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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Prost! Get Your Boot and Your Mass (Maẞ) in Gear: Oktoberfest 2016 is Here

PROST! Oktoberfest 2015 at Engine 15 Brewing ... Having a Maẞ
[Ed. Note, 9/17/2016: I have added several events since the original posting on 9/13, as certain events were announced after the publication]

Is there any more festive time of year in the beer world than OKTOBERFEST? 







The original German Oktoberfest happens each year in Munich during the last two weeks of September through the first weekend of October, and is host to over 6 million revelers each year. This year, the 183rd celebration runs September 17 - October 3. If you aren't attending the "Wiesn" (German for "meadow") this year, don't get your shorts all in a bunch. We also celebrate it here in the U.S. So, grab your lederhosen and dirndls because everyone's German during Oktoberfest!

The Oktoberfest celebration isn't just about the beer (really?). It's an integral part of German history, and we can thank Bavaria's King Maximilian Joseph for it. In 1810, the King threw a two-day festival to celebrate the wedding of his son, Crown Prince Ludwig, to Princess Therese. The event offered free beer and free food at several Munich locations, along with a horse race at a racing ground which later became known as Theresienwiese. And, behold, a tradition was born!  To this day, the mayor of Munich taps the first keg at noon on the first day of Oktoberfest along with the proclamation "O'zapft is!" ("it is tapped"), and the revelry begins. 
How about a stein?

Now, what about the beer? Alongside all of that pumpkin beer (the ones that began their invasion as the 4th of July fireworks finale hit the last boom), the "Oktoberfest" or "Octoberfest" beers, also generally described as "Märzen" or "Festbier," also quietly made their way to the shelves. The name "Oktoberfest" is an appellation in Germany, and under the applicable laws of Germany and the EU, only those beers brewed by the large breweries within the Munich city limits can be served at the Oktoberfest and are allowed to use "Oktoberfest" for the beer (Augustinerbräu München, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, and Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu). At this year's Munich fest, those breweries will be pouring beer at 14 tents holding about 98,000 seats!



Oktoberfest at Green Room Brewing 2015
While the styles of Märzen and Oktoberfest (lagers) have, in the past, largely been deemed the same under the style guidelines, the revised 2015 BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) Guidelines distinguish the two. Typically, an Oktoberfest/Märzen is malty, sweet and amber-to-light brown in color. Over the years, however, the German Oktoberfest renditions have taken on a lighter, more golden color, mostly in response to consumer sentiment and the movement toward a "lighter, more drinkable" version (or, said another way, more "poundable," according to the comments by the Paulaner brewer in the BJCP guidelines).  So, now, as far as official BJCP "styles" go, and in recognition of the protected Oktoberfest name in Germany, the "Festbier" is the golden version with a strong malty flavor alongside a lightly toasty and softly sweet character. The "Märzen" is the amber-to-light brown type, also with a malty sweetness and rich, toasty, bready flavor. The ABV and IBUs are roughly the same (5.8-6.3% and 18-24/25, respectively). The US-brewed "Oktoberfest" types are generally in the Märzen styles.


German Beer Boot:
Beware the toe!
For purposes of education and demonstration, and because visual learning has been shown to be effective (trust me), consider the following:  No matter which version of the seasonal beer you enjoy, drink it in the traditional Maß ("Mass"), or mug, typically a one-liter vessel with a handle (as shown at top of page). Or, add to your festivities by filling your one-liter German Boot (as shown here).  And, in case you were wondering about the English-Metric conversions, one liter is just a bit over a quart (which is 32 oz., or two 16 oz. pints).  

These are some of my favorite styles of beer, and I am looking ahead to attending a few Oktoberfest celebrations. I don't know about you, but I've already had a few of the Oktoberfest/Festbier/Märzen beers from both German and American brewers this season (don't wait too long, or they'll be gone). 


video


Which brings me to Oktoberfest in Florida!  Like I said, to do this right, you need to get in the spirit of things, so make sure your wardrobe includes lederhosen, a dirndl, some golden braided hair, or at least an Oktoberfest Bavarian Alpine hat!  




And, how about some pretzels, bratwursts, sauerkraut, schnitzel and German potatoes! Did someone say beer games? Stein-holding competitions, roll the barrel, carry the wench? Jawohl! So, grab your glassware of choice and your lager, get oompah'd, and check out some of these happenings around North Florida. There's a fest or celebration happening near you!

Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit, Der Gemutlichkeit. Eins, zwei, drei, G'Suffa! (Guess you have to be there to appreciate that.....) And, if you just can't wait til 2017, the 184th German Oktoberfest takes place September 16 - October 3. 

AROUND JACKSONVILLE/NORTH FLORIDA:

9/17:
OKTOBERFEST at Intuition Ale Works, Jax, 12-8pm at the NEW brewery on Bay St., downtown Jax, which opened on Sept. 6 (haven't been there yet? Check out my story here). This event also is the kickoff to JAX BEER WEEK, Sept. 17-24 (for the Jax Beer Week preview summary, take a look at the story on the home page)! The Intuition celebration features Oktoberfest bier, German food, music from the Swinging Bavarians, festival King & Queen, games! Several different ticket options, including mug and pretzel. Get tickets HERE.




9/17:
TOMOKAFEST at TOMOKA BREWING COMPANY, 12pm-11pm, Port Orange. Featuring pretzels, brats, and the Tomokafest Oktoberfest lager -- also available in six packs to go! In true Oktoberfest style: the Mayor taps the keg at noon! (And, yeah, I've been here a time or two or....)






9/23:


OKTOBERFEST PARTY at SWAMP HEAD BREWERY, Gainesville, 5-11pm. It's the first year they're throwing the party for Oktoberfest at The Wetlands. Featuring one-liter Swamp Head steins, Stubbies Sausage Cart, Oktoberfest beer, and whatever else they think up. 




9/24:
OKTOBERFEST CELEBRATION at WICKED BARLEY BREWING COMPANY, 11am-11pm, Jax. Oktoberfest games, Oktoberfest and German and fall beers. Special German-inspired menu items, lederhosen contest. Get a Wicked Barley stein for $12, including first fill; then refill it for regular price. Oktoberfest games start at 2pm: Mug/Keg Hoisting at 2pm, Grain Sack Toss at 3pm, Mug Race at 4pm, Carry the Wench at 5pm, and Brat Toss at 6pm. Prizes for best-dressed! 



9/30-10/1:


OKTOBERFEST JACKSONVILLE at ANHEUSER-BUSCH BREWERY, Jacksonville.  Two-day festival.  Friday night, 4-10pm. Saturday, 11am-10pm, with 5k at 7:30am.  Bands, Oktoberfest Tapping, food, games, contests, DJ. VIP and General Admission options. Craig Tomeo, General Manager of the Jacksonville Brewery and Tour Center sums up the community focus of the event“We’re thrilled to put on another Oktoberfest celebration to share our German heritage and love of beer with our neighbors.” Friday Nite includes the official tapping of the keg at 6pm, music from TJ Ward Band, Dirty Pete Band, DJ EL and Austin Park in two areas: the VIP Tent and Main Stage. VIP tickets include Beer School, and Ultra VIP includes a stein party and a stein. On Saturday, it's a day of family fun, starting with a 5K and Fun Walk at 7:30am. Festival gates open at 11am, with all day music from Swinging Bavarians, One Step Ahead of the Law, and DJ EL. Saturday's agenda features Wiener Dog Races, festival games and Oktoberfest games & contests (brat eating, tug-o-war, stein hoisting, barrel rolling), along with pumpkin bowling, face painting, carnival games. Limited VIP tickets available. Get tickets HERE. Get $10 off a ride home with the ZTrip app.  WIENER DOG DERBY starts at noon on Saturday, with three categories: pure dachshund, special needs doxie, and "wannabe" wiener. Register at www.floridawienerdogderby.com for Oktoberfest Jacksonville event. Dog owners must register their dogs and be there by 11am; admission is $10 per dog, and fee includes a beer and general admission to the Fest!


9/30:
SPOOKTOBERFEST starts at BREWZ N DAWGZ, St. Augustine. Brewz N Dawgz will be having not just Oktoberfest and not just Halloween, but SPOOKTOBERFEST, a combination of both.  Food specials, beer tappings all month.





