Sunday, September 18, 2011

Oktoberfest 2011

Me enjoying a beer in Wurzburg, Germany
UPDATED 9/20/11:  Here is a link to a short photo essay at regarding the history of how Oktoberfest came to be.

It's not going to be long now before the cold starts to arrive, then comes Indian Summer, and then all of a sudden you'll notice that you need a light jacket before you go outside.

For the past few days near where I live in New York, there's been an early autumn snap of cold in the air.  The heat on the first floor of our house went on both mornings of this past weekend.

On one hand it was soothing because I like the smell in the house caused by the heat when it comes on for the first time in the autumn as I sit drinking my morning coffee.  But on the other hand, it gives me an anxiety attack because it reminds me that fall and winter are coming, and I still have a ton of outdoor house chores to do before winter!!!  But forget that for now....This post is about Oktoberfest!

I work for a German company, and I've had the opportunity to travel to Germany several times on business over the recent years.  In addition to seeing my friends and colleagues over there, I get to eat some really good food and drink a lot of excellent beer!

Although I've never been to Europe at this time of year when the giant Oktoberfest celebrations are going on (especially in Munich), perhaps one day things will coincide and I'll get to experience one of these memorable festivals.  My wife has been to one, and she said it's quite the scene to see!  But since I'm not in Germany, going to an Oktoberfest in my area is the next best thing.

Enjoying a Warsteiner on my way home...somewhere over London.
Now is the season for these festivals, and some of them are great family events.  In addition have delicious food, many craft vendors, and German and Bavarian music.  Hunter Mountain, Bear Mountain, West Point, and Belleayre Mountain in New York all have festivals, although the one at Hunter Mountain needs more German beer!  I don't think that Budweiser and Bud Light really belong in multiple taps on the Oktoberfest beer wagons!  I plan to check out Bear Mountain or Belleayre this year for a change of pace.

The nice thing about these festivals is that they act as a milestone in the change of seasons.  Shortly after enjoying them, the autumn colors start to arrive in the trees, the first delivery of wood for the season is dumped by the delivery guy on the driveway (which I then have to stack!), and the fireplace is lit up for the first time as we settle into autumn....

Warm sunlight, an open door, and a menu I couldn't read...but the beer was good!
I encourage everyone to get out and enjoy an Oktoberfest celebration and the beginning of the change of seasons near you.  It's a fun family activity to see the crafts, eat the food, experience some different types of music, and of course for the adults.....drink good beer!

If you know of good celebrations in the Northeast U.S., post them as a comment to this post so that Google will pick them up and others can find them as well.

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