Get your lederhosen and steins ready – Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer festival held annually in Munich, kicks off Saturday.
But for those who aren’t planning a trip to Germany, there are plenty of ways to celebrate in the nation’s capitol. D.C.’s best Oktoberfest-themed events are spread out over the next few weeks so you can keep a solid buzz and make your way to breweries and beer gardens in and around the city.
Here are the best ways to celebrate the Bavarian beer festival this month:
District Oktoberfest – Sept. 16
Bar crawl your way through Chinatown with District Oktoberfest, which lets you visit six participating bars for a 12-ounce beer at each location included in your ticket price. Make your way from classic pubs like 10 Tavern and Fado to no-frills pizza joint Fuel Pizza, with plenty of bars in between. You’ll sip brews like Flying Dog Dogtoberfest, a full-bodied caramel sweet brewed with 100 percent imported German ingredients and Goose Island FestBier, inspired by the traditional style of festbier common in Munich’s celebration.
Check in from noon to 3 p.m. at 10 Tavern, 707 G St. Saturday, Sept. 16. Festivities noon to 9 p.m. Tickets $53.74.
Dacha Beer Garden – Sept. 16 to 30
Outdoor beer garden Dacha invites you to celebrate their “favorite holiday” with games, prizes and beer from Germany’s own Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, the world’s oldest brewery. On opening day, don your best Oktoberfest outfit for the costume competition beginning at 11 a.m. Prizes include Oktoberfest-themed clothing, tapestries, phone cases and more. Other events include a fundraiser for Bundy Dog Park in Shaw that invites you to wear a dog-themed costume, compete in a Jenga competition and attend an Oktoberfest vendor market which will showcase area boutiques so you can shop local brands while you sip on a foreign brew.
1600 Seventh St., NW. 11 a.m. Free.
Oktoberfest at Wunder Garten – Sept. 22 to 24
If you think German beer pairs best with live music and Bavarian food, head over to Wunder Garten in the center of the NoMa neighborhood. The celebration kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday with the tapping of the season’s first Spaten Oktoberfest keg and traditional Oktoberfest music performed live by Die Drei Band. Saturday’s festivities will feature the weekend’s Big Oktoberfest Party, with music from DJ Lehi, DJ Lederhosen, dancing and “all sorts of Bavarian shenanigans,” according to their website. Steinholding competitions, where participants hold a one-liter beer mug out in front of their bodies for as long as they can, will take place throughout the weekend. In addition to traditional German brews, you can also find seasonal craft beers from local breweries like D.C.’s own Atlas Brew Works and food from German restaurant Cafe Berlin, who will be roasting a whole hog Sunday afternoon.
1101 First St. NE. Friday 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday noon to 10 p.m., Sunday noon to 10 p.m. Free.
Oktoberfest at the Heurich House Museum – Sept. 30 and Oct. 1
The Heurich House, also known as the Brewmaster’s Castle, will be the site of an authentic biergarten for their two day Oktoberfest festival. The event will have traditional Oktoberfest-style tables, decorated tents, half liters of German festbier and traditional Bavarian pretzels and sausage. The Heurich House Museum, one of the most intact surviving Dupont castles from the early 20th century, was built by German immigrant and brewer Christian Heurich. The space typically serves as a museum about the brewer and architecture of his home, so you might even absorb a history lesson while you guzzle countless beers.
1307 New Hampshire Ave. NW. Noon to 8 p.m. Free.
17th Annual Capitol City Brewing Company Oktoberfest – Sept. 30
You might have to make the trek over to Arlington, but access to 4 oz. samples of beer from more than 65 different breweries will make the trip worth it. The Capitol City Brewing Company’s event will have you enjoying local vendors, an authentic German band and Oktoberfest food like Bavarian soft pretzels. The event is the largest Oktober beer festival in Northern Virginia and also one of the cheapest ways to put your beer goggles on to celebrate Oktoberfest.
4001 Campbell Ave., Arlington, Va. Noon to 7 p.m. Taps close at 6 p.m. $30 for wristband, beer sampler and 10 beer tickets.
This article appeared in the September 14, 2017 issue of the Hatchet.