The season of Oktoberfest, the world’s largest celebration of beer, is upon us, and many area establishments are celebrating. Though the annual event officially takes place on September 16 this year, Oktoberfest spans a period of two weeks, with millions of people around the world taking part each year.
Since the early 19th century, revelers have gathered together to celebrate, consuming seemingly endless amounts of beer, while enjoying traditional Oktoberfest foods such as sausages, pretzels, potato pancakes and roast pork and chicken. Traditionally, there are parades, amusement rides and games to enjoy as well.
A number of breweries right here in the Buffalo-Niagara region are getting in the Oktoberfest spirit and we took it upon ourselves to compile all of those beery events into one place. Consider this your handy-dandy one-stop shopping for your Oktoberfest season. So, get out your lederhosen, grab your favorite beer stein and get to it.
Gordon Biersch will tap their annual Fest Bier (5.6%) on Sept. 13 at their FestBier Tapping Party (6pm). Live music will be provided by the Auslanders and there will be passed apps, games and giveaways. Beers will be 2 for $10 with all proceeds going to benefit the ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter.
Flying Bison Brewing’s annual Oktoberfest party returns on Sept. 16 (12pm) with traditional German beer hall music from the Frankfurters. $10 admission will get you a souvenir 16oz beer stein and a drink ticket, and bratwurst, franks, potato salad and sauerkraut will be available for purchase.
That very same day, Resurgence Brewing will host their own Oktoberfest celebration. Two stein hoisting competitions will be held for men and women, collector beer steins will be available for $10 (includes your first fill and $1 off after that), Wayno’s BBQ will be onsite, there will be live German music during the day and dance music at night, a beer truck and big tent in the parking lot, lawn games, bag toss, and more.
New York Beer Project will host the NYC Oktoberfest, the first of their two consecutive weekend Oktoberfest celebrations, on Sept. 17 (4pm). This modern day Oktoberfest features music from JJ Swing from 4pm – 8pm, as well as Bavarian pretzels, Oktoberfest games and prizes, German sing-a longs and prizes for best German costumes. NYBP will also have two German beers for the party – Red IPA, brewed with German cherries with flavors of Bavarian kirsch liqueur, and PROST! German Lager.
NYBP returns with their German Oktoberfest on Sept. 24 (4pm). Live music from 4-8pm will be provided courtesy of the Bergholz German Band.
The first annual Oktoberfest bash at Brickyard Brewing Company in Lewiston takes place Sept. 23-24. The first time event will feature German food, live music and specials on Brickyard Brewing’s Dunkel, Oktoberfest and other fall beers.
The annual OFest! Harvest March will take place on Oct. 1 at Gene McCarthy’s/Old First Ward Brewing. There will be the tapping and blessing of the ceremonial cask of Oktoberfest, a parade through the streets of the Old First Ward and live music and German food specials all day.
Buffalo Iron Works presents Oktoberfest: Local Edition 2017 on October 7 (4pm). Local Oktoberfest beers will be available from Resurgence, 12 Gates Brewing, Flying Bison, Community Beer Works, New York Beer Project, 42 North Brewing and Southern Tier Brewing. Entertainment and dancing with The German American Musicians “Buffalo’s BIG German Band!” will be followed by a special performance from Mike Gantzer of Aqueous & Rob Compa of Dopapod. Tickets are $5 (includes admittance) and $25 (includes admittance and 20 tickets for beer/food) and are available at www.buffaloironworks.com.
Thin Man Brewery will celebrate Oktoberfest on Oct. 15 (11am). Tickets for the event are $10 in advance ($15 day-of), which includes a signature Thin Man Oktoberfest stein and your first pour. VIP tickets are $50 in advance ($60 day-of) and include an all access upstairs pass, unlimited food and beer throughout the day along with signature Thin Man Oktoberfest stein. Thin Man will also have a tent out front of the brewery and German music as well.
For even more Oktoberfest happenings in and around Buffalo, check out Step Out Buffalo’s coverage at https://stepoutbuffalo.com/oktoberfest-events-happening-september-wny. And if you need a ride home, try Lyft. New users can download the Lyft app and use the promo code ‘BNBA’ to receive four $5 credits towards rides.
Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.