If you’re getting a little sick of braving rowdy German bier halls only to vomit up your pretzels and beer on a passing beer wench, the Arbory has a classy alternative to Oktoberfest. It’s called Notøberfest and it’s a slightly more meaningful and mature version of the German bier festival with an emphasis on supporting the arts community instead of inhaling various sausages in bread (although there's always a place for that).
The Arbory is that cute little bar down near Flinders Street Station that overlooks the Yarra and they’re really pushing the boat out (pun intended) for this festival. Beloved Australian artist Reko Rennie, an Indigenous installation specialist of the Kamilaroi tribe, has created a series of neon sculptures to represent the gumtrees growing along the river. Other featured artists bring work to the Arbory include Uptown Brown, Jordy Doust and Projectionists and roving artists, as well as music by Citizien Sex, Tommy Showtime X DJ Maars, Vince Peach, Sikander, Chico G and Whiskey Houston.
But really the best part of the Notøberfest is the chance to get to Arbory and suck down a nitro espresso martini (which they’ve got on tap because priorities) and catch the wandering Euro Yum Cha trolley (what? What is that? Reveal your secrets to us, Euro Yum Cha trolley). And if you can’t fully let go of the whole Oktoberfest thing, you can take the edge off at the Wurst Yoder Smoker cook-off on the final weekend of the festival. But don’t worry, it’s still fancy — hello nitro-charged beer.
Notøberfest runs from October 16 – 25. Open from 7am until late, free entry.