Oktoberfest in Malloco, it’s an event that has become something of a legend. Sure there is some sort of parallel interest in making and consuming microbrews and they shouldn’t get all the credit, but a large part of the microbrew boom in Chile can be traced back to this event. It started with about five stands, sort of a picnic atmosphere in the Centro de Eventos Munich in Munich.
Then it grew, and grew, then it grew some more. Until it became what one could almost say, too big. Massive lines to get in, and lets not even talk about waiting to use the bathroom. In general the event has been very well organized and with few incidents. It is a feat afterall, to cram in thousands of people into limited space fill them with brew and hope everyone gets home ok. Last year, there was a death, the first serious incident since it started.
This year, please, don’t even think about driving. Due to Chile’s new zero tolerance policy on drinking and driving, one that doesn’t much more than one drink before you are over the limit, this event is likely to be heavily policed. Take a bus, find a deisgned driver, one of those souls that for some reason can’t or doesn’t understand why beer is so good. Pay them if you have to.
But apart from a security and crowd control perspective, meandering through the hundreds of stands and finding a beer that is just right for you is a challenge. Last year many stands weren’t offering tastings. The mentality seemed to be to sell outright, not just get your brand and superb (or not so much) beer brewing skills into the market. I sampled some great stuff, but there also some disappointments. Something that just didn’t seem ready for prime time.
Nor is the event the only beer festival, although it is surely still the biggest.
So it will be interesting to see how the organizers have modified the event to keep its role as THE place to try new brews and live up the beer drinking lifestyle.
Oktoberfest 2012: October 30- November 11, 2012.
CHP 6.000 entrance fee
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