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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Oktoberfest at Der Rheinlander

Lovely Portland, already turning cloudy.
Thanks to PDX Pipeline I won a pair of tickets to Oktoberfest at the Rheinlander in Portland, Oregon. Growing up in Wisconsin, where Polka is the state dance, and having 80% German in my blood, Oktoberfest is as common to me as Thanksgiving or Christmas. While Oktoberfest celebrates all things beer, I've come to find it a time to celebrate the end of summer, and enjoy the Autumn harvest. Eating, drinking, and dancing the polka is an added bonus.

The Rheinlander did not disappoint when it came to any of the above mentioned qualities this festival has become known for. On tap was two beers from Spaten, and one from Hofbrau. All three were filled with full bodied textures and hints of sweetness in the their finish.

To wash your beer down, they had a full menu of sausages, pretzels (with Swiss cheese fondue), German potato salad, and schnitzel. While slightly expensive (what can one expect, it's Oktoberfest, right?), the food was both high quality and delicious.

What Oktoberfest would be complete without games and music? My friend, Sarah, participated in the litre stein challenge - hold your mug at arms length without bending or moving it. While she put up a valiant effort (and was the last girl standing), the dudes prevailed in this contest.

Lastly, we have the band, Poloma, who are from Chicago.  They kept the crowd entertained with traditional music (Roll out the Barrel, Happy Wanderer, etc.), keeping us on our toes with ziggy zaggy chants, toasts, and song lists for us to sing along with them.

While Der Rheinlander is different than the huge Oaks Park Oktoberfest (which has several tents with bands, wiener dog races, and vendors selling wares), it's intimate setting, entertaining band, and tasty food has won me over. I'd also like to note that proceeds to the Rheinlander's cover charge benefited the Northwest Down Syndrome Association.

Not able to make your own Oktoberfest? My suggestion is to buy a six pack of Widmer Brothers Okto add some polka, eat a sausage, and you will have a taste of the full Oktoberfest experience.


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