Get ready to knock back a few tasty brews and enjoy some tasty Bavarian cuisine because Oktoberfest is fast approaching. As the largest beer festival in the world, drawing more than six million guests to Munich every year, this party is a bucket list item for many, and for a good reason--it's a truly incredible 16-day experience. Yet, for those who are unable to make the trek to Munich this year, there are alternatives to celebrate Oktoberfest and all-things-beer right here in the United States.
So put away your Lederhosen (for now) and get ready to enjoy the delights of a cold beer at the many lively (and local) Oktoberfest celebrations in the states.
Come To Cincinnati For The Second-Largest Oktoberfest In The World
Famous for its many murals (over 150!), local cuisines, and appreciation of the arts, Cincinnati is a great city to visit any month of the year. But of course, there is no time quite as exciting to visit as when it hosts Oktoberfest. Nicknamed "Zinzinnati" by the large population of German immigrants that came long ago, the month of September sees the city transformed by the celebration. Over 700,000 visitors attend the three-day festival each year. According to the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, the annual festival sees 1,875 pounds of German potato salad, 56,250 sausages, and 64,000 sauerkraut balls consumed. Bring your appetite (and perhaps some pepto, just to be safe) because this is an event designed for drinking, eating, and laughing--from morning until night.
Here are the important details on this wildly popular brew-loving event:
- Held September 16-18
- Friday and Saturday hours are 11 am to 11 pm, with Sunday hours from 11 am to 9 pm.
- Admission to Oktoberfest is free, but remember that it is a cash-only event
Of course, after 3-days of drinking, eating, and... more drinking, one can reasonably expect to be up for a slight detour. Just a little break from the party that still stays on theme. For visitors wanting to experience the wonders of Cincinnati's brew culture, a hidden brewery caverns tour is a perfect activity to sign up for. Venture underground, where guests can explore two different beer caverns--the Linck Brewery tunnels and the Jackson Brewery tunnels. The tour's lively and engaging guide dispenses fascinating historical anecdotes as visitors explore the surroundings--like the last standing structures from the original Christian Moerlein Brewery complex, which has been closed to the public for decades. After the tour concludes, folks can enjoy a beer tasting at the Northern Row Taproom.
For the Cincinnati-bound brew lover interested in this activity, here are all the tour details from Viator:
- Tour: A hidden-brewery caverns tour that lasts 2 hours and features fascinating details about the history of brew culture in Cincinnati
- Price: Only $49.00 per person
- What's included: Beer, of course! The tour ends with a tasting in the Northern Row Taproom.
A Very Texas Oktoberfest--From Brews To Wine
They say everything is bigger in Texas, and nowhere could the spirit of that phrase be more true than their approach to Oktoberfest. Held in Fredericksburg, a city in central Texas known for its German heritage and culture, the event is family-friendly and features brass bands for folks who want to dance to polka music, as well as oompah music with traditional folk dancers and yodelers. Every year, over 22,000 visitors descend on Fredericksburg for the 3-day party, held this year from September 30th to October 2nd.
Of course, this city has plenty to offer besides beer. Known for its plethora of wineries, the area is a popular destination for wine tastings. Visitors should plan on a small-group guided tour through Viator, which can allow guests to relax and enjoy the different wines produced in the area and enjoy a delightful lunch, all without having to worry about transportation. Guests visiting central Texas can expect the following on their tour:
- Tour: A 5-hour tour of the Texas Hill Country wine region
- Price: $155.00 per person
- What's included: Plenty of wine to savor, with lunch and transportation included
Do A Pub Crawl In Denver
Nicknamed the "Napa Valley of Craft Beer" for a good reason, Denver is a great destination for beer lovers and those who want to enjoy the state's celebration of its German heritage. Few states love their beer quite as Colorado does, and taking a social beer tour and pub crawl is a great way to experience their passion for all things brews. Visitors will get an experienced guide to take them through the history of the beer culture here and stop into four local breweries to enjoy more than ten different samples of craft beer. Guests who opt for this popular tour can expect:
- Tour: A tour through the heart of Denver's brew culture that lasts 2 hours and 30 minutes
- Price: $58.00 per person
- What's included: Enjoy over ten samples of different beers, and take home a souvenir glass
Bike And Brews In Salt Lake City
Long considered one of the best Oktoberfest celebrations in the United States, this annual event in Salt Lake City, Utah, is renowned for its authentic experience. Visitors can delight in the Alphorn performers and German cuisine during this festival, which attracts 60,000 folks every year. While the festival has plenty of excitement to enjoy, visitors should definitely consider a local microbreweries tour for a day. With this trendy tour that combines brews with a bike tour, guests can enjoy an engaging guide, beautiful, leisurely sightseeing, and, of course, plenty of cold beers. This tour features the following:
- Tour: A tour of local microbreweries that lasts 3 hours and 30 minutes
- Price: $192.48 per person
- What's included: Plenty of brews, a tasty lunch, and a knowledgeable guide