Folks can take in exhibits and get a taste of German culture, including beer and freshly baked pretzels, at a “pop-up beer garden” outside the Finlen Motor Inn for three days starting Thursday.
The Goethe-Institut USA (German Cultural Center) in collaboration with Hofbräus America, will be at the Finlen each day from 3 to 9 p.m. offering exhibits, fresh pretzels and three types of beer on tap — two German brews and one called Bayern, meaning the Bavarian state of Germany, that is brewed in Missoula. The event is called "Wiesn in a Box."
It’s part of a year-long tour to venues across the U.S. to stage Oktoberfest events and promote friendship between Germany and America. It started last October and runs through December this year.
To go along with the event, Butte’s Irene Scheidecker will give a presentation on German culture and their contributions in early-day Butte outside the Finlen Motor Inn at 6 p.m. Friday. Germans were among the first immigrants to arrive in in the 1870s and 1880s.
Scheidecker is recently retired from the Butte-Silver Bow Archives, where she researched a number of Butte's ethnic groups during her tenure there.
The beer garden is part of year-long tour to venues across the U.S. to stage Oktoberfest events and promote friendship between Germany and America. It started last October and runs through December this year.
The events and exhibits revolve around business and industry, politics, education, culture and science under the motto “Wunderbar Together.” The campaign is sponsored by the Federal Foreign Office and the Goethe-Institut with support from the Federation of German Industries.
“It is very much a cultural thing,” said J.J. Adams, a co-owner of the Hotel Finlen who has been working to renovate and upgrade the iconic hotel complex in Uptown Butte since he and other partners bought it in early 2018.
Adams said the event sponsors chose the Finlen because it was recently named the most iconic hotel in Montana by Thrillist, a New York City-based website founded in 2004 that covers food, drink, travel and entertainment.
In its list of most iconic hotels, it said in part:
“People get all craft beer misty-eyed about Missoula and Bozeman, and Robert Redford has made Whitefish a rustic getaway for the rich and famous. But a hundred years ago the only city in Montana that mattered was Butte.”
It notes that the Finlen opened in 1924 and was modeled after the Hotel Astor in New York.
“After several restorations the hotel is still as elegantly appointed as it was when Butte was a major destination," it said.