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Friday, October 09, 2015

That’s the German word for cheers, and by now, we’re guessing you know what we’re talking about! If you haven’t been able to make it to Oktoberfest in Germany, but don’t want to miss out on the celebrations, Dev Goswami & Yamini Walia tell you what you can do in Mumbai

V isiting Germany for Oktoberfest is something that most   of us want to do at least once in our lives. The annual   festival is known for the fun, games and of course, the beer — making it a festival like no other. There’s nothing that can rival actually being at an authentic biergarten (German for beer garden), but if you don’t want to miss out on the fun, there are a few things that you can do in Mumbai too. From planning your own Oktoberfest party to heading out to restaurants and bars, we bring you a guide to help you enjoy Oktoberfest in
the city. 

As we trawled through what the city’s restaurants were offering, we were convinced that if we really wanted to celebrate the beer festival in true German spirit, the best way to do so would be to plan our own party. Here’s how you can do that.

  • Beer basics This is the most important aspect of an Oktoberfest party, and when we’re talking about it in the context of our city, it’s the most difficult one as well. The best strategy here is to contact a retailer in advance to try and source the beer. Chains such as Living Liquidz and Nature’s Basket are known to stock and/or source imported beer. You could also contact a particularly resourceful neighbourhood wine store that can get you what you need. If it’s difficult for you to find German beer and you aren’t looking to invite too many people, you could also start your celebrations at one of the many bars and restaurants in the city that serve German beer and then organise a themed afterparty at home. It will be a new take on a standard weekend.
  • What’s on the menu? One of the reasons why Oktoberfest works as a great party theme is that most of the food is quite easy to make. The food includes plenty  of meat and potatoes and won’t take much time or effort to put together. Traditional dishes include beer-marinated bratwurst sausage (you can get the sausage from websites such as Scooty.com for `1,088/kilo) and salami pizza, which uses basil, tomato, mozzarella and salami — all of this can be easily sourced. Sausages and pizzas are in fact, the perfect party food! And, for a slightly more upscale party, you could serve some light bites such as canapes and roasted chicken.
  • Sweet endings Some of you may be aware of the heart-shaped gingerbread necklaces that Oktoberfest is associated with — and we think this works as the perfect inspiration for a personalised sweet treat, which doubles up as a great party favour — well, almost! If you don’t have the wherewithal to make batches of gingerbread cookies, you can bake a batch of simple sugar cookies, but make sure to attach strings to the dough shapes before putting them in the oven. Once they’re done you can use fondant or edible marker pens (may be a bit difficult to source; Bakewala.com has a few good options) to either write someone’s name or a cute, personal message on it, depending on the size of each cookie. And, then just store them in a safe spot and hand them out towards the end of your party!
  • Location, location, location This one is a bit tough to pull off — a boisterous celebration like Oktoberfest requires more room. If you can get the permission, common areas in your society (such as gardens or empty parking spaces) work best. You can even host the party on your building terrace (which is usually easier to get permissions for), where you can also set up tents to give it an authentic aura. If you have the budget, you can install cardboard cut-outs of trees, place picnic tables all around and install lights, wreaths and streamers there. The colours that you should pick include blue and white — even if you aren’t planning to decorate on a large scale, you can still use table cloths, tissues and crockery in these colours.
  • Game time: The games played at Oktoberfest aren’t practical enough to be pulled off at your home, or even on your terrace (think: tug of war and races). But, keep this aspect of your party simple. Pick classic games such as beer pong, or innovative options such as stein hoisting, which involves everyone holding a one-litre mug of beer in front of them (with your elbow completely straight) for a long period of time.   

There isn’t too much happening across Mumbai’s bar circuit  in this month, but here are a few deals that are worth checking out. Take a look.

