The arrival of September means many things — the start of fall, pumpkin season, and beer-fueled Oktoberfest celebrations throughout the Philly region.
Favorite breweries, entire neighborhoods, and beer bars celebrate the German tradition of Oktoberfest with Munich-inspired Oktoberfest brews, full-on beer festivals complete with German-inspired music and food, and more opportunities to sip seasonal beer outdoors before it gets too cold.
Keep in mind that the coronavirus pandemic is causing last-minute changes to many events, be sure to check before the event for the most up-to-date information and updated COVID-19 precautions, including if you’ll need to show proof of vaccination, wear a mask, or socially distance.
Here’s where to celebrate Oktoberfest throughout the Philadelphia region.
The Oktoberfest season kicks off at the beginning of September with this three-day festival from Cannstatter Volksfest Verein full of German music, dancing, beer, and food. Buy a one-day pass for $10, go for two days for $15, or the whole weekend for $20.
Vereinigung Erzgebirge celebrates their 84th Oktoberfest in Warminster Township with a day full of beer, German music, and soccer and, while many Oktoberfest parties are strictly 21+, this one has kid-friendly activities including clowns, face painting, an obstacle course, and more. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 day of for people 16 and over; anyone younger than that gets in free. You can bring kids, but pets are verboten, as are coolers.
Brauhaus Schmitz shuts down the 700 block of South Street for yet another year with its annual Oktoberfest, which features a Bavarian buffet, 10 German beers on draft, oompah music, German dancers, and more. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event will be limited to 1,000 people, with a “1 out, 1 in” policy once capacity is reached. While the main festival is on Sat., Sept. 18, there are events all week long, and the block will be shut down for the whole weekend. Proof of vaccination is only needed if you purchase a $115 VIP ticket, which, among other perks like an endless buffet, will allow you to go inside Brauhaus.
Usher in autumn down the Shore with German-themed food and beer at an outdoor biergarten at Jumbo’s Pub and Grub, live entertainment, family activities, and, of course, rides.
More than 60 breweries are expected to make it for Newtown’s 12th annual beer festival this year, including favorites such as Bell’s, Avery, Stone, and Founders. The festival tickets start at $45, which includes food and beer tastings and live music by the Well Strung Rocks. The fest is held in the parking lots of Newtown Stocking Works Complex at 410 South State St.
Aston’s 2SP Brewing Co. kicks off its Oktoberfest with local food trucks, vendors, live music, and kids’ entertainment — oh, and plenty of beer. There’s also a pie-eating contest where you can win a $200 2SP gift card. Get there early to buy a limited-edition stein for $20 that includes your first pour of beer.
Human Robot Brewery brings the party across the street to Sunflower Philly for an outdoor Oktoberfest where American breweries (Second District, Human Robot, Bonn Place Brewing, and more) show off their best lagers and German-style beers against the German breweries who created the beer style generations ago. There will also be German techno music, a performance by beloved brass band Snacktime Philly, and food options from area food trucks. $7 drink tickets get you beer pours.
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.
» READ MORE: Find more great things to do in our events calendar
This music-and-beer fest features plenty of live tunes from the likes of Start Making Sense, Mason Porter, and Good Lovin’ Jam Band. There’s also food and lots of beer from the brewery, plus a massive KanJam disc golf tournament, that claims to be the “biggest in the universe.” Join the tournament or just play a casual game: Your choice.
Ardmore’s celebration returns for the 11th year, with live music, cold beer from Tired Hands and Levante Brewing, and food, including barbecue sandwiches from from Sophie’s BBQ, and bratwurst, pretzels and more German fare from Jack McShea. You can reserve a table in advance for $85 for a table (seats 4-8, and the price includes four beers).
Cape May takes the fall festival beachside with Bavarian food, live music, plenty of suds in the beer garden, and vendors selling collectibles, antiques, and crafts.
Log Tavern Brewing has only been slinging suds in Milford for a few years, but this fall, it’s bringing Oktoberfest to the Poconos with food, live music, craft vendors, raffles, family activities, and, of course, lots of beer.
