First published on 30 Sep 2011. Updated on 24 Nov 2011.
October is time to raise your glasses, as Beijing’s German beerhouses bring the best of Oktoberfest to town. Known as the world’s largest fair, the real Oktoberfest in Munich is an extravaganza of all things beer and Bavarian. It actually begins on September 17 and lasts until Monday 3 October, but Paulaner Brauhaus, China World Hotel and Hopfenstube have taken the liberty of playing fast and loose with the dates.
The Paulaner Brauhaus
, a partnership between German brewery Paulaner and the Kempinski Hotel, has been staging Oktober fest events since 1993. Brewing onsite, the operation follows the ‘Bavarian Purity Law’, which dictates that only three ingredients may be used in producing beer. The German practice of restricting raw materials to water, barley and hops helped the country win its rep for world-class beer.
The opening of this year’s Oktober fest at Paulaner will be marked on Thursday 6 October by the pub’s brewmaster tapping the first beer keg of the festival. From the following day until Sunday 23 October, guests will be able to enjoy German beer (from 48RMB) and an a la carte menu accompanied by live music and entertainment.
At China World Hotel
, meanwhile, festivities will be held in a marquee Friday 7-Sunday 16 October. ‘Festbier’ and a wheat beer will be imported from the Weihenstephan brewery. Drinkers can get unlimited quantities of both plus a German-style buffet for 518RMB per person in the evenings and for 360RMB from 11.30am to 2.30pm on weekends. The Bavarian Beat Boys (pictured) will keep proceedings as frothy as the beer.
Still thirsty? Try Hopfenstube
, the bar adjoining Chaoyang’s U-Town mall. From Tuesday 25 to Saturday 29 October, the usual three-strong range of beers made here will be spiced up by the addition of an Oktober fest Special Brew. A Bavarian set menu is on offer with all-you-can-drink beer (298RMB per person) between 6.30pm and 10.30pm each night of the event. And a band flown over from Munich will import the festival atmosphere with them.