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. If you want the real thing, you can always book a tour for next year's Oktoberfest in Germany.
1. Oktoberfest in the Gardens
- When: 13 October 2018, 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
The annual Oktoberfest in the Gardens is back in Melbourne and is supersizing its beer hall to double of last year, seating enough to fit 10,000 Oktoberfest punters.
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.
Want something not-so silent? Inflatable dodgeball is coming to town with teams of 5 lederhosen clad punters vying for the trophy. Who will win?
2. Munich Brauhaus
- When: 22 September - 28 October 2018
- Where: 45 South Wharf Promenade South Wharf, Melbourne
- Beer selection: 5 official bears by Spaten, Paulaner, Löwenbräu and Hofbräu.
- Book your table: via OpenTable
- 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 22 September with keg tapping and from then you should expect everything from the biggest Oktoberfest party in Australia. Oh, and did we mention there's also a chance to score a trip to Munich? True story.
3. Royal Melbourne Oktoberfest
- When: 22 September 2018
- Where: Royal Exhibition Building
- Beer selection: 50 imported German beers including those from Hacker Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner and Spaten. Plus, cider, wine, schnapps and more
- For more information: Royal Melbourne Oktoberfest
The Royal Exhibition Building is transformed for one evening only into a rousing bier hall reminiscent of those in Bavaria.
Within its heritage listed walls, bier shall flow, folk shall dance, oopmah bands shall play and pork hocks, bratwurst, brathendl and German pastries shall be smashed down.
4. Oktoberfest Oz
- When: Various dates throughout October
- Where: St Kilda, Greater Geelong, Mornington and Bendigo
- Beer selection: German style beers and not-so German style beers such as vodka and bourbon
- For more information: Oktoberfest Oz
Oktoberfest celebrations are spreading far and wide throughout Victoria with top destinations St Kilda, Greater Geelong, Mornington and Bendigo all hosting their own event.
The closest to Melbourne CBD is St Kilda where the foreshore shall transform into a carnival of colour, concerts and German cuisine. Other venues are Geelong Showground, Mornington Racecource and Bendigo Showgrounds.
5. Hophaus - Hoptoberfest
- When: 5-14 October 2018
- 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: 22 September - 27 October 2018
- Where: 18–28 Market Ln, Melbourne
- Beer selection: Imported Bavarian bier
- 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, schnitzel, bretzel, traditional dress, plenty of food and the chance to win free bier for a year.
Tapping is at midday 22 September and there's a family fun day on every Sunday with free meals and kids painting for little ones.
- When: 6-27 October 2018
- Where: 508 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Olinda
- Beer selection: Paulaner, Lowenbrau and a wide selection of German craft beers
- Book your table: via OpenTable
- For more information: Cuckoo Restaurant
For one of the longest-running Oktoberfest celebrations in Australia, you have to visit Cuckoo.
There will be plenty of authentic food, beer, slap dancing, yodeling, leather pants and schnitzels. Yes folks, it doesn't get any better than this.
8. Bridge Road Brewers
- When: 13-14 October 2018
- 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 13th year, it bases its celebration loosely around the original in Munich and typically 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.
9. German Club Tivoli
- When: 5-6 October 2018, 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.
10. Yarra Valley Oktoberfest
- When: 6 October 2018
- Where: Lilydale Showgrounds, 27 Market Street, Lilydale
- Beer selection: Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner Pilsner, Franziskaner, Hacker-Pschorr & Spaten
- For more information: Yarra Valley Oktoberfest
Make a trip of this one by hightailing it out of the big city for a big day of drinking, competitions, good and dressing up.
Lilydale's answer to a beer festival, all the big Oktoberfest bier names will be on display, as will German ciders, wine and bubbles for anyone who prefers a different kind of alcoholic beverage.
FYI this is an 18+ event.
Best Oktoberfest costumes
Miss Oktoberfest Costume
Heidi Sexy German Beer Wench
Bavarian Guy Mens Costume
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