Food

Your DC-Area Guide to Oktoberfest: Brats, Steins, and All the Beers You Can Drink

Get ready for tap takeovers, wiener dog races, and outdoor festivals.

Beer gardens and beer halls like Sauf Haus in Dupont Circle are hosting Oktoberfest celebrations. Photograph courtesy of Sauf Haus.
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Germany’s official Oktoberfest celebration kicks off on Saturday, September 21. Here in DC, bars and restaurants are already hosting celebrations that’ll run through October.

The Berliner 
3401 Water St., NW 
Port City Brewing Company’s German-style Oktoberfest brews are taking over the taps at Georgetown’s modern beer. Pair bier with a celebratory spanferkel (roasted suckling pig). Details: Thursday, September 19 from 6 PM to 9 PM.

District Chophouse
509 7th St., NW
Open Oktobefest with a celebratory prost and live German music at a celebratory keg tapping. Munich-inspired dishes include a wurst platter, beer cheese, and bratwurst sliders. Details: Thursday, September 19 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Food specials from September 19 to September 29.

Barrel
613 Pennsylvania Ave., SE 
An Oktoberfest kick off party features traditional German folk music and a stein-lifting contest. In addition to beer specials, the Capitol Hill bar is featuring a Jagermeister cocktail and Jagerwurst on a pretzel bun. Oktoberfest specials run until October 6. Details: Friday, September 20 from 4 PM to 11 PM.

Biergarten Haus 
1355 H St., NE
H Street’s long-running beer garden is kicking off Oktoberfest with a ceremonial keg tapping during the H Street festival. In the following weeks, get an arm workout every Thursday with full liter stein-lifting competitions. If you prefer beer sipping to beer lifting, the Bavarian bar offers a list of German brews, including six new Oktoberfest releases. Details: Multiple events from Saturday, September 21 to October 6.

Wiener 500
101 District Sq., SW
Head to the Wharf’s District Pier for Washington’s one-and-only wiener dog marathon. If you want to pair your wiener dog with a wiener schnitzel, a Deutschland celebration follows the dashing dachshunds. Details: Saturday, September 21 from 1 PM to 5 PM.

This year's Wiener 500 is September 21. Photograph by Adrianne Depew.
This year’s Wiener 500 is September 21. Photograph by Adrianne Depew.

Dacha 
79 Potomac Ave., SE
The beer garden’s Navy Yard outpost is starting the festival on Saturday with DC’s Director of Nightlife and Culture Shawn Townsend, who will read a letter to open Oktoberfest in the District. At 2 PM, rock some lederhosen as the bar taps a cask from the oldest brewery in the world (the beer will also be on tap). Details: Multiple events from Saturday, September 21 to October 6.

Caboose Commons 
2918 Eskridge Rd., Fairfax
Head to the Mosaic District for a dual birthday/Oktoberfest bash with German beers and bites like bratwurst and kielbasa. The celebration also includes a pop-up market, live music, and life-size beer pong. Even four legged friends can celebrate: a food truck serving artisanal dog food will be on site. Details: Saturday, September 21 from 12 PM to 7 PM

Bluejacket
300 Tingey St., SE
A live Oompah band is the soundtrack for German-inspired charcuterie, potato pancakes, and Oktoberfest beers. The brewery is released a Bavarian-style lager and celebrating by tapping six kegs. Details: Saturday, September 21 from 12 PM to 11:30 PM.

Church Hall
1070 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Georgetown’s beer and game bar is offering an Oktoberfest pairing: buy a bratwurst with Dusseldorf mustard and sauerkraut and get a pint of Aufsesser for $1. Details: Saturday, September 21 to October 6.

Cafe Berlin
322 Massachusetts Ave., NE 
The Berlin-inspired dining room serves a special Oktoberfest menu for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Germanic fare includes Bavarian-style pretzels with beer cheese, street food like currywurst, and three different kinds of schnitzel. Details: Sunday, September 22 to October 20.

Wunder Garten 
1101 1st St., NE
Munich meets NoMa at the beer garden’s multi-day celebration with German bands, DJ parties, Dogtoberfest, and Bavarian olympics. Wash down German dishes with beer from Bavaria’s oldest breweries. Details: Multiple events from Friday, September 27 to October 6.

