Global groove

Alice Howells, of Bristol-based Wiper and True talks Oktoberfest to us.


Q: Celebrating Oktoberfest is both a German tradition and a global phenomenon. What does celebrating Oktoberfest mean to the Wiper and True team?

A: At Wiper and True we’re lucky enough to have a wonderful German Master Brewer at the helm of our production team. Marvin trained at the world renowned Doemens Academy in Munich, and really took our brewing to the next level when he joined the team a few years ago. 

Marvin has always talked so happily about his memories of the proper Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich, and so ever since he joined our team we’ve always wanted to celebrate Oktoberfest. Up until this year we didn’t have the taproom space or brewing capacity to do it properly, but that all changed with the move to our 28,000 square foot new home in Old Market, Bristol. In this huge space, we can finally host the ultimate Bristolian Oktoberfest party, doing justice to Marv’s heritage and our love of throwing a good party.

Q: What will Wiper and True's Oktoberfest event look like this year?

A: We’ve taken a lot of inspiration from the official celebrations in Munich, about which Marvin told us so much - with so much passion and enthusiasm - over the years. The main thing that really came through for us when listening to Marv’s stories was that although beer naturally plays a big part in the celebrations, the real Oktoberfest is also about great food, music, theatre and culture; community, in short. We really wanted to channel that spirit into our own event. 

The food at the Oktoberfest celebrations in Germany is so integral to the experience that this was one of the first things we confirmed when planning our party. We knew that in traditional Munich celebrations, only the best restaurants in the city are invited to cook. It isn’t mass-produced, cookie-cutter festival food; it’s quality, local cooking by really talented chefs. 

With that in mind, we reached out to Bristol legends Pasture, a meat-focussed restaurant whose focus on quality ingredients, treated carefully, is renowned. This talented team have their own beautiful farm on the edge of the city, growing many of the ingredients for their recipes themselves. We’re so thrilled that the Pasture team have designed a bespoke sharing menu for our lucky Oktoberfest guests; the tables will be groaning under the weight of juicy meat platters, glorious salads and sides, and vibrant sauces. It’s going to be epic! 

Q: Are there any Oktoberfest traditions that W&T will be putting their own/a Bristolian spin on?

A: Traditional German parties would always feature the iconic Oompah band, but for a Bristolian twist, Wiper and True’s revellers will be serenaded by an incredible local samba band. The crew are called Sambistas, and our very own Warehouse Assistant Alex is part of the gang! We love using our venue to support musicians, and when it’s one of our own team’s bands it’s even better. 

Q: Can you tell me a bit about the Oktoberfest beer you're brewing in honour of the occasion?

A: For our Oktoberfestbier, we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel. Instead, our beer very much pays homage to the authentic, original Oktoberfest beers from Munich, with a malt-forward flavour derived from German-grown Pilsner and Munich malts, and a light floral touch from Hallertauer Tradition hops. 

Our Oktoberfestbier is less carbonated than the average lager, making it an extra smooth, easy drinking beer whether you’re enjoying a can at home or drinking it by the stein at our taproom party. 

Q: It's been just over a year since you opened your fabulous Old Market brewery taproom, what has it been like to have that space available to host events and build community?

A: When we were designing the new taproom in Old Market, we always knew that we wanted to put events and community right at the heart of the space. We’re lucky enough to be based in a diverse city packed with interesting people, and we wanted to create a space that would reflect this amazing variety, introducing a new space for people to use and enjoy, as well as a destination for enjoying incredible beer, fresh from the source. 

Right from day one we packed our calendar with a broad array of events, hoping to create a calendar that had something for everyone, whatever their budget or interest. Within our first week of opening we hosted a comedy night & surplus food feast raising money for FareShare South West, a makers market, and a vinyl-only day party. 

Our events calendar has only gone from strength to strength since then, hosting everything from monthly yoga and pottery sessions to graphic design meet-ups, jumble sales to cheese and cider tastings. We’re hosting regular live music events with local musicians, and our DJ nights have been filling our industrial estate with good tunes and better vibes. We’re really proud to have the most diverse events calendar in the city.

Q: Do you have any other brewery news or updates you'd like to share with readers? 

A: We’re now just over a decade into our life as a brewery, and there’s always so many exciting things happening, every week. It’s hard to choose just one highlight to share… In terms of beer releases, we’re absolutely thrilled to share that later this year we’ll be launching an alcohol-free version of our flagship pale ale, Kaleidoscope. Produced using innovative de-alcoholisation technology to preserve maximum flavour and quality in the beer, this is something we’ve been working on for a really long time. The response to Tomorrow, our first alcohol-free release, a 0.5% lager, was absolutely incredible, and we can’t wait to add a pale ale to our lineup. 

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