Oktoberfest officially kicked off this past Saturday (September 19th), although this year’s festivities look decidedly different due to Covid. That’s not to say celebrations are off the table, though; far from it! Here are some things you can do in the DMV area to get in the (socially distanced, masked up) spirit:
Wunder Garten has far and away the most expansive programming schedule, with a total of four more weekends of fun to come – there’ll be Oktoberfest beer flights, commemorative steins for purchase, pig roasts every Friday, Steinholding contests, raffles for Dirndl and Lederhosen, Dogtoberfest (ft. all of the pup friendly vibes) every Sunday and MORE.
You’ve got a few chances to get in on the pig roast action at Cafe Berlin this year; they’ll be serving up spit roasted pig with traditional sides, apfelstrudel and 1L of Oktoberfest bier for $55 per person on Saturday September 26th, Saturday October 10th and Saturday October 24th with special seating available from noon to 3pm each time. (You can also snag a la carte menu items like currywurst, schnitzel, pretzels and more from their Oktoberfest menu, which is running from September 26th through October 25th.)
Reservations are highly encouraged, masks will be required and temperature checks will be in place, but Old Europe isn’t letting Covid stop its 72nd annual Oktoberfest from going forward. Loads of tasty Bavarian treats on the menu, plus you can show up in Lederhosen or a Dirndl for a free beer or schnapps.
If you’re looking for Thursday thrills, Biergarten Haus is hosting 8pm stein hoisting contests on September 24th, October 1st, October 8th and October 15th; prizes like liter steins, gift cards and more will be given to winners. (They’ve got loads of great German brews on offer, so even if you’ve got little baby jello arms like me, you can enjoy a relaxed, non-competitive time.)
Another spot offering swag if you show up in Lederhosen and/or Dirndl, Dacha will also have a bunch of German beers to choose from, as well as food specials. More comfortable staying home? They’re also launching Oktoberfest at-home kits which feed between four and six people; they start at $149 and go all the way up to the ultra-luxe $999 package, depending on how big you’re trying to ball out.
If you’re looking to get truly lit (in a responsible and socially distanced fashion), Sauf Haus is the one; they’re doing a $39.99 all-you-can-drink special ft. bier, rum, tequila, vodka, gin, Jager and fireball. (Just make sure you chow down on some big-ass pretzels…nobody likes an all-you-can-drinker on an empty stomach.)
On Saturday, October 3rd, over 10 of The Wharf’s restaurants are offering German-inspired specials from their outdoor tents and dining halls. (For example, Kith/Kin will be doing an exclusive Butcher Platter, Pearl Street Warehouse is doing bratwurst, kraut, pretzels, beer cheese and Octoberfest bier, you can grab a German chocolate cupcake from Praline Bakery, etc.) Event-goers are encouraged to make reservations at restaurants with an Oktoberfest menu by visiting each restaurant’s individual website. The REAL main event (IMO) is that in the spirit of Oktoberfest’s annual Wiener 500 race, dachshunds (costumes encouraged!) are welcome at Camp Wharf at the Firepit for a special doggy treat from 2:00-5:00 PM. (YES!)
House 6 Brewing
If you’re down for a trip out to Ashburn, House 6 Brewing is hosting a socially-distanced party from noon until 10pm on Saturday, October 3rd. Loads of Unser Haus Festbier, just be sure to call first and make reservations since Covid has affected capacity.
A little further into October we’ve got The Boro’s celebration at Tysons on Friday, October 9 and Saturday, October 10. There’ll be seasonal beverages in the pop-up biergarten, plus you can scope local artists, crafts and vendors at the URBNmarket.
Did we miss something? Feel free to shoot an email to [email protected]; we’ll be updating as needed.