Get transported to Munich without paying a hefty flight fare, by heading to the annual celebration of Germany’s centuries-old beer fest – Oktoberfest. It’s that time of the year when you can enjoy sipping on some Bavarian brews, munch on some Köstlich pretzels and Bockwursts right here in Pune at the Race Course.
With about 300 German companies in Pune (Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz, Thyssenkrupp and others) – one will spot many of the employees on the turf enjoying a slice of the German culture. Eager to go and see the ‘tapping’ of beer keg the traditional way, is Nicolaus Wittgenstein from Cologne, director of Green Elephant Pvt Ltd, a German company that builds bio-gas plants.
Narrating the history behind Oktoberfest, Nicolaus says, “Crown prince Ludwig married princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810 and to celebrate the union, the citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the field in front of the city gates. This celebration was continued each year. Back in Germany, the festivities start off in September and end on the first Sunday of October.”
Adding that Oktoberfest is much more than just beer, he explains, “Back home, we all wear traditional attires called dirndl and head to the fair where of course beer is the main attraction, but there are a lot of other activities like rollercoasters, dart boards, sweet shops and the yummy German food.”
Talking about food, Ravish Arora, director of Incognito restaurant, lets us in on the German food being served for the beer fair at the Race Course. “Sauerbraten, Spatzeli, Pork Schnitzel, Bratwurst Gebruht sausages, Weinerwursten sausages are just some of the typical German favorites that one can gorge on. We have laid out a feast of imported German sausages that are served with the traditional Sauerkraut on the side.”
In Munich, horse races in the presence of the royal family marked the close of the event that was celebrated as a festival for Bavaria. And here in Pune too, the Oktoberfest is coupled with the races making the event authentic. So come, join in the fun and groove to the beats of the popular German band, Die Sulmtaler while filling up your mugs with beer. Say Prost! (cheers in German).
Mark your calendar
The Oktoberfest in Pune is being held at the Race Course on October 12 and 13, from 12.30 pm to 10 pm, while the race timings on both days is 1 pm to 6 pm. Passes can be bought at the venue.