Monday, September 21, 2009

Origin of the species

GABF may be open and running. Biketobeerfest has come and gone. But, the progenitor of all things beer festival(y) kicked off, or tapped on, this past Saturday. Oktoberfest started pouring beer and the oompahs and prosts can be heard nearly across the Atlantic. Thanks to the web, we can experience it visually or virtually or whatever. For some fine, iconic photos of the event, go here.

Oktoberfest revelers consume six (6) million liters of beer at the two week festival. That's about 50,000 barrels of beer or 100,000 kegs, depending upon how you like to count. There are few craft breweries in this country that reach that level of production in a year much less sell that much in two weeks. It's an impressive number.

The festival draws six million visitors from around the world, though one imagines that as many Muenchers abandon their lovely city to avoid the carnival as stay to enjoy the riot. Regardless, Oktoberfest is a touchstone for those of us in the beer festival business.