An annual festival which takes place in Munich, Germany held each year, Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest (or beer festival).
Held each year as a 16-to-18-day event beginning in mid to late September and finishing on the first Sunday in October, Oktoberfest originated on October 12th 1810 to celebrate the marriage of the Crown Prince of Bavaria, who later became King Louis I, and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.
Nowadays, around 2 million gallons of beer is consumed during Oktoberfest, with around six million visitors attending. Venues from across the world hold Oktoberfest celebrations to replicate the Bavarian sense of cordiality.
In the UK alone, major cities such as Manchester, London and Birmingham all hold extensive Oktoberfest celebrations each year.
With world lager bouncing back after lockdown, consumers have sought drinks they have missed whilst at home.
In fact, the CGA On Trade Report P04 2022 indicates that world lager has seen a 6.1pp increase across category in 2022 whilst standard lager has dropped 5.1pp. So, how can operators capitalise on the world lager trend for their Oktoberfest celebrations?
Invest in Premium, Authentic German Beer
Dortmunder is a range of premium German beer with a long and rich history. It began life at the Struck Brewery in the industrial city of Dortmund in 1873.
In 1887, instead of the usual combination of malted and unmalted barley, someone in the brew house mashed in a brew of nothing but malt. The mistake wasn’t noticed, and the resulting beer was shipped accidentally to a pub who served it to their customers.
The ‘mistake’ beer was a sensation and the pale, Pils style Dortmunder Union beer was born. By the turn of the century, Dortmunder Union Brewery was brewing more of its accidental Pilsner than its export lager, although both beers had become immensely popular with the workers of the industrial movement.
German Purity Laws
The Reinheitsgebot, literally "purity order", is the collective name for a series of regulations limiting the ingredients in beer in Germany.
According to the original 1516 Bavarian law, the only ingredients that could be used in the production of beer were water, barley and hops.
The restriction of grains to barley was meant to ensure the availability of affordable bread, as wheat and rye were reserved for use by bakers.
The Reinheitsgebot remains the most famous law that regulates the brewing of beer and continues to influence brewing not only in Germany, but around the world.
Dortmunder Union Pils – 4.8% ABV
Gold in colour with a moderate bitterness, Dortmunder has a lean and attenuated body but is full of character, packs of flavour and has a beautiful crisp finish.
Like all Dortmunder beers, Union Pils is brewed to strict German Beer Purity Laws and made with nothing but pure malt, Hallertau hops and Dortmunder Water. This purity leads to an unmistakably clean, crisp flavour whether enjoyed by the pint or bierhall-style stein.
Dortmunder Vier – 4% ABV
Brewed by Dortmunder Union in 1873, this light golden beer became very popular with the workers of the industrial movement and was responsible for Dortmunder Union becoming Germany's largest Brewery.
A more sessionable alternative to Dortmunder Union Pils, Dortmunder Vier is a 4% ABV premium session pilsner.
Gold in colour with a balance of bittersweet hops and malt bitterness from the Noble hops. The reduction in ABV offers a lighter and more refreshing expression with a beautiful crisp finish.
Premium 4% lager has increased 4.1pp and now has a 24.9% volume share of the standard lager category, making Oktoberfest an ideal time to capitalise on its continued growth.
A popular promotion, any outlet which has German beer on its bar can benefit from Oktoberfest festivities.
Advertise your Oktoberfest event across your social media channels to ensure you build up momentum surrounding the event.
Graphics, posters, tent cards and table talkers will also help to publicise your event to existing customers, whilst A-boards can help to encourage passing trade to visit on the day.
Stock up on authentic Oktoberfest food if your space allows for dining. Soft pretzels, potato pancakes, and popular Biergarten items such as Bratwurst, traditional sausages and sauerkraut all provide authentic touches to your event whilst, for desserts, serve up some apple strudel or gingerbread.
Set the Scene
Well thought-out décor encourages visitors through the door. Beer tents and custom flags help to set the scene for your event but consider designating an area to a photo booth where guests can take away mementos of the event and include props such as moustaches, hats, lederhosen for an extra injection of fun.
Games during Oktoberfest in Munich include stein-holding contests (known as Masskrugstemmen), stein relay races, yodelling competitions, bratwurst eating contests which can all be replicated in your outlet.
Invite the Mayor
Traditionally, the mayor of Munich taps the first keg to officially kick off Oktoberfest. Why not ask your own town mayor, or another VIP, to do the honours for your own event?
DON’T MISS OUT!
Don’t forget, for a limited time, buy any TWO kegs of Dortmunder and get an Oktoberfest POS kit absolutely FREE OF CHARGE.
The kit includes two t-shirts, bunting, bucket hats and posters to help you publicise this fantastic annual event.
Contact your Account Manager or local depot to take advantage of this offer.