I'm ashamed. 21 years and I'd never been to Mount Snow's Oktoberfest. I should really be put in some sort of après-ski detention center or something for neglecting such an event. Punishment or not, this will never happen again. My Oktoberfest virgin status has ended and it's safe to say that I've already got it marked on next year's calendar. I don't plan on missing another one. There's a reason why Yankee Magazine named it one of their Best Fall Events of 2018. With family friendly events running throughout the day and an atmosphere that is unparalleled, it's a good time for all.
The day kicked off with Mount Snow's 7th annual Gulp and Gallop 5k beer run. Admittedly, I am not a runner. I run intervals fairly regularly but the idea of running anything over a mile is a bit outlandish to me. However, when prompted with the notion of running 4 laps totaling 3.5 miles and drinking a beer after each lap, my wife and I could not pass up the opportunity. The Gulp and Gallop is the ultimate test of one's ability to run circles around someone while drinking them under the table. Honestly, the hardest part is the beer drinking component. It's not that easy to suck down suds when your panting like a rabid dog. However, working on a two gulp, one burp format I was able to finish a reputable fifth place behind guys that have run marathons before. And my wife was the first woman to cross the line who actually drank all four of their beers. Score one for the All About Après Ski Team. Turns out years of CrossFit training with day drinking serving as our recovery shake served us both quite well in the kickoff event of the day.
Day drinking is what Oktoberfest is all about (for the adults that is). With at least 25 different breweries on hand serving anywhere from one to three of their beers there were certainly enough tasty beverages to keep your taste buds occupied all day. A frequent visitor to the tent I certainly sampled my share, however gave up on trying to taste them all pretty early on, focusing only on the ones that I truly enjoyed. Foundation's Oktoberfest as well as the Kolsch from Exihibit A and the Peanut Butter Porter from Foolproof Brewing were our favorites. In fact, the Peanut Butter Porter, although not something that I'd normally go for, had many in the crowd buzzing in more ways than one.
In between stops to the beer tent, I really enjoyed watching the smiles on my three girls faces as they took in all there was to offer at this very family friendly event. Making pretzel necklaces to munch on all day while wandering through the touch a truck event, rock climbing and painting pumpkins (and in some cases their clothes) offered them pure enjoyment that they continued to talk about throughout the next day.
The most fun was them relishing in their completion of the kids' Gulp and Gallop. Following in their parent footsteps my oldest two got after it on the run and downed their apple juice at the end like pros. Not surprising for two little girls that are regulars at Cuzzins during the ski season.
Sprinkled in among the frequent beer tent visits and children's activities, my wife and I were able to compete in two of the other four competitions. When it came to the keg tossing, "I'm only in it for the apres" Marcie seemed to hold her own far better than I. With a hefty toss, she fell only three inches short of the eventual winner. BEAST. Keg tossing, as it turns out, is not my thing. As I stood in line with the defending champion I realized quite quickly that had zero chance. He was a behemoth of a man and built to move mountains. I am more built to move 16 oz cans from my waist to my mouth. This disparity is probably why he was so generous in giving me some tips, knowing full well that even if I were throwing a sixtel I couldn't beat him or the eventual winner.
This mountain of a man also happened to be last year's stein hoisting champion which was the next event. Having won a few of these of my own, I thought maybe I had a chance. Not so much, Mount Snow's stein hoisting is clearly a step up in competition from our local tour and although I held on longer then the big guy I'm not really even sure that I cracked the top 10. Thank God because all I really wanted to do at that point was drink my beer to help relieve the pain that was searing from my shoulder down my arm.
That was it for us. Competitioned out, Marcie and I continued to fill up our steins and took on the role of spectators for the remainder of the day. We missed the schnitzel tossing (they clearly like to throw stuff up there) due to the girls being involved in something else but were front row for the hilariously entertaining yodeling contest. With some actual yodelers, others who were wildly creative and yet others whose high pitch noises had dogs running for the hills, both the men and women's division was filled with a cast of characters that did not disappoint. It was the perfect comedic relief to end a day that we all wished could have gone on just a bit longer. As I mentioned, it's really THAT MUCH FUN and I cannot wait until next year.
In the meantime, I'll be working tirelessly on my strength, stamina and power in order to put in a better showing in some of these events. Ah, who am I kidding? I'll be at Cuzzins, Canned and the Station Tap Room for après-ski all winter long. See you there. Cheers!