Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl’s Top 5 Oktoberfests

October 7, 2013 11:59 AM

(credit: Joerg Koch/Getty Images)

Is there really a better way to celebrate fall then a tall beer and a brat? We don’t think so. And with a heavy German background, many Minnesotans know exactly how to celebrate the changing season and that’s with Oktoberfest! If you can’t make it to Munich, just look up the street because chances are there’s a great festival going on not far from you. Hurry though as most of them only run through the weekend of October 12th and 13th. You don’t want to miss out on the kraut and Hefeweizen. Here’s Dara’s Top 5 Oktoberfests! Prost!

(credit: Schell's Brewing Website)

(credit: Schell’s Brewing Website)

Schell’s Octoberfest
1860 Schell Road
New Ulm, MN 56073
(800) 770-5020

It’s the biggest and the baddest of the Oktoberfests. It’s the second-oldest family run brewery in the United States, making great beers since before the Civil War. They’ll celebrate Oktoberfest on Saturday, October 12th and they do it right. Enjoy their own brews, great food, terrific music and the atmosphere of Minnesota’s German little town, New Ulm! Don’t forget to stop by and say hello to “Herman The German” of course.

(credit: Excelsior Brewing Website)

(credit: Excelsior Brewing Website)

Excelsior’s Octoberfest
421 3rd Street
Excelsior, MN 55331
(952) 474-7837

One of the many new taprooms and breweries in town is Excelsior Brewing. They have a special Oktoberfest celebration on the shores of Lake Minnetonka on Sunday, October 13th including specially brewed beers, music from Tim Mahoney and much more. There are many of these small breweries having Oktoberfest parties thanks to our new Surly Law which allows them to serve on-site. Take advantage of it and enjoy some amazing beers made locally!

(credit: East Side Neighborhood Services Website)

(credit: East Side Neighborhood Services Website)

Nordeast Big River Brewfest (in the Historic Grain Belt Bottling House)
79 13th Avenue NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

It’s a fund-raiser for the East-Side Neighborhood Services and it takes place in the historic Grain Belt Bottling House that is not normally open to the public. What better place to celebrate and knock back a few than the old Grain Belt Mansion? It’s a Minneapolis landmark and a good way to bring a little good to your Oktoberfest celebrations.

(credit: Padelford Website)

(credit: Padelford Website)

Octoberfest Lunch Cruise
Harriet Island
St. Paul, MN 55107

Let’s take our Oktoberfest out on the river. It’s a four-hour cruise on Saturday that goes up and down the Mississippi. Great food, live polka, good fall beers and a great atmosphere make this a worthy excursion. Don’t forget to bring your Hammerschlagen skills on board. It’s a game where the fastest person to whack an nail into a log wins…what’s not to like?

At Gasthof, patrons are led in song by a man dressed in Lederhosen toting an accordion. (Credit: gasthofzg.com)

At Gasthof, patrons are led in song by a man dressed in Lederhosen toting an accordion. (Credit: gasthofzg.com)

Gasthof zur Gemuchlichkeit
2300 University Avenue Northeast
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 781-3860

This Nordeast establishment is a party palace but every year, they tent up the parking lot and party like it’s Bavaria. The food is great, the beers are huge, and it’s literally a slice of Germany on the north side of Minneapolis. Ever try a “snuff catapult”? Your chance awaits at Gasthof. We’ve been to Germany and Austria. This is as close as we’ll get to a traditional Gasthof without a 10 hour plane ride. Bring your own mug and save a few bucks on your first brew as well!

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