Otway Oktoberfest

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Otway Oktoberfest

For beer lovers, when October rolls around it’s almost as good as Christmas. What other time of year can you inexcusably enjoy in a number of different beers without anyone to tell you otherwise? The time of year we’re talking of is Oktoberfest, but it’s not all about beer guzzling and pints, as the Otway Oktoberfest is quickly proving.
The yearly event run by Prickly Moses Brewing also includes a selection of local wines, in-house cordials and a cider made at the brewery, so there’s something for everyone no matter what your taste palette.
But the real charm of this Oktoberfest is in the local craft beers on offer, a specialty of this festival.
“Every year we brew a special lager that’s traditional to the Oktoberfest style, and this year we’ve done another German style a dark wheat beer,” head brewer at Prickly Moses, Luke Scott says.
“We brew to the German standard, or the German purity law as it’s stated. Just the four ingredients malt, water, hops and yeast. So I guess that’s the benefit of craft beer as well, not that you should drink a lot of it, but you do recover a lot better as well.”
A firm favourite amongst last year’s attendees was the Prickly Moses special the Barking Owl, named after the native owl of the Otways.
“The Barking Owl is a Dunkelweizen – one of the oldest styles of beer in the world. I was just doing some research on it yesterday and the style was found in 1800 BC so it’s a dark wheat beer; a malty German wheat beer that sort of has these banana and clove characters that the yeast throws off,” he says.
Luke clearly knows his craft, and it’s something he’s willing to share and will do as the Otway Oktoberfest also has a collection of tastings, talks and tours that give a further understanding to the beers they’re drinking.
“People just get a bit more understanding of our story and so they come away from the day realising we’re not a massive factory. Also to see that we’re quite hands on, there is a lot of love that goes in; we’re not fully automated. We like to educate people on what craft beer is all about and the movement,” he says.
“[Craft Beer] had a chequered past, everyone has come to call it craft but it used to be called boutique. For my background all beer is good, I still love drinking Carlton at the MCG but I liken it to the fast food of beers, but my philosophy is to promote beer collectively.”
With knowledge comes fun and plenty of it, as lined up for the days festivities are a ‘Dunk the Brewer’ stall (it’s exactly what you think it is), live music, slapdancers, a sack race and plenty of German treats to fill your stomach.
The whole event is made even easier with a quick jump on the train, then to board a shuttle directly for any Geelong locals. Visit the website (
www.pricklymoses.com.au) for more information on how to get there and, more importantly, get tickets.
Written by Alexander Lightfoot
When & Where: Otway Estate, Barongarook – October 17