A Season to Remember
Tatler Malaysia|October 2021
Huge-scale Oktoberfest celebrations used to be all the rage in this country. Whatever happened to them?
Terence Toh

Oktoberfest! The very mention of the word brings so many images to mind. People in lederhosen, yodelling. German sausages and sauerkraut. And of course, beer. Gallons and gallons of this foamy amber liquid chugged from huge one-liter glasses named steins. For some people, this is the whole point of the celebration.

You wouldn’t think this festival, a pillar of Bavarian culture, would be very popular with Malaysians. Many of whom, to be honest, would have trouble locating Germany on a map.

Yet for a while, Oktoberfest events were highly popular here, particularly for those with a taste for beer. These events drew hordes of revelers to a bar or gathering every night. A 2012 Oktoberfest celebration at the 1Utama shopping center in Petaling Jaya, for example, was reported to have drawn crowds of over 5,000.

“Oktoberfest used to be really big. They’re still one of our big cornerstone events today. Every year, we plan for it about two months or so in advance. We try to deliver the essence of Germany’s Oktoberfest, but in a more localized sort of package,” says Mikhail Alexander Svrcula, a brand executive at local German restaurant The Bavarian Bierhaus.

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