Oktoberfest is a bucket-list item for many Aussie’s on their travels overseas. Satisfying our love for enjoying a few pints with friends, this jolly German festival now has counterparts all over the world. To save you the travel, we’re thrilled to be hosting the inaugural Adelaide Hills Oktoberfest at Newenham this year, presented by the talented team at Prancing Pony Brewery.
While South Australia has held its fair share of similar festivals over the years, they’ve previously been based around Adelaide’s CBD. This year, we’re excited to be bringing the traditional festival back to the Hills – the home of German settlement in South Australia from 1845. The German settlers chose these beautiful, rolling green hills to live, work and play – just like so many others are choosing to do these days.
“Up here in the Adelaide Hills we’ve never had an Oktoberfest of this nature,” Corinna Steeb says, co-founder and CEO of Prancing Pony Brewery in Mount Barker. Originally from Stuttgart, Corinna says the idea came from a dream of reviving the authentic and community-driven traditions of this historic festival in her home country.
“Oktoberfest is one of the longest running festivals in the world,” she says. “The festival in Munich started in 1810 and originally marked a wedding celebration. The Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese and they invited people to the grounds in honour of their wedding day. I believe the festival has only stopped for about 17 years in between, due to wars and famine. Now, it attracts 7.2 million people over a period of 12 days.”
Due to this incredible history, Corinna is passionate about doing the festival justice. “In the town where I come from, the festival is about food, music and coming out with your friends in your finest dress and drinking beer in good company. The word we use to describe the festival or the feeling is ‘Gemuetlichkeit’ which is all about enjoying each other’s company in a festive, fun sense.’”
We’re thrilled to be working with Corinna and the Prancing Pony team on keeping these family-friendly community values at the forefront of this fun-filled day. “We know Newenham are very community oriented and have the two beautiful big barns. We can already envisage a tent between the two barns – the best spot for an Oktoberfest tent we think!” says Corinna.
Held over a full day and into the evening, the festival will be packed with, merry-making, fun, games, family entertainment and music into the evening. Many of the activities will be traditional, including German Schuhplattler (German slap dancing), whip cracking, sack races, bell ringing and even a stein holding competition. “If we don’t carry on these German traditions, they will die out,” Corinna says. “I have some really lovely memories of Oktoberfest growing up…it brings people together and creates friendships on those long benches.”
What can you expect?
Beginning at 11am, the festival will commence with a procession of the marching Hahndorf town band, leading into Newenham. “It’s the tradition in Munich to have the bands and breweries march onto the grounds.”
Music typical to the festival will play throughout the morning, and kids activities will roll out throughout the afternoon, including sack racing and Bretzel eating. Kids under the age of 14 are free to enter, so make the most of this great family-fun day and bring the little ones along. Rest assured, the Bretzels are sure to be a hit with all little (and big) hungry tummies.
Bretzeln aside, there will be enough food on offer to make all eyes bigger than our tummies. Both of our beautiful Newenham barns will house a bar and food vendors, respectively. In between, the tent will house traditional long tables and chairs to enjoy the day’s entertainment. With a number of food vendors to be announced, you can expect German goodies a-plenty. Think sausages and rotisserie chicken (just to get your mouth watering). Trust us, they’ll go down perfectly with a pint or two.
Speaking of pints, Prancing Pony will satisfy your frothy fantasies with their two specially-brewed ales, traditional to the original Oktoberfest. “We’ll be brewing a Helles (meaning bright one) and a Dunkel (meaning dark one) beer for the event, and we’ll also have a traditional German-style cloudy cider as well as traditional German wines, a Trollinger Rose and a Gruner Veltliner, both from Hahndorf Hill.”
While drinks and water bottles cannot be brought into the festival grounds (for responsible service reasons), there will be a range of soft drinks available plus water stations on offer throughout the day. “It is a beer festival, but we’re encouraging people to drink responsibly,” Corinna says. “The whole atmosphere is based around families so we’ll be making sure this is very much a family-friendly event.”
Guests will enjoy a range of games to participate in during the day including Bretzel eating, Hammer Throwing & Potato Sack Racing. There will be however, two main competitions that guests can participate in:
For the Herren (Gentlemen): Frank Samson Owner and Head Brewer is known for his moustache and is challenging Adelaide gentlemen to a BEST MOUSTACHE competition. Criteria for the best moustache will be the longest and best styled. Winner of this competition will win a $250 voucher to redeem at the brewery and a brew day with Frank.
For the Damen (Ladies): Melissa Measham is known for her Stein Holding and is challenging Adelaide ladies to the BEST STEIN HOLDING competition. You will be challenged to hold a stein for as long as possible. Winner of this competition will win a $250 voucher to redeem at the brewery and a brew day with Prancing Pony’s Brewer Eden Pink.
Choose from either a $15 or $35 ticket – the latter will get you your very own 1 litre stein to keep and refill throughout the day. For punters with regular entry tickets, pints and steins are available to purchase at the festival.
If you’d like the comfort of knowing how you’re getting to and from the festival, LinkSA will be providing the following bus services:
CBD – Adelaide Hills Oktoberfest and return
Hahndorf – Little Hampton loop and return
Mount Barker loop – Park & Ride – and return
Tickets can be purchased here: BUY TICKETS
What to bring…
Bring your friends, family, little ones – whatever you fancy. This festival is all about the company you keep. “People can bring a rug if they want,” Corinna says. “The tents are fitted with benches to sit but there’s plenty of lovely grassed spaces that are part of the licensed area and people are welcome to spread out on them.”
If you’re feeling extra festive, don’t hesitate to don your best Dirndl’s & Lederhosen for the day, too. “We’d love people to dress up and really get into the spirit of the day!”
Most importantly, grab a pint, cheers ‘Prost!’ with some new friends at the long tables. “You never know what friendships you might strike up in a beer tent.”
Follow the Oktoberfest event on facebook to keep up to date with all the food, fun and activities for the day.
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