Where to celebrate Oktoberfest in Scotland
- Charlotte Runcie
- 25 September 2013
Events marking the German beer festival on these shores include OktoberWEST and Cocktoberfest
No longer is Oktoberfest something you have to head for Germany to experience. This year, Scotland has gone especially Oktoberfest-mad. The biggest event, simply called Oktoberfest, starts off with a hop-soaked five days in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh (Wed 9–Sun 13 Oct) with so much beer, food and music that, ja mein lieber, it's just like being in Munich.
Entry is free on the Wednesday, so start convincing your boss now that it's worth taking the afternoon off. Every night is a Schlager party, excellent for reliving Eurovision hits from the 90s while you eye up the lederhosen and giant beer glasses in full faux-German campery. Sunday is a family day, complete with bratwurst-centred lunch options.
On Thu 17 Oct the party moves to Glasgow Green for eight more days of revelry. The tunes are courtesy of Bayern Stürmer and the Obenheimer Express Band, flown in from southern Germany and promising to have you dancing on the tables to hits like 'Zikke Zakke' and 'Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit' (no, me neither).
Slightly more subdued is OktoberWEST (WEST Brewery, Glasgow, Fri), a weekly extravaganza during the month of food, music and, obviously, beer, offering plenty of Bavarian jollity. The brewery still produces all of its lagers and wheat beers in accordance with the German Purity Law of 1516, so you can count on the drinks for authenticity.
And if you love the idea of Oktoberfest but, in practice, you're more into ripped abs and martinis, then as luck would have it, Cocktober Fest has you in mind. The Cocktail Queen hosts a touring ladies' night throughout October, visiting Edinburgh, Livingston, Blackburn and Airdrie with drag queens, 'buff butlers' and cocktails. See the event website for details of what you can expect when the party hits town.