Rob McFerren: Oktoberfest celebrations

The traditional Oktoberfest beer style is Marzen which has a rich malty flavor and a clean dry finish. Metro Creative

Oktoberfest is the largest beer festival in the world with more than 6 million people attending in Germany alone! Each year it is held in Munich, Bavaria, Germany and the festival began in 1810 and now runs for 16 days beginning in mid-September. The festival was started to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig 1, and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. This celebration has been held each year since except during World War I and World War II.

Today, many of the larger German breweries produce beer for the Oktoberfest and nearly 7 million liters of beer are consumed during the 16 days! The traditional Oktoberfest beer style is Marzen which has a rich malty flavor and a clean, dry finish. Visitors will not only enjoy the beer served in large tents but also amusement rides, dancing, and plenty of traditional German food. The menu includes sausages, roast chicken, roast pork, pretzels, dumplings and sauerkraut. Of course there is also the traditional Bavarian music which is quieter during the day and builds in volume in the evening.

Oktoberfest celebrations are now held in many cities of the world and the United States will hold many of their own. One of the largest in Southern California is held in Torrance at Alpine Village. There are even Oktoberfest celebrations being held in our own Santa Clarita Valley! Almost all will have German-style food, Bavarian music, and plenty of beer! It may not be Munich but it’s still a lot of fun and hopefully you get to participate in the “Chicken Dance”! Cheers and Prost!

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