Oktoberfest is the traditional funfair held in Munich, Bavaria – Germany, confusingly the 16 day festival actually starts starts in the mid-September, simply because the nights are longer and slightly warmer. Originally, the festival started as some serious wedding celebrations for Crown Prince Ludwig’s 1810 wedding to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen, which gradually grew into the modern merry drinking fest.
Now the festival tankard has been taken up across the globe and we headed to The Hook Norton Brewery, Oxfordshire, for our taste of the Bavarian festivities. Two long tables packed with precisely 60 chaps and four female representatives lined the Brewery’s cobbled cellar floor. The Brewery has been making beer since 1856 and as we ambled down Brewery Lane you could understand why Oktoberfest had been moved to September nights. A band struck up, unfortunately not playing the classic Mario Lanza classic ‘Drink, Drink, Drink…let the toast start’.
The beers on offer were a game of two halves; the first two lagers were your typical Oktoberfest Märzen style, one being Spaten Oktoberfestbeir, the other being Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier. The Spaten was a bit lacking in the flavour department compared to the Hofbrau which was a great example of that type of beer; the Germans, are for me, the superior lager brewers on the continent with their years of tradition dating back to the country’s oldest brewery in 1040 AD. I am particularly partial to a Augustiner Bräu Lagerbier Hell.
Get the KnackIf you’re interested in heading to Hook Norton Brewery for events – book early! We stuggled to wangle our two tickets.