O’zapft is: Tapping into all the Oktoberfest events this fall in Minnesota

Photos via Schell's Brewery

Photos via Schell’s Brewery

The official Oktoberfest may kick off next weekend in Munich, Germany, for its 184th year, but here in the Midwest we’re getting a jumpstart on the festivities. Starting Friday, September 8 and running through mid-October, breweries, restaurants, and event organizers are inviting you to dust off your lederhosen and dirndls, order up some brats mit kraut, and get your fill—by the liter—of this beloved German tradition.

Note: Events are listed in chronological order by start date. Did we miss one? Please email events [at] growlermag [dot] com.

Clocktoberfest at Broken Clock| September 8–9 | Fri 3–10pm, Sat 11am–10pm | Free

Broken Clock Clocktoberfest

Broken Clock’s biggest event to date, the brewery’s twist on Oktoberfest marks the release of their Pecan English Brown Ale. The festivities include live music, food trucks, and Broken Clock’s inaugural homebrew competition and Save the Boundary Waters benefit. More info.

Oktoberfest Celebration at OMNI Brewing Co. | September 9 | 12–11pm | Free, with specials for purchase

OMNI Oktoberfest

Maple Grove’s OMNI Brewing is getting into the festive spirit with an Oktoberfest release, a German band, food truck, and plethora of pretzels. A limited $20 special includes a 20-ounce beer stein that you can take home, with refills for $5. More info.

Bad Habit Brewing Company Oktoberfest | September 9 | 2–6pm | $15

Bad Habit Oktoberfest

Food, games, and music—what else could you ask for at an Oktoberfest party? Grab your ticket and head to St. Joseph’s Bad Habit, where you’ll get a BHBC beer stein, one drink token, and access to all the food, games and music. More info.

Oktoberfest Preview Party at The Freehouse | September 14 | 5–7pm | Free

Get a sneak peek (and sip!) of The Freehouse’s No. 15 Oktoberfest. Also, stick around for prize drawings, Freehouse swag, beer samplings with food pairings, and chance to meet the brewers. More info.

Oktoberfest 56 Style | September 15–17 | Fri: 12–8pm, Sat 12–8pm, Sun 12–8pm | $5 BOGO pint tickets, $30 commemorative stein

56 Brewing Oktoberfest

56 Brewing is marking Oktoberfest with a three-day event with music, food, and lots of beer—especially their märzen lager. Twenty-five ounce Oktoberfest steins are available for pre-sale for $30, which includes three fills. More info.

Oktoberfest at Utepils Brewing | September 15–17 | Fri 12–11pm, Sat 11am–11pm, Sun 12–8pm | Free

Utepils Oktoberfest

One day just isn’t enough for Utepils. Celebrate Oktoberfest for three days, filled with live music, a wedding and vow renewal ceremony that pays homage to the original wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese, a limited release of “Receptional,” their take on an Oktoberfest lager, and games, contests, prizes, and much more. More info.

Saint Paul Oktoberfest | September 15–16 | Fri 4–10pm, Sat 10am–10pm | Free, $5 wristband to purchase drinks


Munich is making its way to the historic Schmidt Brewery with this two-day outdoor event. A six-horse Percheron team will trot from Summit Brewing to deliver kegs, upon which St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman will tap to kick off the festivities. Get your fill of German food, including potato pancakes and schnitzel, while enjoying carnival tides, a German-style wedding, two stages of live music, as well as bed races, dachshund races, and sack cloth races. More info.

Gausthaus Bavarian Hunter Oktoberfest | September 15–17, 22–24 | Fri & Sat 5–11pm, Sun 12–6pm | Fri & Sat $5 admission (21+ only), Sun $3 admission (family day)

Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter Oktoberfest

Get into the Oktoberfest spirit at Stillwater’s Gausthaus Bavarian Hunter with two weekends of festivities. There will be music, dancing, Hammerschlagen, imported beers, brats and chops, giant pretzels, and cinnamon roasted almonds. We’ll cheers to that. More info.

Oktoberfest at Bemidji Brewing | September 16 | 12–7pm | Free

Bemidji Oktoberfest

Bemidji Brewing will be closing down the avenue in front of their taproom for a day full of beer, games, live music, dancing, and food. Come dressed to the nines in your best Oktoberfest attire, for the best costumes will win a prize. More info.

Oktoberfest at Urban Lodge | September 16 | 2–10pm | Free

Urban Lodge Oktoberfest

Urban Lodge Brewery & Restaurant in Sauk Rapids will have specials all day on food and beer, alongside hourly door prizes, games, live music, and more. More info.

