Starting mid-September and lasting all the way through the end of October, heaps of breweries, restaurants, towns and more will be throwing Oktoberfest celebrations. The original Bavarian affair is held in Munich, Germany, as the world’s largest Volkfest (beer festival and fair), running 16-days strong with more than 6 million attendees now in its 183rd year. For the love of beer, we’ve rounded up nine of the top beer bonanzas in the region, so grab your favorite pair of lederhosen, throw on your best dirndl and say hallo to the Oktoberfest season.
Alstadt Oktoberfest || Sept. 16-Oct. 31 || Seattle
One of Seattle’s most celebrated German restaurants appropriately throws the year’s longest Oktoberfest at their Pioneer Square location. Alstadt‘s event kicked off last Friday with keg-tappings, live music and a meet-and-greet with some of the state’s best German-style brewers. Every day of the celebration, Alstadt will be tapping a different German-style guest beer that has been brewed specifically for the event. The restaurant will also have a special two-tiered Oktoberfest menu ($6 and $10), including German classics like dampfnudel (steamed dumplings that can be savory or sweet, your choice), steckerlfisch (grilled mackerel stuffed with lemon and herbs), rosenkohlsalat (a shaved brussels sprout, apple and cranberry salad) and more.
Oktoberfest 2016 || Sept. 23-24 || Boise, ID
Now in its whopping 89th year, tres bonne cuisine’s (which translates to “very good food”) Oktoberfest 2016 holds to the simpler side of the event, keeping the annual celebration’s history ever in mind. In addition to plenty of beer, chefs will be grilling up both bratwurst and weisswurst (the Bavarian version of bratwurst), both of which are served with house-made sauerkraut and made by Seattle and Chicago-based German butchers. There will also be hot German potato salad, potato pancakes, apple strudel, landjaeger and more. There will also be live music from Wolfie and the Bavarians, a German band that enjoys the humorous side of Oktoberfest.
Fremont Oktoberfest || Sept. 23-25 || Seattle
Fremont Oktoberfest, held in the neighborhood’s streets between Phinney Avenue and 1st Avenue NW, is Seattle’s largest fall beer festival. The event features over 80 beers, including those from local favorites such as Fremont Brewing Co., No-Li Brewhouse and Base Camp Brewing Co., along with several ciders on tap. Since no Oktoberfest would be complete with great food, Fremont Oktoberfest will also have a spread of food trucks present, serving up everything from German classics like bratwurst to everyone’s favorite French breakfast food of crepes. Tickets range from $20 to $30, the latter of which, with 10 tasting tokens, offers the most bang for your buck.
Jacksonville Oktoberfest || Sept. 23-25 || Jacksonville, OR
Held just before the beginning of the titular month of October, the Jacksonville Oktoberfest is the largest such event in Southern Oregon. Now in its ninth year, the three-day event will feature live music, stein-holding competitions, plenty of dancing, the third annual Ms. Oktoberfest pageant, and more at the Frau Kemmling Schoolhaus Brewhaus. The last day of the festival is family day, where kids can enjoy things like magicians, cow train rides, and a princess court. Part of the proceeds for the Jacksonville Oktoberfest will benefit the re-opening of the Jacksonville Children’s Museum.
Oktoberfest || Sept. 23-25 || Portland
Held at Portland’s Oaks Park amusement park, this particular Oktoberfest is open to the whole family. In order to hold the event, Oaks Park has partnered with Paulaner Brewing, a Bavarian-based brewery that has been around since 1634, bringing its specialty Oktoberfest brew, a hefeweizen, a salvator (a sort of lightly hopped lager with dark barley malts) and a pilsner. With everything from bratwurst to schnitzel, there will also be no shortage of German food. In addition to all of the normal Oktoberfest activities and music, guests will also have access the Oaks Parks’ 24 rides, which range from bumper cars to roller coasters.
Harvest Haus Vancouver 2016 || Sept. 23-Oct. 15 || Vancouver, BC
Vancouver’s largest — and one of the newest — Oktobefestivals is back for its third year at Queen Elizabeth Plaza, bring heaps of German beer (and more), modern fare matched with traditional food, genuine European harvest-themed traditions and games as old as (or even older) the original 19th century event. With nine unique sittings in the 1,000-person hall, the festival features “immersive experiences” within each session, complete with culture (like a show keg-tapping), theatrics (like sword fights and a lip sync battle), music, food and beer in abundance.
Leavenworth Oktoberfest || Sept.30-Oct. 1, Oct. 7-8, Oct. 14-15 || Leavenworth, WA
Held for three weekends in a row in Washington’s very own Bavarian-themed town, the Leavenworth Oktoberfest is another fall beer festival that strives for authenticity. The event will feature plenty of beer and food (ranging from traditional German to Southern), as well as wine. There will also be four music venues, so guests can also expect plenty of live music. Each morning will feature a traditional German keg-tapping and the opening ceremony, which is basically a parade with beer, is one that should not be missed.
Piketoberfest || Oct. 1 || Seattle
Held both by and at one of the Pacific Northwest’s most iconic breweries, Piketoberfest all about the beer. The celebration will showcase German-style brews from regional favorites such as Old Stove Brewing, Two Beers Brewing, Diamond Knot Brewing, and host Pike Brewing, as well as those from German breweries like Ayinger, Bitburger and Pinkus. There will also be heaps of food available all day, both traditionally German and otherwise. As an added bonus, a portion of the proceeds will go towards The Pike Place Market Foundation, a Seattle-based charity that provides food, medical services, housing, and child care to those in need.
Widmer Brothers Brewing Oktoberfest || Oct. 8 || Portland
The Rose City’s longest running Volkfest returns for its 12th year at the Pioneer Courthouse Square with a live performance by X AMBASSADORS, along with local bands and beer all hosted by Widmer Brothers Brewing. The all-age event is already sold-out for general admission but the Oktoberfest option rings in at only $35 to get all the same perks of the show, plus four-ounce commemorative Oktoberfest stein and drink token. To boot, the brewery will hold two beer tents, each touting five taps, plus a specialty small batch beer tent with rotating kegs throughout the day.