SAN ANTONIO, Texas – San Antonio, the city of splendid, beautiful color. Every day is an adventure here thanks to a plethora of particular things to do. Over in the Historic King William District, you’ll find the old Beethoven Maennerchor, a building that’s been around a long time and has one heck of party in October.
Claus Heide first came to the Beethoven Maennerchor when he was fresh off the boat in 1965. He’s been a member of the singing organization for over 40 years and the club president since 1984.
“Everybody has a good time, and it’s a great place to hang out,” Claus said. So we asked him what the key is to a good Oktoberfest. His answer, “Food and beer. That’s all the ingredients you need.”
Having a long-storied history in the Lone-Star State helps as well. You see there are Oktoberfest parties all over Texas but this one has been around since the 1860s when the Maennerchor was first established by musical director Simon Manager and former San Antonio Mayor Wilhelm Thielepape.
The names and faces of the men who have come to this gathering place over the years hang in the beer halls. Stories and memories of the time these men and their ancestors have spent here are shared during each Oktoberfest.
Since 1926, this building has had the burden of bringing smiles to beer drinking, bratwurst loving, braggadocios Texans; most of German decent, but many without.
“This is awesome because this is authentic, and it brings all the cultures together,” said Michael, an Oktoberfest regular. “To be able to experience the German culture within the confines of San Antonio, you don’t find that in a lot of cities.”
Now what’s great about the grand German get together is it doesn’t just happen in October, because this Oktoberfest takes place every month.
With so many thirsty friends on hand, I had the task of making sure the crowd was quenched. With celebratory ale in hand, we toasted the night away.
“A lot of people have it on their bucket list because it is a blast,” Claus shared. “It’s really fun.”