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Rotary brings Bavarian tradition back to Hinton

Masha Scheele

A Bavarian tradition dating back to a german royal wedding in 1810 is celebrated around the globe 200 years later and Hintonites joined in on the festivities four years ago.

The annual Hinton Rotary Oktoberfest on Oct. 5 is the primary fundraiser for the Hinton Rotary Club.

This year the funds raised will help community projects like the Dolly Parton library project, which gives books to pre-kindergarten children to increase literacy, school lunch programs, and families in need.

“[Last year] $18,000 was raised. That’s because the donors, we had good attendance and donations had been so good. People donate items for raffles and food items,” said Stuart Taylor, a member and past president of the rotary.

He added that the band, Boogie Patrol, will also be a huge hit with the crowd.

“They’re really a high energy band, so we’re hoping that attracts a lot of people,” he said.

The festivities of Oktoberfest originally started when King Ludwig I of Bavaria married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen in 1810, according to the online international guide to Oktoberfest.

Citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate on the fields in front of the city gates with food, drinks, and horse races.

They decided to repeat the horse races the following year, which was the start of the Oktoberfest tradition.

Back then, Southern Bavaria was notorious for its terrible water supply and to avoid cholera, the plague and other illnesses, locals would drink the safer alternative of beer, said Tim McClelland, Rotary services director who is in charge of the beer at Oktoberfest.

As the tradition evolved over time, small beer stands became large beer tents and horse races became agriculture shows and fairs.

The festival has since been duplicated by other countries, but the rules around beer are less strict in Hinton than the original festival in Munich.

Qualifications for beer served at Oktoberfest in Munich are rigorous and have to pass strict German beer purity laws, called the “Reinheitsgebot“.

“It has to follow rules that are centuries old, I don’t know exactly what the rules are, but you can only put these kinds of ingredients in and has to be brewed this kind of way,” said Taylor.

Although the Hinton Rotary Club will have one iconic Bavarian beer called Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfestbier, the other four beers on tap aren’t traditionally served at Oktoberfest.

Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfestbier is only available during the Oktoberfest season and made with various malting barley from the Bavarian countryside.

McClelland added that for the other four beers on tap they picked different craft breweries from Alberta.

The locally brewed Wild Mountain Hefe from Folding Mountain Brewing is a Canadian wheat and pilsner malt with German hops and classic German Hefeweizen yeast.

Another local brew with a german twist is the Apex Predator Pilsner from Edson, brewed in the classic Bohemian pilsner style with multiple additions of Czech Saaz hops.

The Blindman-Longshadows IPA comes from Blindman Brewing in Lacombe, and the last beer on tap called the Ribstone Creek Lager comes from Ribstone Creek Brewery in Edgerton.

Along with the beer, a meal of sausages, rouladen, sauerkraut, potato salad, black forest cake, and pretzels will be served.

The event starts at 6 pm at the Hinton Centre. Tickets are on sale now at The Wild Orchid Liquor Company, or online at Eventbrite (Hinton Oktoberfest).

For more information or to volunteer, email