Fall Festivities

The Best Seattle-Area Oktoberfests

Stein holding? A multitude of tubed meats? Hammerschlagen? An irrational amount of tuba? Oh, yes.

By Annika Lindburg September 20, 2019

Oktoberfest season has arrived: Celebrate accordingly with a cold one.

Sept 20–22
Fremont Oktoberfest
The city’s largest beer festival returns with all the crowd favorites—stein hoisting, Texas chainsaw pumpkin carving, a DJ tower, and over 100 brews and ciders—along with a new ax-throwing event. Like dogs, puns, and beer? Dogtoberfest lands on Sunday. 3503 Phinney Ave, $25–$30

Sept 20–22
Kirkland Oktoberfest
If you feel the need to be transported, the seventh annual Kirkland Oktoberfest runs for three (mellower) days. Yeah, there’s a beer garden, with 20 or so German and local beers, and on Sunday the all-ages Great Kirkland Weiner Dog Races wiggle back. Marina Park Pavilion, $25–$30

Sept 20–28
Queen Anne Beerhall
Over the final two weekends, you get the usual American Oktoberfest suspects: live music, stein holding, Hammerschlagen, and a sausage-eating contest. But this little celebration, nestled in one of the city's quieter neighborhoods, also rolls out a DJ and live music by Stomping Ground and Prom Date Mixtape, a 1980s tribute band that covers everything from Devo to Madonna. Queen Anne Beerhall, Free

Sept 21
Hillman City Oktoberfest
Big Chickie and Slow Boat Tavern’s third annual Oktoberfest is a free and smaller alternative to more seismic parties. Slow Boat’s got the beer covered, while Big Chickie’s got the food down: spaetzle (small, egg-based dumplings) and rotkohl (red cabbage with apples). Big Chickie, Free

Sept 21–Oct 5
Rhein Haus
Capitol Hill’s caricature of a bierhalle already has German touchstones year-round—beer by the vat, sausages, Underberg—so to celebrate Rhein Haus brings in oompah bands and games. Fridays and Saturdays you can compete in stein holding contests (grab a liter, hold it at arm’s length until you can’t). Rhein Haus, Free

Oct 4–6
Oktoberfest Northwest
The 15th annual Oktoberfest has something (sorta) new: 1980s cover bands. Don’t worry, the blowout at the Washington State Fair Events Center has traditional music and Bavarian Bier-lympics on October 5, too. Not burly enough? There’s always Hammerschlagen, where you try to beat your opponent in driving a nail into a cross section of wood. Washington State Fair Events Center, $6–$12

Oct 4 & 5, 11 & 12, 18 & 19
Leavenworth Oktoberfest
Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest is the closest you’ll get to Munich without a plane. The faux-Bavarian village has four venues and live entertainment and German food like brats and strudel. To understand how serious this is for the town, you need only know that each Saturday the mayor hosts a keg tapping ceremony. Various locations, $10–$20

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