Oktoberfest is in full swing in Munich and if you’re anything like me you might be feeling a bit left out.
I’m already hearing stories from friends-of-friends who have returned from the world-famous beer festival with stories of drunken antics and camaraderie.
Well I wasn’t having it. If I couldn’t go to Oktoberfest this year, it was going to come to me.
Oktoberfest at home
On the day it was released I snapped up three mini kegs (that’s 18 litres) of the stuff and got planning.
It wasn’t a wild party. There were only four of us. But that’s more beer all round, right?
Home Oktoberfest party planning
I went online for inspiration on how to create the right atmosphere. If it had been a big party I might have gone all out and bought Bavarian flags, bunting, Dirndls and Lederhosen – there are a million and one online shops selling all of that and more – but this was low key and low budget.
So I hit Google Images and printed my own mini bunting and flags. Not tremendously classy looking, but it did the job.
I pimped my PerfectDraft with some Bavarian colours and – the pièce de résistance – a lovely new Lowenbrau Oktoberfest medallion for the top of the tap made by Perfect Medallions. (You can find Perfect Medallions on Facebook if you own a PD or Sub, with economy and premium options available – good service and nice quick delivery).
We’ve got a collection of beer mats built up over the years (they sometimes get thrown in as freebies with online beer orders) so they went out on the table.
And last but definitely not least, we stuck on an oompah band CD that my dad brought back from Oktoberfest and that was the icing on the cake (or foam on the beer, or whatever!). Once it had a couple of plays I went onto iTunes and found more stuff including an Oktoberfest accordion album that was brilliantly cheesy.
I thought about digging out the dirndl-style top and Bavarian-hat-with-feathers that I’d worn at my last Oktoberfest (yet still felt positively under-dressed compared with all the other glamorous women in proper dirndls). But somehow, wearing it at home, boobs-oot, with the boyfriend and two pals felt a bit OTT so I settled for accessorizing with an edelweiss scarf.
Food glorious food
An Oktoberfest night wouldn’t be complete without the right food so I bought a ton of German inspired grub.
For nibbles we got things like Bavarian smoked cheese and German peppered salami.
For main course I bought a ton of bratwurst sausages, mustard, saurkraut and I looked up recipes for traditional German side dishes. I stumbled upon Bratkartoffeln, pan fried potatoes cooked with nibs of bacon and carmelised onion, and decided to put that on the menu.
But I slightly underestimated the challenge of cooking a new dish after drinking two giant steins of Lowenbrau Oktoberfest.
I burned my hand on the grill pan (though to be fair I do this regularly when stone cold sober) and I coudn’t be bothered chopping any herbs so I put them in the bin instead. And my beautiful fried potatoes turned to mush when I dropped them in the oil and I was left with a giant pot full of what was pretty much chunky mash.
But all the same it was still bloody good, bacony, oniony chunky mash.
It looked nothing like the pictures on the internet, but stuff it – it’s the thought that counts and I tried! It still tasted great.
Hitting the wall
My brother, who was unable to join us for the home Oktoberfest party, suprised us by reserving four bottles of German beer for us at a bottle shop in Glasgow. Weihenstephaner Vitus, a single bock wheat bear at 7.7% which is super strong and very tasty.
But we didn’t get the chance to try it out that night.
Three steins in, while attempting a game of Cards Against Humanity, we had to keep prodding one of our friends to encourage him to stay awake but the Lowenbrau had beaten him. He and our other pal decided it was time to stagger home.
The boyfriend and I had some more Lowenbrau but we saved these special beers for another day when we could truly savour and appreciate them and I’m glad we did. I had convinced myself I wasn’t a fan of wheat beers but this is one that is a definite exception to the rule. I loved it and wouldn’t say no to it if ever offered it again.
Organise your own
If you’re feeling a tad left out this Oktoberfest, maybe you can take some inspiration from my low budget home Oktoberfest party.
All you need is some good company and some good beers and you can bring Bavaria to your own home!