Oktoberfest is back for another year, with thousands of steins of beer getting filled up to the brim all around the city. Canberra has a strong connection with Germany, as many locals have German ancestry from the thousands of migrants that moved to Cooma to build the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, in the mid-1900's. When the construction came to an end in 1974, many migrants then moved to Canberra to help build up the Capital. According to the census, the top 5 ancestries of people living in Canberra are Australian, English, Irish, Scottish and German. What better excuse is there to celebrate Oktoberfest - Canberra-style!
See below for 5 different ways to celebrate Oktoberfest in Canberra - although choose wisely - you may not survive if you attend them all!
Celebrate all things German at Oktoberfest! Image: Harmonie German Club Facebook
1/ The Harmonie German Club in Narrabundah is the perfect place to celebrate the German culture all year around. Book a table at Knuckles Restaurant and enjoy traditional German fare, including their popular Pork Knuckle. The Harmonie Club also have live music and offer a wide range of Belgium and Australian beers and wines, to cater to all tastes. See here for details. The Harmonie Club is also the organiser for the huge Oktoberfest celebration in Queanbeyan - which is number 5 on this list.
2/ Zierholz Brewery is a popular microbrewery, tucked away in the industrial suburb of Fyshwick. As well as making their own types of beers on site, they also have a restaurant which serves up German favourites all year round on their extensive pub menu. Sit back and relax with a cold beer matched with a Hϋhnchen Schnitzel, Foot-Long Kransky Roll, German Sausage, Slow Roast Pork Knuckle or a Pretzel with mustard! In 2017, they were the main supplier of 6000 litres of German beer for Oktoberfest Parklands - which will be happening again in 2018 (number 4 on this list)! See here for details.
Restaurant Special - Herbed Nürnberger sausages with German potato salad, with a Zierholz Brewery German Pilsner. Image: Zierholz Brewery Facebook
3/ The Old Canberra Inn historical pub in Lyneham will be turning their Schumack room into a Bavarian beer hall for one night only! There will be a private bar set up with imported German specialty beers - which you can get poured into your limited edition 1 litre OCI glass stein! If that's not all, there will be private music performances from Masters of Oompah and East Row Rabble. Tickets cost $50 each (from the bar) which includes beer hall entry, glass stein, entertainment, 1 litre of beer and an authentic German pretzel. See here for details.
Celebrate Oktoberfest at the Old Canberra Inn, Lyneham. Image: Original images from Old Canberra Inn Facebook
4/ Oktoberfest Parklands is one of the biggest events on the Oktoberfest calendar and will be held on Patrick White Lawns, next to Lake Burley Griffin. This event was held for the first time in 2017, with thousands of locals and visitors celebrating the German culture at this unique event by the lake. Once again, there will be an authentic beer hall, Oompah bands, DJs, tapping of the keg, German beer, traditional German food, roaming entertainers, rides and competitions for best dressed and stein holding! A ticket to the event costs $58.85 and includes entry, a commemorative Oktoberfest Parklands stein and the first beer on them! Over 4,000 people attended last year's event, so get your tickets early. See here for details.
Get ready to party in the Capital! Image: Original photos from Oktoberfest Parklands Facebook
5/ Oktoberfest 2018 will be held at Queanbeyan Showgrounds, presented by the Harmonie Club in Canberra. This popular annual celebration will be held over the entire weekend, with authentic German beer, traditional German foods, music, dancing, a Strong Man competition, amusement rides for the kids and free bus services from Canberra City, Tuggeranong, Woden and Bungendore. Ticket prices vary for Friday night, Saturday and Sunday (Family Day). See here for details.
If you wake up the next day feeling a little rough, spare a thought for the people of Munich in Germany who will be celebrating for 16 days this Oktoberfest - between 22nd September to 7th October! In 2013 for example, 7.7 million litres of beer was served to the thirsty crowds. Although these events are a fun way to celebrate with friends, attendees are reminded to drink responsibly, so they can make the most of this once-a-year German celebration.
Spend the whole weekend at Queanbeyan Showgrounds for Oktoberfest 2018! (Ein Mass Bier Bitte - means A Mass Beer Please). Image: Oktoberfest Canberra Facebook