Fall is officially in the air in Philadelphia, and for food and beer lovers, that means one thing: Oktoberfests — and plenty of them.
Oktoberfest started in Munich in 1810 as a public celebration of a royal wedding, but it transformed into a yearly beer-centric affair later in the 17th century, as small stands, then massive brewery tents opened up on festival grounds.
That tradition of pairing malty beer and delicious German food with games and music has been exported all around the world, and Philly is no exception.
We’ve rounded up about 40 Oktoberfests, from Brauhaus Schmitz’s yearly bash on South Street to further-flung iterations, like the highly traditional Reading Liederkranz Oktoberfest. All are pay-as-you-go, unless otherwise specified, and all do their best to hold a stein to the Munich original.
IN THE CITY
Baby-friendly bar Craft Hall transforms its usual 35,000-square-foot space into an indoor festival for the family, complete with activities, live entertainment, food, and beer specials from Mainstay Independent Brewery.
Sept. 20 through Oct. 6, Craft Hall, 901 N. Delaware Ave., 267-297-2072, crafthallphilly.com
Brauhaus Schmitz brings one of the area’s largest Oktoberfests back to the 700 block of South Street. Under a massive tent, you’ll find 10 varieties of German beer on draft, live oompah music and dancers, and German grub.
The Bourse Food Hall is known for its selection of food vendors, but for Oktoberfest, it turns into the Bourse Beer Hall, with 16 German-style beers — sold by the liter in souvenir mugs from the likes of Würzburger Hofbräu and Ayinger Brewery — and German-inspired dishes like Black Forest nachos and potato dumplings from a dozen vendors.
Sept. 21, noon to 6 p.m., Bourse Food Hall, 111 S. Independence Mall East, 215-625-0300, theboursephilly.com
Fishtown’s year-round beer garden, Frankford Hall, joins forces with the meat masters at Fette Sau for a day of German brews, food, music, and dancing, plus pony rides and arts and crafts courtesy of PlayArts.
Sept. 21, noon to 10 p.m., Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave., 215-634-3338, frankfordhall.com
Oktoberfest revelers at Xfinity Live! can expect unlimited samples of hundreds of seasonal fall beers (think pumpkin and Oktoberfest brews) in custom steins, plus bites from food trucks and vendors, and live music across seven indoor and outdoor party areas.
Sept. 21, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Xfinity Live!, 1100 Pattison Ave., $35-$60, 267-534-4264, xfinitylive.com
Held at Fairmount Park’s six historic houses (with free transportation between them), CiderFest proves Oktoberfest doesn’t have to be about beer. Instead, it’s about hard ciders, from Pa. makers like Hale & True Cider Co., Wyndridge Farms, Dressler Estate, and Ploughman.
Sept. 21, noon to 5 p.m., Fairmount Park, Sedgley Drive and North Lemon Hill Drive, $45-$70, 215-988-9334 ext. 117, myphillypark.org
Uptown Beer Garden’s Oktoberfest is back with local craft and German drafts from the likes of Pizza Boy and Hofbräu, as well as a menu of Bavarian bites including knockwurst, bratwurst, and soft pretzels served with obatzda, a cheese spread.
Sept. 28, noon to 8 p.m., Uptown Beer Garden, 1735 Market St., free or VIP tickets for $20, 215-397-3308, facebook.com/pg/UptownBeerGarden
The Pod Park rings in its first fall with a family-friendly Oktoberfest that’s rounded out with live music and DJs, cocktails, German-style and seasonal beers.
Sept. 28, noon to 8 p.m., Piazza Pod Park, 1075 Germantown Ave., 215-710-8185, piazzapodpark.com
Graduate Hospital’s neighborhood Oktoberfest moves to Washington Avenue this year. Folks will be able to sip on craft beers (past vendors have included Ballast Point and Oskar Blues) and snack on dishes from food trucks including the Baker’s Jar and 33rd Street Hospitality.
Sept. 28, noon to 8 p.m., on Washington Avenue between 17th and Broad Streets, free or VIP for $25, bloktoberfest.org
Every Wednesday evening in October, the Art Museum turns its Great Stair Hall into a beer garden, so art aficionados and beer lovers alike can enjoy German-inspired bites, local craft brews, and flights in between enjoying the museum’s collections.
Wednesdays Oct. 2-30, 5 to 8:30 p.m., Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., $20, 215-763-8100, philamuseum.org
Roxborough’s annual Oktoberfest returns with plenty of local beer, a stein-holding competition, a family zone with an inflatable obstacle course and carnival games, and food from vendors including Babalouie BBQ, the Roaming Raven, and Burg’s Hideaway Lounge.
Oct. 5, noon to 6 p.m., Ridge Avenue between Lyceum and Leverington Avenues, 215-508-2358, roxboroughpa.com
The Delaware River provides the backdrop for Morgan’s Pier’s fest, where guests can enjoy a night of unlimited soft pretzels, German food specials, and free-flowing beer (poured into limited-edition beer steins for the first 200 entrants), as well as live music and DJ sets.
Oct. 5, 2 to 6 p.m., Morgan’s Pier, 221 N. Columbus Blvd., $45-$50, 215-279-7134, morganspier.com
The Revolutionary Germantown Festival kicks off with a reenactment of the Battle of Germantown, but after that, it’s party time at the 18th-century Grumblethorpe mansion, where guests can enjoy live music, hang with reenactors, and glut themselves on seasonal food and beer.
Oct. 5, 4 to 8 p.m., Grumblethorpe, 5267 Germantown Ave., revolutionarygermantown.org
Midtown Village’s annual Fall Festival, now in its 14th year, attracts around 50,000 attendees who show up for a daylong block(s) party that includes food, beer, cocktails, live music, craft vendors, and activities for the kiddos.
Oct. 5, noon to 8 p.m., Broad to 11th Street and Market to Spruce Streets, midtownvillagephilly.org
Center City’s Dilworth Park kicks off fall with three days of live music and DJ sets, seasonal food offerings, bourbon cocktails from Maker’s Mark, and fall beers from Victory and Goose Island.
Oct. 11-13, noon to 9 p.m. Friday, noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St., 215-440-5500, centercityphila.org
At 16,000 square feet, the 23rd Street Armory fits up to 1,400 Oktoberfest attendees for three four-hour sessions of German-style food from Brauhaus Schmitz, beer from Hofbräuhaus, and live music from the Bratwurst Boys and Die Heimatklänge.
Oct. 18-19, 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m., 23rd Street Armory, 22 S. 23rd St., $25-$85, 267-909-8814, brauhausschmitz.com
Aston’s 2SP Brewing Co. kicks off its inaugural Oktoberfest with local food trucks, vendors, live music, and kids’ entertainment — oh, and plenty of beer, including four new releases and six previously released brews that run the gamut from spiced pumpkin ale to Kristallweizen.
Sept. 21, noon to 8 p.m., 2SP Brewing Co., 120 Concord Rd., Aston, 484-483-7860, 2spbrewing.com
What’s billed as the largest Oktoberfest on the Main Line transforms downtown Ardmore into an outdoor Bavarian blowout, complete with brews from Tired Hands and Iron Hill, live entertainment, pumpkin carving, and face-painting.
Sept. 28, 2 to 8 p.m., Schauffele Plaza, 99 Cricket Terrace, Ardmore, $50-$80, ardmoreoktoberfest.com
Berwyn-based brewers La Cabra take the party out back, where all things German will be feted, using — if you like — custom Oktoberfest steins priced at $20 (includes tokens for food and beer).
Sept. 28, noon to 7 p.m., La Cabra Brewing, 642 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, 610-240-7908, lacabrabrewing.com
Huntingdon Valley’s Moss Mill Brewing Co. mixes up its Oktoberfest offerings with beers from Naked Brewing Co., Broken Goblet Brewing, and others, plus German fare from Northeast Philly’s own Hop Angel Brauhaus.
Sept. 28, 1 to 7 p.m., Moss Mill Brewing Co., 109 Pike Circle, Huntingdon Valley, $20-$35, 215-876-6303, mossmillbrewing.com
For more than two decades, Kennett Square has been slinging brews and dishing out traditional German food in honor of Oktoberfest; this year’s event — with more than 100 breweries, including Abomination Brewing Co. and Tired Hands — is no different.
Sept. 28, 1:30 to 5 p.m., 600 S. Broad St., Kennett Square, $15-$85, 610-444-8188, kennettbrewfest.com
The Perkasie craft beer pioneers celebrate with trucked-in German fare and their own takes on various German styles and gose-based beer slushies on draft. Bonus: You can score free beer if you show up in lederhosen.
Sept. 29, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Free Will Brewing Co., 410 E. Walnut St., Perkasie, $10, 267-354-0813, freewillbrewing.com
Presented in partnership with Chester County’s own Victory Brewing, this festival features food from the likes of the Cow and the Curd, Phyllodelphia, and Southbound BBQ Co., as well as live music and a beer garden on Green Street.
Sept. 29, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Green Street and East Pennsylvania Avenue, Downingtown, 610-269-1523, downingtownfallfest.com
King of Prussia’s gigantic beer festival returns for 2019 with two days of unlimited beer samples from hophead favorites including Levante Brewing Co., Bald Birds Brewing Co., and Workhorse Brewing Co., plus food from the likes of Shake Shack, Fogo de Chão, and Bonefish Grill.
Oct. 3 and 5, 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., King of Prussia Mall, 160 N. Gulph Rd., King of Prussia, $15-$70, kopbeerfest.com
The Croydon craft beer masters at Neshaminy Creek usher in fall with live music from the Philadelphia German Brass Band, German-inspired food truck fare, and rare beers from their own stash.
Oct. 5, noon to 7 p.m., Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company, 909 Ray Ave., Croydon, free or VIP for $35, 215-458-7081, neshaminycreekbrewing.com
Ambler started hosting its own Oktoberfest nearly three decades ago. This year’s edition brings 90-plus vendors, 10 food trucks, children’s rides, two stages, and a beer garden to Butler Avenue.
Oct. 5, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Butler Avenue, Ambler, 215-646-1000, ext. 121, amblermainstreet.org
North Wales’ McAllister Brewing Co. kicks off fall with an Oktoberfest that features music, food trucks, kids’ activities (think bouncy house), and several German-style beer releases — one of which will be a collaboration with Hatboro’s Crooked Eye Brewery.
Oct. 6, noon to 6 p.m., McAllister Brewing Co., 801 Dickerson Rd., North Wales, 267-655-4918, mcallisterbrewing.com
Conshy’s fest is back for its sixth year with beers from 50-plus breweries, several Pennsylvania wines, food from local eateries, tailgating games, and live music, all enjoyed on the field at A.A. Garthwaite Stadium.
Oct. 12, 1 to 5 p.m., A.A. Garthwaite Stadium, 100 E. 11th Ave., Conshohocken, $15-$50, cpwrotary.com
Back for its fifth year, OctoberFeast has two days of German brews and food in its own beer garden, plus live music, family fun, and (of course) shopping.
Oct. 12-13, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Peddler’s Village, 2400 Street Rd., New Hope, 215-794-4000, peddlersvillage.com
Paoli’s Oktoberfest is family-friendly with bouncy houses, face painting, pumpkin decorating, live music, and a dog costume contest. Don’t worry, though, there’s still beer.
Oct. 12, noon to 7:30 p.m., Good Samaritan Field, 212 W. Lancaster Ave., Paoli, $8-$10, umlrotary.org
Washington Crossing Historical Park in New Hope provides the backdrop for this annual fest, which features sample pours from more than a dozen craft breweries like Captain Lawrence and Weyerbacher, plus food from eateries like Nomad Pizza, the Good Donut Shop, and Tim’s Barbecue.
Oct. 26, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., Washington Crossing Historic Park, 1638 River Rd., New Hope, $10-$45, washingtoncrossingbrewfest.com
Usher in autumn down the Shore with German-themed food and beer at an outdoor biergarten (plus a rootbier garten for the kiddos), live entertainment, and family activities like pumpkin decorating and cookie decorating.
Sept. 20 through Oct. 13, 5 to 11 p.m. Fridays, noon to 11 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays, Morey’s Piers, 3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, $19.95-$39.95, 609-729-3700, moreyspiers.com
This South Jersey fest will be a musical one with performances from more than a dozen bands, plus German food, a tented beer garden, activities for kids, and a Bavarian stein-holding contest for those looking for a little competition.
Sept. 21, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Freedom Park, 86 Union St., Medford, medfordoktoberfest.com
Burlington’s Riverview Restaurant snagged longtime oompah band the Alpine Trio for Oktoberfest in its garden. Enjoy seasonal fall beers and a menu of German-style menu.
Sept. 27 and Oct. 4, 6 to 9 p.m., Riverview Restaurant, 219 High St., Burlington, free or $29.99, 609-614-6624, riverviewlivenj.com
Cape May takes the fall festival beachside German with Bavarian food, live music, plenty of suds in the beer garden, and vendors selling collectibles, antiques, and crafts.
Sept. 28, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Cape May, Ocean Street to Perry Street on Carpenters Lane, Jackson Street to Beach Avenue, 610-884-5508, capemaychamber.com
Delaware may be small, but Dover’s take on the traditional Oktoberfest celebration is huge, thanks to a multi-block street festival that features beer, mead, cider, wine, spirits, and food from local producers, as well as an outdoor performance from famed reggae act The Wailers.
Sept. 28, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., State Street to Governors Avenue on Loockerman Street, Dover, unlimited samples wristbands for $40, 302-359-9532, facebook.com/Destination-Downtown-Dover
Reading’s foremost fall celebration has twice been voted the top Oktoberfest in the United States in past USAToday polls — and with good reason, considering its organizers model their multiday event on the original Oktoberfest.
Oct. 2-6, 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Reading Liederkranz, 143 Spook Lane, Reading, $10, 610-373-3982, readingliederkranz.com
It’s been less than a year since Log Tavern Brewing started slinging suds in Milford, but this fall, they’re bringing Oktoberfest to the Poconos with food, live music, craft vendors, raffles, family activities, and, of course, plenty of beer.
Oct. 5, noon to 8 p.m., Log Tavern Brewing, 309 E. Harford St., Building 2, Milford, 201-874-4447, logtavernbrewing.com
The Stoudt family has been throwing Oktoberfests in Lancaster County for four decades. This year’s festivities include more than 20 beers on tap, lawn games, and live music via Soul Miner’s Union — oh, and bring your furry friends, too, as this is dog-friendly.
Oct. 10, 2 to 6 p.m., Beer Hall at Stoudts Brewing Co., 2800 N. Reading Rd., Adamstown, $12-$45, 717-484-4386, stoudts.com
Bethlehem’s SteelStacks offers multiple sessions for drinking German-style and limited edition brews, including sudsy creations from breweries including Fegley’s, Tröegs, Great Barn Brewery, and, of course, Yuengling.
Oct. 11-12, 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, 1 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, $10-$30, 610-332-1300, steelstacks.org