WESTERLY — There will be a touch of Vermont, a hint of Austria and some ice cold drafts of top-notch beer next Wednesday in Weekapaug when Sam von Trapp comes to visit.
Von Trapp, the 46-year-old grandson of the legendary Maria von Trapp — whose nun-to-Baroness story was the basis for the book, musical and movie, "The Sound of Music" — will be the guest server and speaker at Weekapaug Inn's July Brewmaster's Dinner. The owner of von Trapp Brewing and president of the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt., von Trapp said he plans to talk beer and tell stories during the dinner, which is billed as "a casual, three-course, family-style meal," prepared by Inn prepared by Executive Chef Devin Bozkaya, where each course is expertly paired with the brewer’s choice of beer.
Think mugs of von Trapp Golden Helles served with a fondue of gruyere cheese, salmon crudo and mini all-beef franks wrapped in crispy filo dough as an appetizer, and a first course of smoked chicken kielbasa served with glasses full of von Trapp Bohemian Pilsner, a second course of Wiener Schnitzel paired with Vienna Lager and a dessert of chocolate stout cake served with von Trapp Dunker Lager.
Brewmaster's is an ongoing popular series that began several years ago with Bucket Brewery of Pawtucket as the debut brewery with Westerly's Grey Sail Brewery soon after.
"It will be my first event at Weekapaug," said von Trapp earlier this week from the famed family lodge in Vermont situated smack dab on 2,500 acres snuggled into a mountainside. "I'm looking forward to getting to know more about such a storied inn, and getting to know the locals."
The son of Johannes von Trapp — the 10th and youngest child in the von Trapp Family Singers and founder of the Trapp Family Brewing, Sam is the owner of the brewery that he started with his father in 2010.
"It was my father's vision," said von Trapp. "My father's focus was to make a beer in the tradition of the Austrian beers ... in an Austrian-style brewery ... like the beers he remembered."
The brewery, a state-of-the-art building in a retrofitted bakery on the lodge property, has been a success by all measures. Beer connoisseurs rave about the bright Helles, the rich Bock Bier and the Butte County Proud IPA, a collaboration between Sierra Nevada and the von Trapp Brewery. The von Trapps have won many medals — both national and international — from beer competitions around the globe, von Trapp said.
"We offer a full range of beers," said von Trapp, "from light, crisp lagers to our dark, rich Dunkel."
As an "early convert to craft beer," von Trapp said he found it was a natural transition to oversee the brewery and experiment with the yeasts and the recipes and he enjoys talking about the beer making process.
On Wednesday, after the guests sample the beers, the lagers and the ales, there will be for him to discuss von Trapp Brewing’s lagers and the brewing process further and to answer questions, he said.
"It will be a good chance to chat with people and let them know about the brewery," added von Trapp, "I'm a pretty outgoing guy and I like to answer questions about beer."
"I love to share stories and spread the word about the joy of beer and lager," he added. "And who knows, there may be some questions about some famous musical and a woman named Maria."