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USGS Gets Its Rocks Off Touting Oktoberfest

Want the dirt on what makes Oktoberfest so special? The United States Geological Survey is pouring it on pretty thick in a recent blog post.  




Larding up the blogosphere with relevant, eyeball-grabbing content is a demanding gig. But, as the U.S. Forest Service recently discovered , hitching one’s public relations wagon to cultural events in today’s hyper-partisan environment can quickly lead one’s messaging wildly off course, as Smokey Bear found out when attempting to dispense some fire-safety/s’mores advice.  

For while we here at HOH can appreciate writer Ethan Alpern’s shoutout to the humble hop plant — “Hops plays an important role in the flavor of beer,” he counsels — others might view it as a tacit endorsement of binge drinking.  


(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)
The proud winner of the Das Best Oktoberfest — held Sep. 27 at the D.C. Armory — “Best Beer Belly” contest. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)


Likewise, latching onto the historical nature of the holiday — “October 12, 1810, was the royal event of the year, when all citizens of Munich, Germany, attended the wedding of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig (later to become King Ludwig I) and his bride, Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen,” Alpern recounts — might be interpreted as encouraging more people to embrace the spirit of the season by donning the crime against humanity known as lederhosen.  


(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)
Two fully decked out participants enjoying everything Das Best Oktoberfest had to offer. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)


Even a seemingly innocuous statement about the diatomaceous earth content of planting sites — “The better the drainage, the more concentrated flavor can be,” Alpern explains — could be misconstrued as embracing hardier, more potent distilling agents, which would, quite naturally, lead to bolder, potentially mind-altering adult beverages.  


(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)
One of the many spirited libations made available for sampling at Das Best Oktoberfest. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)


“Whether you’re celebrating Oktoberfest with a cold pumpkin-spiced beer or a glass of red wine, make sure to learn some science with every sip,” Alpern implores readers.  


(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)
Sage advice from a DIY booze enthusiast at Das Best Oktoberfest. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)


Here’s hoping this little foray into “fun with the daily calendar” doesn’t devolve into the death of the USGS blog.  

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