. At noon, at the weekly market held behind the River Market just north of the Barryville/Shohola bridge, children were swinging at a piñata filled with healthy snacks. A mariachi band played into the crowd. Delicious vegetable tacos were handed out for free, along with an amazing fruit drink. Handmade tortilla chips with fresh salsa were served up by Laura Silverman of the Outside Institute. I declined the last piece of cake which looked amazing, and in this moment I haven't a clue why.

I handed out papers, chatted with readers and after lengthy goodbyes, made my way to the Oktoberfest at the newly opened Shrewd Fox Brewery, at the corner of High Road and county road 32. Bill and Cindy Lenczuk are expanding their Eldred-based brewery to include weekend hours at 1764 Forestburgh Road.  The bar/restaurant facility has a very cool prohibition bar procured by antique dealer Tony Werneke, (who along with Donna Geba, opened The Orchard Inn many decades ago. I still remember the green drapes on the walls the huge oil paintings). According to Cindy, Tony found and installed the prohibition bar when his nephew opened the place as Michael's. Among other things, the huge wooden bar still sports a holster attached to the bar's interior, lest a federal agent arrive as in days gone by.

The highlight of the Uktoberfest was a craft brew and cider tasting, which was amazingly well organized. Upon arriving, patrons received a souvenir glass and eight tickets to redeem at numerous stations of craft brews and cider. Cabbage rolls, pierogies, sausages and potato pancakes were ample as they were passed around and accordion music filled the air. For more about the brewery, click here

The crowd seemed excited to have a place to gather in Glen Spey. (The Brewery will be open on Fridays from 4-8 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m. and Sundays, 12noon to 6 p.m.) While not a restaurant, Cindy says that they will be serving snacks and bar food. (There really is so much more to be said about the brewery, and brews, some aged in scotch barrels, which brewster Bill briefly explained, while serving up tastings!)

As I was giving out papers, Heather Worzel approached me to say hello. Her brother, Tim Mandeville, had purchased my husband's carpet cleaning and fire restoration business some 18 years ago. She was excited that Glen Spey would again have some kind of eating facility. "Besides River Roost, which is not open in the winter, everything else has closed. The Millbrook, the Mohican Lake Inn ...," she said.

Our conversation moved to the number of restaurants that there used to be in Yulan: The Rustic, The Colonial, The Casino .... (I pondered how the paper could somehow document this historic past in its monthly food pages.)

The conversation moved to community.

She said that she makes a point to support local businesses—and that was why she had come. 

These are the bonds that connect us; we are collectively working to support each other.

And it goes deeper than just food or commerce. It speaks to our relationships, to our neighbors and to our collective landscape.

At the farmers market, the Butterfly Ride held the knowledge that we are connected in the world. The butterflies migrate to Mexico, hence the band and the food. The mariachi band was brilliant, and the healthy snacks were a wonderful message to give to our kids. The Barryville Chamber itself, is a great mix of newcomers and old-timers and those in the middle who are the leadership.

At the Shrewd Fox Brewery, there are owners wanting and investing in giving back, by opening up something in the community.  Their Uktoberfest was generous and well planned.

And residents wanting to support this new endeavor showed up. (I was delighted to chat with realtor Paul Burckard, and to greet former Lumberland supervisor and Sullivan County District 2 Legislator Nadia Rajsz.)

The community bonds are strong here. They come from the heart and they reconnect us where ideologies can throw us apart.

Let us nurture these bonds, be generous with each other, and show up in our communities.

Let us celebrate the bonds of community on display most days in the Upper Delaware River Valley.

For an album of pictures from the Bicycle Ride, click here. For more on this story, click here.


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