Oktoberfest in Chile: an authentic German celebration with a Chilean flair

Can’t make it to Germany for Oktoberfest this year? Try celebrating in Chile instead!

Chile is an ideal Oktoberfest destination, embracing a significant German cultural influence as a result of Germany’s colonization of southern Chile in the mid-1800’s. Adventurous colonists arrived from Europe with their family traditions, cherished recipes, and love for good beer – a way of life that still thrives today.

The first Oktoberfest began in Munich, Germany in 1810, to celebrate the marriage of the country’s prince and princess, an event that was carried to Chile by the colonists, along with the culinary mastery and brewing skills to do the festival justice.

From Santiago south to Chiloé, Chile’s hearty German heritage provides an authentic experience for beer/food/fun-lovers throughout the year.

Oktoberfest in October (Malloco)

As Oktoberfest is an autumn holiday in the northern hemisphere, it is typically celebrated in January or February in Chile, where it is known as “bierfest” or “Fiesta de la Cerveza.”

Even so, the town of Malloco in Chile’s Metropolitan Region hosts a grand “Fiesta de la Cerveza” every year in October, preferring to coincide with Germany’s revelry.

The eighth annual incarnation of Malloco’s Fiesta de la Cerveza will be held this year from October 30 until November 11.

Malloco’s festival was founded in 2005 by Wilda de Zahlhaas, owner of the popular restaurant “Der Münchner de Malloco.” Due to its proximity to Santiago, the celebration is accessible to a large portion of Chile’s population, attracting scores of visitors each year with more than 200 types of beer, delicious food options and artisanal fairs.

For a complete schedule, ticketing information and prices, visit the event’s website or Facebook page.

How to arrive to Malloco

Malloco is a locality in the Peñaflor community, located approximately 30 kilometers south of Santiago.

From Santiago, follow the “Autopista de Sol” route until Malloco, then take the road “Antiguo a Melipilla” in the direction of Talagante, finally reaching Colonia Alemana at kilometer 31.

Buses also travel to Malloco from cities and towns throughout the area.

Other celebrations throughout the year

If you miss Oktoberfest in October (or if you are simply craving more Oktoberfest at other times of the year), try planning for the following upcoming events.

Valdivia: Chile.Travel has reported on Valdivia’s annual beer-related events, but the town’s big Fiesta de la Cerveza takes place at the end of January.

Llanquihue: “Bierfest Llanquihue” has a long history, considered by some to be southern Chile’s original Fiesta de la Cerveza. The next celebration is expected to commence in January.

Temuco: Temuco´s Fiesta de la Cerveza is held each year in February.

Puerto Montt: Puerto Montt hosts its Fiesta de la Cerveza in February, attracting numerous high-quality breweries.

Chiloé: Castro, Chiloé’s Fiesta de la Cerveza is a popular and unique island destination in February.

Osorno: Visit Osorno in July for its Fiesta de la Cerveza, hosted by the town’s German Club.

Your own home: As an alternative to attending Oktoberfest, consider hosting your own Oktoberfest party, with Chilean-brewed beer and home-cooked food. Click here for some delicious German recipes.

By Gretchen Stahlman, written for Chile.Travel
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