By Zarah Kavarana and Sabrina Sucato
It’s time to bust out your lederhosen and welcome Oktoberfest, a traditional German fall festival that’s perhaps better known to most Americans as the biggest beer fest of the year. The celebration dates back to the early 19th century, intended to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen in 1810. Though the original Oktoberfest lasted less than a week (October 12–17), today the festival is more readily celebrated between mid-September and early October in the U.S. to accommodate weather concerns.
Whether this is your first Oktoberfest or you’re a seasoned sauerkraut-fiend, join us in raising a brew-filled Bavarian bierstein mug to these socially distant Oktoberfest events in our region. Cheers — or as the Germans say, “Prost!”
Tuesdays through October 6
Trust Mill House Brewing Company to craft an Oktoberfest menu that hits all the right notes. As part of its recurring dinner series through the beginning of October, the Poughkeepsie eatery opens for reservation-only dining. Book a table to dig into everything from Bavarian pretzels with maple bacon glaze and Reuben pierogis to handcrafted sausage and, for dessert, a rich slice of black forest cake. Of course, a pint of Mill House beer is a must.
September 19, 3-8 p.m.
Hosted by Sugar Loaf Engine Company, this Oktoberfest is all about classic bites like hot dogs, bratwurst, and everyone’s favorite soft pretzels. Visitors can sip on German brews while listening to tunes by Whiskey Riot throughout the day. Games like cornhole and giant Jenga will be available as well.
September 25-26, 7 p.m.
The Hudson Valley’s mainstay German restaurant hosts its own version of Oktoberfest at the end of September. The celebration loops in music from traditional bands, authentic Schuhplatter dancing, and German food and drink.
October 3, 12 and 4 p.m.
At the beginning of October, Lucky Hops and Revel 32 present a Poughkeepsie fest dedicated to all things beer. With two sessions limited to 50 people each, the experience features four breweries serving two beers apiece. Some of the brews will be seasonal, with food onsite to ensure perfect pairings. For true beer aficionados, the brewers will be onsite to answer questions about how they craft their signature brews, where they source ingredients, and more.
October 3-4, 12-5 p.m.
Now this is how to do festival fun while social distancing in the Hudson Valley. On the first weekend in October, the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park partners with the Hudson Valley Rail Trail to host a Walktoberfest Essential Farmers Market. Ticket are $25 apiece ($10 for non-drinkers) and give guests access to samples from local distilleries, restaurants, and wineries. Keep an eye out for cooking demonstration announcements as the festival date approaches.
October 10, 17, 24; Seatings at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Babes Bar and Grill in West Haverstraw rings in its first Oktoberfest in the Hudson Valley with a three-course seated meal packed with German favorites. The food fest begins with a warm soft pretzel with an IPA reduction and mustard mousse, with delectable bites like German sausages, roast pork, and apple strudel down the line.