As our preparations for Bandit Oktoberfest 2017 began a few months back, we were faced with the question of how to best honour the iconic Bavarian tradition while giving it a slight Bandit twist. Taking an insightful look at how the festival was created and the history and folktales behind it gave us a greater understanding of the styles of beers we would want to create and what the concept behind these would be.

The earliest Oktoberfest dates back to October 12th, 1810, when the people of Munich congregated to celebrate the marriage of King Ludwig and Princess Therese in the city outskirts. Immediately, a yearly tradition was created, although the festivities morphed into a sort of agricultural festival for the region of Bavaria. With the passing of the years, beer started to become an important part of the festivities. While still keeping an agricultural element as a component, it’s clear that beer has now become the most crucial component of what Oktoberfest represents.

In keeping with the themes of the festival’s origins and its legends of yore, Bandit Brewery is delighted to introduce its two Oktoberfest beers for 2017: Ludwig (5.1%), a well-balanced black lager with smooth dark malt flavours and a mild roast aroma, and Therese (4.7%), a delicate and light German layered ale (Kolsch) with pilsner and biscuit aromas. Ben from our brewing team says “The Kolsch was added in place of our popular Hoppelgänger (Hopped Pilsner) as our lighter offering. The Dark Lager delivers a great contrast to the rest of our German-style beers, plus it was a ton of fun to make as it’s our first time brewing a lager using only dark malts.”

Brewing German-style beers is not new to Bandit Brewery. In the past we’ve been inspired by this region and have crafted some of your favourite Bandit beers in this tradition; from The Wizard of Gose to Hassel-Hef (both also available for Bandit Oktoberfest). In the words of Bandit Brewery brewer, Stephane, who spent a good part of his twenties living in Dresden: “I have always been impressed by the dry and crisp bitterness of German lagers. When brainstorming what our Oktoberfest offerings for 2017 would be, we focused on lower ABV beers that could be enjoyed in Steins throughout the day, so the Kolsch and the Dark Lager became our top choices.”

The brewing process called for both new beers to be lagered, or stored cold for a period of time. The Therese Kolsch is brewed with a German ale yeast at a cooler temperature and left to rest for a while as it cleans up and clarifies. The Ludwig black lager required a lengthier aging period compared to our Hoppelgänger (our original dry-hopped Pilsner) in order to soften the dark malt character and bring more balance to the beer.

When asked what his vision for Bandit Oktoberfest 2017 is, Stephane tells us: “Since beer is very experiential, we thought it would be fun to try to recreate the folkloric Oktoberfest atmosphere that I enjoyed while living in Germany for one day, with German beers, food and traditional music in the middle of our small beer garden.”

Bandit Oktoberfest’s Therese and Ludwig will be available on Saturday, September 16th  in our bottle shop (11 am- 11 pm) and on tap ring our all-day Oktoberfest celebration (12 pm- 1 am).