Can you believe it's already October? I probably say this every year, but it feels like the first three-quarters of 2016 have gone by in a blink, and Christmas will be here before you know it. The music has already begun in some places.
Maybe the weather will catch up soon, but in the meantime October brings that great salute to beer known as Oktoberfest. We've scoped out more than a dozen Oktoberfest events.
With a name like Caitlin O'Conner, you can safely bet that St. Paddy's Day is more my speed. But beer is beer, folks, and I say beer is good whether it's Irish red or Hefeweizen.
According to the German Beer Institute, real Oktoberfest bier — also known as Märzen — is only brewed within the city limits of Munich, and was traditionally brewed in the spring (März means March) and aged until October. All others are just tasty, tasty pretenders.
And for all of you tasty pretenders, here is a smattering of more Oktoberfest terms and knowledge to help you make it through the season with oompah.
Prost: Pronounced with a long O, this is the most important: Cheers!
O'zapft is: The words that kick off Oktoberfest, literally "It's tapped." This year, Munich's mayor uttered these words on Sept. 17, kicking off the season.
Wiesn: What locals in Bavaria call Oktoberfest. It's short for Theresienwiese, the grounds where the festival is held.
Steins: Okay, so you probably know what a stein is. You might even know that in Germany, it's known as a Maßkrug/masskrug. But you should also know steins hold 1 liter of beer, or a little more than 2 pints. Definitely keep that in mind.
Radler: Per expert Laura Reiley, these are how the lightweights get around the stein-sized dose of beer. Radler is essentially a shandy with lemonade or lemon soda. "Radler" means cyclist, so this was designed for those looking for refreshment without a booze wallop.
Schunkeln: Get in on the spirit when folks link elbows and sway to the music, heavy on the flugelhorns. Who doesn't love a good sway to a flugelhorn?
Dirndl: The traditional Bavarian outfit for the ladies that you'll surely see a lot of at Oktoberfests. Or, you know, every day at the Hofbrauhaus.
Lederhosen: Literally "leather pants," the traditional Bavarian outfit for the gentlemen.
Noch ein Bier, bitte: Another all-important one: "Another beer, please!"