Get us in your inbox

oktoberfest philadelphia
Photograph: Shutterstock

How not to be a dick at a Philly Oktoberfest event

By Chris Blondell

Being such a beer-loving city, it’s no surprise that there are countless Oktoberfest Philadelphia celebrations. (The events are even so popular here that they actually begin in September.) While the Teutonic celebrations are almost always a great time, it should be noted that they can also bring out the worst in some of us. Hey, it’s easy to stray from your best self when mixing steins full of beer with heavy, belligerent crowds, long lines and hangry bellies ready to scarf down some schnitzel and pretzels.

So with that in mind, it’s important to remember Wheaton’s Law: Don’t be a dick.

Here are a few tips to avoid being an asshole at a Philly Oktoberfest event—especially when it concerns the folks who are there to make sure you’re having a good time.

1. Know what you want and order it

Speaking as someone who spent more than two-and-a-half years in the service industry, there are few things more time consuming—and annoying—than going back and forth to a table that can’t make up its mind. If your server has to stand and wait for you to think your order through, or if they have to keep going back to see if a decision has been made, that means other people are waiting that much longer to get their order. And that’s stressful.

Yes, the waitstaff is there to take your order and they'll do it regardless of your methods, shitty or not. But if you’re trying to avoid being a dick at one of the busiest bar days of the year, know what you want and order it all in one go. (Hint: It’s beer and wieners with a side of pretzels.)

2. Leave your “secret” flask at home

Servers know you’re trying to sneak in that extra booze. They know you think you’re clever. They know you think you’re justified in it because “shit's too expensive” or whatever. They know you think you’re being all covert about it, but they can see you and now they have to throw you out. Nobody wants to do that.

3. Listen to the cops; don’t slap them

This feels like it should be self-explanatory. And yet, four years ago at Brauhaus Schmitz, a dude slapped a cop at an Oktoberfest event. In a moment like this, it’s important to remember what our parents taught us as children: “Do not hit a cop. They will fuck you up.”

Speaking as someone who has gone too far too many times after drinking too much, when someone tells you, “Okay, sir, it’s time to go.” Listen to them. They’re right. Even if you think you’re fine. They’re right. Go home, drink some water and sleep it off.

In the morning, it’ll all be a hazy memory—and you'll be in your cozy bed and not a cold, hard jail cell.

4. Just have fun

Really. We’re living in a shitty-ass time. We need all the good experiences we can get. Oktoberfest is a great excuse to let loose and get absurdly shit-faced with your friends, family and fellow neighbors.

Prost, Philly!

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best Oktoberfest Philadelphia events, and for even more beer, the best Philadelphia breweries

Latest news