Chile’s rich varieties of local beers celebrated at this year’s Oktoberfest

The sixth annual Chilean Beer Festival comes to the Santiago area, bringing the country’s German cultural heritage to the fore and launching 29 newly released brews to the public.

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Chile is more famous for its wine than its ale, but the wide range of hand-made beers on show at this year’s Oktoberfest in Santiago are drawing in thousands of visitors from around the country.

According to reports from the national Radio Cooperativa, more than 100,000 people are expected to attend the festival being held at the Munich Events Center in Malloco, 33km southwest of central Santiago.

Local breweries and traditionally-made beers are a big focus of this year’s event. Helena Ríos, one of the organizers of Oktoberfest, announced to local media that 29 new breweries would be premiering at the event.

Overall the festival is showcasing more than 150 beers, from both Chile and abroad, including some weird and wonderful flavors: chocolate, cinnamon, orange, fruits of the forest and peach flower, as well as low calorie and alcohol-free options.

Food on offer includes dishes made from barley hops and traditional Chilean and German cuisines. Chile has strong cultural ties with Germany, where the original Munich Oktoberfest was held in 1810, and many Chileans claim German heritage after the widespread German settlement in the south of Chile during the 19th century.

The festival is also being used to help spread the word about the dangers of drink-driving, with free tickets and non-alcoholic Cristal Cero beer on offer for ‘designated drivers’ at the event.

Oktoberfest will run until Sunday 7th Nov. at Centro de Eventos Munich (Munich Events Center) in Malloco, Santiago Metropolitan Region from 12:30-21:30 (22:30 on weekends and national holidays).

Entry on weekends and national holidays costs US $8.70 ($4,200 pesos), while weekday entry costs $ US $5.60 ($2,700 pesos). Discounts for senior citizens and children aged 12-17; children under 12 enter free. For more information, visit www.fiestadelacerveza.cl

This post is also available in Spanish