While Oktoberfests abound in Australia, many seem to be headed the way of St Patrick’s Day – providing a thinly veiled excuse to drink with little reference to the underlying festival behind it. Many festivals are billing ‘authentic’ beers of a style that doesn’t even originate in Germany. Against this background Beechworth-based craft brewery Bridge Road Brewers is hosting its sixth annual Oktoberfest boasting it will be as close to the real thing as it gets.
Brewery founders, Ben Kraus and his partner Maria Frischmann, have strong links to the Bavarian Oktoberfest. Maria hails from the heart of the Tyrol region in Austria and has worked as a beir-maid at the Munich Oktoberfest. Ben gained his brewing knowledge in the same region. To commemorate the day Bridge Road have brewed 2000 litres of a specialty Oktoberfest Marzen, the beer traditionally consumed in the festivals . This beer has been aging in tank for over 2 months to ensure it as good as the beer offered at the real Oktoberfest in Munich. Visitors will also be able to try giant pretzels made in the brewery’s own kitchen.
Visitors to this years event are encouraged to get out the Lederhosen or Dirndl (traditional Bavarian dress) and enjoy the festivities. The weekend will include children’s activities, plenty of beer, German cuisine and fun for all with a traditional ohm-pah band belting out some great drinking tunes. Oktoberfest Entertainment will be provided by Alpine Cocktail, specialists in German ohm-pah music, with vocalist Rene hailing from Vienna, Austria.
Ben has been brewing the Bridge Road beers for a little over four years and the brewery has come a long way from its origins in the family garage where the business spent its first year. Its relocation to an old coach house in Beechworth’s centre has proven a success. The brewery has been able to expand its range of beers, currently 11, up from 9 last year, and increase its production capacity by 30% again this year. The Brewery has expanded its production with the help of a Victorian State Government grant. This grant was awarded for innovation, it has allowed the brewery to brew commercially viable quantities of its unique Chestnut Pilsner. This beer utilises locally grown chestnuts in its production.
Bridge Road Brewers have also begun exporting their brews this year, with beer going out to Singapore and New Zealand. Owner Ben Kraus recently returned from a trip to the NZ Beer awards, where the Chevalier Saison picked up a silver medal.
The Beechworth Oktoberfest will be held at Bridge Road Brewers, off Ford St, behind Tanswells Hotel, rear access from High st. It will be held between 11am and 6pm on Sat 9th and Sun 10th of October.
For further inquiries please contact Ben or Maria on 0357282703, or drop in to Bridge Road Brewers.
For more Oktoberfest locations, see our events calendar.