Raise a Stein at These Oktoberfest Events

Taste German beers, listen to polka music and test your arm strength in stein-holding contests at these fall festivals. Lederhosen optional.
Oktoberfest National Landing

Oktoberfest returns to National Landing in Arlington, Virginia on Sept. 30. (Courtesy photo)

Looking for something to do in between fall festivals? Oktoberfest is now underway at biergartens, breweries and parks throughout our area. The massive folk festival that originated in Munich, Germany, is now a worldwide celebration of beer and German culture. And Arlington is here for it. Prost!

Wharf Oktoberfest Wiener 500

Celebrate Oktoberfest with beer, polka dancing and the the annual Wiener dog race at The Wharf in D.C. (Photo Courtesy of The Wharf, Washington, DC)

Oktoberfest at The Wharf

Sept. 15, 7-9 p.m.; Sept. 16, 2-5 p.m.; Sept. 17, 2-5 p.m.

Make like a Dachshund and run to the free Oktoberfest activities across the river at The Wharf in D.C.. The weekend kicks off with Polka on the Pier, free lessons on the traditional German dance. The next day is the 11th Annual Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash, benefitting Rural Dog Rescue. More than 100 registered doggos will run, but any breed can compete in the costume contest. Things round out Sept. 17 with a stein-holding competition at various restaurants, many of which will also have German food specials. // 760 Maine Ave. SW, Washington, D.C.

Oktoberfest at Alexandria Bier Garden

Sept. 16, 12 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

Known as Village Brauhaus until mid-July, this rebranded venue is celebrating Oktoberfest with traditional German beers in an indoor biergarten downstairs and a new rooftop space opening this month. In between are multiple rooms for sipping and snacking, including the Hofbrau Game Room stocked with giant Connect Four, Jenga, video games and foosball. A special Oktoberfest menu will feature German fare such as goulash and a 2-pound pretzel. // 710 King St., Alexandria

Oktoberfest at Settle Down Easy Brewing Co.

Sept. 16, Sept. 23 and Sept. 30, 12-5 p.m.

The Falls Church microbrewery is going all-out with three Oktoberfest events. The first, Oaktoberfest on Sept. 16, promises live music from 2-4 p.m. and $10 bratwursts and pretzels. The next week, Settle Down Easy partners with King Street Oyster Company for an OysterFEST Seafood Extravaganza, featuring shucked and grilled oysters and lobster rolls. The third and final event is BRAToberfest on Sept. 30, with two bratwurst tacos for $10. Customers can purchase a souvenir stein for $18 with a free fill. // 2822 Fairfax Drive, Falls Church

Courthaus Social

Bring your pup (German breed or not) to the patio at Courthaus Social. (Courtesy photo)

Oktoberfest at Courthaus Social American Beergarden

Sept. 22, 3-6 p.m.; Sept. 23, 12-9 p.m.; Sept. 24, 12-3 p.m.

Kick off this three-day event with a four-legged friend. The fun begins on Sept. 22 with a Yappy Hour and dog costume contest at 5:30 p.m. Keep the momentum going the next day with an arm-killer stein-holding competition (3 p.m.) and best lederhosen contest (4 p.m.). Round out the weekend on Sept. 24 with a polka band and a Paulaner stein giveaway. // 2300 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington (Courthouse)

Nighthawk Combo

Get your beer on at Nighthawk in Westpost (Courtesy photos)

Nighthawk’s Oktoberfest

Sept. 23, 12-4 p.m. – Editor’s Note: This event has been canceled due to inclement weather. 

Nighthawk Brewery and Pizza is hosting its first annual Oktoberfest at the Plaza at Westpost (Pentagon Row). A $30 ticket gets you a plastic 14-ounce stein, three pours of any Nighthawk beer or wine (Aslin Beer Co. is one of the brewpub’s partners), and a bratwurst with unlimited toppings, plus a discount on food, including German-inspired specials. Come feeling competitive: There’s a stein-holding contest,“Das Boot” chug race, bratwurst-eating competition and costume contest. // 1201 S. Joyce St., Arlington (Westpost)

Lancer Photography, 2022. All Rights Reserved.

