For most people, October signals the start of the Halloween season. Witches, pumpkins and zombies festoon the Metro. But for our German friends and our beer-loving fellow Pinoys, October signals Oktoberfest, a festival that revolves around beer!
Oktoberfest began in 1810 to mark the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese. It was initially a festival held in the fields fronting the city gates to honor the couple’s wedding. The festivities have become a yearly tradition and to this day, Oktoberfest draws crowds from all over to the place where it started, in Munich. Expect to enjoy loads of Bavarian food, music and entertainment, see men in lederhosen and women in dirndl, and guzzle Oktoberfest beer that’s brewed exclusive within Munich city limits.
But why let Germans have all the fun? Celebrate with the German Club Manila during the Oktoberfest celebrations at Hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza. This year, Oktoberfest will be celebrated from October 20-22 at Sofitel’s Harbour Garden Tent. This is one day longer than last year’s 3-day festival; hopefully, we can eventually catch up with Munich’s 16-18 day festivities.
During Sofitel’s Oktoberfest presscon, we were given a sneak preview of the authentic Bavarian spread to be served during Oktoberfest. Specially designed by Sofitel Executive Chef Marko Rankel, one can expect authenticity from the selection as Chef Rankel hails from Bavaria.
The chosen food will surely appeal to Pinoy palates as we have a lot of similarities in cuisine. We have lechon manok, they have hendl or roasted chicken. We have lechon, they have schweineraten or roast pork. Our crispy pata can probably be mistaken for schweinshaxe’s (grilled ham hock) brother.
You can also expect to see a lot of different sausages—wursts of every kind, color and flavor. Served side by side with them are meatballs, potatoes, sauerkraut, salads, head cheese, cornichons—there’s a lot to choose from. Much like homecooking, they’re all designed to fill you up, prepping your tummy for alcohol.
The feasting is never complete without beer, because as the German Club Manila shared, “In the Bavarian constitution, beer is food!” How can we argue with the law, right? Beer shall flow freely during Oktoberfest, with Sofitel General Manager Goran Aleks egging on the San Miguel Brewery people to craft a beer just for Oktoberfest. Appropriate to serve a special, locally produced beer during Manila’s version of Oktoberfest, right? Just like in Munich.
If you’re curious about Bavarian cuisine, or just looking for a genuine Oktoberfest celebration, Sofitel’s the place to go. Just be ready to eat, drink and party and you’re all set for an awesome Oktoberfest.
[See more Sofitel Oktoberfest 2011 Photos on Flickr. ]