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Most people in Europe and many from around the world may have heard that Germans really do love their beer. To celebrate this long held reputation every year, as the days are getting shorter, the nights longer and the temperature is dropping, the Oktoberfest appears on Germany’s calendar of welcome events. It is a time when everyone gets together to enjoy not just beer, but great German food, accompanied by all sorts of music.
Oktoberfest is Celebrated in Germany and Around the World

The Tradition of Germany’s Oktoberfest

This tradition is centuries old. It was first introduced in 1810 by Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, and known as the Oktoberfest, or Wiesn. Since that time, the festival has expanded, attracting in 2011 about 7 million international participants.  It spans part of September and October, lasting up to 15 days and takes place in Theresienwiese, in Munich, as well as Mainz and Konstanz. It is so well planned in advance that the dates are set 10 years ahead of time. This year (2019) it will start on the 21st September and end on October 4th.

How Oktoberfest is Celebrated

It begins with the opening event, which is the Wiesn-Einzug parade. This runs through the centre of Munich. It is comprised of the festival’s innkeepers who ride on decorated carriages with showmen (women) and musical bands. The festival’s official opening is followed not just by Germans at home but it is can be watched online by an international audience. The slogan “O’zapft” is called out and Munich’s mayor will tap into the 1st keg which signifies the beginning of the festival. 
Readers may be surprised to know that traditional costumes are worn by both men and women. This is comprised of the women’s dirndl dress and leather trousers for the men. The singing, dancing and drinking all take place in 14 different tents constructed just for the festival. The largest can take 12,000 revellers all in one go. This is called the Hofbräu festival tent.
Children are not left out as they can enjoy participating in afternoon activities such as a carousel, Ferris wheel, and other rides. Apart from drinking, eating is a favourite pastime too, with pretzels, chicken, veal and pork sausages and Bavarian cheese.

What about the beer?

Germans and their international visitors can enjoy a beer brewed by Munich breweries called Märzen especially for Oktoberfest. It contains higher amounts of the original wort and it has a higher alcohol of about 6 or 7 percent. This helps o explain Germany’s annual consumption of beer a year at 125 litres.

Oktoberfest Vocabulary

Lederhosen — Lederhosen
Dirndl — Dirndl
Hendl — Hendl
Oans, zwoa, gsuffa! — One, Two, Drink up!
Zur Wiesn gehen — Go to the Oktoberfest
Blaskapelle — Brass band
Volksfest — Folk festival
Obatzda — Obatzda
Eine Maß Bier — One litre of beer
Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit! — Cheers, here’s to “cosiness!”

Brisbane’s Okoberfest

Australia doesn’t have quite the same number of Germans living in the country as Germany, but it still has 898,700 Australian citizens with ethnic German ancestry. This is considered quite enough for Brisbane in Queensland to hold an Oktoberfest. However Brisbane’s festivities don’t just include ‘bier’ but wine from Brogsitter, a German premium winery, which showcases wine developed from 400 years of wine making experience.

This is the beverage list for Brisbane’s Oktoberfest

Water, soft drinks, water, energy drinks, non-alcoholic beer, tea and coffee, both Australian and German wines such as Schnaps mixers, German Sekt {sparkling} and champagne. German hand-crafted beers are made just for Brisbane’s Oktoberfest and according to the 1516 German Purity Law. Lecker (tasty) Wein from Brogsitter, Australian’s premium award-winning German winery will have several of their products for sale and included in its range are German classic white, sparkling and red wines.

Beer connoisseurs

Everyone needs to be happy at the Brisbane Oktoberfest and this is quite a feat for the organizers who travel throughout Australia sourcing the best tipple available. This year all will be brewed in line with the German purity law, packed with great flavours solely for the annual event. The Bavarian Brauerei {brewery} Tucher Bräu  which is 343-years old crafts the Lager and the Weissbier {wheat beer} while Queensland’s well known Burleigh Brewing Co. will have available their sumptuous dark beer which is in the German-style Dunkelbier.

The Glass for Drinking is a Unique Stein in a Unique Style

The Brisbane Oktoberfest steins are typically designed to match Bavarian beer and like the beer at the Oktoberfest these steins are produced just for the event. Queensland Liquor Licensing does have certain regulations that the Oktoberfest Brisbane needs to obey which means the steins are just 500ml not the traditional 1 litre. They are constructed from durable plastic of the highest standard but not glass. Special coolers are available just for the special sized steins.

Sydney’s Oktoberfest

Sydney’s Oktoberfest in the Sydney Gardens will be offering wine, pilsner, ciders, and non-alcoholic drinks. All this drinking will be held in the largest beer hall ever constructed in Sydney for its annual Oktoberfest on 26th October.  There are not only steins of beer to be drunk but there will be 30 food stalls, serving anything from pretzels to bratwursts.  The massive amount of entertainment wood chopping, live music, roving performers, markets dodgeball a silent disco rides and a sideshow alley.

Fast Facts about beer in Germany

  • It is 502 years since the introduction of the Reinheitsgebot (Bavarian Purity Law);
  • It is 418 years since wines were made in the Ahr Valley in Germany by the Brogsitter family;
  • The well known Tucher brewery in Germany is 346 years old; 
  • It takes 2 months to brew to perfection Brisbane’s Oktoberfest beers. 


Here are six of Germany’s great beers

Weihenstephan Hefe Weissbier

Hefeweizen is a cloudy wheat brew, Bavarian-style. It has a light and yeasty sweetness, making it a very refreshing beer which is good for drinking just before the beginning of a meal or accompanying a light dinner. Weihenstephan, the brewery dating back to 1040, has since then been producing delicious hefeweizens.

Erdinger Kristall

Erdinger is the biggest wheat beer brewery in the world and it produces the well-loved Kristall beers. It is perfect as a thirst quencher on hot summer days. It is best served with a wedge of lemon.

Spaten Oktoberfest

Spaten is the preferred brew in Germany in Autumn, around Oktoberfest. It is a brown, sweet beer sporting a mild malty taste with an earthy, round finish.

Aecht Schlenkeria Rauchbier

This is a malty, sweet beer brewed by the Schlenkeria brewery founded in 1405 in the Bamberg hills. It has a distinctly smoky aroma resembling beef jerky or leather. You can enjoy a glass of the beer in the garden belonging to the brewery.

Paulaner Salvator Doppel Bock

Paulaner is a bottom-fermenting beer in Germany’s beer world, with their doppelbock being a fabulous example. It is dark and rich and has a full flavour. It emits aromas of caramel, toasted spice and burnt sugar. It gets its malty taste from the dark barley malt.

Schneider Weisse Aventinus Eisbock

Eisbock is made after freezing a portion of the brew’s water and eliminating it. The final beer is highly concentrated and has a great flavour and body and of course alcohol content. It is malty and heavy with nutty and caramel flavours enhanced with ripe plum. It is great to drink with chocolate and buttery cheeses such as gouda or brie.