Oktoberfest Brisbane

MY FIRST TIME: impressions of an Oktoberfest Brisbane newcomer

What CAN you say to someone who’s never sampled the delights before? How can you convey a sense of that vibrant, happy party atmosphere which awaits returning friends and newcomers alike? Words and website pictures can only go so far – you have to walk through those gates yourself and leave the outside world behind for a few fun-filled hours to truly know what it means.

My first time was in 2012 – and I’m sorry only that it took me so long to get around to doing it. Walking from Gregory Terrace into the Showgrounds, and hearing the music and the buzz of the crowd get louder as I approached only sharpened my anticipation. The heady aroma from the multitude of food stalls wafting through the evening air was deliciously to die-for, and it seemed like I wasn’t the only one walking more briskly approaching the gates.

Ticket sorted, wrist-band on – and a word from the friendly gate staff that I could get a stamp out and then come and go as I wished – and I was in. Greeted by the spectacle of the huge illuminated Oktoberfest Brisbane tent behind a fairy-tale wonderland of coloured lights strung through the trees and above the outdoor seats and benches,  I had to pause (literally) for a moment and pinch myself (not quite literally) – this is Brisbane with its beautiful Spring evening sky; I’m standing in the Showgrounds at Bowen Hills – not Theresienwiese in Munich!

Where to turn first? Options abounded: lots of whizzing rides, flashing lights and excited voices that way, flanks of brightly-lit tents and enticing stalls over there (okay, stomach, your turn is coming!), but it was a no-brainer – everyone was gravitating towards that magnificent central tent. Making our way through circling currents of laughing people clutching Brezels and Bratwurst (stomach, I’m not going to tell you again!) all we new arrivals found our way to the giant structure’s many entrances.

Readers of a certain age might remember the days of department store windows decked-out in elaborate German Christmas decorations, yes?  Well, it was like walking into one of those windows. Only more.  An absolute full-on, delectable assault on the senses:  lights, music, decorations, foods, crowds of conversation – and music, did I mention the music? (I can’t, to be honest, recall whether it was dancing, yodelling, cow-bells, or good ol’ oom-pa-pah – it felt like the night had it all – and it probably did, at different times.)

I’m standing in a gigantic blue-and-white decorated tent that could comfortably accommodate a Boeing 737 (or two). Above me is a breathtaking array of streamers and Bavarian bunting (how long did all that take to hang?) accented by massive 3m-wide wreaths (yes, just like a German Christmas!). Right in front, directly across the wooden dancefloor (exactly like in Munich, you’re kidding?!), is a stage which is barely visible beyond the crowd of bopping heads and hats and waving arms. Can’t quite see who’s actually on stage – they all seem to be performers even if they’re not in the band! – but the lights are flashing off lots of polished, sparkling musical instruments.

On the right must be where the drinks are because, threading through the dancefloor throngs are people heading one way with their purchased drink tickets, mingling with and passing people coming the other way, heading back to their tables with a couple of foaming steins each. (I certainly wouldn’t be spilling a drop of that specially-brewed amber fluid!)

But to the left is my destination for, on my first time, I was lucky enough to be a guest of one of the Bavarian VIP tables.  Spanning the width of this fabulous tent is the ornate wooden balustrading of the elevated Bayrisches Eck – the Bavarian Corner – backdropped by a jaw-dropping panoramic landscape that leaves you momentarily breathless: are you absolutely sure you’re not looking out from a window in that magical castle Neuschwanstein …?

Alright, stomach, alright! Would you readers please excuse me? I’ll tell you more about my first time in another post, but want to leave you with just one tip for now: if you haven’t booked your own Oktoberfest Brisbane Bavarian VIP table yet, you’ll want to make sure you’re really, really good mates with someone who has!

Bis bald, Tschuess!

Schnucki

Stock up on stylish German fashions from Schnucki

Katja-81-RAW-edit1If you’re planning on dressing in the Oktoberfest Brisbane spirit – and, let’s face it, that’s a fun festival spirit to be in! – it’s time to think about your Dirndl or Lederhosen.

Schnucki Dirndl and Lederhosen is your fashion destination for everything Trachten (that’s German traditional costumes) with stunning new arrivals just in. The only authentic Dirndl and Lederhosen shop in Australia, Schnucki was new to Oktoberfest Brisbane in 2013, and almost instantly sold out. These authentic creations are sure to be in hot demand again this year, so best you don’t leave it to the last moment!

