By Dan Gillespie
For Nathan Gee, that escape has become an everyday reality. He works as a manager at the Octoberfest Pub in Fulham, where the fest continues all year round.
The pub opened in 2001 because, Nathan says, “We just wanted people to be able to enjoy the world’s biggest party all year round, plus bring some great tasting beers to the UK — some you cannot get anywhere else in the UK.”
The busiest time of the year for Nathan and his colleagues is right now, with the beginning of the Oktoberfest season, which runs until Christmas.
Over the last eight years, the pub has had over 100 000 punters come to their Oktoberfest events, and this year is set to bring in even more. The atmosphere in the pub is thick with German influence, from the beer, imported direct from Bavaria courtesy of Paulaner Brauhaus, and food, which includes pork knuckles, bratwurst and pretzels, to the jovial patrons.
The Bavarian influence extends to the entertainment, which is provided by the pub’s German oompah band, Oompah Brass, which plays a unique blend of contemporary and oompah music. During the Oktoberfest season the band plays more regularly, so you’re more likely to catch one of their gigs if you pay a visit to the pub.
Oh, and did we mention the frauleins that serve your beer? Yes, dressed in dirndls (traditional German dresses), these ladies serve the amber liquid from thick-bottomed steins, all in the name of authenticity. Add a contemporary twist in the form of the “Jagermeister girls” and you’ve got the perfect place for a party.
The best part of the pub, though, is the keg specials. Book a table and you can get a five-litre keg, ready and waiting for you when you arrive. As if that isn’t enough, you can order a 50-litre keg for real parties and spend the night drowning in beer bliss.
Oktoberfest season starts on 14 November with the Oktoberfest Reunion. Tickets are £10 and include your first litre of beer. “Oompah Brass” will be playing and you can take part in the Bavarian Beer Olympics.