If you’re feeling some FOMO reading about all the Oktoberfest fun going on in Munich right now, there is an option in Vancouver that provides a little taste of the massive Bavarian beer festival.
Harvest Haus, Vancouver’s annual Oktoberfest party, has moved to the PNE this year, an expanded location over previous years that has allowed more room for all the Oktoberfest fun you can handle. Kids of all ages can visit Harvestland, a family friendly outdoor festival that features an all-ages Bavarian village, farming attractions, a labyrinth, amusement rides and a wide selection of food and drink.
The heart of the festival, however, remains the Harvest Haus, a 19+ indoor hall party featuring a centre stage and row upon row of long tables, all ringed by vendors selling a variety of beverages both local and European, including some authentic German beers on tap that you wouldn’t normally find at your corner pub. For an authentic flavour, try Paulaner, the youngest of the six main Munich Oktoberfest breweries (it’s only 385 years old).
One more pro tip if you want to get a good food base in your belly before filling your stein: the main food options are all located outside the Harvest Haus. Before you head into the hall, grab a pork hock for $12.50 if you are up for the challenge. It’s a delicious challenge – a big honest-to-God pork hock, rotisserie roasted and served with rye bread and a mountain of sauerkraut – and well worth the price. Sausages and smokies are also in high supply, as are big fresh-baked pretzels.
One more pro tip gleaned from a night on the Harvest Haus floor: wear a funny German hat, grab a seat in the middle of a long table and make some new friends! Few Vancouver social gatherings offer such an open and communal space. When the man on stage starts shouting “ziggy zaggy ziggy zaggy, oy oy oy,” you and your tablemates are on your way to shared steins and good times.