Oktoberfest always seems to catch us off guard—not because it’s just one of a slew of festivals to compete for our attention come autumn (Taste Talks, hello), but because it actually begins in September, and not, you know, Oktober.
So as long as you’re lugging your cold weather wardrobe out of storage, you might as well dust off your dirndls and lederhosen as well, because you have from September 20th-October 5th to make your rounds of Brooklyn beer gardens, gorging on wursts and puffy pretzels, and heaving giant steins above your head. Prost!
Radegast Hall and Biergarten: Essentially an elder statesman among the borough’s quickly expanding roster of beer gardens, this now 7-year-old Williamsburg institution plans to go all out for the entire 16 days of Oktoberfest, with celebratory keg tappings, live music, pig roasts, mug holding competitions, and tastings of traditional holiday beers, such as Hofstetten Original Hochzeitsbier von 1810, Schneider Edel Weiss, Erdinger, and Hofbrau.
113 N 3rd Street, Williamsburg
Blocktoberfest: As part of a fundraiser for Beer Week 2014, The New York City Brewers Guild is staging “Blocktoberfest” at Kelso on Saturday, Sept. 20th. $10 tickets to the fete at the Crown Heights company (which boasts a 5,000 square foot indoor beer garden plus 3,000 square feet of outdoor seating), will include live music from local bands, access to a fleet of mobile eateries, such as Jimmy No. 43’s Beer & BBQ Truck, and $5 pours from 19 area breweries.
648 Franklin Avenue, Crown Heights
Blue Ribbon Brooklyn: Starting September 20th, German-born chef Martin Brock will bring a taste of Oktoberfest to Park Slope with a menu of classic Bavarian fare, including homemade sausages (weisswurst, bratwurst, chicken-bacon-cheddar), cheese spaetzle with caramelized onions, and warm pretzels with obatzda (a soft cheese spread). Guests can wash it all down with pints of Riegele Alte Weisse, Jever pilsner, and Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen.
280 5th Avenue, Park Slope
Prime Meats: On Sunday, September 20st, Prime Meats will celebrate their 6th annual Octoberfest in the RES garden (their “artist residency for chefs” in Red Hook), with shuttle buses running from their Court Street restaurant all day. The a la carte menu will feature traditional German food and fall beverages, such as whole roasted chicken, freshly-shucked oysters, soft pretzels, local beer, mulled wine and hot spiced cider, and of course, a selection of their authentic, housemade sausages, such as weisswurst, bratwurst, jagerwurst and dry-aged beef.
465 Court Street, Carroll Gardens
Black Forest Brooklyn: Forget about 16-days (the accepted length of Oktoberfest); this Black Forest-born husband-and-wife duo is celebrating the cultural carnival at their Fort Greene beer garden all month long. Festivities kick off with a massive, opening night gala on Saturday, September 20th, featuring the Balkan brass funk band Slavic Soul Party. Also expect a keg-tapping ceremony (your first beer is free!) a mug-holding competition, and various Bavarian food and drink specials.
733 Fulton Street, Fort Greene