If you're a Denverite who loves social media and German beer, you've probably already hoisted your one-liter mug and toasted "der Gemütlichkeit" at either Denver's official Oktoberfest downtown or at one of the many bars and restaurants partaking in the annual Bavarian festival. We know what you've been up to because you checked in on Facebook to let the world know you've been donning lederhosen or noshing on bratwurst. And according to Facebook's consumer team, you've been doing it more than just about any other city in the world, outside of those in Germany itself. The team's statistics show that Denver ranks fifth in the world for check-ins at locations containing either "Oktoberfest" or "Octoberfest" in the name.
The original Oktoberfest in Munich runs until October 5 this year, but yesterday marked the final day of downtown Denver's street festival with strudel, sausages, steins and everyone's favorite -- the wiener-dog races. Only Cincinnati, Ohio (which goes by Zinzinnati for its festival); Addison, Texas (a bastion of Bavarians); San Francisco, California; and Dublin, Ireland love Oktoberfest more, according to Facebook. Other international cities rounding out the top ten are London, Madrid and Genoa, Italy, while Newark, Delaware and Frankenmuth, Michigan are the other American towns that crave the sound of polka music.
Nobody in Denver really cares that the original Oktoberfest in 1810 celebrated the wedding of a crown prince and a princess, but we should at least thank them for making their wedding into a multi-day festival for us commoners. And because we're more interested in the celebration (meaning the beer-drinking), Oktoberfest -- at least this year -- is quickly forgotten in favor of a slightly more American tradition: the Great American Beer Festival.
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Why stick with one style of beer, good as Oktoberfest lager might be, when you can still wear funny hats and toast with thousands of revelers while enjoying a vast array of styles from over 700 breweries, all under one roof? And if you didn't manage to score a GABF ticket during the twenty seconds or so that they were for sale on line, there are still plenty of beery happenings throughout the week, from tap takeovers to beer-pairing dinners. For a list of events this week, see our Great American Beer Festival calendar.