It’s that time of year again when the attention of the beer-loving world is drawn to Germany and the crazy, hops-fuelled fun that is Oktoberfest.
While we might not have the rowdy beer halls and gardens of Munich to celebrate in, there are still plenty of places to get your Oktoberfest on in Sydney. Dig out your dirndl and lederhosen, raise your stein and ‘pröst’ to that!
Bavarian Bier Café
A firm favourite of the wheat bier drinkers, the Bavarian Bier Cafés are kicking the celebrations off early with some traditional keg tapping parties from Thursday 17th September. The fun certainly doesn’t stop there with a range of events from family days with face painting and cookie decorating to Fraulein Fridays where ladies get discounts on cocktails if they dress up in Bavarian garb. If you’re keen to get into the swing of things, you can attempt to fill up your bier passport by sampling the special Oktoberfest biers served in all the Bier Café locations. Sehr gut!
Oktoberfest in the Gardens
The Domain, Royal Botanical Gardens
Australia’s biggest Oktoberfest celebration will be hitting Sydney for the first time ever. Crazy popular in Melbourne and Perth, the festival features a massive beer hall, plenty of food stalls serving authentic Bavarian fare and live music. Going all day and well into the night, the festival will see more than 10,000 beer fanatics come together for a day of Germanic fun. Head to the website for more information.
This beer café in The Rocks is as fun as its name is to say in a bad German accent (go on, try it!). They’re also taking their Oktoberfest celebrations seriously with live oompah bands, keg tapping parties and five special biers on tap throughout the month. If you’re feeling peckish, they’ve added even more delicious German fare to their menu including roasted pork knuckle, haus-made sausages and strudels.
Keen to kickstart your brew-mance with the beer festival, Pumphouse is going all out with a month’s worth of celebrations. Last year saw revellers donning lederhosen and getting into the Bavarian spirit, so this year is set to be even bigger and better. There will be a huge range of beers on tap and a special food menu featuring giant pretzels and sauerkraut on the side. Dressing up is encouraged so channel your inner Beer Maid (or Man!) and head on down.
Redoak Beer Cafe
Already boasting a fantastic selection of beers from around the globe, the Redoak Beer Café is squeezing in two more specially brewed for Oktoberfest. Pick between the Oktoberfest Lager or Wheat Beer and, to help them along, they’ve also added some tasty treats to their menu. If you like your food to complement your beers, then grab their meat tasting board with four paired canapés and brews. If sangas are more your thing, they’ve also got a traditional German Sausage Tasting Platter with plenty of sauerkraut on the side. Oh my!
Essen Restaurant and Beer Café
Showcasing the best of northern European cuisine, Essen will be transforming their already charming Germanic restaurant into a miniature beer hall to properly celebrate Oktoberfest. Known for their seriously tasty food, grab a schnitzel or tackle their sausage platter for a real taste of Germany. To wash it down, choose from their large selection of German biers on tap or, if you want to go straight to the strong stuff, take your pick from their assortment of schnapps.
German-Austrian Club of Australia
Obviously, they take their Oktoberfest celebrations very seriously at the German-Austrian Club and the party doesn’t officially start until club president, Walter Schmied, taps the first beer and declares “O’zapft is!” meaning, “It’s tapped!” Held on October 3rd, the full day event will have music from German brass bands to accompany the beers and food so you show off your circle-dancing skills to the world.
If you like oompah bands, traditional dance and more lederhosen than you can shake a wurst at, then the Oktoberfest celebrations at the Concordia Club are for you! Over the next three weekends, the club in Tempe will be opening its doors to all for authentic celebrations and, we quote, ‘a fantastic reason to wear your Dirndl or Lederhosen.’ If you were ever looking for a good excuse, now is the time!
How to do Oktoberfest right
Yep, that’s right! There’s more to the festival than drinking beer and eating too much (who knew?!). Josef Neumeier, Lowenbrau Keller's General Manager and Oktoberfest expert has a few tips for doing Oktoberfest right.
#1 Litre steins are a must
Drinking from 1 litre steins is not only authentic, it’s encouraged. So ditch the schooner and go for the big one.
#2 Prepare to sing
You need to come prepared with your best singing voice for the ‘Ein Prosit’ toasts which are regularly belted out during the drinking sessions. Might be time to brush up on the lyrics! At the end of every toast, make sure you clank steins with all of those at your table and shout ‘Prost’ before taking a mighty swig.
#3 Arrive hungry
One of the best things about Oktoberfest (besides the bier) is the delicious food on offer. Get in on the schweinshaxe (pork knuckle) and schweinebauch (pork belly), and make sure you order up big on the brez’n (pretzels) and apfelstrudel (apple strudel) to really do it right.
#4 Dress up!
You also need to make sure you dress the part in either a Dirndl or Ledenhosen and don’t forget your Alpine Hat. Enjoy!
Image credit: Bavarian Bier Café