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If there is one thing, tipplers around the world should be thankful to Germany for, it is giving us a valid reason to guzzle copious amounts of beer for an entire month, without a break. Not that we needed an excuse to do it otherwise, but Oktoberfest very conveniently legitimizes the act.
Legend has it that centuries ago, Germans noticed that beer brewed in summers went bad. This is why they made a law saying it should be brewed strong in March so it could be kept till October – and then finished off in a riot called Oktoberfest. Trust the Germans to legalize debauchery! Over the next couple of weeks, a bunch of places in the city are offering gourmands the chance to participate in the German revelry and ring in the festival right here in Pune, with an array of German goodies and delicious brews.
Effingut, for instance, is rustling up several ‘deutsche’ classics such as chicken schnitzel and currywurst (traditional German pork sausages served with spiced curry), besides elusive, authentic delicacies including brotschnitten (lightly tossed bread topped with pulled barbeque chicken or smoked ham with pickled vegetables), hackbraten (mini meatloaf prepared with a mix of minced chicken and fresh herbs, served with demerara sauce), huehnerpastete (creamy chicken made with fresh beer honey mustard paste), doener (freshly baked break pockets stuffed with grilled chicken strips, sour cream and German coleslaw), kohlrouladen (pan-seared cabbage rolls stuffed with spiced pilaf and cheese) and szegediner (pork stew slow-cooked in red wine and bacon accompanied by potato dumplings and sauerkraut). Wash these down with any of their ten beers on tap – I would recommend the gorgeous strawberry cider.
At the Oktoberfest finale brunch at Alfresco Beyond The Eatery, you can tuck into dishes such as nudelsuppe (a hearty noodle broth), fish schnitzel, spaetzle (soft egg noodles), and decadent black forest gateaux as a band regales you with live music. The 1st Brewhouse at The Corinthians, meanwhile, is offering a single ‘Oktoberfestbier’, the potent Marzen. Traditionally a lager, this one is made from ale yeast, and is low on bitterness. You could also try it at The Irish Village, where you can partake in beer games among other festivities.
Jonky Café and Brewery, in a tie-up with German street food eatery Mahlzeit, is also organizing their own Oktoberfest with live music and games. The grub here will comprise of select dishes from the Mahlzeit menu such as coilwurst, meatball salad, bratkartoffeln (butter-fried potatoes sliced and seasoned with pepper, chilli, and caramelised onions) and kartoffelbrei (mashed potatoes cooked in cream). Meanwhile, Mahlzeit is also independently whipping up weisswurst (white sausages) with sweet mustard as an Oktoberfest special item.
As always, the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce too, is hosting the eighth edition of the festival at the Pune Turf Club where invitees can down all kinds of wheat beer and dark beer, and munch on specially imported bratwurst and potato salad. Think ladies dressed in Dirndls, the zing and bubble of fresh ales, and kids and adults alike dancing to the beats of “Ein Prosit” (a traditional Oktoberfest folk song) – this one is the real deal.