Oktoberfest is built on a German tradition that dates back more than 200 years, when the fall harvest festival was combined with celebration of a Bavarian prince’s wedding to create the biggest blowout party Munich had ever seen. With all the beer and dancing and food and fun, it’s no wonder the event became an annual tradition that’s emulated around the world. Here’s where and how to fest it up in Philadelphia.
Iron Hill Brewery
At 5 PM on Thursday, September 25, all 10 locations of this brewpub will tap the house Oktoberfest beer — a medium-bodied lager — and introduce a special Bavarian-inspired menu. Look for Black Forest meatballs, sauerbraten pot roast and apple-raisin bread pudding, among other dishes designed to pair with the German lagers. Everything’s available all the way through Sunday, October 12.
Victory Brewing is the partner for the weekend of Oktoberfest events on North Broad, which starts with 4:30-7 PM happy hour on Friday, September 26, followed immediately by a stein hoisting competition at 7 PM. On Sunday, September 28, there’s a street festival with German-style food, games and live music, plus plenty of Victory beers to go around.
Two weeks of festivities at the Fishtown beer hall continue all the way through Thursday, October 2. Highlights include a “jumbling towers” (aka Jenga) tournament with prizes from Shiner (Wednesday, September 24), a Hofbrau stein holding competition at 7 PM on Thursday, September 25, and a series of brewery giveaways each night from Tuesday-Thursday, September 30-October 2.
Sister restaurant Brauhuas Schmitz hosted a blowout street fest last weekend, but if you’re looking to put your own party together, this Reading Terminal Market stand has you covered. Grill packs that go for $60 each contain enough brats, wursts, kraut, potato salad, cucumber salad and rolls to feed six or eight people, or get your larger group of 12-15 fed for $116. Custom catering options are also available, in case you want to think of nothing but lifting your own stein to your lips.
Grey Lodge Pub
Yuengling is sponsoring this years Oktoberfest party at this Northeast beer bar, which will take place Friday, September 26, from 6-9 PM. Expect plenty of giveaways from the Pennsylvania-based brewery, including prizes for the best lederhosen and dirndls, plus live music, sausages and lots of Oktoberfest on tap.
Hop Angel Brauhaus
Out in Fox Chase, this tavern is hosting a huge weekend-long festival from September 27-28, full of Bavarian food and plenty of marzens, plus keg bowling, “korn hole” and “kan jams.” If you show up between 3-9 PM wearing lederhosen or a dirndl, you’ll score a free sausage sandwiches. Come on Saturday between 5-7 PM and you could win a best costume prize from Hofbrau.