Expat’s Guide To ENJOYING Oktoberfest In Singapore – By Expat Andrea McKenna Brankin

Tick, tock – it’s coming up on beer-o’-clock!
04 September 2019

(image: Swiss Club, Singapore)

Inspired by the Bavarian tradition of Oktoberfest, there will be celebrations all over the island city.

What to expect? Lots of “oompah” music, food and bierkrugs (steins) of heavy German lagers, pilsners and ales. (In fact, the celebrations already started in September at the Swiss Club, Singapore!)

The biggest of the SG bier parties – Oktoberfest Asia 2019 – will be hosted at a new location along the Singapore River, in an air-conditioned festival-styled marquee at the open field next to Liang Court, bordered by River Valley Road and Clemenceau Avenue. Its Main Event runs from 18 to 19 October 2019, with a Family Day event following on the 19th (but only if you buy tickets ahead of time).

Here’s some more info, gathered by yours truly, to help you get the most (or least!) out of this year’s festivities…

Think “Wedding” Dancing with More Beer

The origins of Oktoberfest hark back to 1810 in Bavaria (modern-day Germany) to celebrate the wedding of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. You might also want to know that the “Chicken Dance” we often hear from the German party bands is similar to Oktoberfest’s original “Der Ententanz” (a.k.a., The Duck Dance), during which dancers flap their arms like a duck.

Know Your Bier Facts

So, there’s no shortage of Gute Zeiten (good times) to be had in honor of Germany’s favourite drink fest. If you need another reason to hit the taps, then check out reasonably scientifically sound book Beer: Health and Nutrition. Written by Professor CM Bamforth, this 14-year-old book talks about the history of beer in our diet, beer production and what it’s made out of, as well as how beer contributes to health and social issues. (Also, recall, it was Homer Simpson who said – while holding aloft a frothy mug of beer, “Here’s to alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems!”)

Not a Beer Fan?

If you don’t drink beer, well, um, I guess Oktoberfest is not going to be your thing. But, you can fake it, if you indeed have to attend the annual festivities. Then, there’s nothing wrong with nursing your beer – drinking from the same bottle very slowly, hour after hour. Eventually, people will stop noticing you still have the same beer. Because, beer.

Alternatively, if you really don’t want to drink, or simply don’t drink, and don’t feel comfortable saying so, just blame it on course of antibiotics or some other medication. Try this: “I’m on medication.” Full stop. It usually works like a charm.

Whatever you decide – to drink or not to drink – it’s still fun to attend such cultural events in Singapore. Fill your steins, flap your wings and party like it’s 1810!


About Andrea McKenna Brankin

Andrea McKenna Brankin is a journalist and author from the United States who lives a full life with bipolar disorder. Her book, Bipolar Phoenix, is awaiting a publishing contract. She is also currently a volunteer at the DaySpring Residential Treatment Centre for teen girls in Singapore, providing befriending-family support, therapeutic writing and rugby coaching.


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