Drinking more than 60 types of beer, loud music until way past midnight, a long boat ride beginning early in the morning – what could possibly go wrong?
Oh, and that box of beer-infused chocolates you ate after dinner probably won’t make things any easier.
An inevitable number of hangovers will again accompany the merriment during the world’s northernmost Oktoberfest beginning Thursday. The three-day festival, now in its eighth year, features food and music in a beer tent in the parking lot of the Radisson Polar Blu Hotel, formal dinners featuring different local and regional beer makers in the hotel’s restaurant nightly, daylong cruises to Barentsburg on Friday and Saturday, and midnight concerts daily in Barentz Pub.
The festival begins at 5 p.m. Thursday with a parade through Longyearbyen starting at the beer tent. The official opening ceremony is in the tent at 6 p.m., with music by A Taste Of Karlsen, Spitsbergen Scnapskappelle, the Store Norske Men’s Choir and the Norwegian rock band Return starting at 6:15 p.m.
Svalbard Bryggeri, which has expanded its product line to five varieties during the past year, will be featured during Thursday’s beer maker’s dinner, which includes “a three-course meal with tailored beer developed and adapted to the different brewery production,” according to the festival’s program. Macks Ølbryggeri will be featured Friday night and Ægir Bryggeri on Saturday. All three will participate in a beer tasting and presentation at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Daypasses are 250 kroner, while three-day passes are avaialble for 700 kroner.