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It's All About The Beer!

Celebrate Oktoberfest at home in brilliant Bavarian style with TOAST's essential guide

Time to unleash your Lederhosen and dust off that Dirndl – it’s time for Oktoberfest! With lashings of beer and dozens of bratwurst at the ready – TOAST takes a look at a some of the very best suppliers and gets some advice from the experts on how to celebrate Oktoberfest at home in brilliant Bavarian style this year.



Believe it or not Oktoberfest is not just a about beer - it’s actually the world’s largest folk festival. Held in the Bavarian capital of Munich ever year, this 2 week celebration consists of colourful parades, dancing and fairground rides, and of course the obligatory feasting on Bavarian food and beer, all whilst wearing the traditional Lederhosen (for men) and Dirndl (for women). This years dates are from 16 September - 3 October – so there’s plenty of time to plan a party!

The original Oktoberfest was held all the way back in October 1810, and was held in honour of the wedding between Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The celebrations lasted for a full five days, and such a good time was had by all that it was decided to commemorate this awesome party with a similar kind of celebration every year. There has been the occasional pause in proceedings (usually at times of war), but this year will mark the 184th time Oktoberfest is held. 

Over the past decade the festival has attracted an average of around six million visitors a year that manage to consume a whopping seven million litres of beer and munch their way through literally thousands of grilled German sausages, and with those kind of figures it would be rude not to join in and celebrate Oktoberfest ourselves! And so with that in mind, here is TOAST’s indispensible guide to throwing a brilliantly Bavarian bash at home this month!

HOW TO CELEBRATE OKTOBERFEST AT HOME!

Set a Stylish Scene

The colours associated with any authentic Oktoberfest celebration are always white and blue, as these are the colours of the Bavarian flag. The coat of arms often seen on the flag is a gold / yellowy hue, so you can add accents of this too. Keep things sophisticated but on theme with white and blue honeycombs, paper fans, garlands and bunting from stylish online décor stores such as Peach Blossom, Pretty Little Party and Taking Tables, and for some blow up fun why not add some of Bubblegum Balloon’s amazing inflatables.

Bubblegum Balloons

Meri Meri Decorations

 

Dress to Impress

Oktoberfest is all about having a good time, so in addition to your core stylish décor you might like to add a few splashes of Oktoberfest humour with a few fun themed decorations and props - just don’t detract from the elegance of your event by adding too many! Online party store Peek’s has a great tongue-in-cheek selection; their Beer Hall sign would look great hung above the table or on your front door to greet thirsty guests, and a few novelty hats are always fun (especially after a few beers…) and make for great Instagram opportunities amongst your guests too.

Peeks Hat

From £1.14. Both from Peeks 

Pretzel Bunting 

One of Oktoberfest’s traditional snacks is giant pretzels (more on food later…) so another fun and authentic decoration is to string a few pretzels up, regardless of size! You can make garlands with them or simply hang a few around your home, inspired by the American Blogger The Salty Canary

Oktoberfest Pretzel Bunting By Salty Canary  (Image by Salty Canary)

Authentic Furniture 

Kate Boyce, Product Communications Manager at Event Prop Hire suggests getting into the spirit of Oktoberfest with some Bavarian furniture to add authenticity to your event. 

How about this giant tankard as a statement prop piece and cool photo opportunity, or a rustic looking Wooden Barrel Trestle Table to serve food and drink from?” suggests Kate.

You will always need extra seating and this Oak Barrel Poseur Table complete with Goat Skin Chairs provides a more interesting option for your guests and really helps to set the Bavarian scene. Throw in some flags, bunting and of course plenty of beer and Bratwurst and your Oktoberfest party is complete!”

Event Prop Hire Wooden Barrel Trestle Table

Traditionally, another authentic item of Oktoberfest furniture is a long table with benches for your beer guzzling guests to sit at – emulating the banqueting feel of a Bavarian beer hall. Depending on the size of your party your kitchen table might do the trick, but if not you can hire some ideal long tables and benches from Party Bench UK.

