Argentina may not be the first place you associate with Oktoberfest, but the annual beer festival held at the end of September in the town of General Villa General Belgrano gives the Germans a run for their money! If you caught our post on South America’s best beers the other week, you’ll know that it can be hard to get any other beer than Quilmes in Argentina, but at Oktoberfest you’ll find a massive range of beer from the many small breweries in Argentina so you can really go to town…
So why is there an Oktoberfest in Argentina? Well, heavy German immigration to the Cordoba region in the 1920s saw the area develop with Germanic village style houses, traditional German clothing, music, cuisine, and of course, arts and festivals. The people there continue celebrating their heritage to this day, and Oktoberfest in particular attracts international visitors from around the globe.
The festival began officially in 1963, and it runs for 11 days which covers two whole weekends every October. Based at the biergarten of the Parque Cervecero, there are parades, live music (including yodeling…), beer tasting events, food (think sauerkraut and sausage!), and the crowning of the Queen of Oktoberfest. Some of the days are even dedicated to particular cultures; for example while all the days are Argentine and Germanic themed at heart, there will also be Swiss, Hispanic, and Italian days on top of the usual themes.
So how does this South American beer festival measure up to its Northern European counterpart? Well first of all, in keeping with tradition there’s lederhosen and Bavarian dancing all around, and in terms of improvements, the weather is definitely better than Germany in Autumn. Some other perks of experiencing Oktoberfest in Argentina are the lower prices and more relaxed atmosphere. The drinking culture is less intense which means the drinking pace is generally a bit more laid back, creating a more peaceful feeling than you might find at the Munich event. While you might not actually save much money at the event after paying for your airfare to Argentina, you’ll still find that experiencing Oktoberfest in Argentina is worth every penny!