Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest
Dig out a dirndl or some lederhosen for these autumnal events, featuring stein-hoisting, polka and plenty of beer.
You can’t say there’s nothing to do in Arlington come fall. Not only are there rollicking street festivals aplenty, but a seasonal rite of passage is taking over area bars and restaurants: Oktoberfest. Here are some of this year’s liveliest events:
Sept. 15 at 6 p.m.; Sept. 16 at 8 p.m.
Get a head start on the festivities at this Austrian and Bavarian beer hall in Alexandria. Join Johnny Koenig—the self-proclaimed “face for the next generation of polka stars“—for two nights of accordion magic, paired with beer specials. // 710 King St., Alexandria. Free admission.
Sept. 16-Oct. 2
This Falls Church brewery is running food and drink specials for the duration of the official festival in Munich. Buy an Oktoberfest stein filled with one of the taproom’s six Oktoberfest brews ($12) beginning Sept. 16. Each time you bring it back, the brewery will offer a 20-ounce pour for the 16-ounce price. Hungry? Find Oktoberfest-themed platters each weekend, as well as kid meals. Pets can make themselves at home on the patio. // 110 E. Fairfax St., Falls Church. Free admission.
Sept. 17, Sept. 24 and Oct. 1
Why celebrate Oktoberfest for one weekend when you could do three? On Sept. 17, dig into bratwurst and pretzels (both $10 each), sip from themed mugs ($10) and enjoy live tunes all afternoon. Hit up Oysterfest on Sept. 24, where some 4,000 oysters will be shucked and served ($1 each). Bring your Oktoberfest mug for drink specials and stick around for live music at 7 p.m. Finish out the season with Bratoberfest on Oct.1, where you can snag two bratwurst tacos from El Tio Tex-Mex Grill for $10, as well as drink specials with your mug. // 2822 Fallfax Drive, Falls Church. Free admission for most events. $10 cover for live music on Sept. 24.
Sept. 17, 1-6 p.m.
Head to this new, 35,000-square foot entertainment destination built around repurposed shipping containers for an Oktoberfest kick-off event. At 1:15 p.m., catch a ceremonial “tapping of the keg,” featuring a keg flown in from Germany. The afternoon continues with stein-hoisting and sausage-eating competitions, apple bobbing, live music, a kids’ corner and more. // 7581 Colshire Drive, McLean. Free admission.
Sept. 17, 2-5 p.m.
Bop with the TKO Band during a polka fest at The Boro’s Sandlot, play games in Boro Park, make pretzel necklaces with the little ones and enjoy other family-friendly activities at this afternoon blowout. And get there early; the first 150 attendees get a branded beer mug. // 8350 Broad St., Tysons. Free admission.
Sept. 17, Noon-7 p.m.
Celebrate Oktoberfest and the 4th birthday of Caboose Commons in the Mosaic District, all in one event. The festivities, held on the patio, promise live music, a brewing workshop, a bounce house, beer tastings (including guest brews) and bratwurst. // Caboose Commons, 2918 Eskridge Road, Fairfax. Free admission. Beer and bratwurst is ticketed.
Sept. 17, Noon-8 p.m.
Dig out your German finery for this eight-hour affair in Courthouse. Catch the Fiddlin’ Willie Band, take your chance at winning gym gift cards (Barry’s Bootcamp, The Conditioning Room) at a stein-holding competition, snag some Oktoberfest swag at a lederhosen contest and dive into all kinds of themed bites, from pork schnitzel to apple strudel. (And for a sweet sip, try Downeast’s donut cider.) // 2300 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington. Free admission.
Sept. 24, 11 a.m.
Sample selections from Port City Brewing Co., Paulaner Brewery and Bavarian brewery Weihenstephaner, whose ceremonial wooden keg will be tapped to ring in the festivities. Start doing those push-ups; a stein-hosting contest is in the offing. // 4100 Fairfax Drive, #100, Arlington. Beer tasting packages start at $16.
Oct. 6, 6-9 p.m.
Indulge in German food and Port City’s craft brews at this fundraiser for Senior Services of Alexandria, a nonprofit supporting local seniors in need with Meals on Wheels, transportation and other services. // 3950 Wheeler Ave., Alexandria. Tickets $50. Includes admission, one four-pack of beer and a soft pretzel.