Last night was my first Fremont Oktoberfest. I’ve been here for years, but I was always out of town or had other plans. I’m also not that much of a beer drinker. But when in Seattle, you must adapt.
Fremont Oktoberfest makes it easy, though, especially when amusing events punctuate the beer tastings. For instance, the popular boobs and booze combo on tap at the Miss Buxom contest, which I found out, is not just open to women. Two men entered, on a whim, and they weren’t in drag. They were, however, in lederhosen. And guess what, one of them won the contest!
(L-R) Second-place “Schnooki”, winner Bill Henninger (aka “Inglebert”) and third-place “Ivana Von Humpalot”
Bill Henninger and his wife Audry entered the contest at the prompting of contest emcee Red from The End/107.7 FM, who saw their costumes — the Des Moines couple always get dressed up for Oktoberfest — and urged them to get in on the action.
Audry & Bill Henninger
Henninger entered under the alias “Inglebert” and when Red asked him what his favorite sausage was, he replied, “The footlong.” His wife entered under the alias, “Gertrude.” Frequent visitors to regional Oktoberfests, this was their first time at Fremont Oktoberfest. They bought the costumes they were wearing last night for a visit to Munich Oktoberfest in 2008.
Henninger had some stiff competition from his wife, six other women and the other guy wearing lederhosen. But with the Applause-o-Meter going through the roof, Henninger made out with $100 in cash, a $100 giftcard to the Tap House & Grill, and a Fremont Oktoberfest prize pack that included a sweatshirt, tasting tokens and a souvenir 1-liter stein.
While his sisters have been Homecoming and Prom Queens, the former high school football player said this was his first time in such a spotlight. When asked how it felt to be the first-ever Mister Buxom, he replied, “I feel sexy.”
The contest was an entertaining diversion, as was the band that played covers of Pat Benatar, Michael Jackson, and in a most daring move, the Beastie Boys (“No Sleep Till Brooklyn”). But let’s not kid ourselves, the main reason people were here was to drink copious amounts of the hoppy good stuff. Some stayed with the 5-ounce plastic tasting mugs, which came with admission and five tasting tokens, and some forked over $10 for the souvenir 1-liter steins. But with more than 80 microbrews and 11 German beers to choose from, there was plenty to sample all night.
The Deschutes Brewery from Oregon and it’s eye-catching mobile serving station
“Beer me!” was a common phrase, and streams of cigar smoke wafted everywhere, making for a sweet, stinky need to stop breathing for a minute kind of sensation. And that awful blue, blinding light next to the Deschutes mobile wooden keg: please turn that off or down, because it kills the ambience!
But staying focused and on task, beer connoisseurs could wander from tent to tent, with barely any lines, sampling lagers, porters, IPA, brown pale ales, Oktoberfests, etc. to their heart’s delight. The layout of the festival, with wide streets on both 35th and 34th next to the Canal allowed for lots of movement and plenty of space to decompress, even with the increasing crowds.
Lounges were also randomly sprinkled everywhere, so if you needed to kick back, you could.
Some tasty finds so far: Lagunitas’ Little Stumpin Wild, Georgetown Brewing Co.’s Lucille IPA, Kona’s Longboard Lager (and you get lei’d too!) and Flyers’ Proptoberfest.
We hope you’ll have a good time today, too, and tomorrow. Today, we’re checking out the Texas Chainsaw Pumpkin Carving Contest! Pictures later!