Although many Oktoberfest parties in Austin have already come and gone, leaving us with another half-dozen souvenir beer steins and a hurting liver, many more remain in the season — our celebration of all things German is just getting started.
Here are all the remaining Oktoberfest events in this city where we can stuff ourselves full of bier and bratwurst and maybe even dance a polka or two.
The 5th Annual AustOberfest. This is the big one in Austin proper. Arguably the most authentic, too. The celebration of Central Texas’ German heritage at Scholz Garten and the connected Saengerrunde Hall will have German-style sausage and beer, a contest stage, bowling and live music (from a psychedelic polka band, no less!).
Sausages come from some of the area’s best meat purveyors, including LeRoy & Lewis, Stiles Switch BBQ, Louie Mueller, Southside Market, and Micklethwait Craft Meats. Expect the beer to come from the likes of Austin’s Celis Brewery, Fredericksburg’s Altstadt Brewery and Houston’s Karbach Brewing.
As for that contest stage? That’s where you’ll prove you’re the best at stein holding, air accordion and — no lie — David Hasselhoff lip syncing, as well as other fun competitions.
AustOberfest runs from 5 to 11 p.m. on Sept. 30 and costs $25-$50. Get your tickets at austoberfest.com.
Idle Vine Brewery’s Oktoberfest. The Pflugerville brewery is also hosting an Oktoberfest party this weekend. You’re going to get off work on Sept. 29 and head there for the Hammerschlagen Fest Bier and the Lederhosen Marzen. A limited number of Oktoberfest-branded glassware will also be on hand to add to your collection.
Oktoberfest Closing Ceremony. Whitestone Brewery in Cedar Park has been throwing two weeks’ worth of Oktoberfest-related festivities and is closing out with a big bash on Sept. 30. That will include one last stein-holding competition, as well as German food and samples of Meridian Hive mead.
Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg. Make a day trip out to this Texas Hill Country town for a full weekend of Oktoberfest fun on Oct. 6-8. The fest will have an impressive number of German foods and beer to enjoy and a full schedule of live bands, including the Tubameisters, Oma & the Oompahs and the Czechaholics. Fredericksburg knows how to celebrate, y’all.
Whip In’s Oktoberfest. On Oct. 7, fill up a boot glass of beer from breweries like Austin Beerworks, Saint Arnold Brewing, Brooklyn Brewery and Bell’s Brewery. But maybe hold off on drinking it all until you’ve played planned games like hammerschlagen and a mug-holding competition.
The 3rd Annual Bluebonnet Beer Company Oktoberfest. Round Rock’s getting festive, too. The town’s lone brewery will just about have it all: polka music, American and German-style beers, bratwurst and soft pretzels, even inflatables for the kids. $5.
Third Annual Oktoberfest Crowler Cup. Cuvee Coffee Bar’s regular Crowler Cup competition pitting Texas breweries against each other is getting seasonal this time around. On Oct. 12, choose from the likes of Strange Land Oktoberfest, Freetail Oktoberfiesta, Live Oak Oaktoberfest and other similarly styled brews while also enjoying German grub from the Best Wurst.
Taptoberfest. Both locations of the Brass Tap will be hosting this Oktoberfest event, the Round Rock bar on Oct. 14 and the Domain pub a week later on Oct. 21. The two places are doing a tap takeover of rare and specialty beers from Germany and around the world, and bratwursts will also be featured.
Banger’s Oktoberfest. It’s apparently the beer garden’s favorite time of year, so you know this three-day party kicking off on Oct. 26 will be good. Banger’s usual menu of sausages will be on hand along with traditional German favorites like spaetzle, German potato cake, schnitzel and weisswurst. There will also be daily live music, games and some of the best fall beers Banger’s could find.
North by Northwest’s 16th Annual Oktoberfest. One of Austin’s oldest brewpubs has also been carrying on one of the oldest Oktoberfest traditions, which will return on Oct. 28 and 29, with activities divided among the two days.
Festivities this year will include a specially brewed NXNW Oktoberfest beer for the adults; bounce houses, kids games, face painting, and Nate the Great Balloon Artist for the kids; and even a wiener dog costume contest and an all-breed dog costume contest for the pups. Live music from high-energy polka band Terry Cavanagh and the Alpine Express, along with the TubaMeisters and Oma and the Oompahs, will cap it all off.
Wait, did you think that was all? NXNW Stonelake’s two-day celebration goes toward a good cause. The $2 suggested entry fee will be donated to four area nonprofits: Don’t Fear the Finger, Oncology Massage Alliance Austin Humane Society and Central Texas Dachshund Rescue.
Wurstfest in New Braunfels. This annual 10-day celebration of the city’s German heritage gives us a few days of recovery time from all the other parties before launching Nov. 3-12. Then, a central section of New Braunfels will transform into a mini Germany, with a marktplatz, wursthalle, biergarten and other areas where you can listen to polka tunes and drink an authentic German dunkel in a pitcher.
New Braunfels has hosted Wurstfest since 1961, and it’s — of all the Oktoberfest celebrations out there — the one you really don’t want to miss. It’s open during the week, too; go when the crowds are smaller.