For many Philadelphians October’s arrival means it’s officially Pumpkin Spice season, however there’s another popular drink that is sure to be celebrated by many people this fall and that’s beer. As a region, our area is filled with proud beer drinkers from Mount Airy to Mount Holly. But in October beer lovers in the tri-state area are almost encouraged to celebrate their love for beer by partaking in one of the many Octoberfest celebration events across the Philadelphia region.
Established in 1810 the original Oktoberfest was held in Munich, Germany as a public wedding reception for King Ludwig and his new bride Princess Therese. Over the past two centuries Oktoberfest has grown into a massive two and a half week event featuring millions of beer lovers from all over the world. Now mind you, this festival has become a part of German tradition for centuries, and they’ve been training for years to consume large quantities of beer for two and a half weeks, so if you ever plan on going to the original festival please pace yourself because things can get pretty wild.
However, if you don’t have the money or alcohol tolerance to drink copious amounts of beer for up to eighteen days you’re in luck! There are a few events taking place in our area that will give you the same feel without any of the jet lag or embarrassing Instagram posts.
Octoberfest at Dilworth Park – October 11-13
The word Oktoberfest immediately conjures up images of overflowing beer steins served by scantily clad maidens who are also overflowing from their tight tops. But Dilworth Park has taken a few ideas from that image and toned it down for something a lot less risqué.
From October 11th until the 13th Dilworth Park hosted Octoberfest, an event the entire family could enjoy. During this three-day event, which considers itself a celebration of fall more than a beer festival, there were a variety of adult beverages provided by Victory Brewing Company and Goose Island as well as fall themed cocktails created with and sponsored by Maker’s Mark bourbon. There were also fun things for the kids to do such as pumpkin painting and a pumpkin carving demonstration. Add in local DJ’s and traditional Oktoberfest refreshments provided by Air Grille and you’ve got yourself the Brady Bunch version of Oktoberfest right in your own backyard.
23rd Street Armory Octoberfest October 18-19
If you’re looking for a more traditional Octoberfest events in Philadelphia look no further than 23rd Street Armory’s Oktoberfest, which they will be hosting on October 18th and 19th with three different sessions; 7:30pm to 11:30pm Friday and Saturday and an earlier session from 1pm-5pm on Saturday only. Complete with bratwurst, beer and babes their annual homage to the original festival in Germany is sure to be one of the can’t miss events during the season of beer festivals.
They’ll be serving Oktoberfest standards such as sausage, sauerkraut and authentic Hofbrauhaus beer. Attending this event will more than likely make you think you’re in Munich by its authenticity and commitment to traditional Oktoberfest standards, but don’t be startled when you stumble outside and realize you’re in South Philly and not Bavaria. Tickets range from $25 to $85 and can be purchased here.
Washington Crossing Fall Brewfest – Saturday October 26
Let’s face it; sometimes we just want to grab a few friends to go to a beer fest and sample all the different ales our region has to offer. If your main goal for celebrating beer has more to do with an appreciation for its taste and not strapping on leiderhosen for inebriated sing-a-longs perhaps the Washington Crossing Fall Brewfest is more your speed.
Now in its third year the event, which takes place in autumnal Washington Crossing Historic Park, is a fun adventure for those who enjoy sampling ciders and beers ranging in fall flavors like harvest ales, seasonal IPA’s and, of course, pumpkin.
Food trucks and bonfires will also decorate the day reminding everyone that fall is a beautiful time to sit, chill and relax while taking in the scenic views of the park as well as the nearby Delaware River. And if you need even more of a reason to check it out the proceeds from the Brewfest go towards educational and historical programming in the park. Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased here.
And if you think the fun stops in October you’re wrong! Two events are coming to our region in November as well that celebrate our love for beer. The Great Harvest Cider and Beer Festival (738 S. 11th Street – November 2 2019, 11am-8pm) is taking place at Hawthorne’s Beer Café featuring hard ciders, pumpkin ales and even apple bobbing along with food trucks and music.
Then on November 10th Sly Fox Brewing Company is hosting Cyclocross; an adventurous mix of cycling and beer. And no, the cyclists won’t be drinking beer during the race. However spectators can enjoy a brew or two as they watch the race unfold. All of these events, and many more in the region, should be checked out as we all gather to usher in a new season by once again professing our love for beer.
Cheers to all the Octoberfest inspired events happening around Philadelphia!