Roundup: Our Top Picks For 2012 Oktoberfest Celebrations In And Around Philadelphia

Where better to celebrate Oktoberfest than the best beer city in the world? Philadelphia hosts Oktoberfest celebrations now through October. (Photo credits, clockwise from top left: courtesy Frankford Hall, G. Widman for GPTMC, courtesy Morgan's Pier, E. Mencher for GPTMC)

Oktoberfest takes over Philadelphia once again this season with all the wurst, craft beer and everything pumpkin lining up front and center for a slew of daily and weekly celebrations.

From partying atop the decks of a battleship to sausage eating contests and block parties, we’ve got you covered on where to get your fill of Bavarian traditions.

Check out our top picks for Oktoberfest celebrations in Philadelphia, in order by date, below:

McGillin’s: Now through Saturday, October 6. McGillin’s Olde Ale House continues to serve special beer and food offerings each day leading up to the Midtown Village Fall Festival which, in addition to shutting down 13th Street from Chestnut to Locust, turns Drury Street into a festive beer garden (just outside the pub) Saturday, October 6.

Bierstube Lobstoberfest: From Friday–Sunday, September 14–16, the Old City German pub will offer platters of fresh Maine lobsters with a side of local Jersey corn for just $12.99. To wash it all down, several Oktoberfest beers will be available. Plus, the outdoor sidewalk cafe will be decorated in traditional German style in honor of the celebration. Later in the fall, September 21-22, they’ll pair barbecue with pilsner served in a boot-shaped glass; September 23-28 Bierstube is matching up Marzens with brownies and chocolate fondue; September 28-30 sees suckling pig and Peking Duck; and October 5-8 the pumpkin beers will flow.

Frankford Hall: September 15-30. Stephen Starr’s Fishtown beer garden hosts more than two weeks of daily, all-things brew-related events for the German-inspired celebration. Like the Bavarian festival held overseas, Frankford Hall’s Oktoberfest will also take place over 16 days starting with a weekend pig roast beginning at noon (September 15-16) complete with face painting and balloon artists for the little ones. Stay tuned for more details about Frankford Hall’s Oktoberfest. Especially the September 22 Oktoberfest Street Festival and Ceremonial Keg Tapping on Frankford Ave (between Girard and Shakamaxon Streets), with beer trucks, tasty eats and more.

The German Society of Pennsylvania: Saturday, September 15, 2 p.m. The German Society of Pennsylvania invites guests of all ages to their Spring Garden Street home for a traditional fest of wursts, sides of sauerkraut and potato salad, roasted pig, dessert and non-alcoholic offerings.  Live music will be presented from a “one man band,” and tickets range from $10-$28

Elmwood Park Zoo: Saturday, September 15, 6-9 p.m. The Norristown institution welcomes guests with its fifth annual Oktoberfest. The all-inclusive event will provide grub from Outback Steakhouse and Chickie’s and Pete’s, a selection of craft beer and live music and entertainment.  Purchase tickets online for $50 ($25 for designated driver/$60 at door). Party animals must be 21 or older to attend.

Brother Paul’s Beer Fest: Saturday, September 15, noon-4 p.m. The Eagleville pub and restaurant, Brother Paul’s, will host more than thirty breweries pouring outdoor beers during their craft beer fest located adjacent to the establishment. The four-hour event features brew master reserves, beer cocktails and everything pumpkin with the purchase of $35 ticket ($40 at door).

MGK BREW BLAST: Saturday, September 22, 1-5 p.m.  Hop aboard the Battleship New Jersey as the classic rock station launches their second annual BREW BLAST, a day of sampling craft beer and enjoying live classic rock on the tented deck of the docked ship. Tickets are $45 and include grub from Dietz & Watson in addition to the unlimited brews.

SoWe: September 22-October 18. Drink for a cause as G-Ho’s new resto and bar, which opened earlier this year, donates 50 cents from every beer sold during their Oktoberfest celebration to the neighborhood’s latest community project, the Julian Abele Park. Located across the street from the outdoor public space, SoWe will serve daily beer and food specials during their campaign.

Brauhaus Schmitz: September 24-29. The South Street Bavarian beer house celebrates its fourth annual Oktoberfest with week-long beer chugging events and an outdoor street festival to round out the whole shebang on September 29, when their block of South Street will shut down for live music, a pig roast and slews of great German brews. More details coming soon.

