Bier, brats and polka
Craving some bier and sauerkraut? Here are your last chances to celebrateOktoberfest in Central Texas
Chances are high that most locals missed the chance to fly out to Munich to celebrate the official Oktoberfest beer festival that attracts millions from around the world. It’s an experience that any beer-lover considers to be a sacred pilgrimage.
Luckily for Central Texas residents, they just so happen to be living amongst one of the oldest and biggest German diasporas in America. Even luckier still, today’s German-Americans are just as fond of beer swilling and bratwurst feasting just as much as their ancestors, while hold their celebrations a little later than the traditional Oktoberfest.
So grab the lederhosen or dirndl out of the closet and get ready to party the Bavarian way in Austin and the surrounding area.
Oktoberfest at NXNW Brewery – October 22 and 23
North by Northwest has been celebrating Oktoberfest for 10 years now, and it’s been doing it by providing the essentials of any respectful Oktoberfest – craft beer, fresh German food, and live oom-pah music.
NXNW brews all of its beer on site, so you can expect to get the freshest Oktoberfest brews from brewmasters Don Thompson and Kevin Roark. Head Chef George Powell will also be cooking up his own German-inspired specialties with succulent bratwurst, homemade sauerkraut, pretzels and German cobblers.
For entertainment, NXNW promises live music along with a bratwurst eating contest and a wiener dog costume contest along with plenty of dancing to fill the day.
Black Sheep Lodge Oktoberfest Party – October 22
The home of some of Austin’s tastiest burgers will put its own spin on the classic German festival during their patio party this Saturday. Black Sheep Lodge will have various Oktoberfest brews on tap and on special, along with beer brats and jumbo pretzels served with homemade beer mustard.
But that’s not all. Special feats of strength and “Germanness” will take place, such as a Stein holding contest and a Hammerschlagen contest. What’s Hammerschlagen? Well it’s a German game that involves hammering nails into a stump and which gets more difficult when your belly starts to fill with more and more lager. Prizes will be given to those who can prove their strength and cunning.
Oktoberfest at the German Free School – October 22
For years, the German Free School has devoted itself to preserving and spreading the history of Germans in Texas and their culture. What better way to educate people on German culture than by throwing your own Oktoberfest celebration?
German wines and beer from Spaten will be provided, along with sausage sandwiches from The Best Wurst. For dessert, scrumptious strudels will be provided by Naegelin’s Bakery all the way from New Braunfels.
A full lineup of genuine German music is scheduled to perform during the festival, featuring appearances by The Siekers, the Walburg Boys, and Otto & Stump. With more fun and games, the day is sure to be filled with excitement for the entire family.
Buda Beer and Polka Fest – October 22
Just a short drive south of Austin on I-35, the small town of Buda will be throwing a festival on a scale that’s a bit closer to what you might see in Germany. Taking place at the Buda City Park through most of the day, expect plenty of helpings of beer and music.
Prepare to wet your whistle with beers from all over America and Europe, and then whet your appetite for just about the biggest selection of German foods and desserts you can imagine. For those who want to show off their appetites, they can prove their might in the Sausage Eating Contest at the Bier Garten. Any ladies who do happen to be sporting a dirndl can flaunt what they got in the Sexiest Fraulein Costume Contest.
The rest of the day will be filled with more contests, arts and crafts, and a full line-up of German and Czech bands so that you and your friends can dance the night away while listening to the polka.
So even if you’re still bummed about not making it to Munich again this year, then there are still plenty of local options that can help to get your filling of German fun without the expensive airfare.