The Perkasie craft beer pioneers celebrate Oktoberfest with trucked-in fare from Scratch Kitchen and G’Day Gourmet, in addition to their own takes on various German styles and gose-based beer slushies on draft. Glass mug fills, plenty of local vendors, and a live accordion player will be there to enjoy as well.
Berwyn-based brewers La Cabra fete all things German with specially made Marzen-style Oktoberfest. Executive chef Andy Matulaitis will also be serving up German food like Bratwurst sandwiches with caramelized onions on a pretzel bun.
Chester County’s own Victory Brewing partners for this festival, which features food from the likes of the Nacho Depot, Race to Taste Curbside Grill, and Kona Ice, as well as live music and a beer garden on Green Street.
🕑 Sept. 26, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.,📍 149 E. Lancaster Ave. between Green Street and East Pennsylvania Avenue, Downingtown, Pa., 📞 610-269-1523, 🌐 downingtownfallfest.com
Reading’s foremost fall celebration has twice been voted the top Oktoberfest in the United States in past USA Today polls — and with good reason, considering its organizers model their multiday event on the original Oktoberfest. Of course, there will be more than enough beer to go around, a loaded schedule of live music, and delicious German fare. With admission being only $15 per person at the gate, this Oktoberfest is sure to be a hit.
Starting Oct. 1, baby-friendly Craft Hall transforms its usual 35,000-square-foot space into a monthlong indoor festival for the family, complete with activities, live entertainment, food, and beer specials from Mainstay Independent Brewery.
Huntingdon Valley’s Moss Mill Brewing Co. will be pouring beer from a wide variety of breweries at its Oktoberfest in Huntingdon Valley.
2SP, Sly Fox, Victory, and more than 70 other local and national breweries will have beers available for Kennett Square’s annual outdoor beer festival, which has been running for two decades, so expect a blowout including live music, food, and plenty of vendors. Tickets start at $55, with a designated driver ticket at only $15.
Ambler started hosting its own Oktoberfest nearly three decades ago. This year’s party brings 90-plus vendors and local businesses, 10 food trucks, restaurant samplings, children’s rides, and a beer garden to Butler Ave. In the nearby Cavalier Drive parking lot, find live music performances on two stages.
King of Prussia’s gigantic beer festival returns for 2021 with a day of unlimited beer samples from more than 100 craft and international brewers, plus food from spots like Morgan’s Brooklyn BBQ and City Works. The daylong fest will also include live music, games, and more. Tickets start at $50 for the main festival, though if you rally a group of six, the price drops to $45. A second event, the King’s Regal Plate Pairing ($75 advance, $85 at the door) takes place a few days before the main event, and gets you unlimited beer and food samples from a number of KOP restaurants.
Dilworth Park’s multiday fall celebration combines a traditional Oktoberfest party with the Made in Philadelphia Fall Market. Look for seasonal food, beer, and bourbon cocktails from Maker’s Mark, as well as live music, circus performers, DJ sets, and more. There will also be family-friendly activities like the Hay Maze on Greenfield Lawn, pumpkin painting, and a professional pumpkin carving demonstration.
In addition to lots and lots of Attic brews, expect live music from Arthur Thomas & The Funkitorium, food trucks, vendors, and more.
Paoli’s Oktoberfest is family-friendly with bouncy houses, face painting, pumpkin decorating, live music, and a dog costume contest, with 100% of the proceeds going to different humanitarian charities, both local and international. Don’t worry, though, there’s still beer.
Dover’s take on the traditional Oktoberfest celebration is huge, with a multi-block street festival that features beer, wine, spirits, and food from local restaurants, as well as outdoor performances from local musicians.
OctoberFeast has two days of German brews and food in its own beer garden, plus live music, family fun, and (of course) shopping. And you can kick off your Sunday morning with a walk in the Scarecrow Shuffle as well, a neighborhood classic event.
Returning after a year off, this year’s Roxtoberfest will be a full-day festival with a variety of food, drinks, live music, and family-friendly activities.
🕑 Oct. 23, 1-6 p.m.,📍 Ridge Avenue between Lyceum and Leverington Avenues 📞 215-508-2358, 🌐 roxboroughpa.com/events/roxtoberfest-2021
Steven White contributed to this article.