Cheers to summer nights at Naumkeag


STOCKBRIDGE — "Naum-kegger." The event name itself induces intrigue, and perhaps a giggle.

It's the annual kickoff to the festive summer season at Naumkeag — a Gilded-Age 44-room "cottage," situated on some 48 acres, including gardens, fountain pools, birch-lined pathways and rolling hills — and it's happening from 5 to 8 p.m. this Saturday.

While the estate may sound, well, stately and buttoned-up, Brian Cruey, general manager of Southern Berkshires for the Trustees of Reservations, says the event is far from it. And yes, there will be beer kegs. Four different ones, in fact.

Cruey says, "Even if you aren't particularly interested in touring a historic home, there is still so much that this property has to offer and the Naum-kegger really came from that idea — that by creating different types of programming we could introduce new groups to what a beautiful and inspiring place this is (and show them a really good time while doing it)."

Because Naumkeag isn't known for its bar prowess, Cruey said he has enlisted the help of Joe Nejaime from its neighboring Najaime's Wine Cellar, to "curate a local selection of craft beers to sample, most of which are from our region," as well as pick out some wine that will all pair nicely with food that will be available, fresh from the grill. Cruey expects there to be six breweries offering samples of their ales and such.

The Berkshires' own folk-rock outfit, the Picky Bastards, will be singing and strumming out some originals and original takes on some favorite dancing tunes.

"The atmosphere could not be more laid back," Cruey said, adding that in addition to the Naum-kegger, every Thursday during the summer, including tonight, is "Naumkeag at Night," a live sunset music series offered from 5 to 8 p.m. This week, bluegrass outfit, The Hayrollers, perform.

"These events are made for relaxation, enjoyment and celebrating this beautiful outdoor space," said Cruey in an email. "We encourage people to bring picnics and it's also a great place for families. There is no dress code and no expectations other than to have fun and enjoy the view!"

nights at NaumKeag

• Tonight, and every Thursday during the summer (til Sept. 29), check out the "Naumkeag at Night" sunset music series, from 5 to 8 p.m. Each week features a different band against the backdrop of the Berkshire Hills. Admission is $10 per person, $5 for Trustees of Reservations members. Picnics welcome. Food and drink will also be available for purchase.

• This Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m., is the annual Naum-kegger craft beer celebration, featuring live music by the Picky Bastards, and grilled fare. The cost is $25 general admission, $20 for 1Berkshire's Berkshire Young Professionals members, or $15 for Trustees members; free for designated drivers.

Info: Naumkeag is at 5 Prospect Hill Road in Stockbridge. Call 413-298-3239, ext. 3008 or email for more details about this and other events there.


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