The ‘froth’ over beer festivals

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KINIGUIDE | Celebrations involving alcohol have taken centre stage in public discussions after the unprecedented cancellation of a beer festival and subsequent issues with other similar events this month.

A public outcry over the “Better Beer Festival 2017” in September, which was supposed to be held in Kuala Lumpur this month, eventually led to the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) refusing to greenlight the event, citing political sensitivities.

Inspector-general of police (IGP) Mohamad Fuzi Harun later revealed that the police objected to the festival because they received information that militants were planning to sabotage the event.

That was not to be the end of the debate over the matter as this month heralded the arrival of Oktoberfest celebrations.

Though these celebrations were not marketed explicitly as Oktoberfest, the whiff of alcohol being served at these events resulted in the authorities delaying their approval and even refusal by the local councils.

Malaysiakini takes a gulp of the controversy and the uproar it has caused.

What is ‘Better Beer Festival’ and ‘Oktoberfest’?

According to its website, the Better Beer Festival, which would have been held for the sixth time this year, is the “biggest celebration of the craft beer revolution in Malaysia”, aimed at promoting smaller breweries.

It had promised to showcase over 250 different craft beers by 43 independent breweries across 12 countries.

Craft beer, as defined by the Brewer’s Association in Colorado, US, is beer made by small, independent and traditional brewers.

The Oktoberfest is a beer festival and funfair which began in Munich, Germany in 1810, where it is now considered an important part of Bavarian culture.

Since then, it has inspired similar events around the world, including the US, Canada and China.

In Malaysia, Oktoberfest events have been held throughout the country for years, with the Malaysian-German Society (MGS) claiming that it has been their tradition to hold the festival since 1973.

Notably, these events involving alcohol usually state in their promotional material that the events were strictly for non-Muslims and those over 21 years old only.

So, other than the ‘Better Beer Festival’, what other events involving alcohol have landed in hot water this year...