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Oktoberfest weekend offers pub crawl, beef cook-off, beer garden

Gondola Square was packed for the 2015 Oktoberfest celebration, which returns to Steamboat Friday and Saturday.
Matt Stensland

If you go:

What: Friday night beer stroll

When: 4 to 8 p.m. Sept. 16

Where: Downtown Steamboat Springs

What: Beef Cook-off and beer garden

When: 2 to 6 p.m. Sept. 17

Where: Steamboat Mountain Village/Gondola Square

More information: steamboatoktoberwest.com

A buffet of toasts:

Afrikaans: “Gesondheid!”

Arabic: “Fisehatak!”

Chinese (Mandarin): “Gan bei!”

Elvish: “Almien!”

(Old) English: “Gewene!”

Esperanto: “Je via sano! Toston!”

Finnish: “Kippis!”

French: “A votre sante!”

German: “Prost!”

Greek: “Stin Eyiassou!”

Greenlandic: “Kasuutta!”

Haitian Creole: “Ochan!”

Hawaiian: “Huli pau!”

Hebrew: “L’Chaim!”

Hindi: “Acchi sehat ke lie!”

Icelandic: “Skal!”

Irish: “Slainte!”

Italian: “Salute” or “cin cin!”

Japanese: “Kampai!”

Klingon: “Iwllj jachjaj!”

Latin: “Bonam sanitatem!”

Macedonian: “Nazdravye!”

Nepali: “Wubhakamana!”

Pashto: “Kha sehat walary!”

Polish: “Na zdrowie!”

Portuguese: “A sua saude!”

Russian: “Boo-dem Zdo-ro-vee-eh!”

Spanish: “Salud!”

Slovak: “Na zdravie!"

Swahili: “Maisha marefu!”

Turkish: “Sher-i-feh!”

Vietnamese: “Chook-sa-koi-ah!”

Xhosa: “Impilo!”

Yiddish: “Zei Gazunt!”

Zulu: “Oogy wawa!”

— If Colorado and Munich shared a border, overlapping cultures would likely brew autumn traditions of beer, food and strolling about picturesque streets. Even with geography as is, Steamboat Springs gets to celebrate its eighth annual OktoberWest Friday and Saturday, featuring all the ingredients of a great weekend.

Festivities kick off at 4 p.m. Friday at the Chief Theater with the Beer Stroll — a pub crawl through more than 20 downtown restaurants. Each features a specialty beer on tap.

“We’re expecting close to 1,000 people to join us on the stroll,” said Matt Eidt, chairperson of the Young Professionals Network.



The weekend’s events are hosted by Mountain Village Partnership, Resort Group, MainStreet Steamboat and YPN and are produced by Misto Productions. Local restaurants and companies sponsor the events.

Eidt noted how much the weekend contributes to the community.



“A restaurant last year said they set their September sales record on Beer Stroll night,” he said. “Another said their servers had never made that much in tips in one night, ever.”

Tasters can catch a rejuvenating night of sleep before the Saturday festivities begin at 2 p.m. with the beef cook-off and beer garden.

A dozen local restaurants compete in cooking the tastiest beef brisket, judged by attendees’ votes. Entrants include Cafe Diva, Steamboat Smokehouse, Steamboat Meat & Seafood Company, Casey’s Pond Senior Living Community and more.

Routt County Cattlewomen volunteer for this event.

A buffet of toasts:

Afrikaans: “Gesondheid!”

Arabic: “Fisehatak!”

Chinese (Mandarin): “Gan bei!”

Elvish: “Almien!”

(Old) English: “Gewene!”

Esperanto: “Je via sano! Toston!”

Finnish: “Kippis!”

French: “A votre sante!”

German: “Prost!”

Greek: “Stin Eyiassou!”

Greenlandic: “Kasuutta!”

Haitian Creole: “Ochan!”

Hawaiian: “Huli pau!”

Hebrew: “L’Chaim!”

Hindi: “Acchi sehat ke lie!”

Icelandic: “Skal!”

Irish: “Slainte!”

Italian: “Salute” or “cin cin!”

Japanese: “Kampai!”

Klingon: “Iwllj jachjaj!”

Latin: “Bonam sanitatem!”

Macedonian: “Nazdravye!”

Nepali: “Wubhakamana!”

Pashto: “Kha sehat walary!”

Polish: “Na zdrowie!”

Portuguese: “A sua saude!”

Russian: “Boo-dem Zdo-ro-vee-eh!”

Spanish: “Salud!”

Slovak: “Na zdravie!”

Swahili: “Maisha marefu!”

Turkish: “Sher-i-feh!”

Vietnamese: “Chook-sa-koi-ah!”

Xhosa: “Impilo!”

Yiddish: “Zei Gazunt!”

Zulu: “Oogy wawa!”

“It’s a lot of fun and gives us an opportunity to show what cattlewomen do,” said cattlewomen member Adonna Allen.

Many of the volunteers will sport T-shirts proclaiming “Real women eat beef.”

The beer garden offers unlimited tastes of beer to responsible sippers. About 50 brewers will be featured, plus beverages from several cider houses and a whisky company.

The majority of brewers are based in the Rocky Mountains, with a brewery hailing from Wyoming and Alaska each. All Steamboat-based breweries — Butcherknife Brewing Co., Storm Peak, Mahogany Ridge and Mountain Tap — will feature their beers.

For nutrients not made from barley, hops or cow, local food vendors will round out the offerings.

Of course, those partaking in beer tasting must be 21 years old, but the weekend’s events are open to all and are family-friendly.

On Saturday, the Coca-Cola Adventure Zone will be open for kids at a discounted price, and one one-day Gondola ticket lasts through the entire weekend. Celtic-rock band The Young Dubliners will play during Saturday’s festivities.

Lisa Warner, event planner and owner of Misto Productions, noted the event’s increasing popularity and growth each year.

“Last year, we had 42 brewers,” she said, “and this year, we’re up to 50.”

OktoberWest will no doubt be a staple of “shoulder season,” or autumn.

Mary Beth Magalis Arce, coordinator at Mountain Village Partnership, said 65 percent of OktoberWest participants will be visiting from the Front Range, judging by ticket sales.

“It will be busy,” Warner warned. “Every year, we sell out of beef.”

Organizers of the event are excited about OktoberWest’s growing participation — Eidt calls it a “massive boom.”

“This event pushes shoulder season out one more week,” Eidt said. “With these events growing so quickly, the days of businesses thinking that sales fade after Labor Day are numbered.”

Profits from Friday’s event will go toward YPN’s efforts to foster community and member networking and professional development events. While YPN frequently holds fundraising events for other local organizations, the beer stroll is the year’s only fundraising event for the group itself.

Saturday profits go to the nonprofit Mountain Village Partnership, an organization that aims to promote and enhance the local business environment.

Now, a toast to a weekend of eating brisket, drinking beer and to a merry Steamboat shoulder season.


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