A celebration that is now 209 years old, kicks off in just over a week! Yes, Oktoberfest actually starts in September! Oktoberfest—spelled with a “k”—was first held in 1810 to honor the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince, Ludwig. It was a six-day celebration in October that year, held in the fields in front of the city gates of Munich, Germany. Over the years, it went from being an annual wedding anniversary celebration to an event that involved parades, costumes, beer booths and dance floors, while still following the tradition of enjoying the fields outside the city. As the celebrations were repeated, Oktoberfest was lengthened and moved forward for the warmer temperatures that are more predictable in Germany in mid-to-late September.
Oktoberfest is now a 16-day celebration held every year in Munich, Germany with over six million people attending each year. Here in the greater Baltimore area, there are tons of Oktoberfest celebrations—you can find one near you simply by googling “Oktoberfest”—spelled with a “k” or a “c”. Of course, when we hear Oktoberfest, we think beer. And while some of the best Oktoberfest beers are brewed in Germany, there are some American craft breweries that make excellent Oktoberfest beer. I’ve had a lot of these and have found one that is outstanding: Sam Adams Octoberfest—spelled with a “c”. It even won a Gold Medal at Munich’s Oktoberfest—it’s that good! It’s rich, malt-forward, smooth, a wonderful amber/orange color and is perfect for the fall and for Oktoberfest!
Oktoberfest 2019 officially starts next Saturday, the 21st and runs through Sunday, October 6th. But why wait? Start celebrating tonight with an American Oktoberfest beer!
100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy