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The fest makes Oktoberfest bier better

Stuttgart Oktoberfest

The SessionThe topic for the 127th gathering of The Session is Oktoberfest lagers. At the risk of having my beer geek credentials revoked I must confess we have not been to Oktoberfest in Munich. We have been to Cannstatter Volkfest in Stuttgart, which began in 1818 and occurs annually at about the same time as the Munich celebration, and attracts four million visitors over the course of two weeks. Three of the beer tents accommodate 5,000, and smaller ones pack in thousands. Outside food and crafts vendors share the midway with rides more impressive than those at the average U.S. state fair or seaside boardwalk; witness the photo above.

We saw young Germans — you know, the ones who no longer find beer relevant — standing on benches lining long beer tables, hoisting one-liter mugs, banging them together, singing along to songs like “YMCA” and “Take Me Home Country Roads,” boogying big time.

Earlier in the day we listened to brass bands like those you’d hear at Americanized Oktoberfest celebrations, playing traditional German tunes. After about every fourth song the afternoon bands stopped to sing “Ein Prosit” and lead thousands of revelers in a toast. Ohlala-Partyband, the group on the stage when the drinkers were on the benches, followed the same formula, but then quickly returned to belting out another pop song that doesn’t sound all that different in German.

Finding an excellent Oktoberfest beer — Urban Chestnut’s Oachkatzlschwoaf (O-Katz), Bob’s 47 from Boulevard, Sierra Nevada’s collaboration with Milternberger, or Ayinger Fest-Märzen for starters — is easy in our parts. And Urban Chestnut throws an excellent Oktoberfest party (every Oktoberfest should include the Bolzen Beer Band). But there’s just something about here German-speakers try to sing “West Virginia, mountain momma” in unison.


Monday beer links & a few not chosen


After two and a half months of pretty constant travel I had to figure I was due to miss a connection, and it happened Friday — leaving me with too little sleep before a very long Saturday, and later in not exactly in a mood to appreciate even the best stories. In fact, some headlines in Feedly left me feeling like I was reading the Onion. (No links, because I saw no reason to actually read them.)

Where to Drink in 8 Cities With Horrible NFL Teams.
The 16 New Beers You Have to Try at the 2017 Minnesota State Fair.
How to Open a Beer Bottle With Pretty Much Anything.
A Beer for Every SummerSlam Star.
5 Beers to Drink After Viewing the Solar Eclipse With the Wrong Glasses, MY EYES, MY EYES, OH, MY SWEET BURNING EYES.

We now resume regular pogramming, somewhat abbreviated.

the role of race in craft beer.

To be clear, everyone has a right to voice their opinion on diversity in brewing, and in fact they should. But when the conversation is about black people, let’s ask the black people, no?

Watch the video (please). [Via alcohol by colume}

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Pre-eclipse beer links: Craft lies? What went wrong?


I spent the weekend talking about beer at various locations east of the East River in New York, and am headed a wee bit south of St. Louis today to watch the sun disappear. If it returns as scheduled I will be off to South Carolina before dawn tomorrow. Pardon the brevity.

The White Lies of Craft Culture.
Not a lot here about beer, but a lot here about beer.

Instead of living up to the vibrant, unique histories that food and drink have to offer, craft culture’s commitment to lifting itself away from its origins has made it monotonous and predictable. From product to product and industry to industry, artisanal quality seems to generate the same set of descriptions — small-batch, local, sustainable, vintage, heritage, farm-to-table, nose-to-tail, crop-to-cup — even though the point of consuming craft products is to enjoy something unique.

[Via Eater]

Can Craft Breweries Transform America’s Post-Industrial Neighborhoods?
[Via CityLab]
Death of the Backstreet Boozer’
[Via Boak & Bailey’s Beer Blog]
A lot of differences between the US and the UK, but interesting to read these two in succession.
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Session #127 announced: Oktoberfest

The SessionHost Alistair Reece has chosen Oktoberfest as the theme for the 127th gathering of The Session.

He writes, “Feel free to dress up for your tasting, dirndls, lederhosen, that Australian backpacker outfit you keep in the back of your wardrobe for special occasions. Hire yourself an oompah band, play the birdy song, and …” you get the idea. Of course, it starts with an Oktoberfest or Festbier or three.

The first Friday of September falls on the first day of September this year (so before Labor Day). All bloggers are invited to participate. Simply drop him a line or leave a comment with a link to your post

Monday beer links: festivals, witchcraft & independence


Farmhouse ale festival 2016.
[Via Larsblog]
An Ounce at a Time — Are Festivals Fatigued?
[Via Good Beer Hunting]
Compare and contrast.

The best kind of beer festival, I’ve found, is where the drinking public is at least as interesting as the commercial brewers and the speakers. And this was definitely that kind of festival. For one thing, farmhouse brewers are not like modern home brewers. They are country people, not hipsters or IT professionals. And the beer enthusiasts who travelled to the festival were not your average beer drinkers, either.

Witchcraft, Alewives, and Economics.

While we may never truly know if alewives were accused of witchcraft simply because they were alewives, it is clear that women who brewed were perhaps particularly vulnerable to the witch-hunts.

[Via braciatrix]

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