As we missed the launch of GAB’s Oktoberfest Malaysia 2013 as we had a prior commitment, the nice folks at GAB invited us to join them at the GAB Oktoberfest Malaysia party at Souled Out in Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur on 10 October 2013.
Oktoberfest was initially started as wedding celebration in 1810 to commemorate the union between Crown Prince Ludwig (who later became King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen at Theresienwiese (translated as Therese’s meadow / field) – it is for this reason that Oktoberfest is referred to by Germans as ‘die Wiesn’ or ‘the field’
Through the years, Oktoberfest celebrations have had a number of different elements and activities, including horse races, street parades (in traditional costumes), live music, dancing and of course the appreciation of authentic Munich-brewed beer. At the Oktoberfest celebration, each Oktoberfest beer operates a number of tents which provide different drinking experiences.
Currently, Oktoberfest has evolved to become a global celebration with almost 7 million visitors consuming over 7 million litres of beer and more than half a million chickens throughout the celebration (based on 2011 figures), which lasts between 16 – 18 days from the middle of September to the first Sunday of October.
For 2013, the Oktoberfest festival in Munich, Germany will run from 21 September 2013 to October 6 2013 – a total of 16 days of culture, cuisine and of course beers!
For yet another year, GAB brings the Oktoberfest celebration to consumers across the country through a series of 14 themed parties at popular watering holes nationwide. The parties will be centered around different aspects of the Oktoberfest celebrations, including the royal wedding, the celebration of traditional German cuisine (also known as ‘Schmankerl’), and the iconic Oktoberfest parade and carnival.
There were also traditional Oktoberfest games to participate in:
Masskrugstemen aka Beer Mug Holding Competition
Participants start off by holding one of the special edition 1 litre Oktoberfest ceramic mugs filled to the brim with beer in each of your hands and hold it for 30 seconds, each mug would weigh approximately 5 pounds or 2 kg. If you succeed then you need to hold another two (2) mugs and so on so forth unless there’s only one man left standing!
FYI the world record is currently held by a German restaurant manager, Reinhard Wurtz, who managed to carry twenty mugs filled with beer for 40 metres without spilling.
Nagelspielen aka The Nail Game
Nagelspielen’ is a traditional Bavarian game, traditionally played with the sharp end of an axe used to hammer nails into a wood stump. But as using an axe is dangerous, ‘Hammerschlagen’, was played using a hammer instead. This one was particularly hilarious to watch especially if there are girls playing. You can tell which have never ever held a hammer before in their life.
You can opt to buy the 1 litre stein filled with any GAB brew – Tiger, Heineken, Kilkenny, Guinness, Strongbow but as it’s Oktoberfest of course I choose Paulaner.
Why Paulaner you ask?
All Oktoberfest beers must be brewed within the city limits of Munich and must also conform to the Reinheitsgebot or Bavarian Purity Law which strictly governs the production of beer in Germany by limiting the ingredients that can be used. All Oktoberfest beers are approximately 13% proof (about 6% alcohol), meaning they are a little bit stronger than their “non-Oktoberfest” variants.
Paulaner was first brewed by monks from the Paulaner monastery in 1634 making it almost 380 years old – however it is still the “youngest” of the Oktoberfest Beers, and unlike the rest of the Paulaner range, Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier is not a wheat beer but instead a lager.
Here’s the schedule for the GAB’s Oktoberfest Malaysia 2013 parties:
• 10th October at Souled Out Sri Hartamas (KL)
• 12th October at QEII (Penang), Geographer Café (Puchong) and Jonker Street (Melaka)
• 14th October at Euro House (Ipoh)
• 18th October at Festival Walk (Ipoh) and Laundry Bar, The Curve (Mutiara Damansara)
• 19th October at Upper Penang Road (Penang) and O’s Corner (Kuantan)
• 24th October at Remedy House, Scott’s Garden (KL)
• 25th October at Danga Bay (Johor) and Phat Barrels (Kuantan)
• 26th October at The Museum (Ipoh)
• 31st October at Beer Factory Sunway Giza (KL)
For more information on GAB’s Oktoberfest, head over to GAB’s Oktoberfest Malaysia Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/OktoberfestMY today.
Photo credits: Andy Kho Photography and author’s own
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