October 18th, 2018
Oktoberfest is a festival of all things German and will finally be brought in earnest to the Adelaide Hills later this month.

A large Volkfest, or folk festival, Oktoberfest celebrates community, agriculture and produce and will feature many opportunities to hold up your stein and say ‘prosit’ in a cheer of good health to new and old ‘freunde’.

The Prancing Pony Brewery presents the inaugural Adelaide Hills Oktoberfest.

Having grown up in Germany, co-founder and CEO of Prancing Pony Brewery Corinna Steeb knows what Oktoberfest is like first hand.

“I would have been to Oktoberfest from a very early age and most probably attended my first in a stroller,” she said.

“It is a family friendly affair in Germany.

“It’s all about having a good time with your friends, pacing yourself, eating amazingly good food and bringing an atmosphere of singing and dancing.”

Oktoberfest is a tradition that began in 1810 when festivities were held in honour of Bavarian King Ludwig I’s marriage to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

The people of Munich were invited to celebrate in fields called Theresienwiese, named after the new queen, just outside the city gates.

Millions of locals and tourists continue to attend Oktoberfest celebrations every year in Munich where festival-goers drink copious amounts of beer that must have been brewed within the city limits following the rules of the Reinheitsgebot – the German beer purity law.

“We wanted to create an Oktoberfest in the Adelaide Hills that’s a celebration of traditional German culture,” Corinna said.

“The main attractions are traditional German music, food, costumes and the kinds of games and entertainment you would find in Munich.

“During the day we will have brass bands, the Hahndorf town band, accordion music, German dancers doing the Schuhplattler and lots of chances for the public to dance and sing.

“Then of course we have the competitions.

“Our brewer Frank has an insane mustache and he is challenging people to grow and style their mustache to see who will be crowned the best on the day.

“For the women there is a traditional stein holding competition to see who can hold a 1L glass stein for the longest.

“The world record for that is 20 minutes.”

Winners of both competitions will receive a brewing day with the Prancing Pony’s brewers who have been hard at work crafting two Oktoberfest beers: a malt-driven lager called the Helles (bright one) and an amber lager called the Dunkel (dark one).

One of the most important pieces of Oktoberfest terminology to keep in mind is Gemütlichkeit.
“This word is used by many Germanic countries to describe the feeling of having a good time with friends, making new friends and being in a comfortable environment,” Corinna said.

“There will be long tables and benches that encourage people to sit with one another and meet new friends while eating and drinking so you can experience Gemütlichkeit as it is meant to be felt.

“A song played repeatedly during the day will feature the word as a reminder that you are with friends in a comfortable place.

“Newenham reminded us the most of a nice country festival site where we can encourage Gemütlichkeit.”

Sheryl Mascolo from Newenham expects the Adelaide Hills Oktoberfest to be the biggest event held at the estate.

“We have a great event space which has been used by a number of wonderful events,” she said.

“Oktoberfest will combine all our event spaces to be a really genuine and authentic event.

“The fact that we’re doing it in the lovely green Adelaide Hills where German settlers chose to make their home is even better.”

German settlers began moving to South Australia in 1838 while Ludwig I still sat on Bavaria’s throne.

He remained king until 1848 when he abdicated following the German revolutions, not wanting to become a mere constitutional monarch.

Ships arrived in South Australia throughout the 19th century bearing families of German vintners, farmers and Lutherans fleeing Prussian religious persecution, who established townships throughout the Adelaide Hills – far away from the turbulent European political climate.

With these settlers came the seeds of the inaugural Adelaide Hills Oktoberfest 180 years later.

“We jumped at the opportunity to work with Prancing Pony,” Sheryl said.

“They are very professional and we know Corinna is dedicated to bringing an authentic festival to the Adelaide Hills.

“We can’t wait to see friends and families coming along, drinking responsibility and enjoying the atmosphere.”

Buses and shuttles have been arranged through Link SA to carry passengers to and from the city and throughout the Hills.

The Adelaide Hills Oktoberfest is on Saturday, October 27 from 11am-10.30pm at Newenham Estate, 164 Flaxley Road, Mount Barker.

Visit for a bus schedule or phone 8398 3881 for more information.

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