In Germany there’s been resurgence in Lederhosen for men and Dirndls for the ladies – and not only at festival time. With exquisite designer Dirndls available, German girls have taken to wearing their one-of-a-kind outfits for many occasions, including parties, weddings or just a night out with friends.

Katja-73-RAW-edit1The Dirndl has come a long way from its origin in Bavaria in the 16th Century, when only peasant women wore them. They are now beautiful, well-made, flattering additions to your wardrobe and you can complement your Dirndl with exquisite German blouses (they also look fantastic with jeans), must-have t-shirts and unique jewellery to accessorise every outfit.

Schnucki also has a great range of men’s traditional German shirts as well as Lederhosen to suit every bloke … even a cheeky shorter version (Plattler) for all those fellas who want to show a bit of leg!

For our very important smaller visitors, there are dainty Dirndls and Lederhosen for children, so they can enjoy the full Festival spirit too.

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For those who truly want to stand out from the crowd this year, why not top things off with an original, hand-made Schnucki German hat? You’ll be the envy of all your friends – and much easier to find in the crowds! More than half of Oktoberfest Brisbane visitors dressed German to party last year, and we’re looking to see even more colourful costumes in 2014.

Get kitted-out with Schnucki for a complete German experience and you too can become a Prinz oder Prinzessin for a day! Check out the online store for lots of pix and info here.

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KIDS: here’s how to keep your parents entertained at Brisbane’s German Festival!

Oktoberfest-Dancing-D2C2_4789-e1First, and most important: keep one of them with you at all times.  Vie so?   Because not only will you be able to enter Oktoberfest Brisbane for FREE if you’re under 18, you can also show them how much fun there is for kids of all ages – especially the ‘big kids’ among us.

Second, just because they’re dressed up in colourful German outfits and being all ‘adult’ about the experience, doesn’t mean they can’t have their faces painted too.  (If they’ve gone the ‘full Trachten’ and embarrassed you that much just on the way to the Brisbane Showgrounds, the least you could do is return the favour after you arrive. They don’t have to know there’s no such thing as a Bavarian Mountain Lion!)  And who could resist sitting with some adorable baby animals – like the petting zoo (aaawww!) we’ve had at Oktoberfest Brisbane before – with a ‘cute factor’ off the scale at 101%.

Parents entertained at Brisbane’s German FestivalThird – well, we could go on, but it’s going to be much more fun for you to experience for yourself. You can join in everything from food-tasting and fashion parades to singing songs and learning some fun German dances. (Just watch the oldies try to get those steps worked out!) Everyone in the family, from little brothers to big sisters – yes, even old Onkel Fritz too – will find their arms pumping, sides splitting, knees lifting and feet tapping. And then they’ll probably step out onto the dance floor…!

Puppet Show

If you’re clever, you can always duck out and go visit the puppet shows in the classic German ‘Kasperl-theater’ but be warned: your folks are sure to notice if you start practising yodelling accompanied by cow-bells while they’re still trying to master the Chicken Dance. (Actually, probably everyone will notice but, hey, chances are they’ll be stomping around and having a ball too – don’t worry: that’s Oktoberfest Brisbane for you.)

Alpenrosen_D2C1_8974-edit1Remember we said you need to keep at least one adult with you? Well, there’s more good reasons why: when they get thirsty after all that exercise, you need to make sure they re-hydrate properly. (Work with us here, alright? There’s more fun to come, and you  need to make sure the folks sample one of our water bubblers: this is all about the kids having fun, so you have to keep an eye on them and make sure they’re keeping up with you.)

Because, when everyone’s thirst has been quenched it’s time to think about stomachs – and, ach, Bruder!, what a feast of options awaits! From savoury to sweet, hot, cold or sauerkraut, from soft, smooth and succulent to crunchy, tangy and zesty, there’s a whole German world of wonderful tastes and mouth-watering smells to savour. (TIPP! Don’t let your parents go overboard at just one of our stalls: make sure they leave enough room to enjoy ein bisschen something from each one of our delicious culinary outlets. They will thank you for it – just make sure you try the tasty foods they might have missed so you can tell them all about it!)

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Raising Money for Youngcare

Make the Pork Knuckle YOUR Destiny!

The Pork Knuckle of DestinyYou, your friends or your organisation have the chance to win fame, food and festival fun while helping our chosen charity partner, Youngcare! Do your bit for the community and help us raise money by bidding on the very first Pork Knuckle of this year’s German Festival!

Youngcare believes all young people deserve to live full, young lives, whatever their care needs. As well as helping to provide more choices, Youngcare also does amazing work finding housing options for younger Australians with 24/7 care needs. Since Oktoberfest Brisbane began in 2008, we are proud to have raised $125,738 for this very worthy charity.