Roundhouse Oktoberfest | September 21-24 | Hours of operation | Free

Join Roundhouse’s owners and Brainerd city leaders, as they will be kicking off their four-day party with a ceremonial tapping of their Oktoberfest beer, Der Zug, on Thursday. After that, expect a weekend of music acts, lots of German foods, and even a Vikings potluck on Sunday. More info.

New Glarus Oktoberfest | September 21–24 | Thurs 7–11pm, Fri 6pm–12am, Sat 8am–12am, Sun 11am–6pm | Free

Our neighbors to the east are joining our list of Oktoberfest celebrations. Head out of town and make your way to New Glarus, Wisconsin, for festive four days. On the docket: live music, a huge beer tent serving plenty of New Glarus Staghorn, chainsaw carvings, food, wagon rides, and other family-friendly activities. More info.

Copper Trail Ole-toberfest | September 22-23 | Fri & Sat 12-11pm | Free

Alexandria’s Copper Trail is tapping into this first annual fest, appropriately celebrating by tapping into their Ole-toberfest kegs on Friday. The weekend event will also be filled with food and music, in addition to plenty of pints to raise a glass to. More info.

Mill City Oktoberfest | September 23 | 8am–2pm | Free

Mill City Oktoberfest

Celebrate Minnesota brewing past and present thanks to the Mill City Museum and Mill City Farmers Market. At this 11th annual event, you’ll be able to enjoy the tastes, smells, sights, and sounds of Germany within the museum, outside in the Ruin Courtyard, and at the market. More info.

Oktoberfest at The Herkimer Pub & Brewery | September 23 | 10am–2am | Free

Herkimer Oktoberfest

Welcome in the fall season with a sudsy celebration at The Herk. Enjoy large beers, sausages, and pretzels. More info.

SurlyFest | September 23 | 11am–10pm | Free to attend, but $10–$60 ticket packages available


Prost to Oktoberfest, and to 10 years of SurlyFest! SurlyFest is taking over the entire brewery in Minneapolis for a packed day of live music, food, games and activities, SurlyFest Merch, plus all the Minnesota United FC pre-match party activities and the march to the game for fans. Tickets aren’t required to attend the fest, but if you want to take your party to the next level, four tiers of packages are available for purchase. More info.

Wabasha Fall Fest | September 23 | 12–7pm | Free

Wabasha Fall Fest

Release the fall beers! That’s exactly what Wabasha Brewing is doing, as they release their Darktober and new pumpkin beer, Great Pumpkin. There will also be games, live music, karaoke, prizes, and a gamut of other goodies. More info.

Rocktoberfest at Bald Man | September 23 | 1pm–12am | $10 cover

Bald Man Rocktoberfest

Rock out at Eagan’s Bald Man Brewing for their second annual Rocktoberfest party. Drink beer from collectable half-liter German boots, while enjoying food truck fare, live music, and the release of the brewery’s Rock You Like A Hurricane Oktoberfest beer. More info.

Fair State’s Co-Optoberfest | September 23 | 2pm–12am | Free

Fair State Co-Optoberfest

Fair State is celebrating their third birthday—Oktoberfest-style—as they turn their beer garden into a mini Munich with brats, pretzels, polka, and lots of beer. Prost! More info.

Oktoberfest at Beaver Island Brewing | September 23 | 2–8pm | $14 in advance, $20 at the door

Beaver Island Oktoberfest

For the third year, Beaver Island will be hosting an Oktoberfest in their parking lot, full of German music, food, and of course, beer—including the brewery’s märzen lager that was named Best of Show in The Growler’s blind taste test last year.  More info.

Delano Oktoberfest | September 23 | 2–11pm | $5, those under 21 are free

Delano Oktoberfest

Delano is celebrating their first Oktoberfest, closing down a city block in downtown to get their party started. For nine hours, enjoy live entertainment, kids area, a market full of fall produce, artisanal products, and repurposed items, German eats, and beer thanks to Delano’s own Lupine Brewing. More info.

Geilfest at Travail Kitchen & Amusements | September 23 | 4-10pm | $125

A festive feast will occur at Travail, as guests can enjoy a bounty of food stations, featuring sausages, smoked trout, schnitzel, potato pancakes, apple strudel, and other delights, alongside plenty of genuine German beers and local Oktoberfest favorites. There will also be a live polka band, eating contests, and a costume contest. More info.

612Brew Oktoberfest | September 23 | 4pm–12am | Free

612Brew Oktoberfest

If you’re not able to travel to Munich, you can always trek over to Minneapolis for 612Brew’s fest. Starting at 4pm there will be live music, free meat giveaways sponsored by Von Hanson’s Meats, games, pizza from Vito Lucco food truck, a costume contest to crown Mr. and Mrs. Oktoberfest, and beer, beer, beer. More info.