10/1:
OKTOBERFEST PARTY AT GREEN ROOM BREWING, Jax Beach, starting at 12 noon. Tapping the traditional Green Room Oktoberfest Lager.  Limited edition Green Room beer steins available - buy one, and use it all month long! They'll also be tapping SAVE THE WHALE Imperial Stout (aged on cocoa and vanilla beans) again this year for the Right Whale Fest (also happening on Oct. 1), and 250 bottles will be available for purchase. You can help out Sierra Club and Oceana by purchasing bottles of the Save the Whale, because a portion of proceeds goes to those organizations! But there's MORE: the brewery bar will also be set up, and 8 different pumpkin beers will be on tap,including the Jax-O-Lantern Pumpkin Brown Ale. Now, THAT's a party!  Outside foot truck Just Doggin It will be there serving some Oktoberfest fare, along with other pub grub. And, hey, don't tell anyone, but dress in authentic German Oktoberfest wear, and get 20% off drafts. Get your hands on one of the Oktoberfest mugs, and get discounted refills all month long! Finally, Wes Cobb will be in the tap room at night, and the party goes til 2am. Need more info about Green Room Brewing? Take a look at my story about 'em HERE!


10/1:  
BREAKING NEWS, 9/20: THE DOWNTOWN BIER GARTEN WILL BE GETTING ITS OOMPAH ON FOR THE E15 OKTOBERFEST PARTY ON 10/1... AND, TAKE A FREE SHUTTLE BETWEEN BEACH AND DOWNTOWN BIER GARTEN ON THE JAX BREW BUS!!!
OKTOBERFEST at ENGINE 15 BREWING COMPANY, Jax Beach, starting at 11am.  It's an all-day party with Oktoberfest Lager, pretzels, German music, German food.  Limited special occasion ceramic mugs available. There's the stein hoisting contest, too! Dress up in your dirndl and lederhosen! Always a fun time at E15 for Oktoberfest (did you see that photo at the top?).... Festivities at the Downtown warehouse biergarten, too, with a free shuttle between both locations on the Jax Brew Bus! And check out my story for brewery info on these guys if you're not familiar with 'em!




10/1:
HOPTOBERFEST KICKOFF at both HOPTINGER locations, Jax Beach & St. Augustine, 2-6pm. Featuring the Tinger Beer Games - team competitions. Ten  4-person teams competing in: Horizontal Beer Mug Hold, Cornhole, Flip Cup, Volume Chug, Team Chug. $1000 in prizes! Tickets $40 to register your team here


10/1 & 10/22:
OKTOBERFEST at EUROPEAN STREET CAFE, 11am-9pm. On Oct. 1, join the party in Jax Beach. On Oct. 22, the party is at Riverside. Be one of the first 50 to by a beer ticket, and get a Warsteiner boot! Oompah band, Oktoberfest beers, pretzels, brats. Wear a dirndl or lederhosen, and they'll buy your first beer! 





10/1:
OKTOBERFEST at THE BRIX TAPHOUSE, Jax Beach, 6-10pm. Oktoberfest-themed food, Erdinger beer mugs with Erdinger Oktoberfest beer.  Costume contest, with a $200 Brix gift card to the winner! $4 Premium vodka. And, they're giving away VIP tix to Beaches Oktoberfest!






10/1:
OKTOBERFEST at FIRST MAGNITUDE BREWING, Gainesville, 2-10 pm. Featuring 7 German-style biers, Stubbies sausages, pretzels, live music and more. And, by the way, I had the Oktoberfest Marzen at the Anniversary Party on 8/20, and it's ausgezeichnet! If you're not familiar with FM Brewing, take a look at my anniversary story HERE



10/14 - 10/16:



BEACHES OKTOBERFEST
, Seawalk Pavilion, Jax Beach. All weekend, with CraftToberfest beer fest on Friday night, 6-10pm, featuring over 50 breweries. German beers, food trucks, live bands. Huge 110 ft. Ferris Wheel, Kinderzone. Tickets available on the Beaches Oktoberfest website.






AND, HERE ARE A FEW OTHERS AROUND FLORIDA:

9/17:

ORLANDO BREWING Oktoberfest Party, Orlando, starting at 1pm. Oktoberfest tapping and mug release, German food and music, Best Dressed of Oktoberfest contest, and most revered beard contest.





