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Oktoberfest is a huge party with deep German roots dating back to 1810 when Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen and invited all citizens to celebrate in a citywide celebration that has become an important part of Bavarian culture. Fast forward to the present day U.S. celebrations and Oktoberfest still gives a nod to German heritage and traditions while bringing citizens in local communities together to celebrate the Fall harvest with good food, seasonal beers, and new friends.
With plenty of soft pretzels, bratwurst, wiener schnitzel, potato salad, sauerkraut, and Marzen style beer to wash it all down, who wouldn’t look forward to Fall each year. Even though Texas’ largest Oktoberfest celebrations are more than 200 miles away, below are some local opportunities to join in the festivities an experience authentic German food and an abundance of craft beers.
King’s BierHaus-League City will be featuring Oktoberfest biers and food specials to mark the annual festivities. For craft beer aficionados, King’s will feature their first monastery brewed Oktoberfest bier, Weltenburger Anno 1050, while supplies last. Additional bier offerings include Oktoberfest (Marzen) styles from Paulaner, Hofbrau, Hacker-Pschoor, Spaten, Warsteiner, Karbach, St. Arnold, 8th Wonder, and Franconia.
If you’re looking for the full festival experience, head up the road to their Pearland location October 4-6 for Bavarian bull riding, a local celebrity dunking booth, jousting, cornhole, ceremonial keg tapping, and live performances. Plus, each person who buys a raffle ticket will be entered into a grand prize drawing to win a trip to Oktoberfest 2020 in Munich which includes flight, hotel, Oktoberfest tent reservations, and tour guide.
Several other League City and Bay area watering holes are offering seasonal Oktoberfest beer. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop has more than 30 beers on tap featuring some seasonal offerings from local craft brewers. In addition, Craft 96 Draught House & Kitchen is featuring selections from St. Arnold, Galveston Island, and O’Dell among their 63 tap selection. Local brewers Saloon Door Brewing (Webster) and Galveston Bay Beer (Dickinson) have created Marzen style Oktoberfest selections that are now available in their taprooms as well.
If you’re looking for some local festivals, then put the Texas Beer Refinery OkTBRfest and the 38th Annual Island Oktoberfest on your bucket, or should we say, beer stein list.
Galveston County’s own Texas Beer Refinery (2709 Dickinson Ave) will be hosting OkTBRfest on October 5 and October 19, from noon to midnight at their taproom. Come join in the fun with a yodeling competition, costume contest, stein holding contest, ping pong, yard games, and who knows, maybe a sing-along of Ein Prosit! On October 19, League City’s Axe Masters will be on-site with axe throwing demonstrations and Scotty’s Pub on the Bay will be manning the kitchen with German inspired dishes including Rueben egg rolls, soft pub pretzels, beer brats, schnitzel, and more. Don’t forget to buy your official OkTBRfest stein while you’re there, Prost!
On October 25 and 26, Galveston Island with host their 38th annual Island Oktoberfest on the streets adjacent to First Lutheran Church at 24th and Winnie. This fun, family-friendly weekend will feature continuous live entertainment on two stages, an authentic menu of German food and libations, shopping for fine arts, crafts, and gifts in the historic 1860 Lyceum, and various children’s activities. Admission to Island Oktoberfest is free and attendees are encouraged to dress in German costume.
Pictured: (above) Musicians at Island Oktoberfest