The country that gave the world the psychic octopus is also home to the greatest of fall parties: Oktoberfest. But you don’t have to fly to Germany to get a taste of world-class beer and bratwursts. Washington is celebrating with a slew of festivals and restaurant specials.
September 30 through October 3: Fort Belvoir Oktoberfest
The four-day Oktoberfest at Fort Belvoir’s Fremont Field aims to highlight the best of German food, music, and dance. There’ll be a carnival, a keg-tapping ceremony, a bazaar, raffles, and the Volksmarch 10K walk. Wristbands are $20; click here for a full schedule.
October 2: Germantown Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest may have a reputation as a rowdy holiday, but the 28th annual Germantown Oktoberfest at Ridge Road Park is a family-friendly celebration, which, in addition to beer, features live reggae and blues music. 11 AM.
October 2: Vienna Oktoberfest
For the third year, Vienna Oktoberfest takes over historic Church Street for a family-oriented day. It features a beer garden, two stages with live music, a marketplace, kids’ activities, and food. 11 to 7. Admission is free.
October 2: Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest
To celebrate en masse, head to the Capitol City Brew Pub’s Arlington block party, featuring German food, music, and dancing plus beers brewed locally, nationally, and internationally. Noon to 7. At Shirlington Village (4001 Campbell Ave.). $25; free for nondrinkers.
October 2 and 3: Frederick’s Oktoberfest
Celebrate for a cause at Frederick’s Oktoberfest, where your $5 admission benefits local nonprofits. This family-friendly event has a wealth of authentic German food and beer, live music, dancing, and kids’ activities. Bonus: If you wear authentic lederhosen, admission is free. At Frederick Fairgrounds October 2 and 3. Saturday 11 to 10, Sunday from 11 to 8.
October 7 through 17: Baltimore Beer Week
This eleven-day festival celebrates Baltimore’s beer culture. The more than 200 events range from the Opening Tap Party to the Blues & Brews Festival. For a complete list of events and ticket information, go here.
October 8 through 10: Oktoberfest Reston
Oktoberfest Reston, at Reston Town Center, is a three-day extravaganza featuring a carnival, German beer and food, and lots of music. Need to burn off all that bratwurst? Enter the Great Pumpkin 5K Race, held on Saturday morning. Friday 3 to 11, Saturday 11 to 11, and Sunday noon to 7. Admission is free.
October 16: Chesapeake Real Ale Festival
Presented by the Society of Preservation of Beer from the Wood, the Chesapeake Real Ale Festival features more than 40 diverse firkins (equivalent to 72 pints) of ale. At the Pratt Street Ale House (206 W. Pratt St., Baltimore; 410-244-8900). 1 to 6. Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 at the door.
October 23 and 24: Northern Virginia BrewFest
The Northern Virginia BrewFest is at Bull Run Regional Park. Taste beers from all over the world while enjoying the best of Northern Virginia food and entertainment. 11 to 7. Buy tickets here.
>> Next: Oktoberfest Restaurant and Bar Specials
OKTOBERFEST RESTAURANT AND BAR SPECIALS
September 27 through October 31: Biergarten Haus
Through the end of October, Biergarten Haus will be serving German imports in its huge outdoor beer garden. The brews come in souvenir glasses or boots (yes, actual footwear), and there will be live music and dancing on weekends.
October 1: Town Tavern
Town Tavern is saying “Cheers to Beers” with $10 unlimited domestic drafts from 8 to 10 and an open bar from 11 to midnight. Hoegaarden and Sam Adams Octoberfest are on tap.
October 1 through 3: Pizzeria Paradiso’s OctoBeerFest
Both the Georgetown and Dupont Circle branches of Pizzeria Paradiso will celebrate OctoBeerFest by changing all draft lines to German Oktoberfest beers as well as some pumpkin beers. Visit both locations to taste all the selections, as there will be no overlap.
October 4: Stone Total Tap Tower Takeover
Stone Brewing Co. takes over ChurchKey for one day. Forty Stone drafts will be served, featuring vintage and specialty brews. Stone founder Greg Koch will be on hand to answer questions and sign autographs. 4 PM.
October 9: Rustico
With more than 300 beers to choose from, Rustico is a good bet for a relaxed evening over a tasty brew. Its Oktobeerfest event will also have food, music and a Vespa raffle to benefit a local charity. Rain date: October 16. Free.
October 11: Birch&Barley and ChurchKey
Two of the hottest DC beer bars, sister outlets Birch&Barley and ChurchKey, will celebrate Oktoberfest with ten rare German lagers served on the bar from gravity-poured kegs. This is the traditional “Anstich,” or tapping, method used in Bavaria. 4 to 10.
October 14 through 17: Doner Bistro
Doner Bistro (202 Harrison St., SE, Leesburg; 703-779-7880) is celebrating Oktoberfest by featuring a slew of German treats such as weisswurst, Bavarian meatloaf, pancakes, pretzels, and schnitzel.
October 28: Belga Cafe
Belga Cafe is hosting a beer dinner. The three course meal is paired with Belgian and American brews for $49. Call 202-544-0100 for reservations.