The Hunt for Red Oktoberfest


Donning his best Sunday lederhosen, Eoin Brady tips down to this year’s Paulaner Oktoberfest at the IFSC

4Ah, October. Named for the great octopus plague of 1824, it is now better known as either the month of nasal dribbling or the month of firework avoidance. In certain faraway, exotic climes (ie Germany), October holds another, less displeasing, significance. Ever since 18th October 1810, when Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen and then drank some beer, Bavarians have been having a rather jolly time drinking more beer while sitting on trenchers in tents, possibly while wearing dirndls (those chest-flattering Sound of Music costumes).


Even though Ireland has plentiful dirndls, it is nonetheless a beer-starved nation. For this reason, it was deemed prudent to introduce a version of Oktoberfest to Ireland. This year’s Oktoberfest promises to be authentically Oktoberfest-y: there will be Bavarian barmaids, Bavarian music, Bavarian food, Bavarian family events and possibly even some Bavarian beer, renowned for its purity and inability to cause a hangover.

One of the elements of this festival that the organisers seem to be particularly proud of is the importation of “over 30 German barmaids dressed in traditional Dirndls!”. Upon inspection of the photos of last year’s iteration of the event, it is clear that the barmaids have appropriately Germanic countenances and are dressed in what very much appear to be traditional dirndls. None of that new-fangled, high-tech dirndl nonsense here, thank you very much.

In another bid to make this the most authentic Oktoberfest west of Iran, Mostland Stürmer have been shipped in to provide music. Mostland Stürmer have nothing to do with Mötley Crüe, or even Motörhead, despite the clear link implied by the inclusion of the umlaut in their name. They are actually a Bavarian brass band. Documentary evidence suggests that at least one of the members has a moustache with pointy ends.

The organisers have outdone themselves when it comes to Bavarian cuisine: apparently, they have 30 different stalls selling German food like sauerkraut, potato pancakes and mountain cheese. Mountain cheese is a rare, expensive type of cheese that is made out of mountains, or only grows in the mountains, or something.

Never ones to miss a potential consumer demographic, the sophisticated marketing folks behind the ‘fest are promoting this as a family entertainment. Events specifically aimed at children are rumoured to include Fail to Acquire a Taste for Sauerkraut and – the perennial favourite – Watch Dad Drink Beer.

Inevitable family breakdown aside, this year’s Paulaner Oktoberfest promises to be quite good (unless you’re ten) and takes place from 8th-18th October in George’s Dock in the IFSC. Events take place on weekdays and Saturdays from midday to 2pm and again from 6pm to midnight, as well as from noon to 8pm on Sundays.