My favorite time of the beer year is autumn. Festbiers and pumpkin beers I find most delicious; maybe it’s the lead up to Halloween or the aroma and spices, I’m never sure. In the past few years, formal Oktoberfest celebrations have really exploded in Hawai’i. It seems like almost every brewery and bar does their own version with amazing beers and beer and German food.
The last two years we went to the Hale Koa Hotel’s Oktoberfest celebrations, which are held the last weekend of the month. They bring in a traditional German polka band for great music and activities. The hotel goes all out with decorations, games, and authentic food not available the rest of the year. They turn the Banyan Tree room into a Bavarian beer hall. Dancing is encouraged and one of the highlights of the night. Samuel Adam’s Octoberfest beer is our go-to choice of the evening, with pitchers flowing non-stop. We had bratwurst galore with all manner of fixings like saurkraut, dumplings, bread, red cabbage, and soups. You barely feel the beer when you eat that much!
The contests are silly and fun. They do a stein holding contest for the ladies and gents; there are some amazing shows of strength! The chicken dance contest lets you see people really shake it and let loose. The chugging contest is tough due solely to the lousy non-alcoholic beer involved, but we won anyway.
I’m thankful for places like this that let a Pennsylvania boy celebrate his roots, and enthusiastic people to join! Prost!