24 hour virtual Oktoberfest – it’s 5 O’clock somewhere!

By Stephen Sehnert, BREW Fellowship Director and member of the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs

With the cancellation of the world’s largest beer festival “Oktoberfest” 2020 in Munich, Germany, members of the Rotary Fellowship BREW – Beers Rotarians Enjoy Worldwide – stepped up to offer a virtual Oktoberfest.  Starting at 1700 hours in New Zealand, the virtual Oktoberfest continued in every time zone at 5 PM around the world for 24 hours with the motto “It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere”.  Via Zoom, participants could share their favorite beer and their favorite Rotary project, tour a local brewery, watch a short video “How Beer Saved the World”, and view the Munich opening ceremonies from an earlier year.  More than 500 beer enthusiasts from around the world logged on to be a part of this new unofficial festival.  Some stayed logged in for 22 hours and caught a little sleep in between. Others joined the live 24-hour stream on the BREW Fellowship’s Facebook page.

The event was so successful that the BREW group plans to do this again in 2021 with multiple events around St. Patrick’s Day and Oktoberfest.  Virtual meetings really work and globally expand the reach of every organization.

The BREW Fellowship has approximately 1300 paying members and 1300 who belong to the BREW Facebook Group.  Besides virtual events,  the BREW Fellowship also has events at each Rotary International Convention including the upcoming RI Convention in Taipei. Stay tuned for more information.


Spanish: ¡Salud! (sah-LOOD)
French: Santé ! (sahn-TAY)
German: Prost! (prohst)
Swedish/Danish/Norwegian: Skål! (skohl)
Italian: Cin cin! (cheen cheen)

Indian  Chiyar (chi-yar)
Portuguese: Saúde! (sah-OOH-jeh)
Irish Gaelic: Sláinte! (SLAHN-juh)
Japanese: Kanpai! (KAHN-pai)
Mandarin: 干杯 Gānbēi (Gan-bey)

A special thanks to our local hosts for helping make the virtual Oktoberfest a big success:

PDG Brian Coffey
– Australia BREW Ambassador
Brijesh Mathur– India BREW Ambassador
Dirk Lutstig – Ukraine BREW Ambassador
Jesper Lindholt – Ukraine BREW Director
Kerstin Ducthard – Germany BREW Chair
Moses Aryee – Ghana BREW Director
Kevin Shendok – Florida USA BREW Ambassador
DGE Kevin Stevens – Illinois USA BREW Director
Sara Murphy – Colorado USA BREW Director
DGN Stephen Sehnert – Colorado USA BREW Vice Chair
Steve Lack – California USA
PDG Del Green – Hawaii USA

Rotary has more than 90 international Fellowships, organized around hobbies, professions, and shared identity. Learn more and contact one directly to get involved: www.rotary.org/fellowships.

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