Dust of your lederhosen or don your dirndl because Burnley Brewing is transforming its Bridge Road home into a slice of Munich from October 4 to October 21.
To truly transport their brewpub from Burnley to Bavaria, they’ll be showcasing unique Oktoberfestbiers from different moments in German history.
Michael Stanzel, head brewer at Burnley Brewing, moved to Germany to become a professional brewer, so it’s unsurprising he has a particular love for brewing authentic German beer styles. Michael says he decided to brew different types of festbiers so beer fans could learn the rich history of German beer and Oktoberfest with a stein in hand.
“I love German beer history and I love sharing my passion for beer with other people. This is a way to be able to educate people that Oktoberfest beers haven’t always been the same and show how they’ve developed over the last two hundred years.”
In total, three different festbiers will be pouring during the celebrations and each has spent weeks lagering to make sure they’re worthy of tradition. The first of those beers, the Dunkles Märzen, has been based on what Bavarians would have enjoyed from the very first Oktoberfest in 1810, when the people of Munich gathered to celebrate a royal wedding. The dark beer is similar to the Dunkels of today and made entirely with Munich malts.
That next festbier to grace the tents of Oktoberfest is a Helles Märzen. The beer style was brought to Munich by legendary brewer Josef Sadlmayr, whose Vienna-style malts created a lighter, amber-coloured beer that caused a sensation when first served in 1872.
Finally, as the global popularity of pale lagers grew throughout the twentieth century, the festbiers changed too. Today’s Oktoberfestbier most closely resembles a Helles, with a lower alcohol content and paler body than those that came before.
Those three beers will be pouring alongside some other classic German styles including a Helles Bockbier (strong lager), a Rauchbier (smoked beer) and a Weizen (wheat ale). Each beer has been brewed strictly in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot, the 502-year-old beer purity law.
But it’s not truly an Oktoberfest without a menu that would suit the best German beer halls. The Burnley Brewing kitchen is preparing a rotating roster of specials including, Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle), Weisswurst, Wiener Schnitzel, Bretzel (not pretzles!) and the largest roast chickens this side of Bavaria.
Michael says, “We want to recreate the festival as best we can. When I was living in Germany, I went to Oktoberfest pretty much every year and the atmosphere is so infectious – it’s fantastic.”
Other festival highlights: