Oktoberfest is an annual party held in Munich intended to celebrate the union of Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Today, however, most know it for beers and brats.
The breweries of Munich make traditional märzen and festbier for the occasion so attendees can hoist their liters and give a hearty “prost” (German for “cheers”) to their fellow man and woman. This year’s two-week festival ends on October 6, so curious travelers still have time to get to Bavaria. But if that’s not in the budget, plenty of options abound in our port city and beyond.
A few thoughts and insights on the events: For folks who want to bring their little furry friends, well, maybe reconsider. In my experience these events attract a lot of people, and a lot of people drinking a lot of booze can cause a lot of trouble if pets are involved. It’s also important tremember parking will be in short supply most places. But the real takeaway is: while you may be able to drive to these celebrations, you probably can’t drive away from them. So either come with a DD or hail a taxi or call an Uber/Lyft. Throw on your finest dirndl or lederhosen and round up the crew, it’s time to get planning…
4th Annual Oktoberfest Under the Bridge
Waterline Brewing Company
Saturday, Oct. 5, 1-9 p.m. Free!
I can personally attest this is one wild party. The brewery lines up a plethora of traditional activities like a stein holding competition, the region’s best Oom-pah band, and plenty of food trucks as well as pretzels to soak up all the suds. There’s also a contest for folks who think they’re best dressed in their finest festival gear, so attendees will want to bring their A-game. Pre-order VIP packages include a liter stein and commemorative t-shirt, but felt Alpine hats and a 2-ounce mug option are also available.
Salty Turtle Beer Company
Saturday, Oct. 12, noon – 11 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 13, noon – 9 p.m. Free!
Topsail area folks won’t miss out, as Surf City’s favorite brewery is taking TWO days to celebrate! Half-liter steins and t-shirts will be available for purchase, and Oktoberfest beer will be flowing. Details about music on Saturday are forthcoming, but Sunday the Seth Brand Band will be rocking out. The food trucks on Saturday are E&B Mobile Catering from noon until 4 p.m. and Jasmine Thai from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday snacks will be provided by E&B Mobile Catering once more from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.
3rd Annual Wilmington Oktoberfest
Palate Bottle Shop & Reserve
Saturday, Oct. 12, noon-8 p.m. Free!
Join the North 4th Street bottle shop as they welcome the Little German Band & Dancers for a raucous celebration of fall! They’ll be pouring liters of Paulaner Oktoberfest, one of Munich’s own celebratory brews. (And here at encore we’re not-so-secretly hoping that Chef Carson Jewell whips up something fabulous to serve from the Kitchen @ Palate, the shop’s food truck.)
Ogden Tap Room
Saturday, Oct. 19, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Free!
The great Wilmington wiener dog races are a playful addition to this Ogden area Oktoberfest. Kids are also welcome and accommodated with bounce houses! Festival attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to this event, as it is always packed. They can also expect all the German beers and brats their hearts desire, as well as entertainment from the Harbor Townfest Band.
Audi Cape Fear
Saturday, Oct. 19, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Free!
Our local Audi dealership is throwing a party to celebrate all things German—including their trademarked German superior ingenuity. Attendees can enjoy free snacks from The Foxes Boxes and beers from Mad Mole Brewing while feasting their eyes on the 2019 Audi Q3 and the brand new all-electric Audi e-tron. The event will include activities for children and adults alike, as well as some giveaways!