Sauerkraut? Lederhosen? Lager? That could mean only one thing: Oktoberfest! Fortunately, you don’t have to travel all the way to Germany to enjoy the fun—there are many festivals in the area celebrating the event, and most are appropriate for the whole family. Oompah!
Rustico Oktoberfest [Ed. This event has been rescheduled for October 18]Rustico Restaurant and Bar will host an outdoor block party celebration September 27 from noon to 5. The festivities will include 18 festbiers, two harvest ales, and five pumpkin ales. The other restaurants in the Neighborhood Restaurant Group—Evening Star Cafe, Vermilion, Tallula, EatBar, and Buzz Bakery—will also serve food, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Capitol Area Food Bank. Admission is free; beer is $5 to $9 a pint.
Maryland Brewer’s Oktoberfest
The seventh annual Maryland Brewer’s Oktoberfest will be held October 11 from noon to 8 at the Timonium Fairgrounds, just north of Baltimore. There will be more than 75 beers, more than 12 breweries, German food, “oompah bands,” a “biggest beer belly” competition, a Miss Oktoberfest contest, and more. Adult admission (including a tasting mug) is $20 in advance, $25 on site, and designated-driver tickets are $10. Wearing German attire will earn you extra drinks. Click here for more information.
The Chesapeake Real Ale Festival
While it’s not an official Oktoberfest, it’s still worthy of mention for beer aficionados. The ale is brewed in the traditional English method without carbon dioxide. The event will take place October 18 from 1 to 6 at the Wharf at Camden Yards. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door. Click here for more information.
At the Reston Town Center, grab a fall brew, enjoy entertainment, and try food from Clyde’s, McCormick & Schmick’s, and other restaurants. October 10 and 11 from 3 to 11 PM. Check out their website here.
Oktoberfest at the Kentlands
Oktoberfest at the Kentlands Village Green in Gaithersburg is all about family fun—several children’s groups, including Kentland’s Community Children’s Chorus, and a youth theater troupe will perform. Kids can also enjoy face painting, pony rides, arts and crafts, and more. German bands and dancers will expect audience participation, so grab your lederhosen and get in on the fun. October 12 noon to 4; admission is free, but there is a fee for some activities.
Oktoberfest at the German Embassy
If you’re looking for a formal Oktoberfest party, this is the place. The German Embassy is hosting a black-tie party that will include a buffet meal prepared by the embassy’s chef, German pastries, an open bar with wine and Oktoberfest beer, performances by a local dance group, and a traditional band. October 17 8 to midnight; $89.
Oktoberfest at the Brickskeller
Horst Dornbusch, author of Prost: The Story of German Beer, will discuss Bavaria’s beer history October 25 from 1 to 4:30. Admission for Smithsonian members is $65; nonbmembers $82. Click here for more information.
Fredericksburg Area Oktoberfest
Experience the Bavarian culture for free at the 6th Annual Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg this weekend, Friday through Sunday. Enjoy music, dance, and food, as well as free samples of Oktoberfest beer and Hefeweizen from Blue and Gray Brewing while it lasts. Attend the keg-tapping ceremony Friday from 6-10 PM, win prizes, or stop by the petting zoo on Sunday from 11 AM to 4 PM.