Here's a quiz: what do these places have in common? Mexico City, Cincinnati, Ohio, Hong Kong, Munich, Ho Chi Minh City, and Ridgefield, Connecticut. Stumped? It's Oktoberfest! The celebration in which everyone gets sloshed sampling beer first started in Munich, Germany, in 1810. Today, six million people annually descend on the city at the end of September through early October, to lift a few. But interestingly, Oktoberfests are not just concentrated in Germany. They've sprouted internationally as well in Australia, Brazil, Okinawa and many locations in the United States.
And it's easy to understand why they're so popular in this country. According to a 2010 Gallup Poll, among Americans who drink alcohol, beer is overwhelmingly the favorite drink. In fact, beer has occupied the top spot every year since 1992, except in 2005, when there was an upset by wine.
Responding to this fanbase, many new brews and microbrews are flooding the beer marketplace. Tapping into this, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield converts its October 7 "First Thursday" get-together, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., into an Oktoberfest. No need to hop a plane to Brussels to sample Belgiums number one ale because the Aldrich has it. And some of Canada's finest suds will also be on hand for sampling, as well as a gluten-free beer made right here in the northeast. For those who want a chaser, take a leisurely docent-led tour of select exhibitions beginning at 7 p.m. Drinks, snacks, and exhibition tours are included with admission which is $15. For more information, visit the Aldrich's website .
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