Melbourne’s South Wharf Promenadeready to celebrate Oktoberfest

It’s that time of year again, when it’s ok for blokes to wear stockings, pints are replaced by steins, meat dishes are served on a board with a knife Game of Thrones-style and ladies of all ages can pull off plaited pigtails. Yup, it’s Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest, which runs from late September to the first weekend in October, is celebrated throughout the world and there are some great festivities locally for beer lovers to get involved in this month.

The Australian Hotel andBrewery is bringing a little Oktoberfest to Australian shores, teaming up with Maximilian Hammerle to brew their own German style beer.

Hammerle, a German native hailing from Passau on the Austrian border, flew out to Australia especially to create an authentic Oktoberfest-inspired beer, and the resulting smoked brew ‘Highway to Helles’ is sure to make an impression.

“It’s going to be a little surprising how it tastes,” Hammerle said. “We’ve used Bamberger Smoked Malt to get a softer character because normally a ‘German style helles’ isn’t smoky. It would go perfect with a powerful roast meat like venison or roast pork with a dark beer sauce.”

Hammerle has been brewing for more than five years now and has recently completed his ‘Brew and Beverage Technology’ degree at the University of Weihenstephan.

“I was always very interested in knowing how to create a great beer,” he said. “After a few brewery tours I thought that it would be the right thing for me. It turned out to be a great decision!”

Head to the Australian Hotel and Brewery this month to try the ‘Highway to Helles’, or find it in selected pubs and bars around the city.

Sydney’sLocal Taphouse is holding its own take on the famous 16-day beer festival from Bavaria featuring some of the official beers, Australian beers brewed to the Oktoberfest style and German food.

Only beers brewed to the Bavarian Purity Law and brewed within Munich’s city limits are showcased at Oktoberfest and The Local Taphouse has three of these official festival beers on tap as well as a few other German beersas well.

Traditionally, Oktoberfestbiers are lagers of around 5.5 to 6% ABV called Märzen — brewed in March and allowed to ferment slowly during the summer months. They are highly satisfying and truly thirst-quenching beers.

The official festival beers, all from Germany, comprise; Hacker-Pschorr-Bräu Oktoberfest Märzen, Paulaner Oktoberfest…bier and Spatenbräu Oktoberfestbier. The themed beers on tap will be Weihenstephaner Festbier (Germany), Franziskaner Hefe-weizen (Germany) and Bridge Road Oktoberfest Marzen (Vic). All beers will be tapped fresh from 12pm on Friday 10 October.

Melbourne’sSouth Wharf Promenade is hosting its own Oktoberfest Festival, which will include activities by each of the venues housed in the area, as they embrace the look and feel of a bustling Munich village.

Precinct venues include Melbourne Public, Citizen Café & Bar, The General Assembly, Common Man, Charlie Lovett, Bangpop, Meat Market, Aerial, Akachochin, Bohemian, The Cargo Hall, Chihuahua Bar, Plus 5, Showtime Events and West Village NYC and Munich Brauhaus.

A wide range of food and drinks are on offer and festival highlights include plenty of free entertainment for kids, including face painters, balloon artists, caricaturists, jugglers and stilt walkers and an Oom-pah band, and for adults there’ll be keg tapping, German slap dancers, acoustic performers and DJs.

For those who like to dress up – head to the festival wearing a German dirndl or lederhosen outfit – for your chance to win a $1,000 voucher from Munich Brauhaus, plus a night’s accommodation at the Hilton South Wharf.

Oktoberfest Festival will run from 10am to 6pm on Saturday October 4, full festival details here.

Wherever you are we hope you enjoy a stein this Oktoberfest. Prost!

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