I first went to Oktoberfest in Brisbane a few years ago, before I even really started to appreciate beer, and certainly before I knew that ‘craft beer’ was a thing. So with my recently-acquired beer nerdiness I was all too keen to accept an invitation from one of my mates who wanted to celebrate her birthday there.
But with this new level of beer geekery I was now equipped with, the question was: would the beer live up to my now high expectations?
Our group arrived just after midday, kitted out to our hearts’ content in Dirndls, Lederhosen and other German paraphernalia, ready for some hearty drinking and fine continental fare that would make the Vaterland proud.
After lining up in three different queues I finally ended up with a beer in my hand. Admittedly, the first queuing mishap might’ve been a bit daft on my part but when you list prices in $ values and then expect them to be paid for in tokens you’re really only asking for confusion.
The entertainment was in full swing when we got there, though perhaps a tad on the loud side given we could barely hear each other shouting German profanities across the table. It was the general consensus that the day could’ve also done without the yodelling but nevertheless the variety of entertainment seemed to be getting everyone in the spirit.
But back to the beer. There were three choices – a lager, a light and a dark hef – and for me none of them were particularly smashing. Apologies in advance to all the Tuecher fans out there but at $10 a pop for 500ml and a $20 cover/entry charge for the privilege I was expecting to at least get some Fransizkaener, Erdinger, or similar.
To be quite frank, it was nothing short of a disappointment to the entire German race. (Okay, that’s maybe a bit harsh, but it was evidently over-priced and sadly underwhelming.)
There was also a rumour that the Oktoberfest Brisbane Dunkel was actually made by Burleigh Brewing but I’m really hoping it’s not true because it was undoubtedly the worst of the bunch.
If nothing else, the food options were pretty decent, authentic and slightly better priced. The service was also generally pretty quick and efficient.
Maybe I’d just built it up too much or perhaps I just wasn’t in the Oktoberfest spirit but I left feeling very underwhelmed despite my faux-German heritage and affinity with all that they hold dear. It’s certainly not a beer geek’s delight if that’s what you’re intending to seek but you can still have a good time, although undoubtedly it’ll be to the detriment of your hip-pocket.
If you’re not sold on my *glowing* review of the event above, fear not, for there are numerous other avenues to enjoy good beer and celebrate Oktoberfest in Brisbane – check out Green Beacon (20 October), Archive (31 October) or just get down to the German Club in Woollongabba any day of the week.