Numerous events around the world have been cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. One such event is the beloved Bavarian tradition of Oktoberfest. In late April top officials in Bavaria and the Mayor of Munich announced that the planned event for late September would be cancelled.
Historically rooted in a grand royal wedding that took place in 1810, Oktoberfest has grown over the centuries to be one of the largest public gatherings and beer festivals on the globe. In modern times, attendance is typically over 6 million people with over 7.5 million litres of beer served over the span of 16 days. Through the latter half of September into early October, the city of Munich will be eerily quiet for the 2020 season.
Since adaptability is crucial for getting through 2020, there are a few great options for anyone on PEI looking to create their own do-it-yourself version of Oktoberfest, all while following the guidance from the Public Health Office and supporting local businesses.
Beer is central to the event held in Munich each year. Only beers brewed within the Munich city limits by a select group of Germany’s best brewers are able to provide a beer known as Märzen to the public. A Märzen style beer, served in one litre steins, is a bottom fermented lager, medium to full bodied, built on a sturdy malt backbone that often has a nourishing and bready profile.
Though we don’t often see Märzen beers here on PEI, we do have some great lager beers being produced that can definitely assist in any DIY Oktoberfest endeavours. If you can get your hands on it, Bogside Brewing’s Shoreline Smash is a great bready lager brewed exclusively with a Munich-style malt from PEI’s own Shoreline Malting Company. Other great local lagers to get for any event are Copper Bottom’s Flora Pilsner and Lone Oak’s Fixed Link German-style pilsner.
Once you have your selection of beer in hand, make sure to stop by one of the numerous top quality butcher shops around PEI to pick up your favourite sausages to be enjoyed alongside your beer. No DIY Oktoberfest would be complete without an excellent mustard from Murray Harbour North’s Atlantic Mustard Mill, and if you are particularly lucky you might just get your hands on some of their candied almonds as well.