Take it from Bier Professor (yes, it’s a thing) Dominic Dighton, these are the top beers you need to be drinking during Oktoberfest. If you don’t, you’re not doing it right.
Top of your list of things you should do during Oktoberfest is to knock back a stein of liquid gold. During Oktoberfest, a special swill comes out of Munich’s breweries to celebrate the event. It’s a darker brew with a slightly higher alcohol content than your typical beer (5-6.2%) and, because we’re being German, from hereon we will refer to it as “bier”.
Fun fact: only bier brewed in Munich and conforming to the Reinheitsgebot can be served at the Munich Oktoberfest and be called “Oktoberfest bier”. Lucky for us, five of those are being served exclusively at Lowenbrau Keller and its sisters, Munich Brauhaus and the 10 Bavarian Bier Cafes in Sydney and Queensland. Which should you try? The answer: all of them. They will be on rotation from 18 September to 31 October 2016, giving you ample time to test them all and pick a favourite.
5 Oktoberfest biers to whet your whistle
Here are the swills spinning around Lowenbrau and its sister venues during Oktoberfest.
finder.com.au interviews Bief Professor Dominic Dighton
With an Oktoberfest bier in hand, we sat down with Bier Professor Dominic Dighton, who works at Lowenbrau and its sister venues, to chat about the greatest excuse to drink bier during the year: Oktoberfest.
Why does Oktoberfest has such a following in Australia?
We have a long standing connection with beer going back to earliest European settlers. We love to celebrate, we love conviviality, I’m sure the large steins play a part too.
For anyone making the pilgrimage to Oktoberfest this year, what tips do you have?
Patience! The crowds are huge and the lines are long. Be sure to experience several tents, as the atmosphere is different in each. Make sure you eat plenty of hendel (chicken) and pace yourself with the large biers which are stronger than the average bier.
Talk us through the five breweries of Munich that offer Oktoberfest biers.
Paulaner is the number one brewery in Munich and Bavaria. Originally a monastic brewery the Paulaner monks coined the phrase “liquid bread” for the bier they consumed during Lent and until just this month (September 2016) has been located on the original site called Nockherberg. Unusual is the fact that Weissbier is their lead bier. Staatliches Hofbrauhaus was once the brewery of the Duke of Bavaria. Unusually, it's owned by the Bavarian government. Spaten-Lowenbrau has an emphasis on export and is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the largest brewing conglomerate in the world.
Hacker-Pschorr merged in the 15th Century when the two families united by marriage. Augustiner prides itself on tradition. Originally a monastery brewery, to this day it ships kegs in wooden barrels and malts its own grain.
Dominic Dighton’s favourite German beers
Which German beer would you say is the friendliest introductory beer for someone who’s not versed in German beers?
Hmmm, yes bier can polarise with its special flavours. Most Bavarian pale lagers are fine for those unfamiliar with German biers, as well as pale Weissbier. Kolsch from up around Cologne can be light and floral. Just stay away from Pilsner or smoked (Rauch) biers.
For anyone not into beer but still wants to get into the Oktoberfest spirit, what alcoholic alternatives do you recommend?
Radler, a Bavarian shandy,or sekt which is a sparkling wine. And Schnapps, of course!
What’s your favourite non-German beer?
Easy - Leffe Brun, on tap.
Dominic Dighton illustration by Justine Morrison @missjussymo
Buy the best of the rest
Feeling inspired? Try these introductory German swills out for size:
Beer deals online
Exclusive clearance offers
Sign up to Dan Murphy's newsletter to receive exclusive online offers direct to your inbox
Click and collect within 2 hours
Order online and pick up your order in as little as 2 hours from your local Dan Murphy's
Weekly Dan Murphy's offers
Check out the advertised offers, bargain bin and clearance racks of Dan Murphy's