CHOCTAW — “Prost,” said Mike Turek, raising a glass of Paulaner Wiesen Blonde, a German beer only available during the three weeks of Oktoberfest in Munich.
“Prost,” responded one of the 300 volunteers that help make the nine days of Oktoberfest in Choctaw Creek Park a reality.
The traditional German word for “cheers” was passed around frequently Monday at the festival, as were more than 43 different kinds of beers on tap and a healthy helping of ham hock and knackwurst.
Turek, who owns Old German Restaurant in Choctaw, has been hosting the beer festival for 22 years and he said it just keeps growing.
This year Turek added a few extra days to the festival that ends at midnight Saturday.
Dona and Tommy Pirtle, microbrew enthusiasts from north Oklahoma City, said they came out for the diverse beer selection, particularly local craft brews.
“We love this beer selection,” said Dona Pirtle, 23. “We like to try a lot of local beers.”
Dona had a COOP Oktoberfest in her hand, a strong malt brewed by the Oklahoma City microbrewery.
“It's really refreshing,” she said.
Turek said while beer is the reason for the celebration, it's an incredibly family friendly event with a kid's tent full of crafts and face painting and inflatable jump and playground toys.
“It's all family oriented,” said Barbara Giles, 58, with a sober driver sticker on her shoulder. “The children have such a great time.”
Her husband, Leon Giles, 65, was having a Spaten Optimater, a dark German beer, and listening to the band.
“A lot of this beer you can't get around here,” Leon Giles said. “I like this one.”
“Is there any beer you dislike?” Barbara Giles asked.
“No,” he responded, both laughing.
Turek's second favorite beer at the event — to the Paulaner Wiesen — is the Weihenstephan beers, which is one of the oldest still operating breweries in the world having been founded by Benedictine Monks in 1040 AD, he said.