Clink Steins at These Oktoberfest Events

We're talking seasonal brews, Bavarian eats, games, contests and traditional oompah music.
Octoberfest 1

Oktoberfest events are underway, including a party at Sweetwater Tavern that includes endless food, craft beer and live music. Photo courtesy of Great American Restaurants.

It’s Oktoberfest season—that crisp time of year when the high-waisted shorts and crop tops of summer give way to dirndls and lederhosen. If you’re in the mood to hoist a märzen, look no further than these beer-centric celebrations.


Rustico’s Alexandria location has converted its patio into a beer garden, with live, traditional Bavarian music as a soundtrack. On the menu are seasonal selections from Port City Brewing (poured in limited-edition steins), as well as German imports and Bavarian-style eats. // Sept. 24., 4 p.m.-7 p.m. 827 Slaters Lane, Alexandria. Free admission, food and drink prices vary.

Courthaus Social

German brewer Paulaner is taking over the taps at this Arlington watering hole, which will also serve German food and host live music from Matty D. and Mike Surratt. Be sure to bring your competitive side and fine motor skills, as there are a couple of contests planned—one for best lederhosen and another for who can hold a stein. (The longest? While doing a handstand? We’re not sure.) // Sept. 25-26, Noon-6 p.m., 2300 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington. Free admission, food and drink prices vary.

Settle Down Easy Brewing

Settle Down Easy’s official Oktoberfest has already come and gone, but the Falls Church nanobrewery is keeping the party going with an oyster extravaganza, starring bivalves from Gloucester, Virginia, that pair nicely with the brewery’s No. 1 dry-hopped kolsch. //Sept. 25, noon – 5 p.m., 2822 Fallfax Drive, Falls Church. Oysters $10 per dozen. 

The Loop

Sterling-based Rocket Frog Brewing is pouring German lagers, hard seltzer and a recently released Oktoberfest at this Alexandria co-working space. Bavarian food will be on hand and themed attire is encouraged; the “best dressed” attendee will receive a prize valued at $50+. // Sept. 25, noon-6 p.m., 215 N. Payne St., Alexandria. Tickets $10. The venue will follow CDC guidelines regarding Covid-19.

ValleyFest 2021

It’s not billed as an Oktoberfest event, per se, but New District Brewing Co. will be serving a newly released Oktoberfest märzen at its fourth-annual Valley Fest Arts & Music Festival, along with other fresh brews. The street fair also includes local artists, food trucks, a Kids’ Zone and live performances by Jane Franklin Dance, Alena Ciera, Sean Tracy Trio and others. // Sept. 26, noon – 5 p.m., 2709 S. Oakland St., Arlington.  The $22 beer package includes a commemorative pint glass and three beer tickets.

Oktoberfest at The Boro

For a battle of the bands, polka style, visit The Sandlot Tysons, where the festivities include some of the nation’s top polka bands going head to head, plus cold beer, pretzels, crafts and giveaways. // Oct. 2, (rain date Oct. 16), 1-5 p.m., 8350 Broad Street, Tysons. Admission is free. 

Vienna Oktoberfest

This annual fall festival is back at the Town Green in Vienna after taking a hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic. Expect three stages of live performances, a beer garden featuring Caboose Brewing and selections from Vienna Vintner, children’s activities and a multitude of food vendors. // Oct. 2, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 131 Church St. NE, Vienna. Free admission, food and drink prices vary.

National Landing Oktoberfest

Bring the dog, the kids and your appetite to this outdoor party—which promises a Barktoberfest dog run, live music, games and rides, and food and drink vendors (including New District Brewing) doling out assorted eats and suds. // Oct. 2, noon-4 p.m. Lidl Lot, Crystal Drive and 33rd Street S. Free admission; drink tickets benefit the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. All attendees must pre-register and show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within 48 hours of the event. Masks are required for unvaccinated individuals and children under 12.

242256002 995618534342655 9195290156238891082 N

Stop by Bronson Bier Hall for pours from a ceremonial wooden keg from Germany’s Weihenstephaner brewery. Courtesy photo.

Bronson Bier Hall

Regional breweries Solace, Port City, Hardywood and Ono are all on the beer list at this year-round German bier hall. And if you are thirsty for something a little more authentically Oktoberfest? Try to get a pour from the ceremonial wooden keg they’ll be tapping from Weihenstephaner, a German brewery that’s hundreds of years old. // Oct. 2, noon-11:30 p.m. 4100 Fairfax Drive, Arlington. Admission is free; drink tickets can be purchased in advance online

Sweetwater Tavern

Sip Sweetwater Tavern’s award-winning ales, munch on items from the all-you-can eat menu, and enjoy live music at this kid-friendly Oktoberfest. // Oct. 2, 1-5 p.m. 3066 Gate House Plaza, Falls Church. Adult tickets, $35, include two beers and all-you-can-eat food. Tickets for children under 12, $15.

Audacious Aleworks

Buy a stein for $15 at the Falls Church microbrewery now through Oct. 3 and get your first 20-ounce pour as a freebie, choosing among four German-style drafts: Highway to Helles Lager, Summer Wheatley Hefeweizen,
Baron Von Reinoiehl’s Dunkleweizen or Oktoberfest Lager. The weekends bring food specials, too. Order up a trio of sausages (Bavarian beer brat, knackwurst and weisswurst) with sauerkraut and potato salad. // 110 E. Fairfax St., Falls Church

Lost Boy Cider

This 2-year-old cider purveyor in Alexandria is getting in on the Oktoberfest game. Its first take on the festival features five regional breweries (Aslin, Black Narrows, Port City, Right Proper, Vasen) on tap, pretzels from Chewish Deli and a newly created beer-hall garden. Admission includes three 12-ounce pours in a commemorative cup, a pretzel, discounted drink tickets and access to the garden. // Oct. 16, noon-6 p.m. 317 Hooffs Run Drive, Alexandria. Tickets $60.

Village Brauhaus

It’s always Oktoberfest at this Austrian and Bavarian beer hall in Alexandria, but now through October 17 you can get a bit more into the season with live music each weekend. // Now through Oct. 17. 710 King St., Alexandria

Oktoberfest At Home

For those who’d like to bring the party to their living rooms, Neighborhood Provisions has a variety of Oktoberfest brews, wines, a specialty cocktail and traditional eats such as kielbasa, spaetzle and bier cheese to go. Order for home delivery or pick up from one of a handful of affiliated restaurants.

Categories: Food & Drink