Where to enjoy Oktoberfest 2016 in Edinburgh and Glasgow
Get your annual fix of steins, singing and schlager music
The true Oktoberfest is a 16-day beer-soaked festival held annually in Munich. Millions travel to the Bavarian city to enjoy folk music, traditional foods, funfair rides and lashings of German beer. The popularity of the festival has spread across the globe, with steins, pretzels and oompah music now synonymous with the month of October. We round up a few locations locally where you can get into the Oktoberfest spirit (lederhosen optional).
While many a bar will embrace a Bavarian theme this autumn, Bavarian Brauhaus Glasgow is dedicated to the region all year round. The bar serves six German beers, or bieres, on tap and over 40 bottled varieties. The big six are Horbräu, Paulaner, Augustinerbräu, Hacker-Pschorr, Spatenbräu and Löwenbräu. Soak up the booze with their menu of Bavarian cuisine, including venison sauerbraten and sharing platters featuring three types of gourmet sausage.
Launched in 2013, Glasgow Oktoberfest (19–23 Oct) moves from Glasgow Green to Blythswood Square this year for five days of celebration. Inside the 1800-capacity tent, waiting staff dressed in dirndl and lederhosen serve up specially brewed Bavarian beer and traditional grub including bratwurst, schnitzel and pretzels. Guests sit at communal tables bierhalle-style and standing on benches to sing along with the band is actively encouraged.
This independent brewery now has two Glasgow bars and restaurants, one on Glasgow Green, the other on Woodlands Road, and both specialise in German fare such as Wiener Schnitzel and Currywurst. All their beer is brewed in strict accordance with the German Purity Law of 1516 and they started brewing their Oktoberfestbier in August ready for the celebrations. Those wanting to brush up their knowledge can take a tour of the micro-brewery to check out the process of production before putting the beer to the test in a tutored tasting.
West Princes Street Gardens
Held over five days, Edinburgh Oktoberfest (5–9 Oct) can accommodate 1500 people in their tent. Enjoy German Oktoberfest beer and snacks while a Southern German band plays modern Tyrolean music, with schlager songs in between. If you want to brush up on the classic bierhalle singalong anthems before you visit, they've published a list on their website. Entrance is free on Wednesday if you fancy a midweek bevy and on Sunday you can take the kinder with you, as they host a family-friendly lunch.
This Lauriston Place bar boasts the widest range of German and Belgian beers in Edinburgh. Expect extra Oktoberfest bier and Märzen to be in the fridges this October with seasonal brews from the likes of Paulaner, Spatenbräu, Löwenbräu, Erdinger, Weihenstephaner, Schneider Wiesse and Hacker-Pschorr. Accompany your beverage with a pretzel, or meaty snack such a droëwors or organic chorizo.
There's craft beer galore in Edinburgh bar Jeremiah's Taproom, with the chance to sample both local and international offerings. German beers include Paulaner, Weihenstephaner (Weissbier and Dunkel) and Schlenkerla, which is described as a 'liquid bacon sandwich'. If that doesn't make you thirsty, nothing will. If you want to honour Oktoberfest at home, you can buy bottled beers from their fridge or a two-pint carry-out growler.