It’s all about the beer

Liquid gold is probably the most important thing at Oktoberfest, but there’s much more to it than that.

In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, they live for Carnival, in Munich, Germany, for the Oktoberfest. When one is over, it’s time to look forward to the next. But what exactly is the Oktoberfest?

The Oktoberfest tradition started in 1810, to celebrate the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to the Saxon-Hildburghausen Princess Therese. The citizens of Munich were invited to join in the festivities, which were held over five days in the fields in front of the city gates, since known as the Theresienwiese gardens, in honour of the Princess. The main event of the original Oktoberfest was a horse race. The event was so successful that they decided to hold the horse race the following year and then every year after that, before the celebration eventually evolved into the massive festival we know today, with 568,000 visitors in 2015. But if you live in the Algarve you don’t need to travel to Munich to enjoy the genuine Oktoberfest-feeling.

Since 2012, Vila Vita Biergarten, in Porches, has been holding its own annual Oktoberfest celebrations. This year they will be held between September 29 and October 5. The authentic Munich-style beer garden is located just off the EN 125, off the Porches roundabout, and features staff in Dirndls and Lederhosen, the traditional Bavarian costumes, as well as vivid murals portraying scenes from Bavarian life. Open all year, the restaurant will be particularly lively during Oktoberfest, with music every evening provided by the famous Münchner Gaudiblosn band, special menus with German delicacies throughout the week, and of course plenty of Erdinger beer, made by one of Germany’s most celebrated breweries.

Highlights on the menu prepared by executive chef Manfred Kickmaier include traditional Bavarian appetisers and sausages, authentic and delicious side dishes and the bestseller, crispy knuckle of pork (Schweinehaxe). The meat melts with every bite, while the crispy touch makes your mouth water. A dish to die for!

Start with a Brezel, the traditional German bread, in the shape of a loose knot, salted on the outside, together with Bavarian Obatzda, a cheese spread, the rich and exquisite flavour of which results from the perfect combination of three kinds of cheese. Try the Spätzle, one of the Biergarten’s specialities. This is made with dough, cooked in boiling water, before being sautéed with lots of onion, garlic and two types of cheese. Finally, it’s topped off with a crispy touch of pan-fried onions. When it comes to sausages, take your pick from Weißwurst, Currywurst, Thüringer, Nürnberger, Wiener or Merguez. Boasting an array of authentic flavours and a variety of herbs and spices, these sausages are prepared with the best organic pork and beef from Vila Vita Parc’s on-site butcher’s. The butcher’s works to the “Farm to Table” concept: the meat comes from Vila Vita Parc’s Herdade dos Grous estate, near Beja in the Alentejo and is prepared into delicious cold cuts and sausages at the on-site butcher’s. This way, Vila Vita Parc can control the quality of its meat from its origins, right up to the final product. The estate rears regional and local breeds, in the open, feeding them on the best pasture. This is reflected in the high-quality meat joined by side dishes such as potato salad, Sauerkraut, red cabbage, bread dumplings, sautéed potatoes or herb Spätzle, to make a perfect meal. You’ll be spoiled for choice! And of course, to end the meal in the best possible way, homemade Apple Strudel, served with whipped cream.

Ensuring the theme of the festival, Erdinger beer, in its Kristall, Weiß or Dunkel versions. The latter is even used at Vila Vita Parc Biergarten as an ingredient in its delicious freshly-baked bread, and to make ice cream and sauces.

Joining fine Bavarian beer, there is another, new drink, currently enjoying huge success at Vila Vita Parc, which will also be available at the Biergarten during the Oktoberfest – sangria made with beer and apple juice.

With its relaxed atmosphere and children’s play area in the gardens, the festival is a great treat for the whole family. During the Oktoberfest, the Vila Vita Biergarten will be open from 1pm to 10pm, with the band playing from 7pm onwards.

Tel 282 381 177

Text Anabela Gaspar



Author: Inside Carvoeiro

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