I had a great weekend! It started Friday night with “Horrible Bosses” at home with a glass of wine and some homemade pizza (it was a great movie), a really, really good run (I did 4.5 miles before I even noticed how far I’d gone!) on Saturday morning, shopping at the outlet malls (and getting mega deals everywhere–Romy was 60% off!) and then an afternoon spent at the Mount Angel Oktoberfest.
Mount Angel is down between Woodburn (where the outlet mall is) and Silverton where Silver Falls Park is (a great place to camp and hike, with lots of waterfalls and beautiful trails). It’s about a 45 minute drive south of Portland. Mount Angel was settled by German pioneers int he 1800’s and built this little town to look just like their homeland. It reminds me of Leavenworth, Washington–another Bavarian town.
I’ve lived in Oregon for 12 years or so and have never been to Oktoberfest. I knew it was popular, but had no idea just how popular. The festival brings 350,000 people there! It definitely felt that way, too. Driving through the small town to find parking was a clusterf***! Eventually we gave up and paid the $4 to park in a lot to just get it over with.
It was slow moving through the crowds but it was a fun experience. It was a hot, hot day, 90 degrees and I was dying for something cold to drink. We stopped at the first Warsteiner biergarten we found and Michael got the Dunkel. It was a brown beer, with a hint of coffee but not a really heavy beer like some of the dark IPAs or porters.
If you weren’t a fan of German beer, never fear: you could get Jagermeister. They had it on tap!
Michael and I shared the beer. Oktoberfest was a lot different than Brewfest. I thought it was the token for a taste system, but it wasn’t. It was a $5 for a glass system. Which was fine, but I rather like the tasting system better. Sometimes it’s hard for me to commit to a beer and I just want a taste, not the whole thing.
After the Dunkel was gone, we set off in search of dinner. We ended up going to a bratwurst booth that also turned out to be the best one there according to some friends.
I got the traditional bratwurst with sauerkraut, caramelized onions and sweet spicy mustard. The picture did not turn out, sadly. Michael got the spicy chicken bratwurst–the Fricadelwurst. We split an order of the curly fries but neither of us liked them very much so we threw away half of it. My brat was great!
We split another beer, Warsteiner Oktoberfest, which was like an amber but dark in color like the Dunkel. It was nice, without the Dunkel coffee flavor. I was liking our system of sharing the beers. After dinner we continued on through the festival. We walked around and saw the arts and craft booths:
I happily bought some green olives stuffed with garlic and jalapenos. Then we walked by the kid’s dancing to the Bavarian brass band.
Dang! I forgot my lederhosen at home! LOTS of people were in costume! It was cool. How cute are these two?
We ended up at another biergarten that was standing room only. It was a huge building and everyone was enjoying their beers and listening to the band play. It was a German band playing Elvis songs! With an accordion! It was actually kind of awesome.
We stayed for Viva Las Vegas and then headed back out into the crowd.
In the town square, one of the coolest things happened every hour: the Glockenspiel! The huge clock with pretty big figurines would chime each hour. Everyone stopped what they were doing to watch it and listen to the music.
It was pretty enchanting to watch. We stayed and watched as the figurines moved and the music played, and then went to our last stop:
We shared one more beer. This time, it was a hefeweizen. Widmer was one of the sponsors at the fest. While hefeweizen isn’t my first choice for a beer, it’s very palatable and actually quite nice on a really hot day.
All in all, I had a great day and got to explore a part of Oregon I hadn’t really been to before. I am glad we made it to Oktoberfest and I’d happily go again next year…just maybe on Thursday rather than a Saturday. 🙂
Someday I hope to make it to the real Oktoberfest. I bet that’s a blast! Michael and shared three delicious beers together, ate some great food and while we sadly passed up on an onion blossom that looked absolutely epic, I left feeling pretty good. I didn’t go over my calories for the day at all.
Michael and I went home and ended the day with a movie.
QUESTION: Do you have an Oktoberfest in your town? Have you been?