Being such a beer-loving—and producing!—city, it’s no surprise that the City of Brotherly Love has tons of options when it comes to celebrating Oktoberfest. Philadelphia beer lovers can dedicate a whole month to the stein-, bratwurst- and pretzel-filled event thanks to a handful of festivals and food and drink specials happening at bars, taverns and Philadelphia breweries. Whether it’s a weekend-long bash, a sit-down dinner or happy hour, Philadelphia Oktobefest fans can score more than their fill of German-inspired drinks and fare—and maybe even catch a polka band if they’re lucky. Follow this guide to find the best Oktoberfest Philadelphia events—many among the best things to do in Philadelphia in the fall.
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Oktoberfest events in Philadelphia
Philly’s oldest continuously operating tavern is home to one of the city’s longest Oktoberfest celebrations. For more than a month taps are taken over with seasonal beers from Sly Fox, Lancaster Brewing and Stoudt’s along with a slew of pumpkin brews. Also be sure to try the special pour that was made through a collaboration between McGillin’s and Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company.
A trip up to Torresdale is required if you want to take in the city’s most authentic Oktoberfest experience. Along with home cooking, beer drinking and old country-style music and dance, this fest is home to a fruchtsäule, a massive column decorated in fruit—a tradition with roots in Stuttgart.
Riverside beers, live music and family-friendly, autumn-centric activities are on the roster for Fall Fest. Highlights include a partnership with Greensgrow Farms for onsite farmers’ markets, apple cider-pressing and performances by local artists Killiam Shakespeare, Stella Ruze and Louie Louie with The Whips.
Every fall the 700 block of South Street gets tented up and ready to party, Bavarian style. Choose to pay as you go or, even better, grab a VIP ticket for beer, food and schnapps tokens, and commemorative swag. Most importantly, VIPs have access to private bathrooms, a must when celebrating this beery occasion.
Mall parking lots aren’t usually all that much fun but once a year KOP tents up a portion of its lot for a raucous day of local and imported brews. This year they’re upping the ante and adding local wineries and distilleries to the lengthy list of participants. Polka bands and local artists provide entertainment for the walkaround tasting.
The folks from Brauhaus Schmitz are taking over the 23rd Street Armory for three days of stein-swinging, lederhosen-wearing, oompah-listening fun. The ticketed event runs in afternoon and evening sessions, and this year they’re expecting to go through a whopping 300 kegs and 2,000 pounds of sausage.
Several blocks on the western side of South Street close down every October for an afternoon of local music, craft beer and portable bites from the corridor’s restaurants and guest food trucks. Best of all, all of the proceeds from the outdoor bars go to neighborhood charities.
All 12 locations of this local brewpub are embracing all things Teutonic for a two-week celebration including limited edition brew pints to drink in-house or in growlers and cans to take out plus a slew of menu additions including German-inspired gravy fries, crisp schnitzel and meaty butcher’s plates.