It’s not often I find many exciting things to do in Essex, but it turns out something very exciting was coming to Chelmsford for the weekend!
Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival, held annually in Munich, Germany, with millions of people traveling to enjoy time at the 16-18 day festival.
Oktoberfest Essex ran from Thursday 5th – Saturday 7th October, with afternoon and evening slots available to book. James booked tickets for the Saturday afternoon slot, as I thought it would be less rowdy and slightly more chilled out than the evening ones! The standing tickets cost £15 each which I found a little steep, considering that price is just for entering the festival, but it’s not often that something cool comes to Chelmsford!
Once we swapped our tickets for wristbands, we headed into the festival.
There were dozens of eateries and bars scattered around outside the tent, so we headed to a traditional German food stand to try a bratwurst to try our first taste of Germany.
The stand served up freshly cooked bratwurst, krakaur, currywurst and cheesewurst. James ordered a plain Bratwurst (£7) and added ketchup, and I ordered a Bratwurst with sauerkraut (£7) and added ketchup. As sausages go, this was a tasty one, and not too fatty either. The sauerkraut was a lovely pickled-crunchy addition too. Even though the bread was a little on the dry side, it kick started our German beer experience perfectly!
We headed into the bier tent for some drinking, dancing and Bavarian fun.
The tent was packed FULL with people, and I mean super packed full.
It was such an exciting atmosphere, with a live band playing Oompop deep brassy music, and there were people dancing and singing on the tables.
We headed to the bar to grab a drink, and were a little stunned at just how expensive it was.
The bar served fruit ciders and beers in 2 pint servings, either in a plastic throw away cup (£11) or in a traditional stein (£15). They seemed a little steep in price, (especially as we weren’t in London!) but I forked out more to get the traditional stein and enjoyed a delicious apple cider. James’s fruit cider was delicious, crisp and sweet too, and we soon found ourselves singing and tapping along to instrumental classics played by the live band, including Mr Brightside and Don’t Look Back in Anger.
For a couple of hours, we definitely felt as if we were transported into a traditional beer festival! I had a great time and enjoyed getting in the spirit of it all. Oktoberfest Essex was a success in its first year, which is why they’ve already opened a sign up form to nab yourself some tickets for the 2018 Oktoberfest!
I *think* it may be happening in locations around the country, so I would definitely recommend a trip there if it happens to be nearby!