German culture lovers and beer enthusiasts alike gathered in New Ulm to celebrate the Oktoberfest festivities hosted by Schell’s Brewery Oct. 13.
Schell’s kicked off the annual celebration at their historic brewery with the ceremonial tapping of the first keg at 11 a.m. Almost in unison, polka music filled the air and Oktoberfest-style beer flowed down the throats of lederhosen-cladded festival goers.
Amongst the brewery grounds, festival goers enjoyed the crisp autumn air, munched on bratwurst and cheered-on the fatigued shoulders of participants in the annual beer stein holding contest.
But the celebration wasn’t just contained to the beer garden of Schell’s itself.
The celebration poured into N. Minnesota St. where restaurants and bars such as Veigel’s Kaiserhoff, B & L Bar and Rodney’s Tavern provided more drinks and activities to festival-goers.
Food trucks, more beer and live music also awaited the crowds at Center St. near the Brown County Historical Society.
“I really like how everything doesn’t just take place at the brewery,” said Cole Polson, a student at Minnesota State University, Mankato. “The brewery’s awesome, but there’s so much more going on in town too.”
Polson said he also appreciated the shuttle that ran between the brewery and throughout New Ulm.
“It’s a safe way for people to get around town and enjoy Oktoberfest,” he said. “Even as it gets later into the night and people become more, let’s just say, happy.”
Like all things good and Midwestern, Schell’s Oktoberfest combines fine European culture and tradition with American endurance-style consumption. The celebration occurred well into the night and those who attended went to bed with good food and beer in their bellies.