Food

Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest Around DC This Fall

Get your fill of German beers, bratwurst, and tons of outdoor festivities.

Celebrate Oktoberfest at the Wharf with the Wiener 500, German fare, and Oktoberfest bier. Photograph courtesy of the Wharf DC

The official Oktoberfest in Munich is cancelled this year due to the pandemic, but tons of DC-area beer gardens, bars, and breweries are moving forward with the celebration in September and early October—almost all outdoors. Here’s your guide to beer specials, live music, brats, and plenty of Bavarian fun.

Wunder Garten
1101 First St., NE
Celebrate Oktoberfest over four weeks at NoMa’s huge outdoor beer garden starting Friday, September 17th with the traditional tapping of the keg celebration. Each night of the week features a different lineup of German-themed events and specials. Fridays and Saturdays include live music, Bavarian olympics, and themed DJ parties. Patrons can bring pups on Sundays for Dogtoberfest specials, and plan for Das ist Trivia on Mondays. A special lineup of German and Bavarian-style beers are available from European and local breweries, and you’ll find brats and other eats from Café Berlin, Swizzler, and others. A PRIDEtoberfest celebration with the Capital Pride Alliance is on Thursday, September 30 and October 7 with performances by drag performers, LGBTQ vendor pop-ups, and artist/maker’s row, games, and entertainment.

Bluejacket
300 Tingey St., SE
The Navy Yard brewery is tapping four unfiltered German-inspired beers on Saturday, September 18. Snack on beer brats, potato pancakes, chicken schnitzel, German potato and cucumber salads, knockwurst, sauerkraut, and more German dishes. The festivities run from 11 AM until 3 PM.

Owen’s Ordinary
11820 Trade St., North Bethesda
Sip on beer specials and snack on German-themed food at the Pike & Rose restaurant and beer garden on Saturday, September 18. The festive drink list includes Maryland-made festbiers, and lagers and pilsners imported from Germany. Pair your beer with bratwurst, sauerkraut, chicken schnitzel, pork shops, and Bavarian pretzels with beer cheese. Festivities run from noon until 5 PM.

Ivy City
1401 Okie St., NE
The Northeast neighborhood is holding its first ever Oktoberfest celebration on Saturday, September 18 with a little help from resident businesses. Other Half Brewing is hosting the event and providing brews, while Gravitas will bring bratwurst, a whole roasted pig shoulder, and pretzels. Additional beers are coming from a handful of breweries: Halfway Crooks, Silver Branch, Threes, and more.

Hi-Lawn at Union Market
1309 5th St., NE
Union Market’s rooftop bar is getting on the Oktoberfest spirit with an all-day party on Saturday, September 18 from 1 PM until midnight. Party-goers can grab brats from the grill, pretzels with beer cheese from a roving cart, and sip DC Brau’s Brautoberfest, Pilsner, and Stand. There are plenty of activities for everyone: a stein-hoisting competition, bratwurst eating contest, and live music on the lawn. Reservations are recommended.

Photograph courtesy of Dacha Beer Garden

Sweetwater Tavern
3066 Gate House Plaza, Falls Church & 14250 Sweetwater Ln., Centreville & 45980 Waterview Plaza, Sterling
These Virginia spots are celebrating Oktoberfest throughout September. The festivities begin at the Sterling location on Saturday, September 18, followed by Centreville on Saturday, September 25, and closing out with Merrifield on Saturday, October 2. Each ticketed event includes live music, an all-you-can-eat menu with pretzels, brats, and barbecue, and two brews per adult (additional items are available for purchase). Adult tickets are $30 pre-sale and $35 at the door, and kids under 12 are $15.