9/17:
OKTOBERFEST at COPPERTAIL BREWING, Tampa, 12-11pm. Tapping the Oktoberfest and the Dunkel at the same time. Buy a Coppertail liter mug (first fill free), and refill it at a discount all day. Games, music. Yeah, I've been here a time or two, or more....





9/25:


HULLABALLOO FEST at CENTRAL 28 BEER CO., DeBary, 12-7pm. It's a combination 2nd Anniversary Party and Oktoberfest celebration! Ticketed event: get em HERE. Ticket includes beer stein glass, 3 beer tickets, food coupon. Beer specials all day, and the Oktoberfest Hullaballoo Festbier on tap! 









9/29 - 10/1:
THREE-DAY OKTOBERFEST CELEBRATION at DUE SOUTH BREWING, Boynton Beach. More info  on the way, but they have already canned their Oktoberfest bier!







9/30- 10/2:
OAKLAND PARK OKTOBERFEST, PRESENTED BY FUNKY BUDDHA BREWERY, Jaco Pastorius Park. Three days of German music, beer, games, vendors, dancing, and oompah! Authentic German food and bier in the biergarten! Friday, 5-11pm; Saturday, 1-11pm; Sunday, 12-5pm. Admission: $5.







10/1 & 10/22:

"MOST AUTHENTIC OKTOBERFEST IN CENTRAL FLORIDA", German American Society of Central Florida, Casselberry, 2pm-10pm. German bands, German bier, German food, German dancers, all in a Bavarian biergarten! 









10/7- 10/9:

OKTOBERFEST TAMPA, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Hey, I went last year: check out the blog post!  Friday, 4-11pm; Saturday, 11am-11pm; Sunday, 11am-6pm. Again featuring the signature beer, Oktoberfest Tampa Dunkel, brewed by Coppertail Brewing (yeah, I've been there a few times, too). Loved the Dunkel last year! And, daily firkin tappings from Tampa Bay Brewing Company (another awesome Tampa brewery!). Be sure to participate in the  Oktoberfest Games: Stein Hoisting (for Damen und Herren), Keg Stacking, Tug-O-War, Brat Toss, Carry the Wench, and more. There's German food, too! The German dancers really put on a show. Music by DJ Jay Kay. Event supports Are U Safe, a non-profit organization that assists victims of domestic violence. Fest is presented by Goose Island and Tampa Bay Area Audi Dealers. Ein prosit! Eins zwei drei G'Suffa! (Yeah, I heard that a lot last year!)


10/7 - 10/9 & 10/14 - 10/16:


AMERICAN GERMAN CLUB OF THE PALM BEACHES 43RD ANNUAL OKTOBERFEST, Lake Worth. Two weekends of family fun with music, German food, dancing, games. Considered to be the second largest Oktoberfest celebration in the US - held on ten acres in a pavilion and under a massive tent. Biergarten, authentic German food and desserts, Original Hofbräu beer, domestic beers, Schnapps booth with over 30 different liquors, Jägerhaus with Jäger specials, vendors, carnival. Fest expects over 35,000 visitors! Fridays, 10/7 & 10/14, 5-11pm; Saturdays, 10/8 & 10/15, 12-11pm; Sundays, 10/9 & 10/16, 12-8pm. 







10/14 - 10/16:
OKTOBERFEST WEEKEND at CROOKED CAN BREWING, Winter Garden. An entire weekend of music, arts & crafts, food vendors, and...a beer garden! Starts Friday 10/14 at 4pm, til 11pm. Saturday 10/15: 11am-11pm. Sunday 10/16: 12-6pm. 

















10/15:
OCTOBERFEST at MARKER 48 BREWING, Brooksville, 12noon - midnight. Featuring German food, food trucks, German beer, wine, pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving station, costume contests.  Dog races benefitting Humane Society starting at 2pm. And, also featuring Wiener Dog Race, at 4pm. DJ and live music all day.




10/16:
OKTOBERFEST at HILTON WEST PALM BEACH, 3-7pm. Unlimited beer tastings from South Florida brewery favorites. A la carte food options. Music, games, food specials. Portionof proceeds benefits American Cancer Society's Making Strides for Breast Cancer. Tickets here







I'll see you around an Oktoberfest celebration or two! I won't be too tough to find .... Prost!

Til next time,

Cheers!





Linda 









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