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Keg Tapping Time

September 16 to October 3 are the dates of this year’s Munich Oktoberfest, the world’s most famous beer festival, held annually in Germany’s state of Bavaria.

The opening ceremonies include the tradition of having the current serving Lord Mayor tap the first keg. Sounds rather simple. Spank the spigot, wear a large leather apron to protect oneself and those in close proximity from suds that may randomly wish to fly about, and fill the first stein. Not always! The record for the least number of whacks required to get the tap into the keg is held by Lord Mayor Christian Ude. In 2005 he did it with two whacks. At the end of the accuracy scale, Lord Mayor Thomas Wimmer, in 1950, required nineteen attempts.

While it’s the bucket list destination of many a beer lover to visit the Hofbräu tent in Munich, holding 10,000 revellers, we are fortunate to have the same Hofbräu Oktoberfest beer that is served in Germany available for a limited time at your local LCBO outlet. Did you know that in Munich, only breweries located within the city limits are allowed to sell their seasonal brews for Oktoberfest. Not like breweries around the world that have hijacked the term Oktoberfest for whatever style of beer they wish to produce and market.

Hofbräu’s classic Märzen style brew is bright gold in colour with rich aromas of bread, medium-to-full bodied with a long citrus and dried hay finish. The independent Beverage Testing Institute gave it 93 points with an “Exceptional” rating. And don’t forget to pick up some sausages, buns and sauerkraut from your local grocery retailer to help create your own DYI Oktoberfest.

Bring out the lederhosen, rinse out your stein, and get in line for a good time.

Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier 500 mL, LCBO #84889, $4.15