Thank goodness I’m not the only one who has Googled “why is Oktoberfest in September?” Let me save you the trouble: It boils down to fun-loving Germans wanting to celebrate during warmer September evenings. And who could blame them? I’m personally a big fan of any event involving lederhosen.
Here in Seattle, Fremont’s Oktoberfest (Sept. 23-25) reigns supreme. More than 80 seasonal beers will be served, and there will be pretzels for all (including the kids, if you go on Sunday.
In Ballard, four breweries—Reuben’s Brews, Stoup Brewing, Lucky Envelope Brewing, and Populuxe Brewing—are banding together for the second annual Ballard Oktoberfest on Sept. 17. Get to Reuben’s by 2 p.m. to enjoy the traveling Oompah Machine band that will march revelers to the next location.
Altstadt in Pioneer Square is choosing to celebrate through the end of October; their Oktoberfest kick-off party takes place Sept. 16, but the local German-style beers and traditional food (chef Megan Coombes is pulling from her own experiences in Germany) will last until Halloween.
On Oct. 1—traditionally Oktoberfest ends the first weekend in October—Rhein Haus is throwing OktoberFEAST, which involves a team relay where participants chug half liters of lager and pound plates of currywurst, pretzel bites, and German doughnuts known as Berliners. (Burp.) It’ll require a couple hours’ drive, but nowhere near here does Oktoberfest quite like Leavenworth, or quaint (if kitschy) neighbor to the east. Dates this year are weekends starting on Sept. 30 and ending Oct. 15. If you don’t have a hotel already, you may be out of luck, but if you’re itching to get some wear out of those lederhosen, make a day trip of it—just bring a designated driver.