Party Bench

Bavarian Beer (Of Course)

One of the most important and integral parts of any Oktoberfest celebration is of course the beer. The festival itself has become synonymous with the amber nectar, but you can forget the cool local craft ales for this one – if you’re aiming for authenticity then it has to brews from Bavaria.

“Obviously the best beers would be the Oktoberfest beers themselves, although you will be very lucky to find Augustiner Oktoberfest in the UK, as it isn’t exported! We stock the other 5 Oktoberfest beers that make up Munich’s big six. They are - Hacker Pschorr, Hofbrau, Lowenbrau, Spaten and Paulaner” explains Matthew of online beer emporium Beers of Europe.

“We stock bottles rather than kegs, but if you can get hold of a keg of German beer for your Oktoberfest party not only does it make a great centrepiece, but you can also imitate an important part of the Oktoberfest ceremony, where the Munich mayor taps the first keg of beer. The amount of taps it takes to get into the keg is said to equate to how well Munich’s year will go, so it is best to tap it quickly! Otherwise, you can get a 5 litre mini keg from us that simply has a tap on the front to pull and pour - they’re not quite as traditional as a big keg, but probably easier and more convenient for home use!”

“Other than the beer I’d say traditional blue and white bunting is a nice touch, and of course don’t forget to pair with traditional German pretzels and bratwurst!”

Oktoberfest Image By Kevin Necessary

Oktoberfest Beers 

If you’re after something bigger than a mini keg, as Matthew suggests, then Party Keg Hire has kegs of traditional Oktoberfest beer Lowenbrau available to hire; Lowenbrau's heritage dates back to 1383 and has appeared at every Oktoberfest festival since 1810. Each of their Lowenbrau Keg Hire barrels are 11 gallons and hold 88 pints of beer - a solid amount for any Oktoberfest event!

Steins Sophistication

Traditionally, Oktoberfest beers are served in large handled stein glasses that hold 2 pints. Whether you want to drink from them or not, just one or two filled with fresh flowers or pretzels placed on your Oktoberfest table will add an authentic touch. Beers of Europe sell plain and branded versions, and a charming, traditional ceramic style too.

For more sophisticated glassware that will work for a whole host of stylish entertaining occasions we turn, as always, to LSA International - one of Europe's leading brands of contemporary handmade glass and high quality porcelain.

Many people have their favourite way of enjoying a beer and don’t like to deviate from it, although change can be fun as well as refreshing! At LSA International we make everything from elegant stemmed mouthblown lager glasses to a contemporary take on heavy traditional tankards and we love encouraging people to experience what a difference a glass can make!” explains Hannah Lambert, Marketing Manager at LSA International.

Good beer deserves a good glass and our advice would be to choose at least a couple of beers that suit the occasion you are planning, and then think about the best glasses to serve them in. With six coasters and different colour highball tumblers in a portable ‘crate’, our NOMAD Collection is the perfect way for beer enthusiasts to enjoy a tasting of six different beers and keep track of which ones they like most, albeit vaguely! For a light beer, a lighter glass makes sense, consider our short stemmed BAR pilsner glasses or our OLIVIA lager glasses and for something a little heavier, stronger and darker, we think that either our MADRID lager glass, or our stemmed BAR craft beer glass would provide a perfect match” she adds.

Most wine connoisseurs think it is important to serve a good wine in exactly the right glass but glasses can also make a big difference to beer. There is something slightly dull and sapping about a mass produced beer glass which detracts from its subtleties and finesse, while a handmade glass has a vitality and individuality which seems to do just the opposite

LSA International NOMAD

Beer Glases LSA 

NOMAD Highball Beer Set £45, BAR Craft Beer Glass £25, BAR Pilsner Glass £25. LSA’s glassware can be found in many high street shops, from John Lewis to House of Fraser, or you can buy direct from LSA's website.

