The Best of Oktoberfest Minnesota 2013

Grab your favorite stein, Oktoberfest is upon us!

By Joseph Alton


Oktoberfest began as a wedding feast for Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig, later King Ludwig I of Bavaria and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. The royalty invited the citizens of Munich to celebrate the new Princess on the now famous fields Theresienwiese—”Therese’s fields” outside of the city gates and horse races held in the presence of the royal family concluded the festivities. The celebration was so popular that it was repeated the next year giving rise to the annual tradition now known as Oktoberfest.

Related Story: “Style Profile: Oktoberfest/Märzen” by Michael Agnew

By 1860 in Minnesota, German immigrants outnumbered all other immigrants nationalities and brought with them a taste of German culture which has persisted to this day, including the great celebration of Oktoberfest. Thanks to our ancestors settling in Minnesota we’ve got plenty of Oktoberfest beers and celebrations to choose from.

Listen to The Growler’s Joe Alton talk with Jill Riley and Steve Seel about this year’s Oktoberfest celebrations on The Current’s Morning Show.

2013 Oktoberfest Events in Minnesota

Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter Oktoberfest

September 13–15 & 20–22, 2013

Fridays & Saturdays 5:00-11:00 pm and Sundays noon-6:00 pm

Huge festival tent, German food, beer and music. The Artie Schaefer band Fri. and Sat.- must be 21. Sundays are family days with live music. Noon-6:00 pm – all ages welcome.

Oktoberfest Duluth 2013 at Tycoons Alehouse

Friday, September 20, 2013

A 3-story party celebrating Oktoberfest 2013 including games like Hammerschlagen, a Masskrugstemmen stein holding competition, Bier pong, Sauerkraut Eating race, and a Boot Chug contest. Live music featuring the famous Chmielewski Fun Time Band — dishing out authentic polka music.

Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit Oktoberfest

Weekends; September 20–October 12, 2013

Beer, Dancing, Full Bar, Live Polka Music & German Food. Bring your own mug ($6 for every 1/2 Litre of Beer) or Buy one of our 1/2 Litre Mugs for $6 (plus beer).


Saturday, September 21, 2013

SurlyFest is back, Sept. 21, from 2:00 – 6:17 p.m. A regular ticket gets you a commemorative half-liter SurlyFest stein and 4 beer tickets, and a designated driver ticket gets you 2 soda tickets. There’ll be live music, food vendors, and of course, beer, including SurlyFest, our German style Oktoberfest bier.

Grandma’s Oktoberfest

September 25 through October

Starting on Wednesday, September 25, Grandma’s Saloon & Grill will bring out the Spaten Kegs, a specially brewed German beer served in 4 flavors (Lager, Optimator, Weiss, and Oktoberfest), some with original recipes over 400 years old. Literally, you are drinking a pint of history. There will also be a number of regional Oktoberfest brews including Great Lakes Brewing Oktoberfest Beer which rated a perfect 100 by Beer Advocate. If you don’t know which ones to taste, try an Oktoberfest flight of beer!

St. Paul Oktoberfest

September 20–21, 2013

A family-friendly event celebrating the Germanic heritage. At The Klub Haus on 1079 Rice Street in St. Paul. Friday’s entertainment will be in the tent, and Saturdays festivities will take place both under the tent, across the street and inside the Klub Haus. Download the Dachshund Race Registration form and Bed Race Registration form.

New Bomemia Oktoberfest

September 20 – 22, 2013

The Lord Mayor of New Bohemia will be voted on and chosen September 13th via New Bohemia’s Facebook Page and will receive the honor of tapping the first keg on Friday September 20th at 5pm. In addition, the winner will receive a “Prize Pak” (see the Facebook Page for details), which includes Full Access passes for 4 people for all three days. Also; A tent setup that mimics the tents of Munich, beer from 10 different breweries, live music, German grub & festival games. $3 beers or all day tasters pass for $40 (includes Oktoberfest mug, t-shirt and beer.)

Oktoberfest – Renaissance Festival

September 21 & 22, 2013

Celebrate Oktoberfest by strolling through German vendors, artisans, restaurants and more in their new Bavarian Village. Learn about German culture from local clubs and organizations. Take try your hand at a Stein Holding Competition, a Keg Toss, a round of Hammerschlagen, a Sauerkraut Eating Contest, Best Beard Competition, or even Polka Lessons.

Harriet Rauchfest

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The 3rd Annual RAUCHFEST is a one day Oktoberfest celebration featuringbeer, food, art, and music. Harriet Brewing Company will brew a single batch of Rauchfest, a smoked Oktoberfest Lager for this festival. 8 total Harriet beers on tap, food and non- alcoholic beverages from Tollefson’s Family Pork, AZ Canteen & Potter’s Pasties and live music from Boys ‘N The Barrels, Useful Jenkins, Dérobé Dance Band, and much more.

Twin Cities Oktoberfest

October 4–5th, 2013

Two days of  live music, and of course, beer. Throw on your lederhosen, grab your favorite beer stein and make your way to the Minnesota State Fair Grounds for this all ages event. In between sips of Summit Oktoberfest, snack on traditional German foods and watch performances from traditional dance entertainers.

New Ulm Oktoberfest

October 4–5 & October 11–12, 2013

This traditional festival is modeled after one of the world’s largest celebrations, held each year for several centuries in Munich, Germany. New Ulm’s version takes place during the first two weekends in October each year. The festival is held at the Holiday Inn New Ulm, Downtown New Ulm, Schell’s Brewery and Morgan Creek Vineyards.

Schell’s Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Enjoy German food, music and dancing! And best of all, plenty of Schell’s Oktoberfest beer in the large fest tent at the August Schell’s Brewing Company. Ticket cost is $5.00. Kids 12 and under free. Tours ($3.00) are first-come, first-served.

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