An outdoor Oktoberfest at Wunder Garten. Photo courtesy of Wunder Garten.

City Tap House
901 9th St., NW; 1250 Connecticut Ave., NW
Both DC locations of this beer bar are hosting Oktoberfest brunches with bratwurst, spätzle, and beer from Victory Brewing Company. Stick around after brunch for the stein-lifting competition at 3 PM. Details: Saturday, September 28 from 11 AM to 3 PM.

Franklin Hall 
1348 Florida Ave., NW 
Get in the oompah-blasting spirit with nine Oktoberfest beers from around the country. Order a liter of the beers for $2 off. Details: Saturday, September 21 to October 6.

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Heurich House 
1307 New Hampshire Ave., NW 
The Brewmaster’s castle is throwing a biergarten festival and pouring their limited-edition Senate Beer, which like the museum itself has pre-prohibition roots (the recipe is based on a 1948 lab report). Tickets ($65 to $85) cover unlimited beer, lunch, and a pretzel. Details: Saturday, September 21 from 1 PM to 4 PM.

The Midlands 
3333 Georgia Ave., NW
German-style beers made by local breweries are taking over the beer garden’s 26 taps. Brews will be available for $5 a pint and $10 a stein alongside German nachos and giant pretzels with mustard and cheese. Details: Saturday, September 21 to October 6.

The new Bronson Bier Hall. Photograph courtesy of Bronson Bier Hall

Sauf Haus 
1216 18th St., NW
Don your lederhosen or dirndl for a costume contest and dance to live accordion performances at the Dupont Circle biergarten. Toast a happy (and hoppy) Oktoberfest with beer specials and keg tappings. Details: Multiple events through Saturday, September 28.

Owen’s Ordinary
11820 Trade St., North Bethesda 
Head to the beer garden at Pike & Rose for ten German-style beers on draft. Offerings include Märzen, Dunkelweizen, and Helles, available sizes ranging from tasters to half liters. Details: Sunday, September 29 from 12 PM to 5 PM.

Bronson Bier Hall
4100 Fairfax Dr., Arlington
Grilled bratwursts and homemade sausages are on the menu at the new Ballston beer hall for a day-to-night Oktoberfest party. Jam to live bands, sip German beers, and play games like ping pong and corn hole on the turf patio. Details: Saturday, October 5 from 11 AM to 2 AM.

The Bullpen
1299 Half St., SE 
Get in the ‘fest spirit with beers, brats, and bands in Navy Yard at this huge outdoor party. Purchase tickets (starting at $25) for access to pop-ups, food trucks, and a set by DJ Viceroy. Details: Saturday, October 5 from 2 PM to 8 PM.

Pike & Rose
11580 Old Georgetown Rd., North Bethesda
The North Bethesda complex is hosting a fall festival with family-friendly activities like a hay maze, sand sculpture artists, and live music. Close the Oktoberfest celebrations with craft brews at the beer garden. Details: Sunday, October 6 from 12 PM to 4 PM.

Snallygaster 
Pennsylvania Ave., NE between 3rd and 6th Sts., NW
Though not Oktoberfest in theme, hop heads should definitely put the annual Snallygaster festival on their calendars. The massive outdoor carnival takes over downtown DC and offers endless tastings from almost 150 breweries, including local favorites like Aslin and Bluejacket. Purchase a ticket (starting at $50) for access to unlimited pours and food from Hot Lola’s, Little Sesame, and man more. Details: Saturday, October 12 from 2 PM to 6 PM.

Riverdale Park Station
6621 Baltimore Ave., Riverdale Park
The kid-friendly festival features pumpkin decorating, face painting, and pretzels. Adults can sip a pilsner or lager at the Denizens Brewing Co. taproom. Details: Saturday, October 12 from 12 PM to 8 PM.

Cady’s Alley 
3344 M St., NW
The Georgetown passageway is hosting a late October celebration with live music and German fare. Sip craft beer from traditional steins in the beer garden. Details: Saturday, October 26 from 1 PM to 5 PM.

Daniella Byck

Daniella joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a University of Wisconsin-Madison grad and lives in Logan Circle.