Surprisingly for a country that seems to be constantly panicking about cultural intrusions from abroad, we’re all over Oktoberfest. The German import sees us dress up in bizarre Bavarian dress (wipe-clean leather overalls for men and booby serving wench dresses for women) and drink copious amounts of beer, so the attraction is clear. Here’s where to get your Oktoberfest fix in London.
Camden’s Electric Ballroom will be offering beer, sausages and teutonic tunes for two nights only for 3,000 revellers. The iconic venue will be fully-decked out as an Oktoberfest beerhall with long wooden tables, bunting and steins and steins of bier. The wursts will be courtesy of Soho’s Herman ze German, music from The Old Dirty Brasstards (geddit?), a 10 piece drum and brass ensemble playing covers, classics and oompah favourites, plus DJs and beers flown over from Germany by brewers Spaten, Löwenbräu and Becks.
Saturday 13th October and Saturday 20th October
Oktoberfest, more like sausage-fest, am I right? Well not at Fest Camden where they’ve taken things vegan. Welcome to Vegtoberfest (and yes, they just portmanteau’d a portmanteau there, we love it). We also love the 100% vegan feast being brewed up. To fashion these veggie sausages, Rudy’s Dirty Diner have stepped in and will be serving 100% vegan, Bavarian wiesswurst, bratwurst and bockwurst sausages, with all the usual trimmings. Vegan-friendly Bavarian beers like Spaten and Lowenbrau will sit alongside local vegan craft ales including Camden Town Brewery’s special Oktoberfest brew.
Saturday 13th October
Forget football (please, can we all just forget football?), there’s more going on in Millwall. Specifically, there’s the ‘official’ Oktoberfest for over 50,000 Londoners and claims to be the biggest in the UK. They’ll have live music (oompah of course), waitresses and waiters are dressed in dirndls and lederhosen, bier and German fodder a-plenty.
Until Sunday 14th October
From the VW Beetle to Nazi war criminals, there’s a long history of Germans in Mexico, so it’s only natural that a Mexican restaurant would have their own take on Oktoberfest. Cantina Laredo will be offering a Mexican Oktoberfest celebration with a selection of Mexico’s finest beers. Their beer flight includes Modelo Especial, Pacifico and Dos Equis Lager Especial, all of which can be paired with one of The Great Eight Guacamoles, including Guacamole de Chicharron topped with guajillo chile oil, queso fresco and chicharron.
Camden Brewery’s Oktoberfest celebration will be all over a selection of Young’s pubs, with the great (and our local) Ship Inn in Wandsworth serving up biers from steins in their bier gartens. Live oompah bands and a free pint of Hells for the first 50 people to say ‘Prost’ (German ‘cheers’) at the bar!
The team behind Brixton Rooftop and Brixton Jamm are back with their Brixton take on Oktoberfest: Brixton Oktoberfest. Rather than more of the ghastly oompah music you’ll have inflicted on you at other Oktoberfest events, this experience draws its influence from the underground beats of Berlin. Brixton Jamm will be transformed for the event.
Saturday 13th and Saturday 20th October.
Paddington restaurant and bar Heist Bank will be getting all beered up for their second annual Heist Bank Beer Festival, which coincides perfectly with Oktoberfest so we’re tagging it as an Oktoberfest event. But perhaps one with fewer lederhosen. Which can only be a good thing. Pint enthusiasts can sample over 60 beers from around the world and enjoy beer games during the day and live DJ’s by night. Meanwhile The Heist Bank will be cooking up their signature wood-fired pizzas.
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th October
Trad German bier Erdinger are bringing their all-German team over specially for Oktoberfest. Located in the Olympic Park (actually in it) there will be 40 experienced waitresses flown in specially, along with one of Munich’s famous Oktoberfest bands (don’t worry, this is the last time we’ll say the word ‘oompah’ in this article), authentic German dishes (the delicious sounding Pork Knuckle, Sauerkraut, Apple Strudel) and a truly authentic Oktoberfesty feel.