Serve Up The Sausages

Oktoberfest calls for bratwurst - a type of German sausage made from veal, beef or most commonly pork. The name is derived from from brat meaning finely chopped meat, and Wurst meaning sausage in Old High German. You can cook up bratwurst at home and serve in fresh buns with plenty of mustard and authentic German sauces to go with.

All 3 Wurst

The go-to place for a traditional but oh-so trendy sausage fest is the aptly named Herman ze German, who have restaurantsin London’s Charing Cross, Fitzrovia and Soho, but with their handy event catering service they can also bring their traditional bratwurst to you. Founders Florian and Azadeh moved to Brighton from Germany in 2005, and after realising the lack of their beloved bratwurst sausages in the UK they took it upon themselves to bring the wurst to the English masses, free range and fresh from a Black Forest farm.

A huge part of Bavarian culture, Oktoberfest is loved by Germans and people the world over! The festivities traditionally include fairgrounds, traditional clothing, music, bier and a whole lot of world class meat!” explains Azadeh, co-founder of Herman ze German

“Traditional German dishes are very hearty and involve a lot of meat. The rule is - simple recipes and the best ingredients. We specialise in sausages and we love a party! We cater for different styles of events from food deliveries to pop up stalls, we're always happy to create bespoke packages. Anything's possible!” she enthuses.

“We offer three varieties of wurst - Bratwurst, Chilli Beef and Brockwurst, all grilled to perfection and served with a choice of toppings such sauerkraut and onions. Our signature dish though is the currywurst - we chop the sausages and top with Herman’s very own warm curry tomato sauce, served with paprika spiced fries. We cook the sauce freshly every day - anyone who tries it get’s hooked!”

Herman Ze German _Soho _6834

You can actually buy some of Herman’s delicious wurst from any of their London locations to cook up yourself at home, but if you can’t make it to the capital for a spot of sausage shopping then The German Deli also has a great online store that stocks traditional bratwurst and condiments, as well as a variety of other authentic German nibbles and snacks that are perfect for any Oktoberfest do. They also bake their very own traditional breads using ingredients fresh from Germany. Bratwurst start at £4.90 for 3 from www.germandeli.co.uk.

If you’re less keen on sausages then roasted chicken is another traditional Oktoberfest dish, and a few authentic Oktoberfest snacks include bowls of pretzels, potato salad and hot chips - gloriously simple and both go remarkably well with all that beer!

Unleash Your Lederhosen / Don Your Dirndl 

If you close your eyes and imagine an Oktoberfest scene one of the first things that springs to mind are of course – the outfits. Men traditionally wear Lederhosen whilst women wear what is known as Dirndl – a traditional Bavarian dress that includes a full skirt, apron and tight bodice. You can pick both up fairly cheaply from various online fancy dress stores. Online mega store Fancydress.com have various cheap and cheerful options for both men and women, but if you’d prefer something a little more substantial then why not invest in an authentic outfit from AlpenClassic’s specialist Oktoberfest shop.

Alpen Classics

Alpen Classics Fancydress 

Costumes from Fancydress.com start from £18.99 and AlpenClassic from £109. 

Give It A Bit Of Oompah 

Finally – traditional music will add instant Bavarian brilliance to your bash, and give your guests a unique soundtrack to dance to. Traditionally Oompah Bands play at Oktoberfest celebrations - named after the rhythmical sound of a deep brass instrument, Oompah is often associated with a form of popular German music.

Based in the UK is the Die Dorf Fest Kapelle Oompah Band - a Bavarian style band, complete with Lederhosen, who can perform traditional songs and covers at events of all sizes as well a special Oktoberfest playlist that features disco and euro beat plus all the Oktoberfest favourites such as ‘Sweet Caroline’ and ‘Country Roads’. Their Oktoberfest option is high energy and incredibly entertaining an also involves some audience participation with competitions and prizes, drinking games and more – you have been warned. 

For more information on the Die Dorf Fest Kapelle Oompah Band you can find get in touch with them via their website.

Oopah Band

Alternatively – type Oktoberfest into Spotify or YouTube and away you go! 


For more ideas and party inspiration, take a look at TheEdit today. 

 
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