Despite its name, Oktoberfest actually begins in September. This year, Oktoberfest begins on 17th September 2016, and lasts between 16-18 days, depending on when the first Sunday of October ends up. In this year’s case, Oktoberfest ends on 2nd October 2016. Pretty much all of Bavaria in Munich, Germany, turns into several large beer halls or tents, serving traditional Bavarian food and beer for anyone who manages to poach a seat (they don’t serve those who’re standing). Drunken sing-a-longs are commonplace, and oh so much fun!
However, whilst Bavaria is one of the best places in the world to be during this special time of year, there are lots of German expats the world over who are looking for a slice of home. Plus, there’s lots of beer, pretzels, sausages, grilled chicken and cheese noodles – how can London not want to join in on the party? Here are five of the best places to celebrate Oktoberfest in London this year …
#1 – Oktoberfest East
When? Friday 30th September – Saturday 8th October 2016
Where? 29 – 32 The Oval, London E2 9DT
London has been hankering for a Oktoberfest that reflects the atmosphere of Munich during Oktoberfest for quite some time now. Oktoberfest East might just have cracked it, with a £75 ticket reserving you a table and service, a three course dinner, 2 complimentary beer steins and, most crucially, bottomless beer. Hugely popular and prone to selling out.
#2 – London Oktoberfest
When? Thursday 29th September – Sunday October 9th 2016
Where? Millwall Park, Manchester Road, London E14 3AY
This is the biggest Oktoberfest in the UK, and has been growing since 2011. There’ll be live music, Oktoberfest decorations, a big old tent and lots and lots of authentic German beer. A VIP package will set you back between £42 and £60, but will get you priority entrance, VIP toilets, 2 Mass of FestBeer, a glass of Schlumberger Sekt beer, a VIP meal and a dessert surprise. Tables can also be booked.
#3 – Camden Town Brewery Tank Party
Where? 55-59 Wilkin Street Mews, London, NW5 3NN
Now, we’ll be honest and tell you that we’re not entirely sure this event will be happening this year. However, Camden Town Brewery’s annual tank parties are legendary, and they tend to start brewing their own German-style beers around this time of year, so it would be more of a surprise if they weren’t! This a great time to don your lederhosen, try some beer straight from the tank and spend the rest of your night dancing away to brass bands.
#4 – Bierschenke
When? Year-round; Oktoberfest celebrations Wednesday 14th September – Saturday 29th October 2016
Where? London Wall Buildings, 4 Blomfield Street, London EC2M 5NT
This is London’s year-round, authentic Munich-style bierkeller. This means you can get the Oktoberfest experience any time of the year, complete with a bevy of Hans, Heidis and Helgas serving you! Also serves the German craft beer Müllerbräu, and Bierschenke is one of the few places outside of its hometown in Munich where you can get it on tap.
#5 – Octoberfest Pub
Where? 678 – 680 Fulham Road, London SW6 5SA
This is another year-round German-style beer hall. They have special deals on offer quite consistently (e.g. all you can eat sausages for £15) and, if you keep your eyes peeled, you might just snag an Oktoberfest bargain. Beer is served in German measurements here, so steiners aren’t an uncommon sight. Good value food and beer, and there’ll no doubt be lots of bands and special events over the official Oktoberfest period.