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Thursday, July 18, 2024

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You Won’t Guess How Long This Stein Holding Champion Lasted at Swantoberfest

by James Coulter

Brandon Bauer has been visiting Swan Brewing for quite some time. This year was not only his first attending the annual Swantoberfest event but also participating in the stein-holding contest on Saturday afternoon.

Brandon competed alongside nearly a dozen other contestants as they all did their best to hold up a stein filled with nearly three pounds of liquid. Though he struggled alongside the others, he eventually held out for eight minutes and thirty seconds, allowing him to win first place.

“Great!” he said upon winning. “It feels awesome!” And when asked if he would consider coming back next Swantoberfest to compete again, he said, “Absolutely!”

Great beer, food, and fun were had that weekend during the annual Swantoberfest at Swan Brewing. Attendees were able to enjoy craft beer and participate in games like the stein-holding contest or beer marionette.

They could also enjoy food like pretzels and German cuisine served by The Cultivated Pig and Baking Brewer and music performed by The Detectives. New this year was the inclusion of Das Boots, where attendees could purchase boot-shaped beer glasses.

Dan Thumberg, Founder and Owner of Swan Brewing, has been hosting the annual Oktoberfest celebration for the past several years. He even hosted it during the COVID-19 pandemic when eateries were allowed to re-open (albeit with strict limitations).

“Like most traditional Octoberfest celebrations, we celebrate where beer came from, the history of the traditional European beer styles,” Thumberg said. “But Octoberfest is more than just that. It is a celebration of friends and family. That is why you see all of the bright colors and amazing dresses and German clothing.”

The secret to his celebration’s success has been it being hosted later in the month. While most other cities and places host their Oktoberfest celebrations in the first week of October, Swan Brewing hosts its event later in the month when it’s cooler.

“We wait a little bit later in the year than the actual Octoberfest celebrations,” he said. “So here in Florida, it is a little too hot to do that then. So we wait until everyone else in the community has done their Octoberfest. We do it at the very end because the weather is a lot nicer. That is what we wait for. We wait for a chance to be down into the low 80s and high 70s.”

Last year alone, their event drew in 100 to 120 people for the costume contest. This year’s event managed to more than exceed expectations, Thumberg said. Swan Brewing regularly hosts events throughout the year, and the remaining weeks and months are booked, he boasted.

“We are stacked through the end of the year,” he said. “It is a sight to behold. Everyone is coming out in a dress and having a good time. At Swan Brewing, we always pride ourselves on having an amazing live music acts and food trucks in Central Florida. So it is a big party atmosphere. It makes for a memorable creative event.”

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Staff Reporter

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