(Photo by Lancer Photography)

Oktoberfest at The Boro

Sept. 23, 2-5 p.m.

Find German food from local food trucks and a biergarten featuring pumpkin, weissbier and other suds from local breweries. The party also promises polka music, kid-friendly activities and a stein-holding competition. // 8350 Broad St., Tysons

National Landing

Celebrate fall and get your oom-pah on during Oktoberfest in National Landing. (Courtesy photo)

Oktoberfest at National Landing

Sept.  30, 1-5 p.m.

Bring the kids (or not) and dance the day away with live tunes from the Alte Kumpel Band and The Pilgrims of Deep Run, plus Bavarian bites, stein-holding and “best dressed” competitions, lawn games and plenty of crisp German lagers. Fun activities for kids include hat making and decorating with cloves. Register and buy tickets ($10-$15) here. // 556 22nd St. (at the corner of  Fern St.), Arlington (Crystal City)

Bronson Bier Hall Oktoberfest 2023

Sept. 30, noon-2 a.m.

Pace yourself and prepare to party for up to eight hours at this Ballston beer hall. It’s offering live music, food and drink specials, and beer vendor tents with German beers Tucher, Paulaner and Weihenstephaner. Of course, you will also find the seemingly ubiquitous stein-holding contest and also a chugging contest. // 4100 Fairfax Drive, Arlington

Vienna Oktoberfest

Oct. 7, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Presented by the Vienna Business Association and the town of Vienna, this event will have libations from Caboose Brewing Co., Vienna Vintner, Norm’s Beer and Wine, and Hawk and Griffin, plus live entertainment, kids’ activities, and a marketplace. Soak up all that beer with food from vendors such as Empanadas De Mendoza and What the Schnitzel. Admission is free. //131 Church St. NE, Vienna


Raise a stein at Shipgarten in Tysons (Courtesy photo)

Shipgarten’s Oktoberfest American Kickoff: Beer and Cocktail Festival

Oct. 7, 1-6 p.m.

You may barely even time to drink beer (or cocktails) with all the activities packed into this event. The festival runs from 1-6 p.m., and every hour brings another contest: apple bobbing, apple grabbing, apple toss, pie toss and pie eating. More than 50 beers, wines and ciders will be available, including hot spiked apple ciders, apple pie moonshines and alcoholic pumpkin lattes. This event is kid-friendly, but on Oct. 22 from 12-6 p.m., Shipgarten will also host a dedicated Oktoberfest for Kids with a petting zoo, moon bounces and a playground. // 7581 Colshire Drive, McLean

Rosslyn Fall Fest

Sample hard ciders and other fall flavors at Rosslyn’s Fall Fest (Photo courtesy of the Rosslyn BID)

Rosslyn Fall Fest

Oct. 14, 1-6 p.m.

This year, the event formerly known as Cider Fest is expanding to add more autumnal awesomeness. Head over to Gateway Park for hard cider tastings (tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door), food trucks, live music and games, including a pie-eating contest at 3:30 p.m. Cider tastings aside, this is an all-ages festival. // 1300 Langston Blvd., Arlington (Rosslyn)

Snallygaster Photo Courtesy Of Leading Dc

Bust out the lederhosen and dirndls for D.C.’s annual Snallygaster extravaganza, featuring more than 350 beers from 175 brewers, plus wine, cocktails and cider. (Photo courtesy of Leading DC)


Oct. 14, 2-6 p.m.

The self-proclaimed “ultimate beer lover’s paradise” returns for its 11th year with more than 350 beers from 175 brewers, plus wine, cocktails and ciders. Food trucks, live music and family-friendly activities round out the event roster. Tickets are required and get you unlimited beer, wine and cocktail tastings. Snallygaster is the largest fundraiser for the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, a nonprofit dedicated to creating a more equitable and sustainable food system in the D.C. area. // Enter at Seventh St. and Pennsylvania Ave. or Third St. and Constitution Ave., Washington, D.C.

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Categories: Food & Drink