It’s that time of the year again where everyone likes to ask me the question they think validates my beer drinking prowess. The one notch in my belt that cements my commitment to the craft beer game and makes me official because without it I’m just another guy that likes to call his craft beer drinking a hobby. No I’m not talking about the Uber badge on Untappd nor securing a growler of Tree House Good Morning, I’m talking of course of Oktoberfest. For over two centuries Oktoberfest has been a beer drinkers haven, a place where you earned your stripes but is this festival just one big frat party? Oktoberfest is much more than beer, it’s a cultural event that spans centuries of tradition, food, music and yes beer!
Started in Munich, Germany in 1810 as a celebration for a royal wedding, Oktoberfest has evolved and become more of a cultural event than a wedding reception. Over the years different features have been added that make Oktoberfest a celebration of culture and tradition. Carnival rides, quality food, parades, cross bow shooting, concerts and even a religious mass are all part of the festivities.
The Oide Wiesn is a nod to the Oktoberfest of yesteryear. They have setup attractions and food from a historical perspective where kids will enjoy traditional games like a paper mache horse race, tire driving and yes SODA for the little ones. Before 6pm is generally the time for family and the time for you to explore the many attractions over the 100+ acre facility. After 6pm the music changes and the festival starts to become more lively.
Here you thought Oktoberfest was a big stein of beer and dancing on tables while wearing lederhosen and listening to German folk music. Well yeah its still sort of that but there’s much more to explore than just the beer and the music. If you have the opportunity to go and earn you beer drinking stripes try to get there early and do much more than drink beer from steins brought to you by beautiful women in scant clothing while you scream “Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit” on top of picnic tables while chest bumping the bro next to you.