Germany’s best idea ever was so good it gets a party that lasts 16 days, from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4. Here are some sure-to-be raucous affairs to celebrate it in the city.
Munich on the East River
$25-$100, Oct. 2-4 and 9-11
If you’re looking for authenticity in your Oktoberfest, it doesn’t get any better outside of Munich. Bavarian restaurant Zum Schneider is bringing back its massive riverside tent for a second year, decorated in the finest beer garden regalia with room for 1,000 and tons of seating, oompah bands (and guest performers — last year Cyndi Lauper took a turn onstage), imported Oktoberfest beers on tap, food stands serving everything from gingerbread hearts to pork shanks, and a carnival area for kids.
Stone Street already has an informal year-round Oktoberfest vibe, but this weekend nearly a dozen restaurants and bars are combining their powers. The party starts Friday at 6 p.m. with the keg tapping of a holiday brew by Sixpoint, which is free while it lasts. On Saturday, everyone brings a little something to the block party: traditional German beers and food, pig roasts, Sicilian-style pizza, barbecue, Scandinavian dishes and even something local. All dishes are priced at $5-$10.
Oktoberfest at Loreley
Free, Sept. 19-Oct. 4
The LES restaurant and biergarten has been doing German beer and food every day for 12 years, so it’s safe to say they’ve got this. Kick it out back on their covered patio for the official opening at 3 p.m., when a keg of Hofbrau Oktoberfest will be tapped and handed out for free until it’s done, along with plates of roast pig. Admission is free and there’s live music all day. For the rest of the month, there’s a daily special of a different Oktoberfest beer (and a new dish called the Sausage Party to pair them with), as well as a closing party with more free beer.
$10-$175, Sept. 19, 1-5 p.m.
Support the breweries in your backyard with your ticket as well as your taste buds. More than a dozen of NYC’s brewers will be serving rare and new beers at Sanders Studios in Brooklyn, while local restaurants take care of keeping you upright. New this year is a VIP experience, which gets you in an hour early, then out on site tours of two breweries and Red Hook Winery, exploring current trends and getting insider tips on the city’s bar scene. The tour ends with a happy hour and dinner. Proceeds benefit NYC Beer Week 2016.
Oktoberfest at South Street Seaport
Free with reservation, Sept. 18-Oct. 4
The Seaport is making a strong case for being the city’s new weekend hangout, and for Oktoberfest there are two bars holding parties. Test your strength at the newly opened Ambrose Beer & Lobster at 6 p.m. Friday with Sam Adams’ Stein Hoisting Contest (the stein is full, of course — hope you’ve been working out). Over on Pier 15, the Watermark Bar is holding three weekends of beer tastings, live music, more stein contests and games, with all food priced at $8 and $16 for a liter of beer.