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PLAN AHEAD: It's already September, which means Oktoberfest is not far away.

PLAN AHEAD: It's already September, which means Oktoberfest is not far away.

This year is flying by – can you believe it’s almost October? And you know what that means. Oktoberfest. 

Murray’s Brewery is on board, as always, with month-long celebrations kicking off on the October long weekend. Three specially-brewed festival beers are being released, including the brewer’s first kransky smoky sausage beer and Black Forest beer, and there will be live music. The Oktoberfest food offering will include kransky burgers, smoked meats and house-made pretzels. 

German menu

The Burwood Inn at Merewether has also planned ahead for Oktoberfest. The hotel’s “Oktoberfestivities” will coincide with Munich’s and kick off at noon on Sunday, September 17. A hearty three-course German-style menu will be served and each course accompanied by one of three Bavarian beers on tap (the Official 2017 Festbier from Hofbrau, Paulaner Pilsener and Franziskaner Hefe Weissbier). Phone 4963 5000 to book.

Munich specialties will be served in The Burwood’s restaurant until October 18.

Also, a special lunch event is taking place on Sunday, October 15, to launch The Burwood’s new spring menu. Head chef Ollie Ferguson is working on a three-course menu which will be paired with wines. 

Changing hands

Guy Ashford of Mt Hutton is the winner of the Das Hund Haus “bar raffle” and will take over ownership of the Hamilton venue from James Sneddon.

“After 148 days [and] 12,621 vouchers sold we have one winner. We have started the handover while Guy comes to terms with what he has won and works out what is next,” James told Food & Wine.  

Good karma

Newy Burger Co. is going above and beyond to help Newcastle families battling disease and doing it tough. In the three years since it opened, the burger bar has raised $100,000 for families through charity Good Karma Fundraising. 

“We started our fund-raising efforts when we were introduced to the then three-year old Kane Ransom who was battling leukaemia,” co-owner Ben Neil said. 

“After meeting this beautiful little fighter we wanted to do all we could to help the Ransom family who are now free of cancer and good friends of our business. We recently saw Kane fit and healthy playing under-7s rugby and it was a beautiful thing to see how well he was doing.”

Money is raised through Newy Burger Co’s weekly burger specials, donation boxes and ticketed fund-raising events and would not be possible without the generosity of fellow business owners. 

“Some of the local businesses that have supported us with our fundraising have included legendary artist Mitch Revs, Murray’s Brewing, First Creek Wines, Kruzin Skateboards, Lakes Folly, Quest Apartments, the Cambridge Hotel and OPSM,” Ben said.

“Sadly not all of the families we support have happy outcomes and while we know our efforts don’t take away any of their pain, we can only hope that some of their financial pressures are eased and that there is some comfort from Newcastle people rallying to support them in their time of need.”

The next challenge is to raise money for Charlies Run 4 Kids, a charity run from Seal Rocks to Dudley held in November.

A good cause

Mark Phillips, chef and co-owner of Mister P's Burger Bar at Charlestown.

Mark Phillips, chef and co-owner of Mister P's Burger Bar at Charlestown.

Speaking of business owners with big hearts, Mr P’s Burger Bar’s Katrina and Mark Phillips are raising money for Suicide Prevention Org on September 10 for World Suicide Prevention Day. You can help by purchasing a beef burger between noon and 3pm on the day. By doing so, you will be in the running to win some great prizes. 

Katrina lost a family member to suicide in 2015 and hopes Burgers For A Good Cause will become an annual event at the Charlestown restaurant.   

“If I can prevent just one person from going through what I went through it will all be worth it,” she said. 

Wine and dine

Time is running out to purchase tickets to Wine and Dine for Disability at Marina Views Function Centre, Wickham, on September 11 (6pm to 10pm). All funds raised from this popular fine-dining event go to ConnectAbility to help people with a disability learn how to better engage with their community.

Chefs Andy Wright, Mark Hosie, Gareth Williams, Tim Montgomery and Tom Robinson are all donating their time – and their talent – to this good cause. The menu will be matched with beverages from De luliis Wines, Thomas Wines and Ironbark Brewery.

The event is made possible thanks to the generosity of the Commonwealth Bank, the many suppliers and host venue Marina Views. Tickets are $130 per head and available at stickytickets.com.au/55965 or by phoning Margaret at ConnectAbility on 4962 1000.

Fresh flavours

Three Monkeys has a new spring and summer dinner menu with everything from bao to dumplings and blue-eyed cod. For $60 per person you can ask for the decision to be made for you and a selection of dishes will be served. It is, of course, the season for it. Subo has just updated their $90 five-course set menu to include Fraser Island spanner crab, Byron Bay Berkshire pork cheek and Riverina black Angus sirloin.

Take two

Pork Ewe Deli has opened a store on Darby Street but owner Samantha Glover has assured customers there are no plans to close the existing Mayfield store. 

Sunday feast

Feast Fest returns to Blacksmiths Beach this Sunday, September 10, 10am to 4pm.

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