Regardless of cultural affiliation, all New Yorkers can discover their love of German traditions when the Oktoberfest eating and drinking festivities come to town. Starting this weekend, Gotham bars and restaurants will riff on Munich's annual, 16-day volksfest with free-flowing pours of Bavarian brews and heaping platters of pretzels and wursts. From waterfront stein hoisting to cross-town biergarten crawls, here are five ways to kick off the feast. Prost!
New York City Oktoberfest: This popular Washington DC bar crawl comes to New York with the same all-day beer-guzzling game plan in mind. On Saturday, your $50 pass gets you a 12-ounce Oktoberfest-specific sud at eight different watering holes, like the Victory Festbier at Dempsey’s and Spaten Oktoberfest at the Copper Still. The first stop is the German bar Paulaner, where you'll nosh on a free pretzel and get down to the sounds of live Bavarian polka.
NYC Brewers Guild Blocktoberfest: From 1 to 5pm on Saturday, this second annual block party will take over Waverly Avenue between Atlantic Ave and Fulton St to raise funds for the guild's upcoming NYC Beer Week 2016. For $18, fill your swanky commemorative glass with 4 oz. pours of five new release and limited time suds from guild members like Bronx Brewery, Flagship Brewing and Rockaway Brewing Co. (upgrade to $30 for the 12 oz.). Beyond brews, there'll be a beanbag toss tournament and snacks from Randolph Beer and Crescent & Vine.
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Oktoberfest at Watermark Bar: Enjoy Oktoberfest on the water as this Seaport bar kick off its three-week Oktoberfest celebration tomorrow with live Bavarian music as well as German brews (Stella, Schofferhofer) and bites (giant soft pretzels, pork bratwursts). The free festivities take place from noon to midnight.
Samuel Adams Stein Hoisting at Ambrose Beer & Lobster: Test your strength at 6pm tonight with some old-fashioned stein hoisting courtesy of Samuel Adams. The tournament is free to enter, and the winner is automatically entered for a chance to win a trip to Oktoberfest in Germany and to complete in Jimmy Kimmel's on-air stein hoist. Also on offer are soft pretzels, lobster rolls, draft beers and gratis swag like Sam Adams t-shirts, beer mugs and frisbees.
Stone Street Octoberfest: Nearly a dozen neighborhood bars and restaurants—including Bavaria Bierhaus, The Dubliner, Vintry Wine and Whiskey—will gather for this first-ever Bavarian block party on the historic Stone Street. Kicking off the festivities is the ceremonial keg tapping tonight at Ulysses' Folk House, where a 40-liter cask of Sixpoint Amerikaner Oktoberfest—brewed exclusively for tomorrow's festival—will be dispensed at no charge to guests until it runs out. On Saturday, enjoy Sicilian-style pizza, barbecue, a whole pig roast as well as classic tunes by The New York Showband at 9pm.