It’s hard to keep up with the stein-is-brimming landscape of new hand-crafted brewers tapping into this long overdue craving for our very own Alberta-made beer culture.
Like other locales in southern Alberta, the town of Lethbridge has also hopped on the hop bandwagon big time, with two of its very own craft brewers – as well as an uber-popular Oktoberfest happening Sept. 29 and 30.
The 4th annual Lethbridge Oktoberfest just keeps on outdoing itself with everything from entertainment to food and premium beers. Last year it attracted 6,000 people – who drank the beer supply dry at Galt Gardens, which is the venue for the merry Munich-styled party.
But there’s no chance of running out of beer again, says one of the founders and organizers of the festival, Roy Pogorzelski, half of the sibling duo, known as the Pogo brothers around town.
“We are not doing that this year!” says John. “We’re bringing in 60 kegs.”
Sounds like he means it. To bolster the supply is local craft beer maker, Theoretically Brewing Co., which is concocting two limited edition beers – a nice summery Hefeweizen and a tad heavier wheat beer.
Galt Garden transforms into a Munich-style beer garden during the Lethbridge Oktoberfest Sept. 29-30.
There will also be a selection of dozens of German beers in cans and bottles: “as many as we can get our hands on,” says Roy.
The brothers travelled to Munich to scope out how a proper Oktoberfest is run and they’ve also tapped the knowledge of some local German friends to ensure the festival is as authentic as possible.
Locally made Bavarian fare like Bratwurst, schnitzel and pretzels all locally made, too, will be served all weekend.
As the party gets underway, the park becomes “one big dance floor,” says Roy, with Alpen Schatz, from Medicine Hat and the local band the Polkaholics ramping up the oom-pah-pah tunes.
The brothers say to make the most of Oktoberfest, learn how to bust a few polka moves and belt out a couple of German beerhall tunes. Ziggy Zaggy, Ziggy Zaggy Oi, Oi, Oi, (it’s that simple) or Ein Prosit will ring through the park when the brothers instigate a singalong.
If you still feel like letting the good times roll, head over to the Telegraph Tap House, where the Oktoberfest after-party is held during the weekend. It has dozens and dozens of international beers, good food and a festive atmosphere.
When the festivities are over, find a little tranquility in the river valley for a walk, cycle or roller blade, or a stroll through the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens.
Follow it up with a visit to one of two local and new-ish microbreweries. Theoretically Brewing Co. offers tasting and tours, while the Coulee Brewing Co. offers the same, along with a large sunny patio and pub food paired with a long list of its beer.