Food & Drink Wednesday, October 3rd

How to Oktoberfest like a true Bavarian bier-drinker

Food & Drink Wednesday, October 3rd

How to Oktoberfest like a true Bavarian bier-drinker

Oktoberfest – a precursor to the far less fun Stoptober and, more recently, Squat-tober – is the world’s largest Volksfest (‘people’s fair’). What started as a folksy, steins-and-sausage celebration has grown in to a huge, boozy Bavarian party with more than six million people heading to Munich last year.

As it turns out, people love to drink beer all day dressed up in dungaree shorts and low-cut Bier Frau dresses. Who knew?

As you’d expect, the tradition didn’t stay in Munich for long, and these days the sound of Oompah bands can be heard across the Western world throughout the last week of September, and the first week of Oktober October.

The Firefly in Hereford and Hereford Beer House are teaming up this weekend for their own Oktoberfesting. Because Munich is faaaar. If you’ve never been before; here’s what you need to know. Prost!

1. YOU CAN SKIP YOUR BICEP CURLS IN THE GYM THIS WEEK

Those glasses you’ve seen Oktoberfest waitresses carrying by the half-dozen, each one carries a litre of beer – or two pints in English. Pros: half as many trips to the bar. Cons: Eight rounds in, and you’ll have forearms like a bricklayer.

And the good news is The Firefly is getting in some of that super-sized glassware especially for the occasion. Slide your hand through the handle and, to drink it like a pro, only ‘cheers’ with the bottom of the stein.

2. OOMPAH MUSIC IS EVEN EASIER TO DANCE TO THAN REGGAE

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The ‘fly have a live traditional brass Oompah band booked, and once you’ve got a few steins in you, you’re going to want to boogie.

Simply grab a group of mates, and skip around in a circle with your hands on your hips. After a few rotations, you’re going to want to stop and try what the Germans call Schuhplattler, which is basically slapping your lederhosen’ed thighs and shoes with your hands in time with the beat. If you and your mates can work out a little routine of hopping and leg-slapping, you’re basically Bavarian.

Have a go, it looks more fun than Flossing.

 

3. GET DRESSED UP LIKE CHARACTERS FROM ROBIN HOOD

The traditional dress for guys is called a lederhosen and is effectively a pair of brown shorts held up by elaborate shoulder straps and an excessive amount of grilled sausage. Socks are pulled up, and you score bonus points for wearing a felt hat and shouting Prost! at strangers.

For the fraus and frauleins, it’s a traditional German bodice called a dirndl that’s laced up at the front, over a frilly white blouse and coloured skirt. If you’ve got long hair, braid it like you’re a Disney princess. (The dirndl also has a bow on the front - knot it on the left if you’re single, and on the right if you’re taken – like a Hansel and Gretl version of a Traffic Light Party).

If you don’t happen to have a lederhosen lying around the house, there’s Fancy Pants on Bridge St, upstairs in the Balloon Display and Party Shop on Union St or a load of options online, varying from very PG to Car Keys In The Bowl On The Left.

 

4. DRINK DEUTSCHE

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Ze Germans are good at three things; knockout football, putting towels on poolside loungers, and brewing. And while the first two are relatively modern ways of eliciting the ire and begrudging respect of other European nations, they’ve been mastering the art adding water to hops for a long time.

On draft at the Firefly, for example, they’ll be beer from Hacker-Pschoor – whose brewing roots date back to 1400s – and relative newboys Paulaner who started out back when Shakespeare was alive. Both Munich breweries knock out their beer at around 6%, so go easy, and don’t complain about a big head on it – traditionally it’s poured to about three fingers in depth. If the steins are too much for you there’s also going to be a range of Bavarian bottled beers behind the bar.

 

5. SUCK YOUR SAUSAGE, AND SOAK UP YOUR BEER WITH A MASSIVE PRETZEL.

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This may not exactly apply to the Firefly’s Oktoberfest – but the traditional brekkie at the Weisen is white sausages, and of course, a beer. The trick is to cut the weisswurst in half, dip the cut end in sweet mustard and suck out the filling. Nice.

Now, the Firefly serves strictly vegan food so it’s unclear at the moment what will be on the menu – the Oktoberfest staples are meat-heavy comfort foods like rotisserie chickens and potato salad, smoked mackerel, and roast pork knuckles the size of your head – but they’ve got an outdoor BBQ planned and if their meat-free tacos and vegan Big Macs are anything to go by, their take on Bavarian sausages is going be good enough to make a Munchen give up meat.

The other classic Oktoberfest food is huge, bread-y pretzels - with that knotted dough perfect for soaking up all that alcohol - and they’ll be serving those from Friday as well.

6. THEY’VE GOT A SPECIAL WORD FOR SOMEONE YOU MEET WHILE DRINKING AT OKTOBERFEST.

It’s ‘Wiesenbekanntschaft’. Try nailing that pronunciation after a few Paulaners.

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