Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival, held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, it lasts for 16—18-day running from mid or late September to the first weekend in October, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year.
A great excuse to drink beer, eat delicious German food such as bratwurst, schnitzel and pretzels and listen to traditional folk music. The best thing is that you don’t even need to leave the UK. There are hundreds of UK Oktoberfest celebrations including Oktoberfest London, Oktoberfest Birmingham, Oktoberfest Manchester.
If you want to throw your own Oktoberfest, the most important thing is obviously the beer, but the traditional blue and white Bavarian Oktoberfest decorations are also hugely important. Our top tips for throwing your own Oktoberfest:
Oktoberfest Marquee – Replicate the huge beer tents at Oktoberfest in Munich on a smaller scale in your garden, pub garden or park. You can buy or hire a marquee or large gazebo and fill with long trestle table and benches
Oktoberfest Beer – I would recommend having at least 6 different beers on offer and do your research. The official Oktoberfest beers are produced by 6 different breweries: Augustiner-Bräu, Hacker-Pschorr-Bräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, Spatenbräu, Staatliches Hofbräu-München
Oktoberfest Food – Serve traditional German food such as bratwurst, schnitzel, pretzels and gingerbread at your Oktoberfest celebration. Widely available especially in German supermarket chains such as Aldi and Lidl, but also easy to make. See recipe for pretzels below.
Oktoberfest Tableware – To save on washing up use traditional Bavarian blue and white Oktoberfest tableware. Plastic Pint glasses are also a good idea
Oktoberfest Fancy Dress
Traditional German Oktoberfest fancy dress such as lederhosen costumes for men and Bavarian maid costumes for women are great fun and helps get everyone in the spirit of Oktoberfest or for the more retiring types, these great value traditional German hats are only £3.30 each
Oktoberfest Decorations – Here’s our roundup of the best Oktoberfest decorations
1. Oktoberfest Banner – Advertise your Oktoberfest party with a brightly coloured banner. Hang them over the entrances to the Oktoberfest party or beer tent
2. Oktoberfest balloons – Balloons are a great low cost way to decorate any venue and these blue and white Oktoberfest balloons are great value at 10 for £2.34
3. Oktoberfest Bunting – You can never have enough bunting and this blue and white Oktoberfest bunting is 10 metres long so you can cover the inside and outside of your Oktoberfest beer tent without breaking the bank.
4. Oktoberfest Saloon Door Cutouts – These Oktoberfest saloon door cutouts feature a wooden styled design with the top section displaying a blue and white chequered background and a central beer design with a pretzel. Each door measures 62cm x 45cm and is made from card. Put these on doors or around your Oktoberfest marquee to create the illusion of a Bavarian Beerhouse.
5. Oktoberfest Hanging Decorations – These great gingerbread style Oktoberfest decorations come in a pack of 4 and are 80cm long and will look great hanging from the ceiling over the tables in the Oktoberfest beer tent – only £3.30 for 4!
6. Oktoberfest Pretzel Decorations – these quirky pretzel decorations can be pinned to the walls of the marquee or tied to sting and hung from the ceiling of your Oktoberfest party
- 100g butter
- 250g honey
- 120g brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves (or allspice)
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
- 440g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
In a small pot gently heat the butter, sugar and honey and stir regularly until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Mix together all the other ingredients in a big bowl.
Add the liquid honey/butter/sugar mix to this (you’ll either need a spoon and strong arms, or a kitchen aid machine with a kneading hook attachment)
Leave the dough to rest/cool down for an hour at room temperature. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees. (160 if fan-assisted)
After 1 hour, roll out the dough to about 1cm thickness and cut out gingerbread men or any other shapes you prefer (if the dough is too sticky, place it in the fridge for a few minutes to firm-up, or knead it with your hands and add a bit more flour).
Place the cookies on a tray lined with baking paper, and bake for approx. 10min. (they will still be slightly soft to the touch; this is what you are aiming for!) Once cool, feel free to frost them with icing, sugar pearls, or any other kinds of sweet decoration!
adapted form BBC Good Food
View the Oktoberfest party range including Oktoberfest decorations, fancy dress and tableware.