Oktoberfest, the 16-day festival held every year in Munich, is a long-standing tradition of the fall season. In Germany, patrons fill their mugs with beer, and dine on bratwurst, sausage and every other kind of meat you can laden down with a wide array of condiments, all while donning the traditional German fashion staple – lederhosen. D.C., our nation’s eclectic and worldly capital, offers its own take on the Bavarian holiday.
Capital City Brewing Company
- 4001 Campbell Ave.
- Arlington, Va.
Capital City Brewing Company already brings a wealth of experience mixing up malts and hops to create unique ale tastes. For its 12th annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest on Oct. 8, the local beer-making veterans will bring drafts from more than 40 breweries, offer German food and feature cuisine from other local vendors.
Those sampling the beer must purchase tickets for $25, which includes 10 tickets redeemable for samples of the available craft beers. Those abstaining can attend for free.
- 814 Seventh St. NW
Traditional Bavarian festivities begin at the D.C. German cultural center on Oct. 8. The Goethe-Institut will host a traditional Oktoberfest party, celebrating beer, food, costume and dance.
For $45, patrons can enjoy an open bar with Germany’s finest beers. A fusion of traditional Oktoberfest songs and German club hits provides the night’s soundtrack.
The Alpine Dancers, D.C.’s German dance troupe, dress in Oktoberfest attire, performing traditional dances to genuine German songs. Authentic German desserts and pretzels will be served.
- 1335 H St. NE
Oktoberfest lasts all year at Biergarten Haus. This modern restaurant caters to young adults, making German traditions appealing for a younger crowd. Visitors are offered authentic German cuisine such as hearty servings of German sausages and Laugenbrezel, traditional Bavarian pretzel rolls served with cheese and mustard.
Costumed dancers in lederhosen and dirndls dance and sing to live polka music. The restaurant started celebrations off with a competition asking, “Are you D.C.’s St. Pauli Girl?” – a contest seeking to offer accolades to the woman who can don the best costume, pour beer, carry a tray laden with mugs of German brew and pull off a believable German accent.
Authentic German beers like Paulaner and Warsteiner are on tap, quenching patrons’ thirst.
- 2434 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Oktoberfest traditionally lasts for two weeks, but D.C. restaurant Old Europe took no care for this long-standing tradition. Their celebration started Sept. 17 and keeps flowing until the first week of November.
The kitchen serves a wide variety of authentic Bavarian and German foods such as Rahmschnitzel, a seared pork loin steak served with a thick mushroom cream sauce and spatzle; Schweinenackenbraten, pork in a dark beer gravy accompanied by dumplings and sauerkraut; and Schlachtplatte, a butcher’s platter of Munich’s best sausages, meats and dumplings.
Liabnscheid, a musical troupe originally from Austria, performs polka music every Wednesday and genuine Spaten beer from Munich is served for $7 a half-liter and $13 a liter.
Alex Herold, the restaurant owner, and his staff, some of which have been working there for over 25 years, advise potential beer tasters to make reservations ahead of time in order to ensure they can enjoy the various aspects of German culture Old Europe has to offer.
This article was updated on Oct. 3, 2011 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet misspelled the name of Paulaner, a German beer.