Oktoberfest at Voyageur Brewing Company | September 27–October 1 | Times vary

Voyageur Brewing Oktoberfest

You’ll have a grand time up in Grand Marais with Voyageur Brewing’s Oktoberfest celebration. Make your own pretzel necklace, participate in a stein relay and hold, join in on pretzel and wiener tosses, and enjoy lots of music. More info.

Oktoberfest – La Crosse | September 28–October 1 | Various times | Button or single ticket price options


German heritage is celebrated in style year at La Crosse’s Oktoberfest (celebrating its 57th installment this year). Craft beer, German food, parades, live entertainment—the list goes on! More info.

OktoBeerFest | September 29-30, October 6-7 | Free | Hours of operation

Blacklist Artisan Ales’ taproom in Duluth is having not one, but two weekends of Oktoberfest fun. There will be special beer releases, Hammerschlagen, live entertainment, “Boot Drinking Competitions,” and festive fare both weekends. More info.

Black Forest Inn Oktoberfest | September 29–October 8 | Hours of operation |

Black Forest Inn Oktoberfest

Ten days of drinking, eating, and merriment—it’s Black Forest Inn’s Okto celebration. Each day will have a different Deutsch theme to it, from “The Wurst Night of Oktoberfest” to “Fake German Accent Night,” and plenty of beer to go around. More info.

Oktoberfest at Third Street Brewhouse | September 30 | 11am-5pm | Free

Save the date for September 30, for Third Street is throwing an Oktoberfest at their brewery. Their seasonal sipper, Oktoberfest Session Marzen, will be on tap, in addition to a bunch of other year-round beers to quench your thirst. There will also be live music and food, with all food proceeds benefiting a local food shelf. More info.

Anokafest | September 30 | 12-11pm | Free

What do you get when you mix an Anoka brewery plus an Oktoberfest-style beer? Anokafest, of course! Come celebrate 10K Brewing’s second annual event with the release of their Anokafest beer, music, and maybe some lederhosen. More info.

Fourth Annual Schwandtoberfest | September 30 | 12–11pm | $10–$30, free for children

Bauhaus Schwandtoberfest

Usher in the Oktoberfest season with Bauhaus with the fourth annual release of Schwandtoberfest, the brewery’s Bavarian-style festbier. Alongside the lineup of beers, feast on a buffet of German fair, in addition to games, live entertainment, and stein hoistings. More info. 

Oktoberfest at Wayzata Brew Works | September 30 | 12pm–12am

Wayzata Brew Works Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is making its way to Wayzata, for a day of music, food, fun and games. More info.

Oktoberfest: Spilled Grain Brewhouse | September 30 | 2-11pm | Free

Come join Spilled Grain Brewhouse in Annandale for their Oktoberfest parking lot party. There will be food to munch on, music to move and groove to, and plenty of Oktoberfest beer to sip on. More info.

Oktoberfiesta at Pajarito STP | September 30 | 3pm-12am | Free, food and drinks are cash only


Pajarito STP is partnering with Summit Brewing to throw an Oktoberfiesta. There will be bands, brews, brats, games and more. The party will take over the restaurant’s parking lot, plus the second floor of the historic Czech-Slovak Hall. Admission is free, and food and drinks are cash only. More info.

Oktoberfest at Alloy Brewing Company | September 30 | 2-10pm | Free

Nosh on smoked pork chops, Bavarian-style pretzels, brats, sauerkraut, Reuben sammies, and more at Alloy, while washing it all down with two beer releases—Nummer Eins, a marzen Oktoberfest, and Vitro Vienna. More info.

Minnesota Renaissance Festival—Oktoberfest | September 30–October 1 | 9am–7pm | Various ticket prices

Grab your German gear and celebrate Oktoberfest by strolling through vendors, artisans, and restaurants in the Bavarian Village of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. Other events at the Oktoberfest weekend include a homebrew competition, dachshund races, stein holding, free Schell’s Oktoberfest tastings, bier pong, best beard competition, sauerkraut eating contest, and much more. More info.

FalltoberFest | October 4 | 11am–10pm | Free

Urban Growler Falltoberfest

With German food specials, live music, Oktoberfest flights, and beer garden fun, spend some time out at St. Paul’s Urban Growler. More info.

New Ulm’s Oktoberfest | October 6–7, 13–14 | Various times | Various prices

New Ulm Oktoberfest

New Ulm’s version of Oktoberfest takes place during the first two full weekends in October, full of festivities happening all around town. The main locations for 2017 are Historic Downtown, Best Western Plus, Morgan Creek Vineyards, and Schell’s Brewery (see below). More info.

