Though Germany is the birthplace of Oktoberfest, the celebration of beer has also taken root in other countries. From the UK to the USA, hundreds – if not thousands – of alternate Oktoberfests are held around the globe. And you don’t have to drink alcohol to get in on the fun; you’ll find plenty of non-alcoholic Oktoberfest parties that don’t cater to drinkers.
The United Kingdom is actually in the midst of a health conscious kick for the month of October, encouraging its residents to give up smoking and drinking in the name of health, saving money and donating to charity. Since British males spend an average of $1,500 per year on booze, there’s certainly money to go around if even a fraction of that population quits drinking for the month.
Stoptober, run by Public Health England, had over 190,000 people sign up for the challenge of quitting smoking during the month of October. However, the “Go Sober for October” campaign also urged people to give up booze as a means of raising money for MacMillan Cancer Support, which has generated more press.
Oktoberfest Celebrations in America
Not to be outdone, the United States put its own unique spin on this German festival. Although Germany’s celebration starts in September and ends during the first week of October, most American Oktoberfests are scheduled during the latter part of October. Even better, many of these festivals cater to non-drinkers.
A few of those include:
- <Tulsa, Oklahoma’s signature family-oriented Oktoberfest celebration is now underway and runs through the weekend.
- New Jersey’s Zeppelin Hall Restaurant, located in Liberty Harbor, holds its sober Oktoberfest through October 26.
- Jersey is also home to Oktoberfest at Demarest Nature Center, held in the city of Demarest. This event is a combined craft show and festival with German food, music and canoe rides.
- New York City’s Munich on the East River Oktoberfest celebration kicks off on October 26 and boasts polka music, carnival games, carousel and Bavarian cuisine.
Tasty Non-Alcoholic Drink Options
Although more than 18.7 million barrels of non-alcoholic beer were sold last year, there is a growing demand amongst the sober community for better non-alcoholic options. Here are five alcohol-free options that will enable you to have a happy, sober October (and beyond!)
- Kirin Free: This Japanese brand is known for its alcoholic beers, but uses a yeast-free process to ensure that this beer has absolutely no alcohol in it. At just 37 calories per serving, it’s also a great option for those who are health conscious.
- Ariel Vineyard wines: With six wines available in 17 countries, this California vineyard has dominated the non-alcoholic wine market with over 65,000 cases sold every year.
- Organic Merlot de Bordeaux Grape Juice: If you haven’t enjoyed non-alcoholic wines in the past, then cut right to the inner juice of the grapes. This juice is 100 percent Merlot and made in the same manner as top Bordeaux wines, only without the booze.
- ArKay beverages: Known as the world’s first non-alcoholic, liquor-flavored drink collection, you can have an entire mini-bar without ever drinking a drop of booze. They have alcohol-free versions of all the standard liquors including amaretto, rum, vodka and brandy, while their website also offers a wide range of “mocktail” recipes.
- Carl Jung wines: This Canadian company has been selling non-alcoholic wine for nearly 100 years. Although they rose to fame off their imported German non-alcoholic wines, they have expanded their product base in recent years to include sparkling and varietal wines.
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