Lederhosen. Pretzels. Sexy blondes in wooden clogs serving steins of Hefeweizen. If it’s fall in Miami (or anywhere around the world), that can only mean one thing: Oktoberfest. And while beer drinkers across the globe are booking flights to Munich to drink at the original festival, thirsty South Floridians need only look in our own backyard to have some fun.
Setup like a Bavarian-style sports bar, this Coral Gables gem features live music on the weekends, 20-plus German and Austrian beers, servers in lederhosen carrying traditional beer steins and long wooden tables strewn with bratwurst. The spot hosts block parties from late September through mid-October, and during the rest of the year, it’s where locals go to raise “das boot” to professional soccer. In fact, it’s the place to be during Primeira Liga and UEFA Champions League, and it often hosts the official watch parties for our very own Miami FC.
Nothing about the strip of restaurants on 79th Street screams Deutschland—unless, of course, you’re talking about this German bierhaus, where chef/owner Alex Richter whips up the same dishes his grandmother taught him how to make in Munich. If the menu has you tongue-tied, ease your way in with a beer. There are 10 Bavarian brews on draft, along with bottled imports and $26 boots of beer cocktails, all of which taste gut paired with Chef Richter’s four different types of schnitzel.
Shopping and craving a knödel? Can’t watch sports without a stein in hand? Head to Bavaria Haus, the second venture by the Hofbräu Beerhall team. Inspired by Southern Germany, this 21st-century gastropub serves everything from schnitzels and pretzels to crispy grilled pork belly with spätzle. Beer is cold and directly imported from Munich. There are three signature German beers on tap all year long. During Oktoberfest, order the haunt’s seasonal namesake brew: the full-bodied “Oktoberfest” is made from the same batches used at the Hofbräu tent at the real festival in Germany.
Wynwood meets Germany in this trendy yet casual beer garden, which is celebrating Oktoberfest through October 15. The weekends are when you can find the best holiday specials and games. Expect stein-hoisting contests, liter chug competitions and specials on dishes like the Bavarian sausage platter, jumbo pretzels and Jagermeister shots. Don’t skip the pillowy house-made pierogis, one of our favorite cheap eats in Miami.
Wander over to Lincoln Road, and you’ll find the original German hangout in Miami: Hofbräu Beerhall. Go to this “biergarten” (it’s more of a sidewalk café) for the outdoor tables, endless German beer and classic South Beach people-watching. Stay for the giant pretzels, veal bratwurst, and the 400-plus-year beer history it brings from the original Hofbräu München in Germany. Even today, the beer is brewed by a German brewmaster in Munich, who uses recipes passed down by the Duke of Bavaria in 1589—when the original Hofbräuhaus was founded.
Following a brief stint on Key Biscayne, the festival returns to Coconut Grove for its seventh year, bringing more than 300 styles of craft beer, a homebrew pavilion, live music and a food-pairing tent with it. It’ll have everything a beer-lover could want, including some awesome beer people such as Stone Brewing and Little Havana’s Union Beer Store. Tickets range in price from $44–$89.
A tad corporate? Perhaps. But Sam Adams is one of America’s most famous beers for a reason, and the brewing powerhouse has as much experience throwing a party as it does brewing beer. This celebration takes place in Wynwood and will feature its own “Brewlympics” (featuring giant beer pong, beer dunk tanks and more). Go get a taste of Munich by way of Boston while guzzling Sam Adams’ seasonal Octoberfest brew and munching on bratwurst and the like. Admission will cost you a measly $6–8—the quicker you buy, the cheaper!
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