This year we are once again auctioning the very first, succulent Pork Knuckle of the festival – the ‘Pork Knuckle of Destiny’ – to the highest bidder. This is a unique and delicious prize, with all monies raised going directly to Youngcare. Michael van der Drift, from Götzinger Smallgoods, very kindly donates the esteemed ‘Pork Knuckle of Destiny’ each year.

Presenting the Cheque to YoungcareThe auction starts now and the illustrious Pork Knuckle will be presented on the first Friday of Oktoberfest Brisbane at the ‘Anzapfen’ official opening ceremony. The winning bidder and their team, will then enjoy dining on their victory at their own Bavarian VIP Table.

So get your bids in here!

How to win the Pork Knuckle of Destiny

  • Place your bid – the bidding process is live now!
  • Follow progress on our website and social media, and ensure your bid is the highest when bidding closes
  • Carefully select five others to share in your moment of glory and all the delicious riches you will receive at the Anzapfen on the first Friday of the festival!

What you win

Fame

  • Your logo proudly displayed on our website, along with the bid amount that you will personally present to Youngcare
  • Regular announcements of the highest bidder on the Oktoberfest Brisbane social media pages
  • A short description promoting your company/team on social media and in the Oktoberfest Brisbane eNewsletter, giving your company great exposure
  • Photo of you with your prize at the ceremony and a Facebook post on our Oktoberfest Brisbane page from the Opening Ceremony
  • Fanfare to usher you and your winning team members to your Bavarian VIP table.
  • A framed, commemorative Pork Knuckle of Destiny certificate (to remember the prize long after it’s been eaten!)

Food and drinks

  • Tuck into your winning Pork Knuckle of Destiny, accompanied with Sauerkraut and mashed potato
  • Freshly-baked pretzels
  • A stein filled with one of our specially brewed Oktoberfest Brisbane beers for you and each of your guests on arrival at your table
  • Dedicated Bavarian VIP table service by traditionally-dressed wait staff
  • Enjoy a ‘digestif’ round of schnapps for the table.

 

Festival fun

  • Entry to the festival for you and your five dining companions
  • Your own Bavarian VIP Table for the whole evening, to come and go as you please
  • Free rides all night long, from 4pm
  • Commemorative ‘Oktoberfest Brisbane’ cooler and stein each
  • Commemorative ‘Oktoberfest Brisbane’ souvenir for each person.

 

Click here to find out more.

Oktoberfest For Teens Dancing

Queensland’s Largest Schools Language Event – Oktoberfest For Teens

Oktoberfest For TeensUnique in Australia – and possibly to any Oktoberfest in the world – our Oktoberfest for Teens is the largest German language schools event in Australia. Almost 2,000 primary and secondary school students, and teachers – from Maryborough to Coolangatta, Toowoomba to the Bayside – descend on Brisbane Showgrounds (RNA) for their own special German day out!  Students and teachers immerse themselves in German language, culture, traditions, games, food and fun at Oktoberfest For Teen’s authentic best.

Organised by Louise Moeller from Oktoberfest Brisbane and Paula Hay, head of the German Teachers’ Branch, the event makes German language and culture come alive. The dedicated team has also developed a six-week interactive learning program with additional resources for all participating schools as part of the integrated learning journey for the weeks leading up to this schools’ German Festival. They also actively participate in various educational and German language initiatives throughout the year.

Oktoberfest For TeensThis important event within the Oktoberfest Brisbane festival is an unforgettable educational day of great German fun, food, competitions, entertainment and, most importantly, language. Learn and use your German skills with almost 2,000 other students and teachers, and immerse yourself in the most authentic German festival experience in Australia!

Click here to find out more and to register your school!

Fliegerlied

Fliegerlied “So ein schöner Tag”

The Fliegerlied or ‘So ein Schöner Tag’ (Today is Such a Beautiful Day) is an Oktoberfest classic around the world and is largely responsible for getting the Lederhosen and Dirndl-clad crowds up onto the dance floor.

Bavarian band Donikkl released the song in 2008 and a cover by singer Tim Toupet hit the German top 10 the year after. Our hugely popular ‘Münchner Buam’ Bavarian Oktoberfest Band does the Fliegerlied proud and will have you fly, fly, flying and jump, jump, jumping along!

