Oktoberfest officially begins at noon tomorrow, September 17, in Munich, Germany, with a traditional tapping of the first barrel of what will be many, many barrels of beer.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people travel from around the world to Munich for the festivities, which last until the first week of October. Millions of gallons of beer and thousands of pounds of bratwurst will be consumed in a joyful celebration that dates back to 1810, when the first Oktoberfest was celebrated to commemorate the marriage of King Ludwig I to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.
Although a trip to the original Oktoberfest runs high on many bucket lists, there are plenty of ways to celebrate in Miami. Here's a list of the best. Prost!
Concrete Beach Brewery
Head to Concrete Beach's social hall for a pint of Floridafest, a Miami-style take on a German classic Märzen. This 5.7 ABV brew has a sweet toasted-coconut note with a crisp finish and is brewed with europils, dark Munich, melanoidin, and carapils malt and hallertau and tettnang hops.
Wynwood Brewing Company
Octoberfest officially starts in Wynwood the day it begins in Munich. At noon tomorrow, Wynwood Brewing will release the Wyntoberfest, an Oktoberfest-style beer.
On Saturday, October 1, the brewery will celebrate Wyntoberfest. Beginning at 3 p.m., enjoy Miami Smokers' beer-glazed brats with sauerkraut, potato salad, and other German favorites. Show up in your best dirndls and lederhosen for happy-hour prices all day long, and enter the raise-your-stein contest for prizes. Don't miss trying Wynwood's Stiglitz, a 5.1 ABV Märzen. For $15, take home a souvenir stein filled with Wyntoberfest of Stiglitz.
Sam Adams Octoberfest
Sam Adams Octoberfest will turn Wynwood into an authentic Bavarian bierhaus filled with bratwurst, brews, and music. Enter the Miss Octoberfest contest or "raise the stein." The International Polka Band will entertain you as you enjoy special beers. Sam Adams Octoberfest will take place at Sam Adams Castle Friday, September 30, through Sunday, October 2. General admission is free, but other ticket options are available that include a souvenir half-liter stein, authentic Bavarian hat, pretzel necklace, and Sam Adams festival swag. Visit thisisoctoberfest.com for tickets and more information.
On October 1 from 1 p.m. till closing, 305 Brews (3535 NE Second Ave., Miami) will celebrate Octoberfest with an array of seasonal beers from Florida's best breweries, including Concrete Brewing, Coppertail Brewing Co., Due South Brewing, J. Wakefield, M.I.A., and Wynwood Brewing. Enjoy a pretzel station with beer-infused mustard and a German-inspired menu of treats such as bratwurst with sauerkraut, potato dumplings, and German potato salad. Dress in your Octoberfest finery to win prizes.
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Coral Gables Oktoberfest at Fritz & Franz Bierhaus
September 29 through October 9, celebrate the 22nd-annual Coral Gables Oktoberfest with beer, music, and food. The fun will take place on the Bierhaus Plaza in front of Fritz & Franz, featuring contests for stein-holding, yodeling, nailing, and bratwurst-eating. Admission is free, and the Oktoberfest runs from noon to midnight Monday through Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
German American Social Club's Oktoberfest
The German American Social Club's event, now in its 59th year, is the original and longest-running Oktoberfest in Florida, the longest continuously running Oktoberfest in the United States, and the largest German cultural event in South Florida. The Oktoberfest is held the second and third full weekends of October (October 14 through 16 and October 21 through 23) at the German American Social Club. Celebrate with all things German, including beers, live music, food, and folk dancing. The Oktoberfest is open Friday from 6 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 1 p.m. to midnight, and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults 21 and older, $5 for kids aged 6 to 20, and free for children under 6 and active and retired military (with ID for military). Police, fire-rescue, and Miami-Dade County employees with ID get in free each Sunday.
Grovetoberfest has a new home — Miami Marine Stadium — but it's still the place for beer lovers who want to try hundreds of the best seasonal beers from around the world. In addition, enjoy live music, eat great food, and have a fun time. Grovetoberfest happens Saturday, October 15, from 4 to 7 p.m. for general-admission ticketholders ($40). Other ticket packages allow for perks such as early admission and access to VIP areas. Visit grovetoberfest.com.