Oktoberfest pop-up event at the London Fields Brewery
Far from its native Bavarian counterpart in both location and style, Oktoberfest at the London Fields Brewery was billed as an all-day cockney knees-up with English beer and German food – and it did not disappoint.
Perhaps an unusual choice for the many stylish crowds of Hackney, the venue nonetheless filled steadily as the day went on. Even the most reserved of patrons lost themselves and shed their pretensions in line with the Deutschland spirit when the Oompah Band called for ein Prosit (a toast meaning “may it do you good”) and insisted everybody stood up, drank and sang together.
The rustically crafted pop-up event, held within the railway arches, was attractively decked both inside and out with wooden seating, which quickly filled with revellers. Walls were lined with bottles and kegs, with draft beer from the London Fields Brewery itself. Love Not War and blonde IPA were just some of the favourite offerings, and for £8 plus deposit guests could drink two pints of their choice from a genuine German stein (a traditional beer mug) – made of plastic, but still looked the part.
Food came from Herman Ze German, an entrepreneurial start-up founded by Black Forest natives Florian Frey and Azadeh Falakshahi back in Summer 2008. Now with shops at Villiers Street and Soho, the pair personally served bratwurst, currywurst and bockwurst with divinely seasoned chips, garnished either with traditional sauerkraut and generous helpings of mayo, mustard and ketchup, or smothered with a German-style curry sauce. Also on offer were Italian and Austrian fare, but Herman ze German were the stand-out favourites.
The atmosphere was laidback and casual – the four-piece brass Oompah Band, though resolutely British, dressed in lederhosen and played wonderful tunes such as Wooden Heart, Bavarian Drinking Song and an Abba medley, and loosened up the crowd with enthusiastically received horn blowing and yodelling contests. When they were not playing, the music was provided by Chas and Dave, and George Formby, with vintage crackling tracks just as fun as they were when they were first recorded.
This surprisingly delightful free day out has set the bar for the many Oktoberfest events across London this coming month.
Photos: Krish Nagari
For further information about Oktoberfest and future events, visit here.
For further information about the London Fields Brewery, 365-366 Warburton Street, E8 3RR, visit here.