Oktoberfest season has arrived, and it’s a grand time to be a beer lover. Based on a 200-year-old tradition that began in Munich, this celebration of harvest season has since spread around the globe. Inspired by the beer served at the 1810 wedding of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig that started the custom, Oktoberfest beers are Marzen-like beers: robust, reddish-amber lagers with pronounced malt flavors.
The modern German incarnation of the original celebration now draws millions each year, runs 16 to 17 days long, and comes with strict rules about what brands and types of beers can fill your stein.
Here in the US, we’re a bit more flexible with our suds-centric merrymaking, and Bavarian-style bashes are already underway. Slip into some lederhosen, don your dirndls, and check out where you can enjoy some festing around town.
Monday, September 14-Sunday, September 20
South Street’s beer hall Brauhaus Schmitz is taking Oktoberfest in Philly to new heights with a week’s worth of festive events. Raise a stein during the nightly Liter Lift competitions or save your energy for the main event on Saturday, September 19. Brauhaus’ Seventh Annual Oktoberfest will feature tented areas outside, a pig roast where chef Jeremy Nolen will serve more than a ton of pork, live oompah music, and plenty, we mean plenty, of great beer. Food and drink are pay as you go.
Saturday, September 19
Fishtown neighbors Frankford Hall and Fette Sau are throwing an all-day Oktoberfest block party with food and fun for everyone. Bavarian and German-style beer will flow and make a perfect pair with brats and giant pretzels. Carnival games, pony rides, and Victory Brewing Co root beer floats will be available for the younger Oktoberfest attendees.
Saturday, September 19
Get to City Tap House for a day of yoga and beer with a festive perspective. Start the day with a 10:30 AM 50-minute yoga class by Core Fitness, followed by a beer tasting with Home Brewed Events. A $20 ticket includes the yoga class and a complimentary beverage ticket. Participants will also receive $5 pumpkin beer flights.
Saturday and Sunday, September 26 and 27
Hop Angel Brauhaus (7980 Oxford Ave.; 215-437-1939)
Hop Angel’s two-day fest will feature authentic Oktoberfest-style beers and Bavarian food specials. During the fest, Hop Angel will give free sausage sandwiches to anyone who shows up in dirndls and lederhosen, and prizes will be awarded to those who wear them best.
Thursday, October 1
Grey Lodge’s Grand Poobah, Mike “Scoats” Scotese is tapping three seasonal brews from Penn Brewing including Pumpkin Roll Ale, Oktoberfest, and Harvest Rye IPA. The occasion will be marked with traditional German eats, and giveaways will be awarded for anyone dressed in lederhosen or dirndls.
Friday–Sunday, October 9–11
Marc Vetri’s Italian gastropub is going German once again for the annual Oktoberfest celebration. Victory Brewing Company is taking over the taps all weekend while the kitchen serves up traditional Oktoberfest foods. Join the Stein Hoist competition on Friday night and then move outside on Saturday when Alla Spina shuts down Mt. Vernon Street, fires up the grills, and parties while Polkadelphia provides some authentic tunes.
Saturday, October 17
Xfinity Live! (1100 Pattison Ave.; 855-406-4119)
For its fourth annual Oktoberfest celebration, Xfinity Live! is pulling out all the stops. There will be more than 200 craft beers on tap, live music, contests, prizes and food trucks. Tickets start at $45 per person.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!