Oktoberfest in Brisbane: Beer Festival and Travelling Funfair

I have never been to Munich for Oktoberfest, but Mrs Bob has. Brisbane has an Oktoberfest and I’ve been tempted to go each and every year since I arrived in Australia, but somehow never managed to get there.

Until yesterday.

oktoberfestAs soon as we walked into the main tent which was packed full of revellers, also known as drinkers, Mrs Bob said how much like the Munich festival it really was. Munich, she said, was bigger, but the layout was spot on.


beer-tentIndeed, even though Oktoberfest happens elsewhere in Australia, for example Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide to name just a few, Brisbane’s Oktoberfest is said to be the most authentic we have here.

Even though I’ve never been to Munich’s Oktoberfest, I quickly noticed something that I thought must surely be very different about our Oktoberfest here in Brisbane. Something that Mrs Bob hadn’t noticed and which I probably wouldn’t expect her to, but we’ll get to that later.

Oktoberfest, Brisbane

Oktoberfest is two things, as the title of this post suggest; it’s a beer festival and a travelling funfair. I know that because I just googled it.

Brisbane’s Oktoberfest certainly had plenty going on.

It had live entertainment…


live-entertainmentIt had vintage cars and fairground rides…

vintage cars and fairground rides

vintage cars and fairground rides

vintage cars and fairground rides

vintage cars and fairground ridesIt had shopping for those who wanted to purchase German books, a clock, or traditional Bavarian attire…


shoppingAs you can see though from all the pictures, quite a few people already owned some of this German clothing and lots of people had dressed up for the day.

Oktoberfest also had schnapps, champagne and wine…


champagne-and-wineIf that wasn’t enough, there were plenty of sideshows scattered around the festival.

Oktoberfest Munich films were being shown. Heidi the Yodeller was there. There was the Schnucki Dirndl and Lederhosen Fashion Parade. On the Kids Stage and in the Kinder Zone there was a puppet show, a science show, little critters animal farm and much more going on.

And with this being Australia, there was also a reptile show…

snakesWell, we mustn’t leave the snakes out.

Some of you might be thinking that the appearance of snakes at our Oktoberfest in Brisbane is what makes it noticeably different from from the fest in Munich as mentioned earlier, but it isn’t. It’s much worse than that.

What Mrs Bob didn’t notice as she sipped on her wein, that’s wine to you and me, is the beer.

The beer

Any of you who have read more than a few pages on my website will know I’m a big fan of beer. As soon as I arrived at Oktoberfest, I headed to the bar to check out the selection of beers available. Here’s what they had:

  • Lager
  • Weissbier (wheat beer)
  • Dunkelbier (dark beer)

That was it. Just three beers. How disappointing. Even the Bavarian Bier Cafe in Brisbane has more than that.

But these weren’t just any three beers though, they were ‘All are brewed according to the German Purity Law, packed with flavour and made only for this festival.

How about that? Made only for this festival. You cannot buy any of these three beers anywhere else in the world. Amazing.

I decided to go for the Dunkelbier at $12 for a schooner. As soon as I took my first sip one word sprang to mind. For the sake of complying with my own ‘no bad language policy’ on this website, I will substitute that word for a different word here.


So, I googled it to see if I could find out more about these specially brewed beers, in particular how strong, or not, they were. No information on this was available anywhere. I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a ‘beer festival’ where the strength of the beers have been kept secret.

Usually the ABV, or alcohol by volume, is displayed with pride along with some information about the beer itself.

I’m guessing, of course, but I would say the Dunkelbier beer I had was a ‘Mid’ beer, I would think about 3.5% ABV. Any of you who are not aware what a ‘Mid’ beer or a schooner is, should have a read of my post Lights, Heavies, Mids and Schooners Explained.

Now let’s check what beers have been available at the Munich Oktoberfest.

Munich Oktoberfest beer list 2016

Here’s a list of the breweries at Munich’s Oktoberfest 2016 along with the strength of the beer that each of them took to this year’s festival:

  • Augustiner – 6% ABV
  • Hacker Pschorr – 5.8% ABV
  • Hofbräu – 6.3% ABV
  • Löwenbräu – 6.1% ABV
  • Paulaner – 6% ABV
  • Spaten – 5.9% ABV

Brisbane’s Oktoberfest was a fun day out. It did have some good rides for the kids. The sideshows were entertaining as well. The classic cars were good to look at. It was a great opportunity to dress up and many people did.

What it wasn’t though, was a beer festival.

If you want a decent pint of beer, at a better price, check out a microbrewery somewhere near where you live.

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