Ompah! It’s Oktoberfest

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Fall=Oktoberfest=craft beers!  This annual celebration happens far beyond the Bavarian capital of Munich, Germany. Although called Oktoberfest, the festivities & tapping of kegs began mid-September.  For the occasion,  breweries around town are promoting seasonal brews at this time of year including those made with pumpkins!  Whether you go Oktoberfest-ing decked out in a traditional dirndl outfit, here’s the backstory of Oktoberfest along with tips & tricks on how to pour the perfect draft from any keg wherever you are in the world.

Oktoberfest in Germany – from 1810 to today…

The legend goes that as of 1810 when one Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig celebrated his wedding all the citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event.  This big party became an annual event. The beer tents that we know today didn’t start until the late 1890s then came along fun-fairs that are a mainstay in any German Oktoberfest celebration.  Since the 1800s, Oktoberfest is now considered the largest festival in the world…and is celebrating its 180th year!
Here’s some fantastic photos of this year’s celebration in Germany.

This 16-day festival runs from late September to the first weekend in October. It’s certainly got an international flavor that is characteristic of the 21th century with some 6 million visitors from all around the world converging into 14 beer halls each year.  Our own Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm took part in Oktoberfest in Munich a few years ago…although we haven’t been able to pry pictures of her dancing on tables with huge mugs of beer!

 

Celebrating Oktoberfest in Ontario

Here in Ontario we know how to celebrate Oktoberfest like the Germans do!  There are plenty of festvals around the province – the most famous being Oktoberfest in Kitchener Waterloo as it is named as ‘Canada’s largest Bavarian festival’ and it holds claim in being the largest Oktoberfest in North America with 16 Festhallen (beer halls) and over 40 Family and Cultural Events, there is something for everyone.

Ommm-pa-pah! In Ottawa, there are 5 Oktoberfests – that should keep you busy! Oktoberfest Ottawa showcased lots of entertainment & family fun…oh and beer of course. Local craft brewery Beau’s All Natural is hosting its 5th annual Oktoberfest this weekend.  Even Sparks Street had its own festival – GO OTTAWA!

With so many great craft beers brewed right here in Ontario, there are loads of reasons to crack a cold one. For a list of what’s going on around the province check out Ontario Craft Brewers.

 

 

 

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