Were these events held in July they would be a big deal, but in November – they’re huge. Fager’s Island is throwing a pretty good party for the locals this weekend by featuring a Jack Daniels tasting party and local favorites Chester River Runoff on Friday night and the third annual Shell-Shocked party on Saturday.
Details are scant about the “You don’t know Jack” tasting party but really, it doesn’t appear to be something that requires a whole lot of explanation. There’s whiskey, and you taste it. Done and done. Alright, fine. Beginning at 7 p.m. you can get your Jack Daniel’s, BBQ, Bluegrass (previously mentioned Chester River Runoff and The Saltwater String Band but more on them in a bit) and Evo beers. Four whiskies are available for tasting: Old reliable No. 7, Single Barrel, Gentleman Jack and Tennessee Honey Whiskey. Barbecue is $10 per place and Evo beers are $5 per pint. You can also take a Whiskey Flight of four for $10. Relax, have a good time but be careful to not overindulge.
Providing entertainment during the tastings are The Saltwater String Band, who play regularly in the area and competed in the Berlin Fiddler’s convention last month, and Chester River Runoff. From the banks of the Chester River; they have been playing together since 2004 and play regularly up and down the peninsula. CRR has a devoted following among locals and they put on an excellent show.
Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. for $30 in advance (tickets purchased now will be waiting for you at will-call) or $35 at the door, visitors to the Island can absolutely gorge themselves on whatever kind of oyster suits them best. Raw, steamed, fried – whatever. Opposite Directions and Friends will be playing on the deck and unlimited Evo brewery beers in five varieties. They’re even tossing in a free pint glass. Barbecue ribs and chicken will also be available if you have a critical mass of oysters you can safely tolerate. We find there’s about a three oyster difference between “happily full” and “oops too much,” and that sweet spot is a little harder to identify when beers are involved. We’re just putting it out there that gorged on beer and shellfish is not a state to be envied, so it’s best to keep your wits about you.
Like we set about earlier in the article – if this event were held in July it would be difficult to find standing room on a table – even in a place as spacious as Fager’s Island. But, since it’s all happening at a time when the resort is less populated that means easier access to the amenities and offerings than usually possible. By all means, we should take advantage of these opportunities when and if they arise.
We’re usually looking for an excuse to hit up old John Fager’s Island any chance we get, but an added incentive of what appears to be a guaranteed good time is just the squirt of lemon juice on the oyster. Or cocktail sauce. Or tartar sauce. Whatever suits your fancy – there are plenty to go around.