The London Bierfest returned to the City of London for its 15th edition on 18-19 October 2018, with ample steins of Bitburger beer, traditional Bavarian cuisine and live entertainment.

Piggybacking on the rising popularity of Germany’s traditional autumnal celebration, and diversifying tastes in beer, the event launched in 2003 as a two-day Bavarian-style event, bringing the spirit of the Munich Oktoberfest to the City of London. A team of Heidis, Helgas and Helmuts, all in traditional dress, serve thousands of revellers each day.

Tables come with an all-inclusive package of unlimited steins of Bitburger beer, wine and soft drinks, platters of traditional German cuisine, full table seneerbeerrvice throughout the night and live performances. This year’s event included cabaret and burlesque performer Miss Polly Rae, who brought along an array of aerialists, dancers and acrobats.

Bitburger was again on board as the event’s partner for the eighth time.

Taking to the skies

Also performing at the event were acrobatic duo Deux Ailes, Bruce Airhead, Jessica Ladley and more. Deux Ailes combined grace, style and gravity-defying agility both in the air and on the ground with their breath-taking routines. Leading comedy entertainer Bruce Airhead performed a comedy cabaret act using a six-foot balloon.

Jessica Ladley also performed with a CYR wheel, the acrobatic apparatus which has taken the circus world by storm. Jessica combined her strong dance and acrobatic foundation with the wonders of the wheel.

Leading aerialist LJ Marles took aerial straps to new heights, with breath-taking skills and jaw dropping expertise. Female dance troupe The Lola’s Showgirls, who are considered the very best in the business, also made an appearance.

Miss Polly Rae said: “I’m so excited to be coming back to London Bierfest for the third year running. It is always great to be part of this event and there is always an amazing atmosphere amongst guests as they enjoy the best food, drinks and entertainment. There is so much incredible talent in the line-up this year, promising a unique, fun experience for corporate groups of all sizes.”

Oktoberfest: a mini history

The first Oktoberfest was held to honour the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen, in 1810. 

In 200 years, Oktoberfest has only been cancelled 24 times. The causes were mostly due to the war and cholera epidemics.

Since 1950, the festival has only started after the official gun salute and the mayor shouting O’ zapft is! (“It’s tapped!”) and offering the first mug to the Minister-President of the State of Bavaria. Only after that, can the festival start.

During Oktoberfest, traditional visitors wear Bavarian hats (Tirolerhüte). The more tufts of goat hair on your hat, the wealthier you are considered to be.

Albert Einstein once worked as an electrician at Oktoberfest and helped to set up one of the beer tents in 1896.

Paris Hilton once went to the event dressed in a golden and shiny Bavarian Drindl to promote a brand of canned wine. Locals got the organisers to ban her because they were offended by how she was dressed.