When I heard about the festival Oktoberfest, I was unsure of what to expect, so I Googled it. Octoberfast. Hmm, not much there. For such a popular event there had to be more to it than I was finding on the net. Silly me, I’m not a beer drinker, neither had I heard of such a festival in my entire life. But yeah, we learn new things everyday.
To my amazement I found so much information when I changed the spelling per Google’s suggestion as Oktoberfest; perhaps Google knows a bit more than I.
I found various cities, states and countries listing their upcoming events for the festival. In addition I found a brief history of the festival itself. Ah, how romantic, it started with a Prince and Princess Wedding. But my next question was, how and when did it become all about the beer?
In the mid 1800’s I imagine the Oktoberfest was like a county of city fair or carnival, that included rides, sack races, and mush eating contests. In 1896 the fair grounds began to allow beer on the grounds, and well it just took over.
Sponsored by various breweries, various beer tents began popping up almost over night.
Needless to say, things have dramatically changed since the first Oktoberfest, but many enjoy its festivities year after year. They have even found ways to get kids on the fun, by serving them Root Beer.
The traditional beer of the festival is called Märzen.Its said to be darken and stronger than traditional beer. “Märzen, traditionally brewed in March, contains up to 6% alcohol, is bottom-fermented, and is lagered for at least 30 days.” but usually all summer long. Germans have strict standards for the brewing of their beer called Reinheitsgebot, these include the brewing of beer: barley, hops, malt, and yeast.
So perhaps your a nondrinker like me, or an annual participant of the good old Oktoberfest. It’s just as interesting to see how things change over the years.