It’s Oktoberfest!

We are into September; it intermittently feels like Summer then Fall, and  fall beers are being released. The two most popular types of fall beers are Oktoberfest (or Octoberfest) and Pumpkin.  Some Oktoberfest beers are released as early as early August while most appear in September.

Oktoberfest Munich 2018 starts Sept. 22 ending October 7.  Oktoberfest Zinzinnati  is the largest in the U.S. held in 2018 on Sept. 21-23 in downtown Cincinnati. They claim 80,500 bratwurst and 87,500 mettwurst are eaten along with 64,000 sauerkraut balls. Oh, and there is beer!  The largest Oktoberfest in Indianapolis was held   Sept 6 through 8 at the Indianapolis German Park, south near Greenwood. 4 until 11pm daily.  There are smaller celebrations at the Athenaeum, Sept. 28.   7 – 11pm and at the  Liederkranz building  Oct. 6, 6-11pm.

Liter House, 5301 Winthrop Av. Indianapolis   is having a pretty darned “real”  Oktoberfest, copied after the Munich event:   over 3 weekends. You reserve a seat or a table and get food, beer, and more:  $60 SINGLE TICKETS INCLUDE:  -Seat at a Shared / Communal Table; -Boot Liter & Lanyard; -Entree (comes out at 7:30pm); -Two Liters of Beer OR 1 Liter of Cider; -Live Music;  There are  games & prizes throughout  the night;   A $400 GROUP TICKETS INCLUDE:  -Your own 8 top table with your group of friends (saves $80); -8x Boot Liter & Lanyard; -8x Entree (comes out at 7:30pm); -Pretzels & Dips snack to soak up beer (comes out at 9-10PM); -16 Liters of Beer OR 8 Liters of Cider; -Live Music
Sep. 22 –>…
Sep. 28 –>…
Oct. 6 –>…

Carmel, IN, Oktoberfest is Friday, Sept, 21, at Carmel City Center, 6-10 pm with a Biergarten, food, music by Polka Boy and fun for all ages.

Fishers, IN, Oktoberfest @ Saxony is held Friday, Sept 21 (5:30-10 pm) & Saturday Sept. 22, 3-10:30 pm at Witten Park, Saxony Boulevard.  Sun King is the local beer.

St. John, IN, Oktoberfest is held at St. John the Evangelist (NE of Crown Point) 11301 W. 93rd, St. John, IN.  Friday, Sept. 21 (5:30-10:30), Sat. Sept. 22 (Noon-10:30, and Sun. Sept. 23 (Noon-8pm) with 4 bands,  Hacker-Pschorr bier (+ lite beers), German Food, under a big tent.

Rensselaer IN, Oktoberfest held at the Jasper County Courthouse is Saturday Sept. 22, 5-11 pm featuring local Fenwick Farms Brewing beer, music, and more.

Indy Rathskeller Oktoberfest, Fri, Sept. 28, 7-11 pm Oktoberfest with Polkaboy band! ($7 cover)

Bremen, IN, Oktoberfest,  Fri (5-8 pm) -Sat (9 am-9 pm) Kids coloring contest on Friday 9 am (per Facebook) & local firemen have a German food tent.

Indy Herron-Morton Place Oktoberfest, Sept. 29 3-9 pm, 1927 N. Alabama St. with local beer from Cannonball, Mashcraft, & Sun King ($15)

Richmond, IN, Oktoberfest,  in Historic Depot District, 11am-7pm with German food and local New Boswell Brewery beer.

Winona Lake, IN,  Oktoberfest at the Village, Sept. 29, 11am -10:45 pm includes Porsche car show.

Seymour IN Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest downtown Oktober 4-6 11am-11pm (per website) with Metazoa, Indianapolis, beer & Spaten, Franziskaner, Goose Island  & others.

Beech Grove, IN, Holy Name Church Oktoberfest,   Friday-Sat. Oct. 5-6, 5pm- midnight features games, music, German food, Craft beer.

If you are not a beer geek, it may help to understand a bit about the beer.  The current, slightly lighter style of beer for an Oktoberfest celebration, a Festbier, is yellow gold, has a slight quality of bread and sweetness and still just a hint of bitterness.   This style is now served in Munich as not as heavy and filling as the former Oktoberfest, also Marzen, which is amber in color, richly malty and a  bit of biscuit flavor.   Yet, craft breweries often choose the Oktoberfest name for their Festbier variety, and still the overall impression for beers served at this time for any local fest may vary from sweeter, meltier, to lighter with some having an interesting hop bite.

So… don’t be too nerdy, enjoy several and enjoy the differences!

The first two versions I tasted this season were from the Liter House,  5301 Winthrop Av, Indianapolis, serving their Big Lug house version, a Festbier and from Upland Brewing, (Bloomington, but served in Indy and Columbus locations) which also seemed to be a Festbier.  Both delicious and since the BigLug was the first I tried it seemed particularly tasty, some malt with a nice zing from hops.

I had the pleasure of trying the national Sierra Nevada  and Weihenstaphan collaboration for this year’s release is crisp, clean with solid balance between malt and hop. Sierra Nevada has been collaborating with German breweries since 2015 when they teamed with smaller brewery Riegele which is located about an hour from the original Oktoberfest location.   The Samuel Adams’ version is the Marzen style with solid malt sweetness.

In addition to three actual German varieties I’ve had  on tap this year that each varied not only from Festbier to Marzen but from sweeter to more caramel offering, I’ve snagged the following and will go hunting for more to add to the list:

Oaken Barrel Oktoberfest

Oaken Barrel has a version that seems more Marzen in style and was truly satisfying while listening to German style music at the Oktoberfest at German Park Indy.   This brewery also offers a German style grapefruit radler (bicycling beer, traditionally made with fruit soda) at their brewery this year.

Switchyard Brewing, Bloomington,  got their malt from Germany and their former Sierra Nevada brewer shows his stuff with a delicious Marzen variety this delivers a deep caramel.

Brokerage Brewing Company, 2516  Covington Street, W. Lafayette, IN, celebrates Oktoberfest Sept. 27- Sep. 30, open Thursday 3-9, tapping announced at 5, Friday & Saturday Noon-Midnight, Sunday 1-8 pm.

Flat 12 Bierwerks has Oktoberfest Sat. Sept. 29, Noon – 10 pm. Polkamotion band,  Boot purchase ($20, includes beer)
Tapping Slam Dunkel plus will have Wrassel Frasssel Marzen.

Moontown Brewing, 345 S Bowers St, Whitestown, IN has Oktoberfest Sat. Oct. 6, with German menu, Two bands, Special beer tappings. Noon – Midnight.

When your local brewery offers a delicious one, email us at!


Pumpkin Beer is next!

The Tap Brewery Bloomington tapped their Tapolantern already

Bier Brewery releases their award winning version on Sept. 14!