If you think Oktoberfest is just about swilling beer in a pair of Laderhosen, think again! When it comes to celebrating the annual festival, Australia really knows how to put on a spread. Here are our top picks for where you should be celebrating this long weekend!
Australian’s need little excuse to sip on fine larger, so it’s little surprise that year after year, we continue to serve up blistering tributes to the great Germanic tradition. In fact, Australia has the biggest Oktober celebrations outside of Germany.
Release your inner Bavarian at these top celebrations -
1. Oktoberfest In The Gardens, Birrarung Marr Melbourne
While many festivals go to great lengths to guild their events with authentic touches, Melbournites give it a modern kick with international DJ’s spinning tunes into the night against the back drop of Melbourne’s picturesque Yarra River. However, there’s still plenty of folksy tradition about in the way of hearty fare, roving performers and of course, the bier. Don’t miss the crowning of Miss and Mr Oktoberfest, along with the stein-holding and bratwurst-eating championships.
Find out more - melbourne.oktoberfestinthegardens.com.au
Bier fact: Albert Einstein installed the first electric light in the Schottenhamel tent in 1896
2. Ormond Hall, Melbourne
Last year’s event was a huge hit, so disconcerting beer worshipers will be delighted to discover that Melbourne’s iconic Ormond Hall will again go to great trouble to transform the historic Art Deco façade into a traditional German beer hall. Last year, they shipped over a container from Germany filled with Oktoberfest brews and decorations, so this year is sure to see them outdo themselves.
Find out more - villagemelbourne.com.au/oktoberfest-2014/
Bier fact: Over 1 millions punters will drink over 7 million litres of beer over the Munich festival.
3. Oktoberfest at Elmars in the Valley, Henley Brook WA
While an incarnation of Oktoberfest in the Gardens is also running in Perth, those willing to travel out of the big smoke in search of Bratwurst, Brezeln and bier will be rewarded with Elmars Oktoberfest where they promise the BBQ sizzling with delicious German fare. This is a great event if you want to take the kids along – it’s an all ages event.
Find out more - www.elmars.com.au/Functions-Events/Oktoberfest-2014.aspx
Bier fact: 500,000 roasted chickens, 70,000 pork knuckles and 90,000 litres of wine are consumed during the 16 days of Oktoberfest.
4. Beechworth Oktoberfest – Beechworth, Victoria
You’ll find all the traditional trimmings at the Beechworth Craft Brewery, held in the historic old coach house in country Victoria including a traditional OhmPah band belting out some beer drinking favourites. But it’s the beer they brew especially for the event that is worth the trip alone. As is tradition in Munich, they also brew their own Marzen, or Oktoberfest beer, more than two months ahead of the event. This allows for the beer to age or ‘lager’ in tank for a prolonged period, resulting in a smooth malty lager; perfect to swill down with your ‘hausgemacht (home-made food).
Find out more - bridgeroadbrewers.com.au/events/oktoberfest
Bier fact: The annual Oktoberfest parade is led by the Münchner Kindl or Munich Child represented in a monk-like cloak carrying a radish and beer stein.
5. Oktoberfest Sydney, NSW
Sydney wastes no times getting amongst the Oktoberfest celebrations with events start in September. But there’s still plenty of time to get your Dirndl out, they continue until 23 October. Head to the Bavarian Bier Café venues across Sydney or Löwenbräu Keller in The Rocks where you can get amongst a range of Oktoberfest themed festivities including keg tapping, bier education, the crowing of Prince and Princess of Oktoberfest and the Uber Mega Sausage Challenge.
Find out more - oktoberfest.com.au/events
Bier fact: Despite its name, Oktoberfest actually begins in the third weekend of September and lasts until the first Sunday in October.
6. Oktoberfest at The Carrington, Katoomba, NSW
For something a little more low key, visit the stately and historic Carrington Hotel just a few hours outside of Sydney. Wile away the afternoon chilling out to German songs played by local bands, authentic food and plenty of beer to wash it down with.
Find out more - www.thecarrington.com.au
Bier fact: Oktoberfest began in October 1810 as a celebration of the marriage of Crown King Ludwig and Queen Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The event was so successful, they decided to celebrate every year with a horse race.
7. Oktoberfest Brisbane
If you can’t make it to the Mecca of beer festivals in Germany, don’t despair -Oktoberfest Brisbane is about as close as you can get. Famed for being the most ‘authentic’ and the meticulous attention to detail, Brisbane’s Oktoberfest features everything from authentic schuhplattlers (dancers), yodelers, accordion players, leg slappers and cowbell performers. They even fly in a Bavarian Oktober fest Band to play all the festival favourites.
Find out more - www.oktoberfestbrisbane.com.au
Bier fact: Traditional beer steins were made from stone, then metal. It wasn’t until 1892 that beer was served in glass mugs we know today.