Hophaus' annual Oktoberfest celebrations return this September-October with an extended program of events from a German degustation dinner with Weihenstephaner's Head Brewer to a dedicated Games Day, beer trivia and of course the hugely popular Teckelrennen Annual Daschund Race, expanded and improved after a triumphant inaugural event last year.
Over 6.5 million people attend the world's biggest celebration of beer and culture and once again, Melbourne's most savvy Germans and fest lovers will flock to the modern bier hall at Southgate for the 2016 Hoptoberfest program from Friday 16 September to Sunday 23 October, with the Teckelrennen Annual Dachshund Race setting a record number of short sausage legs running on Saturday 24 September.
During the five-week program, Hoptoberfest expects to attract over 20,000 merrymakers young and old, coming together to experience the magic of the world's largest festival, with a wide range of events.
'We've worked hard to offer an extensive program of events for this year's Hoptoberfest – with something for everyone from the Ladies Love Bier luncheon, beer trivia nights, Family Days, Games Day, a special fest menu and more," says Hophaus Manager Scott Highfield.
'Our bier selection will be even bigger with no less than four speciality fest biers flying in from Munich for our celebrations. It's also been a major coup for Weihenstephaner's Head Brewer Tobias Zollo to come to Melbourne to host our special degustation dinner. We are predicting record numbers this year, our biggest Hoptoberfest yet!"
While steins clash in Munich, Hoptoberfest's official Opening Day on Saturday 17 September will flow forth from midday with the traditional Tapping of the Keg - free bier until the keg runs dry! Try special dishes like Kartoffelpuffer, a German potato pancake with smoked pulled pork and apple and fennel salad, all part of new Head Chef Damian Love's special Hoptoberfest menu.
Lederhosen will need to be loosened with the Annual Sausage Eating Competition running through the afternoon, while brute strength will be tested with a new Strongman Competition running at alternating times. Will anyone be game enough to compete in both?
The annual running of the wieners sees Hophaus team up again with My Dachshund Online, and raise money for Dachshund Rescue Australia. Naomi Jones, dachshund devotee and owner of My Dachshund Online is excited to see the event return on 24 September 2016.
'Good things do indeed come in small packages, especially when it comes to the dachshund. We couldn't have been more thrilled by the interest in last year's event, we now know how much Melbourne loves dachshunds! They are as determined as they are adorable and we can't wait to see even more dachshunds pound the pavement for first place."
The Teckelrennen fest day also includes a full program of German games and activities at Hophaus with Hammerschlagen, Bretzel Tossing, The Great Bretzel Bite-Off, and Apple Bobbing (snaffle an apple and win a shot of apple schnapps!) from 1-6pm. At 6pm one of Melbourne's best German bands the Black Forest Trio will take to the stage, playing into the night.
One of 2015's most talked about Melbourne events, the Teckelrennen Daschund Race saw 54 sausage dogs of all sizes decked out in every kind of costume from pilots and lifeguards to dinosaurs and Melbourne trams, all in a bid to be crowned the -Best Dressed Dachshund'. With entrants set on topping last year's efforts, the competition is already fierce!
Last year's race to the finish line was captured and broadcast around the globe and this year the race will be bigger and better with 74 dogs already registered and dedicated areas for costume parades and spectator vantage points. Don't miss our short-legged friends in the race that really stops the nation – with 12 heated heats along a 15-metre racetrack from 11am to 2pm.
The Costume Parade will be held at midday, where short legs will strut their best threads for the top prize. Dachshund race entries are now closed, but Hophaus is still calling for entries to the Best Dressed Dachshund costume competition – get in quick by emailing Katrina@hophaus.com.au for an entry form.
Wits will be required at Hoptoberfest's Beer Trivia Nights, on selected Wednesday evenings. For something more indulgent, the German Degustation Dinner on Monday 4 October hosted by Head Brewer Weihenstephaner Tobias Zollo, will offer seven courses with matching biers. An experience fit for a king with a decadent menu, matched perfectly with the best German biers.
Hophaus is known for their expertly curated German bier selection, and Hoptoberfest sees the biertenders take it up a notch. Steins will be filled with brews such as the pale but complex lager Wiehenstephaner Fest Bier, caramel malt flavoured amber lager Paulaner Fest Lager, full-bodied wheat bier Erdinger Fest Weisse and the classic dark Marzen style Spaten Fest Bier.
For more information and to view the full Hoptoberfest 2016 program of events visit hophaus.com.au.