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Which Oktoberfest is Oktoberbest?

This month (September 17th , to be exact), the centuries-old Oktoberfest celebrations kick off in Munich, Germany. Two Weeks later, the South African version opens its brauhaus doors much to the same effect at at Sibaya, from the 30th of September – 1st of October and then heads to Cape Town where it will be held at the historic Newlands Brewery from the 4th – 6th of November. What really sets these two festivals of wunderbar Bavarian bier, food and culture apart? Here are nine comparisons…

1. Munich Oktoberfest – takes place in Munich, Germany every year.

TOPS at SPAR Bierfest – takes place in Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

Munich Oktoberfest – is the world’s biggest, annual celebration of Bavarian culture.

TOPS at SPAR Bierfest – is Africa’s biggest, annual, national celebration of Bavarian culture.

2. Munich Oktoberfest – is 204 years old and was originally started as a wedding after-party when Prince Ludwig married Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

TOPS at SPAR Bierfest – is six years old and was originally only held in Jo’burg and Cape Town. Nowadays it tours the country!

3. Munich Oktoberfest – is known by locals as “Wiesn” (pronounced “Vizen”). So named after Theresienwiese, the name of the piece of land where it is held.

TOPS at SPAR Bierfest – is known by locals as “ze jol of ze year!” So named because it offers South Africans a taste of the real Oktoberfest but without the need for a visa or a lengthy flight.

4. Munich Oktoberfest – is officially opened by the Mayor of Munich, who taps an honourary keg and offers the first sip to the Minister-President of the State of Bavaria.

TOPS at SPAR Bierfest – is officially opened by the Mayor of Bierfest – Klaus von Über-Hüber who taps an honourary keg and gulps the first stein himself.

5. Munich Oktoberfest – has its beer provided by six breweries; Hofbräuhaus München, Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu, Paulaner Bräu, Löwenbräu, Hacker-Pschorr Bräu and Augustiner Bräu.

TOPS at SPAR Bierfest – has its beer provided by two breweries namely Number 3 Fransen Street (in Gauteng) and Newlands Spring Brewery (in Cape Town).

6. Munich Oktoberfest – entertains the crowds with mostly German music and lots of sing-a-long covers.

TOPS at SPAR Bierfest – gives revelers a five-hour long show of fine traditional oompah music (played live by a six-piece authentic German oompah band), and a set of rocking party hits provided by the country’s best live mash-up party band, The Rockerfellas! DJ Schnitzel keeps ze party going afterwards too.

7. Munich Oktoberfest – serves bier to its patrons in 1-litre steins (or Mas).

TOPS at SPAR Bierfest – offers both half litre and 1-litre steins from which to consume their delicious biers. The glass steins are especially imported and can be purchased afterwards to take home.

8. Munich Oktoberfest – Foreigners make up only 19% of the visitors to Oktoberfest, the rest are all bier-loving Germans.

TOPS at SPAR Bierfest – 5% of the visitors come from outside of the country, the rest are all proud locals with a thirst for great German-styled bier, and a good South African styled jol!

9. Munich Oktoberfest – biers, food and merchandise are bought using local currency.

TOPS at SPAR Bierfest – biers, food and merchandise are bought using special Bierfest currency – Crowns. Crowns are available in R30 denominations. A mighty 1-litre bier costs 2 Crowns.

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Standard Bier Hall and Über Bier Hall tickets can be booked through iTickets. For hospitality packages, please contact Bierfest directly at 021 824 3132 or email bookings@bierfest.co.za..

All food and drinks purchased at the festival are made using Bierfest “Crowns.” Crowns are available in denominations of R30 and are sold in packs of five (non-refundable).

Pre-order your Bierfest food platter online now (see www.bierfest.co.za) and your Fraulein will deliver it directly to your table.

The event is not open to anyone under the age of 18.
For more details go to www.bierfest.co.za.

Follow the event on Twitter @SABierfest (#SABierfest) and on Facebook TOPS at SPAR Bierfest and on Instagram @SABierfest.