Ladies and gentlemen: the 64-ounce plastic pitcher that started a war.
This morning, KRMG revealed that, along with a number of changes to Tulsa’s Oktoberfest, which includes RiverParks Authority taking over complete control of the event, pitchers of beer will no longer be sold at the event. According to the report and information shared by organizers on the Tulsa Oktoberfest Facebook page, the decision was made after discussions with the Oklahoma ABLE Commission and the City of Tulsa, though no specific details were given. The report indicates beer will be sold in 16-ounce cups and that commemorative steins will also be available.
The news quickly caused a furor among fans of the annual event, which is widely regarded as one of the largest and best Oktoberfest celebrations outside of Germany. Many took to social media sites to voice their opposition to the ruling or proclaim the decision a death knell to the long running festival, and a Facebook page and online petition dedicated to the return of the pitcher were created with hours of the announcement. Oktoberfest organizers tried to ease concerns with a comment on the event’s Facebook, stating, “We will have an update regarding what will replace the pitchers ASAP.”
While it may seem odd that nixing pitchers would spur such outrage, as many have indicated, drinking beer from a pitcher while doing the chicken dance on a table pretty much is what Oktoberfest is all about.
We'll add updates as more information becomes avialable. Please share your thoughts in the comments seciton or on the Oklahoma Magazine Facebook page.
UPDATE – Oktoberfest released the following statement on its Facebook this evening: “Thanks for the feedback everyone. It's obvious that you love a great Oktoberfest as much as we do. To clarify: we will miss being able to have the traditional pitcher as well. Happily, we do have something exciting to offer fans of Tulsa Oktoberfest: an all-new 1-litre commemorative stein, made of thick acrylic (not plastic) with a close-to-unbreakable molded handle (trust us, we’ve tested). It's refillable, so you'll have plenty of table time with friends. And, it's modeled after the authentic steins used at the original Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, so it's sure to be a fun collectible. We’ll unveil the design in the next few weeks! We appreciate your passion and we look forward to raising a (heavy) stein with you soon.”