Dancing the Fliegerlied Dancing the Fliegerlied at Oktoberfest Brisbane Fliegerlied dancing at Oktoberfest Brisbane Crowd dancing the FliegerliedOktoberfest Brisbane Band FliegerliedFliegerlied Fun For The Whole Family

 

 

 

Below you’ll find a copy of the German lyrics for the song and the English translation but beware… you can’t just learn the words to the Fliegerlied, you’ve got to learn the dance moves too! Swim, flex your biceps, jump along with the tune, and get ready to hit the dance floor this year at Oktoberfest Brisbane. You might feel a bit silly at first, but when you know the words and the moves, it’s the best fun!!

German Fliegerlied Lyrics

So ein schöner Tag (Fliegerlied)

Ich lieg gern im Gras und schau zum Himmel rauf.Schaun die ganzen Wolken nicht lustig aus?

 

Und fliegt ein Flieger vorbei,

dann wink ich zu ihm rauf.

(Kinder: “Hallo Flieger”)

 

Und bist du auch noch dabei,

dann bin ich super drauf.

 

Und ich flieg, flieg, flieg, wie ein Flieger

bin so stark, stark, stark,

wie ein Tiger

und so groß, groß, groß, wie ‘ne Giraffe

so hoch uoh-oh-oh

und ich spring, spring, spring immer wieder

und ich schwimm, schwimm, schwimm

zu dir rüber und ich nehm, nehm, nehm dich bei der Hand weil ich dich mag

und ich sag:

Heut ist so ein schöner Tag – la, la, la, la, la

 

(Wiederholung)

English Fliegerlied Lyrics

Today is Such a Beautiful Day (Flier song)

I like to lay in the grass and look up at the sky.Don’t all the clouds look funny?

 

And a plane flies past,

and I wave up at it.

(Kids: “Hello flier”)

 

And if you’re there too,

then I feel fantastic.

 

And I fly, fly, fly, like a plane

am so strong, strong, strong

like a tiger

and so tall, tall, tall like a

giraffe

so tall all-oh-oh

and I jump, jump, jump

and keep on jumping

and I swim, swim, swim

over to you and I take, take, take

you by the hand because I like you

and I say

Today is such a beautiful day – la, la, la, la, la

 

(Repeat)

Friendly Staff at Oktoberfest Brisbane

Very Special Brewing Exclusive to Oktoberfest Brisbane.

Beer at Oktoberfest BrisbaneWhen you think of an Oktoberfest celebration, many people think of beer and pretzels. Our German Festival however, is a cultural festival delighting your senses and providing a wide selection of authentic German food and drinks. We do however serve a few glasses of our own very special ‘amber brew’!

At Oktoberfest Brisbane we’ve travelled far and wide to source our three flagship beers for the Festival. These beers are all brewed according to the German Purity Law, packed with flavour and made with the finest ingredients. And what’s even better is that our beers are EXCLUSIVE to Oktoberfest Brisbane  – you won’t find them anywhere else in the world….  now that’s true micro-brewing exclusivity in anyone’s book!

Founded in 1672, the Tucher Brewery, or Tucher Bräu, is one of the oldest breweries in Bavaria and the Oktoberfest Brisbane’s Lagerbier and Weissbier (Wheat Beer) is produced each year especially for us by this historic, premium brewery.

The international award-winning Burleigh Brewing Co. handcrafts our German-style dark beer (Dunkelbier), which is also brewed according to the German Purity Law, and again only made for our Festival.

One of  the festival directors, Boris Zoulek, describes why they chose the three beers on offer at Oktoberfest Brisbane, “they are made according to the German Purity Law with no exceptions and all the beers are given the maximum time to naturally ferment. Not a single additive (chemical or otherwise) is used in the brewing of the three beers, as these sort of additives are used to accelerate the brewing process in lower quality brews.”

Importantly, Oktoberfest Brisbane also features the non-alcoholic Wheat Beer, made by Tucher Brewery. It has the same delicious richness in flavour and is the perfect brew for beer-lovers who prefer non-alcoholic and for designated drivers.

Watch out for our next blog on the classic German wines going to be available at the festival this year.

To add to the festival’s authenticity, we designed our beer steins to be exact scaled replicas of original Bavarian beer steins found at Germany’s Oktoberfest. Ours are made from durable plastic (not glass) and are 500ml in size to adhere to stringent QLD Liquor Licensing regulations. Like our beers, you won’t find them anywhere else and to help the steins ‘adapt’ to Aussie weather we also designed special coolers for them, with a new design each year!  

Oktoberfest Brisbane encourages responsible and sensible drinking behaviour at all times.

 Beer from Tucher Brewery