September 26th 2013
Dig out the leather lederhosen, braces and Birkenstock and prepare for some serious stein clinking as we join with our Bavarian brothers to celebrate Oktoberfest once again. As the behemoth of beer festivals kicks into go-mode, we tell you where to enjoy a jolly German knees-up in Hong Kong.
Although Oktoberfest began in Munich in 1810 with a party to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig I, the beer swilling, pork chomping frivolities only reached Hong Kong in 1991. Our Asian-style celebrations cannot claim to be quite as merry as those in Munich, but it’s a good excuse – if ever one was needed – to head out for a few bevvies with your buddies. Various internationally-minded bars will be serving up German beer and food to mark the occasion, but here’s our Top Picks Oktoberfest Parties in Hong Kong.
Marco Polo German Bierfest
The granddaddy of Oktoberfest in Hong Kong, Marco Polo is thought to have been the first to bring the celebrations to the city and Asia as a whole. Every year since 1991, the TST hotel has gathered thousands of guests, lashings of beer and a German banquette fit for a Kaiser under their signature marquee overlooking Victoria Harbour. As with every year, the special-edition Löwenbräu Oktoberfestbier will be complimented by thigh-slapping music from Ulm-based band Die Notenhobler, pretzels, pork knuckle, sauerkraut and more. This year, there will also be a limited number of Oktoberfest heart-shaped ginger cookies, traditionally gifted by admirers and worn on a ribbon around the neck.
What: Marco Polo German Bierfest
Where: Viewing Platform, Level 6, Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui
When: Oct 25th to Nov 16th, Sunday-Thursday 6-11pm, Friday & Saturday 6-11.30pm
Price: Sunday-Thursday HK$130, including a glass of beer, Friday & Saturday HK$240, including a glass of beer and a Marco Polo German Bierfest mug.
Info: Visit the website or call 2113 3217
Happy Valley Oktoberfest Experience
As the first ever Oktoberfest celebrations in Germany involved a royal horserace, it makes sense to pay homage to tradition by heading to the Jockey Club’s Oktoberfest party for some modern-day merrymaking. The usual Happy Wednesdays will be getting a whole lot happier on October 9th and 23rd, so head down for beer-soaked, speed-drinking competitions, German-themed bar snacks and oompapa fun.
What: Happy Valley Oktoberfest
Where: Happy Valley Racecourse
When: October 9th and 23rd from 6.30pm
Price: Entry HK$38, including a glass of beer
Info: Visit the website
King Ludwig Beer Hall
If you majored in beer chugging at university, the Oktoberfest celebrations at the King Ludwig Beer Hall in Wan Chai could be the place to show off your skills. Join the drinking contest from September 28th onwards and see if you have the steel and stomach to reach the October 12th grand final. Hong Kong’s beer swigging king or queen stands to win HK$5,000, so get your practice in and your game face on. There will also be live music, a sausage eating contest and standard German faire than can be consumed at a reasonable pace.
What: King Ludwig Beer Hall
Where: 183 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai
When: September 28th to October 8th
Price: Free entry to the bar
Info: call 286 0737
FCC’s Special Oktoberfest Menu
If you’re looking to simply spend this Oktoberfest in a food coma, Central’s Foreign Correspondents Club has you covered. With appetizers including green pea soup, air-cured meats and smoked fish, and mains comprising of pork knuckle, savory Bavarian bread dumplings and smoked bratwurst, you’ll perhaps be hard-pushed to save room for pud. But as we see apple strudel, black forest gateaux and traditional Gugelhupf cake are topping the bill, we have a feeling you might just manage it!