Friday, September 28, 2012

Beer and Pretzels: Oktoberfest

'Tis the Oktoberfest season where you have many opportunities to fill your belly with dark, seasonal fall beers.  It always blows people's minds that a lot of the Oktoberfest events are in September.  The real Oktoberfest runs from the end of September through the beginning of October.  Although, it's confusing, does it really matter?  I'm not arguing with the Germans, they can be feisty especially after a full day of drinking.

I found a really fun article on NBC news about 15 facts that you don't now about Oktoberfest, see source article here.   I wanted to share some of these facts and put my spin on it, as I'm a HUGE Oktoberfest fan.  I've already attended one and plan on attending up to two or so more before the season is over.

  1. The main event takes place in Munich, Germany.  More than 6 million people attend the celebration every year, making it the biggest beer festival in the world.  I prefer to go to the local ones; there was quite a turnout at the Enumclaw one last year ;)  I probably should add the real one to my bucketlist.  maybe I'll shoot for Leavenworth for now.
  2. "Prost!" - You are supposed to say this before knocking back a lager.  Another popular phrase is "zum wohl", meaning "to your health".  That's what I'm talking about.  Drinking for my health!! Ha ha.  I know it helps with happiness.
  3. The following are what you are going to eat at a traditional Oktoberfest:  Hendl (grilled chicken), Brezel (huge pretzels), Sweinshaxe (pork knuckles).  Guten Appitit!  One of my local haunts changed to a German concept and they have amazing soft pretzels.  It's not so much the pretzel but more the cheese sauce they give you, yummy!!
  4. The rules of Oktoberfest dictate that the beers come from one of the six Munich breweries:  Paulaner, Spaten, Hacker-Pschorr, Augustiner, Hofbrau and Lowenbrau.
  5. The original Oktoberfest was in fact October 12th, 1810.  The festival has been moved around for many reasons but partly due to weather conditions.
  6. "O'zapft is!", means "It is tapped!" and is the official rallying cry of Oktoberfest.
  7. Even though beer is flowing, Oktoberfest is a family-friendly event with carnival rides, carousels, roller coasters, musical showcases and traditional parades.  Children are even allowed in the tents but children under the age of six must exit by 8 pm.  Does that mean if you're over 6, you can stay and have a beer?  Oh those Germans, I thought that stuff only happened in Texas.
  8. Cincinnati houses the largest Oktoberfest in the US.  It is a 3 day festival that takes up 6 blocks of down town.  Maybe that's more fitting for my bucket list, a lot cheaper.
  9. The ladies bow on her dirndl dress signifies her status.  If it's on the left side, she is single and willing to mingle.  If it's on her right side her affections are already given to someone else.  A virginal woman will place the bow in front of her dirndl dress.  Get me a left sides bow please.
  10. Enough beer to fill three Olympic swimming pools is typically consumed during Oktoberfest.  Wowza!  I would like to contribute.

Check out my Weekend Wanderings posts to hear about upcoming Oktoberfest's in the Seattle area.

What's your favorite seasonal beer out right now?