“Give my people plenty of beer, good beer, and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them.” Queen Victoria
Froth, Food & Frivolity not often publicised in Abu Dhabi
This weekend we went to the Okto’beer’fest event held at Abu Dhabi’s City Golf Club. Not that unusual you might think at this time of year, but it was to me for a few reasons. Firstly, it felt strange going to a beer festival in a muslim country, secondly I hate beer and thirdly it was a meat-feast BBQ and I am a vegetarian. All the ingredients of a good night for me right there!
Lots on offer at the City Golf Club Okto’beer’fest event
AD’s Okto’beer’fest was modelled on the famous annual Munich Oktoberfest, just a much lower scale event held over two days on the lawn of the City Golf Club, which we had never been to before. With the promise of ‘Froth, Food and Frivolity’ on the advert and always up for trying somewhere new, we set off to meet friends armed with a voucher (I love a voucher) for 2-4-1 entry that offered some free drinks and food. With a live band also on offer and the humidity finally starting to drop for outdoor fun, there were lots of excellent reasons to give it a go. Even though the club is situated in the centre of AD, the place is a surprisingly vast complex that includes a horse racing track as well as the golf course and a huge, very popular clubhouse.
With sixty varieties of beverages (beer to you and me) on offer there was plenty to choose from for all those that consider themselves connoisseurs and luckily some red wine too or it would have been a very long night for me! Pizza was sourced from the club house along with a bottle of Spanish Merlot so the ‘beer and BBQ night’ was instantly more appealing.
The popular Belgium bar
The place was heaving with lots of merry expats, think village fete meets wedding reception with guests who had been steadily drinking all day and were now dancing, throw in a live band (who were actually pretty good) and DJ sets plus various lawn games and bouncy castle and that sums up the night. The Belgium beer fridge was definitely attracting the most attention with a wide range available including the famous strong Leffe Abbey beers sitting alongside some Maredsous (a high 10% ABV triple brewed beer) another Abbey brew, apparently it was tasty but on the heavy side! Shocker with that volume!
Maredsous – an abbey beer brewed under licence of the monks of Belgium’s Maredsous Abbey
I did question why we were going to an Oktoberfest event in September but some research showed that the original event moved to late September after the Bavarian cold weather forced it to move earlier to avoid a snowy Oktoberfest. The 180th Munich Oktoberfest runs this year from 21st September – 6th October in Bavaria and festivals mimicking the original are run all over the world at this time of year.
Factual bit: Oktoberfest is the world’s largest fair held annually in Munich, Bavaria in Germany. Over six million people travel from all over the world to attend the 16-day festival which runs from late September to the first weekend in October. Oktoberfest has been held since 1810 and is an important part of Bavarian culture. It started as a horse-race developing into Oktoberfest when the focus shifted away from the horse-racing and towards drinking beer and fun fair rides.
Oktoberfest certainly went down well here in expat land and visiting the original festival in Munich is on our adult gap year ‘to do list’ in our future child-free years, maybe I should start honing my beer taste buds or maybe there will be wine.
This is a sponsored post but the views are all my own. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2013. All rights reserved