Thousands of German immigrants came to Louisville in the mid- to late-1800s, and at one point German natives made up one-third of the city’s population. So while this isn’t exactly Germany, Oktoberfest is still a Louisville kind of thing.
If you’ve got a little German in your DNA, you’re in luck — there are plenty of Oktoberfest celebrations going on over the next couple of weeks. Here are a few highlights:
Oktoberfest at Great Flood Brewing — Now
Now through Saturday, Sept. 29, Great Flood Brewing Co. will be tapping one German-style beer after another for your Oktoberfest enjoyment. From Great Flood Oktoberfest to Weihenstephaner Festbier, look for more than a dozen different Oktoberfest brews to come pouring from the taps.
On Saturday, join in for stein-hoisting competitions throughout the day, with prizes to the winners. Most importantly, pints will be available as pints, half-liters and liters.
Oktoberfest specials at the Brown Hotel — Now
The Brown Hotel is getting in the fun with a special menu featuring Oktoberfest-style beers in its Lobby Bar. Through Oct. 20, enjoy a Jägerschnitzel featuring Woodland Farms crispy pork cutlet, mushroom gravy, German potato salad, arugula and fresh lemon, along with a German-style holiday lager such as Yuengling Oktoberfest, West Sixth DankeChain Oktoberfest and Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest.
The Lobby Bar is open daily, 3 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Germantown Oktoberfest in the street — Friday, Sept. 28
Goss Avenue will erupt on Friday, Sept. 28, with the sound of stampeding dachshunds. That’s right — this year at the Germantown Oktoberfest, West Sixth Brewing will present the DankeChain Dachshund Races.
If that’s not enough to get you to the heart of Germantown-Schnitzelburg, there also will be fun events like a stein-hoisting contest, a bratwurst toss, stein relay races and even a yodeling contest.
In addition, there will be a Mr. & Mrs. Oktoberfest costume contest, so dress accordingly. There also will be face-painting for the kids and more family-friendly games, and Squeezebot will perform.
The event runs from 5 to 11 p.m. and admission is free. Yes, there will be plenty of beer — you can buy an Oktoberfest stein and get it filled with Samuel Adams and Monnik Beer Co. brews all evening. (And don’t forget to register your wiener dog for the big race.)
Oktoberfest at Party Mart — Friday, Sept. 28
That’s right, there will be an Oktoberfest celebration at a liquor store — you gotta love Louisville.
Stop by Party Mart on Brownsboro Road on Friday, Sept. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m., to get your stein filled Hofbrau Haus Oktoberfest beer. On top of that, you can chow down on some complimentary brats while you’re there. What’s better than drinking beer while you’re shopping for more beer?
Ottofest at Falls City Brewing Co. — Saturday, Sept. 29
It was July 27, 1905, when Falls City Brewing hired its first brewer, Otto Doerr. The brewery had been pulled together by Louisville tavern owners and others as a way to fight back against a brewing monopoly of sorts in the city.
Doerr, a German immigrant, previously had brewed at Schafer-Mayer, and after a rough start, Falls City proved to be one of the three Louisville breweries that would survive Prohibition and go on to remain in business until 1978.
When the revived version of Falls City Brewing celebrates Oktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 29, it will do so on honor of Doerr, with Ottofest being the name of the day. The taproom celebration will include the tapping of three new German-style beers, including Reclamator, a doppelbock; Ottofest, an Oktoberfest-style lager; and Doerr’s Dunkel.
You can get a half-liter commemorative mug and fill it during the ceremonial tapping of Ottofest at 2 p.m. German-inspired food will be available thanks to Another Place Sandwich Shop, and the family-friendly event is free to attend. Check out the Oktoberfest décor, music and games all day.
Porktoberfest at Copper & Kings — Friday, Oct. 5
When Oktoberfest meets pigs, the result is Porktoberfest. This annual fundraiser for the Butchertown Neighborhood Association is back at Copper & Kings American Brandy Distillery on Friday, Oct. 5, with 15 vendors putting their barbecue and other pork-inspired cuisine on the line for a variety of cash prizes.
There’s even a vegan category, so fire up your jackfruit.
The event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. and admission is free; tasting tickets are $2 and full meals can be purchased from vendors as well. Adult beverages also will be available for purchase.
Oktoberfest dinner at MESA, A Collaborative Kitchen — Friday, Oct. 5
MESA in New Albany will celebrate Oktoberfest with a special dinner on Friday, Oct. 5. Expect a fun dinner show with Anoosh Bistro’s lead chef Mark Ford.
Ford will prepare a three-course meal of traditional German fare like latkes and lox, sauerbraten and white forest cake, paired with Oktoberfest beers from Mile Wide Beer Co. The event starts at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour followed by dinner. Cost is $75 per person, and tickets can be purchased in advance at the MESA website.
Original Butchertown Oktoberfest — Sunday, Oct. 14
For more than four decades, Butchertown does Oktoberfest like a miniature Munich. St. Joseph Catholic Church rolls out the German-style food, fun and beer, along with an art fair this year on Sunday, Oct. 14.
A German-language mass and traditional German music also are on tap for the festival, which begins at 1 p.m. and goes until the last stein is empty.