He Said She Said
He Said She Said will be celebrating Oktoberfest, along with an exclusive menu that celebrates German food and drink. You can play games such as beer pong, Edwards 40 hands, flip cup and beer funnel. If you win, you’ll be entitled to prizes such as a free case of beer, or free beer for life! The restaurant has also put up authentic German décor to liven up the party spirit.
Where Remi BizCourt, Opposite Supreme Chambers, Veera Desai Road, Andheri (w)
Contact 40983636

Hoppipola has introduced three new beer cocktails for its Oktoberfest celebrations. They also have a special offer, where you can buy six beers for the price of four, which you can pair with delicacies from their special Oktoberfest menu. However, the offer is limited, so rush to your nearest Hoppipola outlet while it lasts!
Where Across all Hoppipola outlets in the city
Contact www.hoppipola.com

White Owl Brewery & Bistro
The White Owl Brewery & Bistro has introduced a special edition brew — The Munich Lager and a special Oktoberfest menu combined with fresh brews from the White Owl Brewery. They have different offers for every day of the week. On Monday and Tuesday, you can enjoy limitless beer at `699, on Wednesday and Thursday, you can try five items from their chef’s Oktoberfest specials along with five brews for Rs 1,995; while on Friday and Saturday, you can collect a stamp for each international beer you try, and once you have four stamps, you get a jar of free beer. And, that’s not all! After  you get 6 stamps, you will get another jar on the house. On Sunday, they invite you to a beer brunch, offering brews such as Diablo & Halcyon, which will be paired with three items from their brunch menu for Rs 1,495.
Where One Indiabulls Center, Tower 2-B, Lobby Level, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel
Contact 24210231

Three Wise Men
With a range of 15-20 international beers, Three Wise Men is leaving no stone unturned to celebrate Oktoberfest this year. Pair this with an interesting food menu and you’re all set for the festival!
Where Sujata Rajpipla Building, Opposite Santacruz Police Station, Santacruz (w)
Contact 30151215

Rumours Lounge
If you live in or anywhere near Powai, Rumours Lounge is the perfect place for you to celebrate Oktoberfest at. With an interesting mix of beer cocktails such as Rumours Style Beer, Orange Beer, Cheer with Beer, Simple Pink Shady and Beer Mary, the lounge will leave you impressed. Also, on October 31, the lounge will host a number of competitions, where you can win free beer and gift vouchers.
Where A S Marg, Near Marine Shipping Corporation, Opposite Powai Lake, Powai
Contact 30151518

Beer-battered fish

Hoppipola gives us a great Oktoberfest themed recipe that you can whip up in a jiffy.

150g Basa, 30ml Dijon mustard, 30ml white wine, 1ml refined oil, 250g refined flour, 16ml beer, 165ml soda, salt to taste.


  • Fillet the basa and cut it into small square-shaped slices (4-5 pieces )
  • Marinate the sliced fish with mustard, white wine and salt with a little drizzle of oil, keep it in a bowl and refrigerate for at least for 2 hours.
  • In a bowl, mix the refined flour with beer and soda, and whisk the mixture properly. Strain to avoid lumps.
  • Take the fish out of the fridge, dip a slice into the batter and deep fry it.
  • Once fried, pad it with tissue paper to soak up the excess oil and serve with French fries and tartare sauce.

Celebrations across the world
Germany is not the only place that celebrates Oktoberfest. Here are some other countries that are known for their beer festivals.

The largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany is believed to be in Canada, in the twin cities of  Kitchener and  Waterloo, Ontario. They have an annual celebration spread for over 18 days, which attracts thousands of people. While its most popular draws are the beer-based celebrations, the festival also has a number of cultural and entertainment attractions.

There are hundreds of large and small Oktoberfest celebrations held annually through the country, with the largest being Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in  Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s located along six blocks of East 5th Street in Downtown Cincinnati. 

The National Beer Festival (Fiesta Nacional de la Cerveza) is Argentina’s version of the German Oktoberfest. It has been taking place every year since 1963 in teh region of Villa General Belgrano, Córdoba.

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