Sometimes odd questions get stuck in my head. They often won’t go away until I know the answer. Luckily I usually walk around with all the answers in the known universe in my purse.
The question that got stuck recently is why is Oktoberfest celebrated in September? October is right in the name!
So off to the interwebz I went! I learned all about the history of Oktoberfest and got my answer about why it’s celebrated in September.
The first Oktoberfest was in 1810 as a celebration of the marriage between Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. (Try saying that five times fast.) During the five day celebration the people of Munich were invited to eat and drink to their hearts’ content while listening to live music and watching parades. The party ended with a horse race at the edge of town.
People enjoyed the celebration so much, they decided to make it an annual festival, complete with every attraction that made the first so enjoyable. As the festival got longer, the starting dates were moved into September because the days were longer and the weather was warmer. Visitors could stay out later to enjoy the gardens and the famous fields that make up the festival grounds without getting chilly.
In keeping tradition with the original dates, the last weekend of modern Oktoberfests always takes place in October. If the first Sunday in October is the 1st or 2nd of the month, the festival runs until October 3, so it can coincide with the public holiday, Tag der Deutschen Einheit, or Day of German Unity.
So there ya go. It’s really just better weather that has us celebrating Oktoberfest in September. Honestly, I was hoping for something more exciting, but at least I got the answer to my question.
Now, you can’t have Oktoberfest without beer. Specifically German and German-style beers. These aren’t typically my favorite styles of beer, but I’m usually up for trying something new. So here are a couple of beers that are on my Oktoberfest bucket list.
First up is Sierra-Nevada’s annual Oktoberfest release. A tester at vinepair.com describes this year’s release as, “This smells like Oktoberfest, but hoppier.” The hoppier part is what has me intrigued as I tend to favor hoppier beers.
Next to try will be Two Roads Ok2berfest, this marzen-style lager is described as being refreshing, almost verging on an IPA. Again, this is right where I like to live beer-wise, so this is a must try.
The last one is on my list to try, but we’ll have to see if I can find it. Apostelbräu’s historic Roggenbier, is a rye beer brewed with 55% Rye Malt. One reviewer noted that if you enjoy rye whiskey, then this is a beer for you. Since I do — this is on my list to try.
Fall is here and a new season is great excuse to try something new. So go out and enjoy the last days of Oktoberfest. Just remember, that if you are out trying some German beer to enjoy responsibly.