While America begins to post about the return of the Pumpkin Spice Lattes on Facebook, craft brew enthusiasts turn their attentions to another autumn-heralding beverage -- Oktoberfests.
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Oktoberfest is a German fall festival that, oddly enough, usually takes place in late September. Along with St. Patrick's Day, it's one of those wonderful holidays that can be celebrated worldwide without any regards to historical context or obligation to do anything beyond drink an excessive amount of beer. It probably celebrates the end of summer or a harvest, or maybe some hated Bavarian monarch being trampled by a stampede of drunk horses. It doesn't matter.
Locally, our resident German brewer in McKinney makes a damn fine traditional Oktoberfest. Released over Labor Day weekend, Franconia's Oktoberfest is one of my favorite local seasonals, and for good reason too -- Franconia's brewmaster and owner Dennis Wehrman was born in the middle of Bavaria to a family of brewers, dating back to his great-grandfather. After earning a master's degree in beermaking in Munich, he moved to the U.S. and opened Franconia in McKinney in 2008, making him downright ancient in D/FW craft brewery terms.