h

LOToberfest is set to bring a little Volkskultur to Victoria

One of Melbourne’s biggest permanent drinking halls is transforming itself into a German Bierhaus to celebrate Oktoberfest 2018. 

With authentic German cuisine, a silent disco and an offer of a free beer stein to all attendees, LOToberfest will bring a little Volkskultur to Victoria.

The Ascot Lot, boasting the area’s largest Biergarten, is one of Northside Melbourne’s street food icons. In typically Melburnian fashion, the Lot’s 150-seat drinking hall is built entirely from recycled material and furnished with handcrafted seating and fixtures. This year, the Lot will be transformed into a miniature Munich that will aim to have Melburnians singing an ode to joy.

“LOToberfest is the first Oktoberfest event to be held in Moonee Valley, with an emphasis on community and an intimate setting,” Ascot Lot owner Jacob Bettio says. “There’ll be food trucks galore, a unique Bavarian atmosphere, a silent disco along with cheap German Biers on tap.  We wanted to put on an Oktoberfest event that is affordable, and accessible to all.”

Another LOToberfest first will be the silent disco led by DJs Lloyd Jones and Fragile Future.  Attendees will be able to pick up a pair of headphones and dive into a party atmosphere worthy of a Weimar-era cabaret without waking the neighbours.

“We wanted to throw something a little different into the mix,” Bettio says. “Guests who are wanting to party a little harder can chuck on a set of headphones and escape to a dance party straight out of Munich.”

“Durst wird durch Bier erst schön,” goes the traditional German quip: “Through beer, thirst becomes beautiful.” LOToberfest will be putting this principle to the test with an array of beers on tap, including offerings from Rodenbach and König Pilsener.

Rodenbach, a Belgian brewery specialising in Flemish red ale, is renowned for its Caractère Rouge double-matured beer, flavoured with raspberries and cherries.  Also on tap will be König pilsener, a popular German brew noted for its malty flavour and subtly bitter herbal notes. For the less adventurous, a standard array of Australian beers will also be offered.

LOToberfest will also be attended by a fleet of food trucks who will whet attendees’ thirst with pretzels, bratwurst, and other quintessential Deutsche delicacies. A Fritz’s Wieners truck will be on hand with their signature frankfurter served on a toasted baguette. An eclectic new addition to the Fritz’s menus is the “currywurst,” a sliced mild bratwurst topped with sauerkraut, tomato sauce and curry powder. Even Schopenhauer would have admitted that, with a pilsener in one hand and a currywurst in the other, life is worth living.

The Oktoberfest tradition has been celebrated since the marriage of the Bavarian Prince Ludwig in 1810. Since then, it has evolved into a celebration of Bavarian brewing culture and communal fraternity not at all alien to Australia. If this first LOToberfest meets expectations, it could become a recurring event.

“Guests will experience authentic German Bier and food, with a uniquely Melbourne twist,” Bettio says. “At The Lot, we never take ourselves too seriously, so our main goal is always to create an atmosphere where guests can kick back for the day and spend time with good company.”

Silent Disco

Ascot Vale’s first silent disco will be led by DJs Lloyd Jones and Fragile Future. Special headphones will allow attendees to rock out without drawing noise complaints. DJ Lloyd Jones specialises in electro and house remixes, and has performed in clubs across Greece and the UK. Jones has appeared at the Big Reunion and the Naughty Reunion, two of the UK’s largest indoor winter festivals. He has also DJed in prominent venues including Pacha in Spain and Altromondo Studios in Remini, Italy.

Beer on Tap

A variety of Oktoberfest classic beers, including brews from Westphalia’s König Brewery. The original König pilsener is distinguished by its pale colour and ample, frothy head. Typical of Bavarian-style pilsener, König pilsener displays notes of lemon and honey, with a slight yeasty undertone. Also available will be beers from Rodenbach Brewery. Rodenbach’s classic ale is recognised for its unique fruity and slightly sour taste, reminiscent of a red wine. Rodenbach ales are aged in oak casks, and are known for their distinctive red hue. Traditional Bavarian-style beers are well matched to pretzels, bratwurst dishes, and other German Bierhaus cuisine.

Fritz’s Wieners

The quintessentially bratty food truck seen in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, Fritz’s Wiener’s specialises in German sausages served on toasted baguette bread. The standard Fritz’s frankfurter is non-spicy and can be served topped with sauerkraut, onion, tomato sauce or mustard. Other popular Fritz’s dishes include the spicy bratwurst and the mild bratwurst, both 150g beef-and-pork sausages, smoked over the wood of the manuka tree. Esoteric Fritz’s dishes include the double banger, which includes two frankfurters or bratwursts, and the currywurst, combining bratwurst and sauerkraut with tomato sauce and curry powder.  Fritz’s Wieners has previous catered Australia Day celebrations at the Sydney Opera House, the Meatstock music and barbecue festival, and Sydney’s Chrome Fest auto show.

LOToberfest is a free event which will take place at the Ascot Lot on Saturday October 6 from 12pm. For more information visit The Lot’s website.