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  • Writer's pictureHankscraftAJS

Many beer lovers know of the iconic Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany and dream about experiencing this global symbol of Bavarian tradition. This year, I had the pleasure to head to Europe to experience this event and cross it off my bucket list.

The festival is deeply ingrained in Munich's cultural heritage and has become a global symbol of Bavarian tradition and celebration. Dating back to 1810, when it originated as a royal wedding celebration, Oktoberfest has grown into the world's largest Volksfest, attracting millions of visitors from around the globe.

At its core, Oktoberfest is a jubilant event dedicated to showcasing Bavarian culture, including its rich traditions, authentic cuisine, lively music, and, of course, an impressive array of local beers. Visitors dress in traditional Bavarian attire, adding to the festive atmosphere and cultural immersion. The festival grounds feature numerous beer tents, each offering a distinct experience, and amusement rides for a fun-filled time.

Continue reading to see how I spent my time in Munich and two days at Oktoberfest, including Opening Day!

Arriving in Munich

We spent our first day in Munich, the day before Opening Day for Oktoberfest, exploring Marienplatz and the surrounding areas of the city center. Marienplatz is a central square in the city center of Munich, Germany. It has been the city's main square since 1158.

After we headed to the Hofbräuhaus Brewery near the main city center. It is the city's most famous beer hall. This is where we got to sit down and enjoy some great German beer!

Afterwards we explored some of the many churches in the city and various shops. Of course, we stopped by a few stores to purchase my dirndl and my fiancé's lederhosen. With that, we were ready to experience the official Oktoberfest!

Opening Day

We arrived to the grounds after the kegging of the beer and started are Oktoberfest experience exploring the grounds and hopping on a few rides. This is a great idea to do BEFORE you start drinking.

The grounds were a lot like State Fair in Wisconsin - lots of food, games, rides, etc. Minus the giant beer tents.

We ended up spending the rest of the day at the Hofbräuhaus tent (the same brewery we went to in Munich) and drank with some friends from Spain we met the day before. Of course, the tent was packed and we were unable to snag a table inside. After heading back outside, we were lucky enough to be able to grab a table on the patio and still enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Oktoberfest.

Our Second Day

The second and last day at Oktoberfest, we spent recovering from the night before and enjoyed much more that the festival had to offer. We explored the different food stands and went on some more rides. Watching the Toboggan and Feldl's Teufelsrad are a must see! I didn't get any pictures of the Feldl's Teufelsrad but, have attached one below. We spent more than an hour just standing and watching everyone get on and enjoy this amusement ride.

The toboggan ride is great to watch towards the end of the night. That's when most of the people who have been drinking all day get a little too ambitious and try to test their balance on this ride.

Also check out this awesome shot I took on top of the Ferris Wheel. Okay not the best quality picture, but you get the point. You can see just how many people are outside all of the beer tents. (Imagine how many are IN the beer tents...)

Overall, Oktoberfest was definitely a 12/10 and highly recommend that everyone go and experience this festival sometime in there life.

Because come on, who wouldn't want to drink beer all day!

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  • Writer's pictureNick West

By Nick West, West Coast Sales Manager

On my recent trip to Colorado, I had the fortunate chance to tour the iconic home of Fat Tire and Voodoo Ranger, New Belgium Brewing. Walking up to this legendary brewery nestled on the Cache Le Poudre River in Northern Colorado, you get a sense of how proud the members of New Belgium of the place they call home.

When you first arrive for your tour, you check in at the front desk area and grab a beer while waiting for your tour guide to whisk you away through the halls of the brewery. Once I had my 1554 Belgian Dark Ale in hand, our tour guide Kyle gathered us around and began the tour.

Inside New Belgium

We started in History Hall on the “hot side, the part of the brewery where the warm processes of the brewing cycle take place. After a quick history lesson from Kyle, we headed upstairs to a gigantic room where the first steps of brewing take place. In the center of this room were 4 gigantic stainless-steel tanks where the grist, or milled grain, mixes with water to make a “beer tea” that is rich in sugar for the yeast to eat later on. The “beer tea”, or wort, in these tanks have one job: to make New Belgium’s Iconic Voodoo Ranger series of IPAs.

Once we had spent some time wandering this room, it was time to head to the “cold side”, but our fantastic host made sure we didn’t leave empty handed so, Kyle had us all pour our own beer and naturally I poured myself a sample of Fat Tire.

Over on the “cold side”, we got to see where wort is turned into beer. In this area, there are several large fermentation tanks where the yeast is pitched, and the production of alcohol begins. Then down the hall from the fermentation tank was my favorite part: The area dubbed “The Foeder Forest”! This is where New Belgium’s sour ales come to life. A large warehouse full of massive oak wine barrels called foeders is where iconic beers like La Folie and Le Terroir are born. After Kyle poured us all a sample of La Folie, it was time to wrap up the life cycle of beer and head to the packaging facility. After a short walk through the beautiful New Belgium campus, we arrived at the canning line and were greeted with an ice cold can of the same beer we saw in the mash tuns: a Voodoo Ranger IPA that was canned that very morning. Once we got to see the canning line in action, our tour was almost over and it was time to head back to the taproom, but not after stopping to admire some old artwork that coincidentally I have copies of sitting at my desk.

I want to give a big thanks to New Belgium Brewing for their hospitality during my trip. If anyone is in Fort Collins and looking for a great way to spend an afternoon, schedule a tour of this legendary brewery and enjoy the magic and beauty of New Belgium Brewing.

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