Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest in D.C.
If there’s one thing the world will never have enough of, it’s beer festivals. It’s fall and that means one thing: no, not Snallygaster. It’s time for Oktoberfest! Not German? No problem.
Though this funfair originally began in 1810 to celebrate the Munich wedding of King Kudeig I to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen (which I’m sure you already knew), over 200 years later, Oktoberfest has become a world-famous catchall fest to celebrate all things Bavarian.
This year the official Oktoberfest runs from September 20–October 5, and we’ve got the roundup of where to go for special Oktoberfest beers, brats, and Bavarian fun.
In the District
Biergarten Haus: Since Biergarten Haus is one of the city’s best known beer gardens it’s always packed for Oktoberfest. Not to mention, the kickoff coincides with this year’s H Street Festival so it’s sure to be a rockin’ madhouse. They’ll be running specials throughout all 17 days of Oktoberfest, like live music and specials on liters of beers from Munich. (1355 H St. NE; 202-388-4085)
Bar Dupont: You might not think of this chic hotel bar first when it comes to German beer fests, but their annual celebration transforms the outdoor patio into a beer garden with live music and great specials: $9 large mugs of beer, $20 pitchers, $30 Boots plus $10 sausages and $3 pretzels. These specials run everyday from September 20–28 from 12 PM–close. (1500 New Hampshire Ave. NW; 202-797-0169)
Cafe Berlin: One of D.C.’s eponymous German restaurants, Cafe Berlin celebrates its 29th Oktoberfest with a lunch special of spit-roasted pig, traditional sides and a one liter boot, all for just $35. The first keg of Oktoberfest beer will be tapped on September 20, and the cafe will co-host a celebration at the Heurich House Museum Castle Garden on the 21st from 1–4 PM. (322 Massachusetts Ave NE; 202-543-7656)
DC Brau: On September 13, DC Brau debuted its first ever Oktoberfest brew, a 5% ABV beer brewed with exclusively German malts like Pilsner, Munich, Vienna, Cara-Bohemian and Abbey. Only 60 barrels have been brewed though, so get it while you can during growler hours, at Nats Stadium or in your local grocery store. (3178 Bladensburg Rd. NE; 202-621-8890)
Cafe Mozart: This German eatery and deli will be tapping its first keg of Spaten Oktoberfest on September 20 at 4 PM. (1331 H St. NW; 202-347-5732)
Das Best Oktoberfest: The DC Armory will be hosting a huge Oktoberfest with over 150 German beers, wines and spirits for sampling plus competitions for Best Beer Belly and Miss Oktoberfest on September 27, from 12–6 PM. (2001 East Capitol St., SE)
District Oktoberfest: Every holiday has to have an official city pub crawl and this is it. Head to Chinatown on September 20 or 21 from 12–8 PM where your ticket includes a 12 oz beer at each venue plus food specials and entertainment. Participating bars include RFD, Iron Horse Tap Room, Penn Social, Rocket Bar, Jackpot, Fado Irish Pub, and Bar Louie.
Barracks Row Fall Festival: Matchbox Food Group will be hosting a beer garden complete with Oktoberfest-themed food at this year’s festival served up by local favorites Cava Mezze, Matchbox Capitol Hill, and Belga Café. Look for a mystery ingredient cooking challenge as well. Festivities run from 12–6 PM on Saturday, September 27.
Capitol City Brewing Company: Drop the kids at the Shirlington Library for Oktoberfest-themed activities and head to the brewpub, which will be hosting their annual celebration with over 60 beers, German food and entertainment on October 4, from 12-7 PM. (4001 Campbell Ave., Arlington, VA; 703- 578-3888)
Mad Fox Brewing Company: Falls Church brewery, Mad Fox, will turn their patio into a beer garden for Hoppy Oktoberfest on Saturday, September 27, which will include a selection of IPA-inspired Oktoberfest brews, including their own 2014 Hitzig Frau. (444 West Broad St., Falls Church, VA; 703-942-6840)
Blue Mountain Brewery: If you take Oktoberfest very seriously, its worth driving out to Afton, VA, where the brewery has a ton of events planned from September 27–October 5. Everyday features German menu specials plus a whole calendar’s worth of brewery tours, tastings, live music, cornhole and keg toss tournaments, and quirky competitions like Geeks Who Drink ‘Oktoberfest’ Trivia night. (9519 Critzer Shop Rd., Afton, VA; 540- 456-8020)
Photo via Flickr
Tags: Beer, Festival, Food, Holiday, Music, Parties