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German Festival Wurstfest Is Canceled for the First Time Ever in New Braunfels

North Austin senior citizens are brewing their own beers, plus more news

Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Wurstfest Is Canceled
New Braunfels’s annual German and Texan festival Wurstfest is canceled for the first time ever this year, because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. “We made this decision knowing what a difficult year 2020 has been,” said festival president Randy Rust in the announcement, posted on Thursday, July 23, “and that our guests were looking forward to Wurstfest more than ever.”

Rust continued later on: “When we looked at how festival operations would have to change to prioritize safety, plus the related operational restrictions, we just didn’t feel we would be able to provide the Wurstfest experience we are known for.”

Because there are many local nonprofits that rely on the festival for fundraising efforts, the festival will host some sort of effort to help these organizations, to be announced later.

The festival would’ve taken place from November 6 through 15. The 60-year-old event has never been canceled before, even when there was a fire last year. It’s planning to take place next year from November 5 through 14, 2021.

Senior Citizens Brewing Beer
Senior citizens at the senior living community center Parmer Woods in North Austin are brewing their own beer right now, as reported by KXAN, dubbed Parmer Woods Beer Works. Life enrichment director Amy Casillas implemented the program. The small group does everything from picking the types of beers to bottling to helping with the label design. COVID-19 measures are in place, too, where the seniors wear gloves and masks. They’re going to brew an ale and a lager next, and have already made cider, an IPA, an oatmeal stout, and a wit beer. “It’s a way to stay part of the community while also putting our own little flair on it,” Casillas told KXAN, “which is always fun.” The group is open for selling the beers too, through a retail partner or something similar.

Charitable Chef Collaboration Specials
New American restaurant Emmer & Rye is hosting weekly takeout chef collaborations to raise money for three local charities: nonprofit Youth Rise, food and drink service workers-oriented nonprofit Southern Smoke, and Emmer chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph’s own scholarship program with the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce. The weekly dish, created with a rotating chef, will be featured on the restaurant’s Italian-pegged takeout menu (called Emmeroni’s) every Thursday. The first one took place yesterday with Nixta Taqueria’s Edgar Rico, who created a chicken parmesan torta. Future chefs include Grae Nonas, Natalie Gazaui, Steven Dilley, Fermín Núñez, Miguel Vidal, and Gabe Erales. Half of the proceeds from the dishes will be split between the three charities when the series ends on September 3. Orders can be placed online for pickup and delivery.

Best Restaurants of the Year
CultureMap Austin announced the winners of its annual Tastemaker Awards of the year yesterday. This includes Comedor as best restaurant, vegan shop Rebel Cheese as best new restaurant, Foreign & Domestic as best neighborhood restaurant and its owners Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley as the best chefs, Nixta Taqueria’s Edgar Rico as rising star chef, Small Victory’s Laura Maddox as best bartender, and more.

Small Victory

108 East 7th Street, , TX 78701 (512) 903-9450 Visit Website

Nixta Taqueria

2512 East 12th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 551-3855 Visit Website

Foreign & Domestic

306 East 53rd Street, , TX 78751 (512) 459-1010

Emmer & Rye

51 Rainey Street, , TX 78701 (512) 366-5530 Visit Website

Rebel Cheese

2200 Aldrich Street, , TX 78723 (512) 382-0048 Visit Website


501 Colorado Street, , TX 78701 (512) 499-0977 Visit Website