Desmond’s Beer Garden Party Marks Start of Summer, Opening of Sunset Grille Deck


By Chris Cooper

Hundreds gathered at the Desmond in Malvern last Thursday for a rousing Beer Garden Party to celebrate the opening of the Sunset Grille Deck for the summer.

Rescheduled from a week earlier due to inclement weather, the event this time was blessed with ideal weather and the perfect mix of food, drinks, and music to give attendees a preview of what to expect in outdoor entertainment during the coming months at the hotel.

The Desmond is a luxury hotel with 194 guest rooms and suites, along with facilities for corporate meetings and wedding receptions.

For dining, its Hunt Room features American regional cuisine at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while its Fox & Hounds Pub features casual dining with a selection of small plates, entrees, and drink specials. The third dining option, the Sunset Grille Deck, is Malvern’s largest outdoor dining venue and features live entertainment, along with the area’s most popular Happy Hour, from Wednesday to Saturday, June through September.

“We always have a deck opening party, but this is our first Beer Garden Party,” said Kim Mullen, the Desmond’s Marketing and Public Relations Director. “We decided to try and show the community what we are all about, and that means showcasing a band, our food, and what our deck looks like.”

The Desmond also used the event to set up a raffle to help the East Whiteland Fire and Ambulance Company raise money for its new firehouse.

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From 6-10 PM, guests could choose from a menu of light bites, craft beers, wine, and cocktails, while enjoying music performed by the Mike Caroto Band. Among the $5 food items were made-to-order lamb burgers, mini Angus filets, pork belly sandwiches, Maine shrimp rolls, Kobe dogs, smoked chicken tacos, and nachos.

Beer enthusiasts were thrilled with the array from which to choose.

Canned and bottled craft beers from some of the best breweries on the East Coast were available for $3-$5 each, and six specially selected beers were offered at the draft beer tent from Levante Brewing Company, an up-an-coming craft brewer in West Chester.

On tap was Atmospheric Perspective (a dry hopped pilsner), Cloudy and Cumbersome (a New England-style IPA), Monk’s Night Out (a Belgian IPA), Bianco (a Belgian Whitbier) and Hera’s Harvest Cider.

Levante also decided to offer something a little out of the ordinary for the night’s festivities.

“Since we were being featured, we went ahead and put all the brewers to the test,” said Spencer Holm, one of the brewers at Levante and also its Marketing Manager. “We finally chose to send over a small-batch specialty beer called Going Guava that was brewed with fresh guava.”

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According to Holm, so many enjoyed that particular drink that his team now intends to brew it on a larger scale.

Unfortunately, the need to reschedule the party from the previous week caused conflicts with two of the original bands that were slated to perform.

“We had three bands scheduled because we wanted to give everybody a taste of what was to come on the deck this summer as far as live bands,” said Mullen. “But that went by the wayside since they were already booked for the new date.”

The Mike Caroto Band, however, made up for the absence of the other two with skillfully-played sets of songs from the Drifters, the Beatles, the Allman Brothers, David Bowie, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Lorde, and others.

The combination of good music, drinks, food, and friends made the first Beer Garden Party a success, according to a sampling of attendees.

Scott Davidson, a medical device salesman from Chesterbook, said he especially enjoyed listening to the music while catching up with friends.

“I really liked what I heard,” he said.

Churchill Mensah, an auditor, took a detour from his commute home to Coatesville to join the party.

“The beer was refreshing and the lamb burger was perfect,” he said. “It was really good to see some friends and relax to a good mixture of old-time and recent music.”

A group of female co-workers from nearby DentalEZ Group echoed those sentiments, agreeing they would definitely come to future events for the live music and to relax out under the stars.

Mensah perhaps summed it up best for many in attendance who saw the party as a welcome diversion from recent domestic and international events.

“It was good, because for two and a half hours, I had forgotten the pain and disappointment I was feeling about the state of affairs in the world,” he said.

Future Beer Garden Parties are in the works for mid-summer and again in the fall.

Click here for more information.

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