Twin Cities Oktoberfest | October 6–7 | Fri 5–11pm, Sat 12–11pm | $25/day ages 21+, $5/day for ages 13–20, free for 12 and under with paid adult

Twin Cities Oktoberfest

Still thirsty? Well, check out the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for the Twin Cities Oktoberfest. In partnership with Summit Brewing, the event is a chance to sip on the brewery’s beers from your commemorative stein. In between sips, snack on an array of foods, watch performances from traditional dancers, play games, and check out the vendors and traditional clothing. More info.

Waconia’s Oktoberfest | October 6-7 | Fri 6pm-2am, Sat 10am-2am | Fri $7 in advance or $10 at the gate, Sat $10 in advance or $15 at the gate

Bigger and better this year, head out to the Carver County Fairgrounds for Waconia’s Oktoberfest celebration. Get your fill of great German beer and food, in addition to local vendors, a root beer race, car show, kids fun run and 5K, and much more. More info.

Docktoberfest at Excelsior Brewing | October 6–8 | Fri 4pm–12am, Sat 12pm–12am, Sun 12–6pm | Free, $5 entry for liter holding contest

Excelsior Docktoberfest

Rock the docks at Excelsior Brewing’s Docktoberfest. The ceremonial keg tapping on Friday kicks off the weekend’s events, which are packed with live music, a German costume party, games, food galore, and even a liter holding contest. More info.

Oktoberfest at The Boat Club Restaurant & Bar | October 7 | 11:30am–9pm

The Boat Club Oktoberfest

Join Duluth’s Boat Club Restaurant & Bar for their first ever Oktoberfest held in the Fitger’s Courtyard, right alongside Lake Superior. All day there will be German food, beer and wine, plus polka music under the big tent. It’ll be fun for the whole family, with sack races, pumpkin bounce house, keg races, tug-of-war competition, and an apple-strudel-eating contest. More info.

Fourth Annual Gull Dam Oktoberfest & Bavarian Costume Party | October 7 | 12–11pm | Free

Nisswa’s Gull Dam Brewing will have a day-long Oktoberfest celebration with polka music from The Jolly Zuks, and with evening headliner Wyld Ryce Band. Also, partake in the Oktoberfest games and prizes, including the best men’s or women’s Bavarian costume. More info.

Wicked Wort Oktoberfest Celebration | October 7 | 12pm-12am | Free

Come one, come all to Robbinsdale for Wicked Wort’s fest. Quench your thirst with the brewery’s beers, move and groove to great live music, and participate in a bunch of games, including log rolling, bag toss, and a giant Connect Four. More info.

Oktoberfest at Goat Ridge Brewing Co. | October 7 | 2-10pm | Free

For the third year, Goat Ridge Brewing Co. is set and ready for an Okto celebration. Enjoy live music, great eats, and plenty of pours at the New London brewery. More info.

Shaktoberfest | October 13-14 | 12-11pm | Free, various Minnesota Brewery Running Series price options

Badger Hill is kicking off their third annual Shaktoberfest on Friday the 13th. Enjoy live music, food trucks, local vendors, and their Oktoberfest Marzen all weekend. Also, the brewery is partnering with the Minnesota Brewery Running Series for a 0.5K or 5K walk/jog/run on Saturday. More info.

Schell’s Oktoberfest | October 14 | 10:30am–5pm | $10, kids 12 and under are free

Drink like a Bavarian, munch on some wursts, and participate in German dancing at Schell’s. Lederhosen clad servers will hand out steins of beer, as you devour German delights and listen to live music from Schell’s Hobo Band and Alpensterne. A majority of the proceeds benefit Minnesota Assistance for Veterans Council. More info.

Oktoberfest at Lupulin Brewing Company | October 14 | 12–11pm | Free, $20 beer stein

Lupulin Brewing Oktoberfest

Big Lake’s brewery will be tapping into Oktoberfest from noon ‘til close. They’ll have live music from the Elk River German Band and Sonder, food trucks onsite, and the release of their very own German-style märzen beer. More info.

Mia Third Thursday: Artoberfest | October 19 | 6–9pm | Free

Mia Third Thursday: Artoberfest

Art and Oktoberfest collide at Mia. Join The Growler to enjoy the art of beer by enjoying craft beers by Able Seedhouse + Brewery, Fair State, Bad Weather, and Fulton, while setting your sights upon the exhibition “Eyewitness Views: Making History in the 18th-century Europe.” More info.

Did we miss an event? Email us at events [at] growlermag [dot] com.