Dacha Beer Garden
1600 7th St., NW & 79 Potomac Ave., SE
Oktoberfest kicks off on Saturday, September 18 at both the Shaw and Navy Yard beer gardens. The latter will host live music on the weekends of September 18 and 25, including a traditional oompah band. At the original Shaw location, a kickoff party features a ceremonial keg tapping followed by a costume contest on Sunday, September 19. The following weekend, try your hand at winning swag, free drinks, and gift cards on Saturday, September 25, and compete in a stein holding contest on Sunday, September 26. The festivities close out with a puppy costume contest on Saturday, October 2.

The Midlands
3333 Georgia Ave., NW
The roomy Columbia Heights beer garden is celebrating Oktoberfest from Saturday, September 18 through Sunday, October 3. Festivities include a German beer takeover with German flights, $5 pints, and $10 steins. Snack on warm pretzels and juicy brats.

Hook Hall
3400 Georgia Ave., NW
The Park View spot is partnering with Drink the District to host Das Bier Bash— a party starring tons of talent, headlined by Manuela Horn, also known as the Queen of Oktoberfest, who appeared on America’s Got Talent. Horn will perform two-hour shows Wednesday through Sunday starting Wednesday, September 22 through Sunday, October 3. Guests can sample German beers and other drink specials. Tickets are $29 for general admission and $39 for early admission, which also includes priority seating and a meet-and-greet with the queen herself.

Hook Hall. Photograph courtesy of Hook Hall

Atlas Brew Works
2052 West Virginia Ave., NE & 1201 Half St., Suite 120, SE
The Ivy City brewery released Festbier, its seasonal hoppy beer with orange blossom aromas. Both taprooms are hosting themed events, with the Navy Yard festivities on Thursday, September 23 and Ivy City on Saturday, October 2. Guests can snack on German-style foods and drink up the beer specials. A $10 ticket gets you a 32-ounce stein with $5 refills, and a $15 ticket offers a 64-ounce stein with $10 refills. Tickets are available through the Toast accounts for the respective taprooms.

Rustico
827 Slaters Ln., Alexandria
On Friday, September 24, the Alexandria restaurant celebrates with a special menu of  bratwurst, pork schnitzel and everything-spiced pretzels. Guests can sample a bunch of local Port City selections—including the Oktoberfest, German Pilsner, and Hefeweizen—in addition to other special beers. Food and drink specials are available from 4 to 7 PM.

3 Stars Brewing Company
6400 Chillum Pl., NW
The local brewery is hosting its inaugural Oktoberfest event on Saturday, September 25. German fare will be provided by Meat and Foods, and Bread Furst will be serving pretzels and pretzel buns. Each $15 ticket includes a ¾ liter commemorative mug filled with Festbier and live music. Festivities run from noon to 8 PM.

Cafe Berlin
322 Massachusetts Ave., NE
The Capitol Hill eatery is hosting its 37th annual Oktoberfest, which kicks off on Saturday, September 25 with a now-famous German pig roast that includes spit-roasted pork with traditional sides, apfelstrudel, and 1 liter of Oktoberfest bier ($55 per person, reservations available through OpenTable). Look for a variety of events that run through the end of October, including a Bavarian brunch with live music and more pork feasts.

Vienna Oktoberfest
131 Church St., NE, Vienna
The Vienna Business Association and Town of Vienna are hosting an outdoor Oktoberfest festival on Saturday, October 2. Come out for beer, wine, and food, and shop local vendors. The family-friendly event also includes kids’ activities. Admission is free.

This year's Wiener 500 is September 21. Photograph by Adrianne Depew.
Racing of the wiener dogs. Photograph by Adrianne Depew.

The Wharf
760 Maine Ave., SW
Dress in your best dirndl or lederhosen on Saturday, October 2 for Oktoberfest events all around the Wharf from 2 to 5 PM. The 9th annual Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash takes place on the District Pier track and will be shown on a 17-foot jumbotron screen so you can watch all the cute dachshunds racing. Participating restaurants will serve German fare and Sam Adams Oktoberfest bier, and fest-goers can compete in a stein hoisting contest.

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