Which is London's best 'fest?30 Sep 2016
140 WALLETS, 100 mobile phones, 40 umbrellas, 40 bags, 10 cameras, a blood-pressure measuring machine, three sets of false teeth, a three-pack of Ralph Lauren boxer shorts, a hearing aid and two Go-Pro cameras; just some of the items that have been left behind at Oktoberfest so far this year.
It’s that sort of event, but - alas! - the world’s biggest, most famous beer festival is almost over. If you want to leave your phone in a huge tent in Munich, you’ve only got until Monday.
Help, however, is at hand. London is this year full of little Oktoberfeste which ape the Bavarian mothership - so expect huge glasses of pale lager, brass bands, Bavarian costume and a wide variety of pork dishes. But which are the best ones? Here’s our rundown of the contenders.
This is by some distance the most authentic of the fests - it’s even got one of Munich’s Big Six, Hacker-Pschorr, on tap. (Fun fact: Hacker-Pschorr is owned by and brewed in the same facility as Paulaner, but the two breweries have different kettles). The food looks great, and Hackney Colliery Band are providing the tunes. This looks the pick of the bunch. (28 September - 8 October)
What has this event got to do with Oktoberfest, apart from the fact it’s happening at this time of year? Not much on the face of it: the beer comes from all over (and there are 50 types!) and the food is more hamburgers than pork knuckle. Oh well. It looks fun. (30 September - 1 October)
Eight German-inspired beers, pretzels, bratwurst … the A&H boys deserve a prize for effort at the very least. One of the beers is an authentic festival beer, the others are inspired by Germany’s diverse beer cultures, from Dortmund (Altbier) to Berlin (Berliner Weisse) via Bamberg (Rauchbier). (30 September - 2 October)
This has been going since 2011, and you get a good feel for what sort of event it is from the pictures on the website: lots of pretty girls in Bavarian costume. The beer comes from Bavaria, albeit the northern bit, Franconia (which - whisper it at Oktoberfest - actually has much nicer beer than Munich). (29 September - 9 October, weekends only).
‘London’s leading corporate hospitality event’ proclaims the landing page on the website, which says all that needs to be said. The beer is Bitburger - not Bavarian, decent but nothing special - and you’ll need to be minted, since a table costs £1450. It’s probably great fun if your company is paying, tbf. (Thursday 20-Friday 21 October).