Morgan’s Pier: Saturday, September 29, noon-2 a.m. Sponsored by Yards Brewery, Morgan’s Pier’s first-ever Oktoberfest Celebration includes DJs starting at 2 p.m., fresh-off-the-charcoal-grill food (sausages, hot dogs, plus pretels with two dips and potato salad) and a huge variety of fall and seasonal beers, all out on the waterfront. $10 gets you three tickets for beer and food.

More Oktoberfest events, below.

Xtober-Fest 2012: Saturday, September 29, 1 p.m. The first-ever Xfinity Live Oktoberfest celebration takes over with an all-day event that features 40+ beers in a custom stein, authentic Bavarian dishes paired and made with brews, live music and outdoor bands, silent auctions, games and more.  General admission, VIP and Table Service tickets are available.

Hop Angel Brauhaus: Saturday, September 29, 3-11 p.m. Oktoberfest will be the second of three festival weekends at Hop Angel, with a variety of Oktoberfest beers, sausage sandwiches and pretzels as big as your head. There will be four Oktoberfest beers available (all local), delicious German eats (goulash, slow-braised pork knuckle, bratwurst, sauerkraut and more), live music starting at 9 p.m., keg bowling and more. Bonus: Free sausage sandwich for anyone wearing lederhosen or a dirndl! After rocking out on Saturday, join Hop Angel for a special Oktoberfest Sunday Brunch, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.. The festbiers will still be on tap and Chef Kevin will have a variety of Bavarian breakfast specials.

The Farmers’ Cabinet: Throughout October. While most Oktoberfest celebrations die down after the first week in October, the top-notch watering hole will display a brilliant selection of hand-crafted European brews throughout the entire month. Focusing on the Franconian region of Germany — Bavarian wine country — The Farmers’ Cabinet will be tapping gravity pour kegs to extend brew traditions.

KOP Beerfest Royale: Friday, October 5, 5:30-9 p.m., Saturday, October 612:30-4 p.m. and 5-8:30 p.m. The largest Oktoberfest=themed outdoor beer festival comes to King of Prussia for a two-day gathering of live music, vendors, food and local as well as international craft beers.  Located outdoors at the King of Prussia Mall, the first annual event offers a more upscale experience on Friday featuring special previews of several beers, butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations paired with beer and VIP giveaways. It’s a fancy affair, so cocktail attire is encouraged and tickets are $85. Saturday’s general admission sessions are a bit more relaxed, tickets are reduced to $45 and all festival-goers will receive their own KOP Beerfest Royale tasting glass for unlimited sips.

Midtown Village Fall Festival: Saturday, October 6, noon-8 p.m. Returning for its seventh year is Midtown Village’s largest outdoor festival which expands to Locust Street this year encompassing more tasty sips and nibs than before. The six-block party features a beer garden, sumo wrestling outside of Raw, a dunk tank, street vendors, arts and crafts and of course tasty brew and bites from the multitude of establishments.

Grumblethorpe Oktoberfest: Saturday, October 6, 4:30-7:30 p.m. Head to Historic Germantown for a traditional Oktoberfest. Music, German food, beer, house tours, cider-pressing and more.

Ambler Main Street Oktoberfest: Saturday, October 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Main Street in Ambler turns into a traditional Bavarian festival with their annual event hosting great food, live music, art work, hand-crafted items and rides for the kids all day long.

Bloktoberfest 2012: Saturday, October 13, noon-8 p.m. Rounding out the city-wide celebrations is the four-block South Street Bloktoberfest festival inviting guests of all ages to flock to the annual festival for beer, food and live music. Featuring multiple stages, beer from around the world and neighborhood resto’s and food trucks, the free-to-attend event marks its fourth year of beer chugging traditions.

Grey Lodge Pub: Friday, October 19, 6-9 p.m. It’s Grey Lodge’s annual Oktoberfest with lots of festbier, sausage, spatzel, promos from a couple of breweries and more.

McCrossen’s Tavern: Wednesday, October 24. The Fairmount tavern taps a slew of coveted pumpkin, Oktoberfest and harvest ale brews with their Pumpkinfest event taking place just a week before Halloween.

Memphis Taproom: Saturday, October 27, noon-6 p.m. Memphis Taproom will be celebrating its own clever version of Oktoberfest (they call it Thirstoberfest), by serving up more than 25 flagship and limited release beers you’re invited to enjoy in their beer garden. As for munchies, they’ve got you covered with a food truck that will be so appropriately German and selling hotdogs.


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