We know it isn't October, so why is this month's blogger roundup called the Oktoberfest Edition? Well, Oktoberfest really doesn't happen in October, well part of it doesn't. Traditionally the two-week Oktoberfest celebration starts in mid-September and finishes the first week of October.
In the spirit of Oktoberfest we asked Ottawa's Beer Bloggers what their favourite Oktoberfest experience was – local or not.
April Thibert – For Barley or For Wort
Fall is a favourite time for us here at For Barley and For Wort. Harvest beers and fires go hand in hand as the weather cools off. Oktoberfest and the fall are of course joined at the hip in the minds of beer lovers.
Our favourite Oktoberfest experience would have to be, like many others I am sure, Beau’s Oktoberfest. Our very first visit was a year where the weather decided to be chilly and damp. The ground was muddy but it didn’t stop us or many others from making the trip out to the festivities.
The food selection ranged from wood fired pizza to pretzels. There were hearty stews to warm you up and desserts a plenty.
The keg toss was the favourite event to watch. We were pleased at the number of families that attended and Beau’s had a barn area set up for the children. Add to that some live music and it was certainly a party.
Best part though? The beer of course. From the regular taps to the cask area there was a lot of beer. Did we try them all? No, some casks were empty but we did try as much as we could and weren’t disappointed.
Going back every year is a given it was just that much fun.
Ross Brown – Beer O'Clock
My favourite Oktoberfest experience was meeting two great celebrities, George Wendt and Shawn Majumder, at last year's Barrhaven Oktoberfest, where I was the official photographer. It was an awesome experience and opportunity.
Brian J. Papineau – bryehn.net
My Oktoberfest experiences have really been limited to three trips to Beau's event in Vankleek Hill (this will be my 4th).
I'm not a big fan of most marzen or Oktoberfest beers, so what I appreciate most about Beau's event is the variety of brews on offer, especially now that Bar Volo's Cask Days is involved. Last year there were 6 new beers, 2011 saw four or five and though 2013 looks mostly like a best of years past in terms of beers, there is an interesting new brew in the Dampfbier style that I'm eager to try. Having the Cask Days area has given me the chance to try a couple dozen beers I may have not been able to otherwise.
As for the event itself, I appreciate the authenticity of the staff costume, the Bavarian dance, the contests like stien holding and spouse carrying and the willingness of Walter Ostanek to show up every year.
And the food…man the food. Mainly really hearty grub that keeps you warm and soaks up beer nicely, but the downside is I tend to overeat a bit and get tired.
I'm planning to expand my horizons a bit this year and pay a visit to Oktoberfest Ottawa to see what some of the other local breweries come up with for the festivities.
If you've never been to an Oktoberfest event you're in luck, there are five celebrations scattered over the capital in the next two weeks and there's even an Oktoberfest Run! Check out our event calendar for more details.