Vail rolls out the barrel in Lionshead this weekend |

Vail rolls out the barrel in Lionshead this weekend

CVR Oktoberfest fun KA 09-05-09

Bavarians did not invent beer. Greeks invented beer.

Along with beer, the Greeks also invented democracy and philosophy. All three – democracy, philosophy and beer – tend to attract people with time on their hands.

Bavarians spent their time wisely and well perfecting beer, which you can only do by sampling it. That explains why they set aside beer gardens in the middle of their major metropolitan areas. They are research facilities.

Acres and acres of urban space dedicated to the balanced diet of beer in one hand and a bratwurst in the other.

And that leads us to this weekend’s Vail Oktoberfest in Lionshead. It’s three days given over to beer and food and general fun-having, starting today.

If you want more fun-having after this weekend in Lionshead, and you do, there’s another Vail Oktoberfest in Vail Village next weekend.

The good folks at Highline Sports and Entertainment are putting together Vail’s Oktoberfest celebrations because they agree with Founding Father Benjamin Franklin who famously said, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

“Oktoberfest in Vail has been a crowd favorite for decades,” said James Deighan of Highline Sports and Entertainment, the festival’s producer.

Intricate athletic endeavors

Sure, you can stroll around Lionshead engaged in weighty discussions about the international situation, and Oktoberfest is an international event. But you’d be better served to channel your energies into something more constructive, such as Klement’s Bratwurst Eating Contests and Beck’s Keg Bowling.

Keg bowling is a far more intricate athletic endeavor than it might appear to the naked eye, which is why it should be viewed and participated in through the visual perspective that only beer goggles can provide. Keg bowling is both Saturday and Sunday.

The rules are uncomplicated. You hurl a keg shell on wheels down the lane at a pyramid of keg shells. Your goal is to bring stuff crashing down harder than Bill Clinton’s political career.

In the midst of all that physical activity, you’ll need to regain your strength at the Klement’s Bratwurst Eating contests, Saturday and Sunday. This, too, is an uncomplicated competition. You eat as many brats as you can in three minutes. If you win, you get all kinds of cool stuff, including a prize package from Klement’s Sausage Company.

A 200-year-old tradition

Hometown band MTHDS (Methods) starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, followed by the Tanzpartei (pronounced Dance Party) with DJ Mo Rockin at 9 p.m. to close out the night.

Vail Oktoberfest in Lionshead will feature performances by Bavarian dancers, a kids’ zone with entertainers and all kinds of other stuff.

Young people should know that Oktoberfest in Bavaria is 200 years old this year. The first one was in 1810.

The second one was canceled in 1811 because of the Napoleonic War. Oktoberfest was also interrupted by international unpleasantness from 1914-1918, and again from 1939-1945.

In fact, since its beginning 200 years ago, Oktoberfest has been canceled 24 times due to war, disease and other reasons that don’t seem to make all that much sense in retrospect.

Beer-inspired brilliance

“If you ever reach total enlightenment while drinking beer, I bet it makes beer shoot out your nose.”

Deep Thought, Jack Handy

“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.”

Dave Barry

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

Benjamin Franklin

“Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.”

Dave Barry

“He was a wise man who invented beer.”


“[I recommend]… bread, meat, vegetables and beer.”

Sophocles’ philosophy of a moderate diet

“This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption… Beer!”

Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck

“Beer. Now there’s a temporary solution.”

Homer Simpson

“Here’s to alcohol: the source of, and answer to, all of life’s problems.”

Homer Simpson

“Ah, good ol’ trustworthy beer. My love for you will never die.”

Homer Simpson

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