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: 22 October (2pm–10pm) and 23 October (12pm–9pm)
Where: Birrarung Marr, Melbourne
Beer selection: Wide selection including beers from Weihenstephan, Hofbrau, Paulaner, Lowenbrau and Germania
For more information: Oktoberfest in the Gardens
For the sixth consecutive year, Oktoberfest in the Gardens is coming to Melbourne, and it is bringing its usual enormous beer hall, German food stalls and entertainment set up with it. There will be plenty of atmosphere, music and beer, and this may well be the only Oktoberfest party with a silent disco.
2. Munich Brauhaus
When: 16 September - 31 October 2016
Where: 5 South Wharf Promenade South Wharf, Melbourne
Beer selection: Spaten, Hacker-Pschorr, 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 at 6pm and from then you should expect everything from a 1kg schnitzel eating competition to the chance to win over $200,000 worth of prizes just from order a beer. Like you needed a reason.
3. Hophaus - Hoptoberfest
When: 16–23 September 2016
Where: Southbank Promenade, Southbank
Beer selection: Bitburger, Warsteiner, Weihenstephan and many more
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, Oktoberfest beers, dachshund racing, sausage eating competitions and a rowdy beer hall feel you could easily mistake it for the real thing.
When: 16 September - 9 October 2016, noon to midnight
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 and plenty of food - including a schnitzel challenge.
When: 21-23 October 2016
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 the Cuckoo,. 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
When: 7 and 14 October 2016, 5pm-11pm
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 will be prizes for the best costume.
7. Bridge Road Brewers
When: 8-9 October, 11am–7pm
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. Basing its celebration loosely around the original in Munich, it includes steins of its own specially brewed Oktoberfest beer, plenty of good food and a live ohm-pah band. Get your tickets early for this one.
8. The Hof Downtown
When: 16 September - 9 October 2016
Where: 737 Bourke Street, Docklands
Beer selection: Selections of Hofbrau and Arcobrau beers
For more information: The Hof Downtown
If there's one place you have to be on 16 September, it's The Hof Downtown. At 8:30pm there will be a traditional keg tapping on site to start the party and it won't stop until 9 October. Well, maybe for some rest and recoup until the next day.
The official opening party is a ticketed event, so get yours pronto! Otherwise pop by any other night for bier, schnapps and a best-dressed competition.
9. German Club Tivoli
When: 8 October 2016 @ 11am-11pm, 9 October 2016 @ 11am-5pm
Where: 291 Dandenong Rd, Windsor
Beer selection: Paulaner, Leffe and a selection of 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 face painting.
10. The Cafe at German Clocks
When: Everyday 9am–10pm
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.
11. 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, food and music during Oktoberfest so be sure to dress for the occasion.
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