Take a look at calendars around the world, and October is the month to celebrate. There are plenty of festivals and harvest celebrations that are part of the fall revelry, but the most celebrated is Oktoberfest.
It is the crown prince of fall festivals, but its origin has little to do with food or harvest. It was organized to celebrate the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Louis to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810.
The German Beer Institute describes the first Oktoberfest as a grand wedding party that allowed the commoners to partake in the ceremonies. The couple organized the gathering for their subjects on grazing land outside the Munich city gates, and some 40,000 Bavarians showed up for the fun. Every year on the anniversary of their nuptials, the party was repeated. To this day, the same meadow is the site of the annual Munich Oktoberfest.
Many Oktoberfest patrons are unaware of the festival’s origin, but the annual celebration has turned into a worldwide revelry of German sausage and special brews of Oktoberfest beer.
The Oktoberfestbier, or Märzens, are brewed in the spring, kept cool all summer and tapped in the fall. They are described as having a sweet and toasted malt complexity with spicy Bavarian hops and a crisp lager finish. Technically, it must be brewed within the city limits of Munich to be classified as or served at Oktoberfest. However, brewers everywhere have begun producing Oktoberfest-style beers that are made in limited release each fall.
On September 29, FRESH will be hosting its own Oktoberfest celebration. Several breweries will be participating, and there will be house-made brats prepared and cooked in the Taste Kitchen. Of course, our house-made brats are always available in the fresh meat case in The Market at any time of year.
There will also be handmade pretzels from the bakery that everyone can enjoy. It will be a great celebration to kick off October and celebrate the flavors of Oktoberfest!
Participating Breweries & Featured Beers:
- Karbach – Karbachtoberfest
- St. Arnold – Saint Arnold Oktoberfest
- Southern Star Brewing – Southern Star Oktoberfest
- Santa Fe Brewing – Oktoberfest
- True Vine – Kip’s Pumpkin Ale
- Goliad Brewing – Golden Ale, Redfish IPA and Black Hefeweizen
- Guns and Oil – American Lager
- Cedar Creek – Dankosaurus and Lawn Ranger
- Community Beer Co. – Texas Helles
- Nine Band Brewing – Ghost Cow Oktoberfest
- Grapevine – 3113 Oktoberfest
- Spaten – Spaten Oktoberfest Beer
- Franconia – Franconia Oktoberfest
See the FRESH calendar for more details.