Oktoberfest is the perfect time to drink lots of beer and eat lots of German food.
Oktoberfest was first celebrated in Munich, Germany on 12 October 1810 to commemorate the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Since then, it has grown to become an annual festival of beer, food and merriment that lasts for 16 days.
Oktoberfest parties in Melbourne
If you’re in Melbourne, there are plenty of great places and parties to celebrate Oktoberfest.
1. Oktoberfest in the Gardens
When: 14 October 2017, 2pm–10pm
Where: Melbourne Showgrounds, entry gate 1
Beer selection: Wide selection including beers including Weihenstephan Pilsner, Weihenstephan Hefe, Weihenstephan Kristal, Hofbrau Original Lager, Hofbrau Dunkl, Paulaner Original Lager, Paulaner Pilsner, Lowenbrau Original, Erdinger Hefe and Tucher Lager.
For more information: Oktoberfest in the Gardens
For the seventh consecutive year, Oktoberfest in the Gardens is coming to Melbourne and this year its supersizing its beer hall to four times its previous versions. That's enough seating to fit 5,000 Oktoberfest punters. Bring it!
Inside the hall entertainment to the tunes of German brass bands, yodellers and accordion players will keep the crowd rowdy while outside food stalls will sate, rides and games will thrill and the ever-popular silent disco will have you dancing all day long.
2. Munich Brauhaus
When: 16 September - 28 October 2017
Where: 5 South Wharf Promenade South Wharf, Melbourne
Beer selection: Spaten, Paulaner, Löwenbräu, and Hofbräu.
For more information: Munich Brauhaus
This 900-seater beer hall claims to celebrate Oktoberfest 365 days per year, but really pulls out the stops in October.
Things kick off on 16 September with keg tapping and from then you should expect everything from the biggest street party Oktoberfest has ever seen in Australia to free meals for kids on Sunday. Oh, and did we mention there's also a chance to score tickets to the closing party and nab a commemorative T-shirt just by eating and drinking? True story.
3. Hophaus - Hoptoberfest
When: 16 September to 22 October 2017
Where: Southbank Promenade, Southbank
Beer selection: Imported German festbiers, exclusive Brewmanity "Guten Tag" Berliner Weisse
For more information: Hophaus
Munich-style venue Hophaus celebrates Hoptoberfest instead of the usual Oktoberfest.
It’s basically the same concept though, and with keg tapping at midday complete with free bier while it lasts. On top of this you can expect the usual fare of German games, sausage eating competitions, strong man competitions, live German bands, daily schnitzel challenges, dachshund races and a rowdy beer hall feel you could easily mistake it for the real thing.
When: 16 September - 22 October 2017
Where: 18–28 Market Ln, Melbourne
Beer selection: Hofbrau, Arcobrau
For more information: Hofbrauhaus
Hofbrauhaus is one of Munich’s most celebrated beer halls, and thankfully you can experience all the beer, noise and fun without leaving Melbourne. This is Oktoberfest as it should be with steins of beer, traditional dress, plenty of food and a stein carrying competition. Tapping is at midday 16 September. Book your table now.
Where: 508 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Olinda
Beer selection: Paulaner, Lowenbrau and a wide selection of German craft beers
For more information: Cuckoo Restaurant
For one of the longest-running Oktoberfest celebrations in Australia, you have to visit Cuckoo.
Full details of the event have yet to be revealed but you can bet your bottom dollar there will be plenty of authentic food, beer, slap dancing, yodeling, leather pants and pretzels. Yes folks, it doesn't get any better than this.
6. European Bier Cafe
Where: 120 Exhibition St, Melbourne
Beer selection: Erdinger, Leffe, Hoegaarden, Schofferhofer and more
For more information: European Bier Cafe
Traditional dress, a live Oompa band and more beer than you will know what to do with, the European Beer Cafe promises to throw one of Melbourne’s best parties this October. Wear your dirndl or lederhosen best on the night as there are usually prizes for the best costume.
7. Bridge Road Brewers
When: 7-8 October 2017
Where: Old Coach House Brewers Lane, 50 Ford Street Beechworth
Beer selection: In-house Oktoberfest beer
For more information: Bridge Road Brewers
Bridge Road Brewers does Oktoberfest the right way. Now in its 12th year, it bases its celebration loosely around the original in Munich and includes steins of its own specially brewed Oktoberfest beer (marzen), plenty of good food and a live ohm-pah band. Get your tickets early for this one.
8. German Club Tivoli
When: 7-8 October 2017, from midday
Where: 291 Dandenong Rd, Windsor
Beer selection: A selection of German and world beers
For more information: German Club Tivoli
This classy and authentic restaurant is for those looking for a quieter and more family oriented celebration.
You can still fill up on plenty of beer and food in a lively dining room filled with folk dancing, music and kids' activities.
9. The Cafe at German Clocks
When: Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday @ 9am–3:30pm, Friday and Saturday @ 9am-8pm
Where: 1840–1844 Warburton Hwy, Woori Yallock
Beer selection: Erdinger Weissbier
For more information: The Cafe at German Clocks
The German Clocks and Cafe is a little bit of everything. Part Viennese tea room, part German bar and part gift shop.
Here you’ll find great food, from breakfast to dinner, and plenty of great Erdinger beer. It won’t be the most rowdy place to be this October, but if that is what you want then check it out.
10. Fika Weinstuble
When: Throughout October
Where: 174 Main Street, Mornington
Beer selection: Erdinger, Praga, Budvar and many more
For more information: Fika Weinstuble
Fika means “to have coffee” in Swedish, Weinstuble mean “wine bar” in German. Confused? Don’t be! Fika Weinstuble was started by Swedish and German friends who aimed to bring the best of both their cultures to Melbourne.
Naturally it'll be all German beer and food during Oktoberfest so be sure to dress for the occasion.
Best Oktoberfest costumes
Best Oktoberfest beers to down
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