Sophie Bolich

8 Great Celebrations of Oktoberfest

Actually one is Czechtoberfest. But all offer beer, food and entertainment.

By - Sep 19th, 2023 03:24 pm
5th Annual Oktoberfest. Photo taken October 2014 by Heather Meuret.

5th Annual Oktoberfest. Photo taken October 2014 by Heather Meuret.

Oktoberfest, a centuries old German tradition, has unsurprisingly become an annual staple in Milwaukee. The festivities last nearly a month, with the first themed beers launching in mid-to-late September, followed by gatherings — both miniature and large-scale. Attendees, German heritage or not, show an unabashed enthusiasm for amber lagers, lederhosen, polka and traditional dishes from sauerkraut to spätzle.

This year, Milwaukee Oktoberfest will be held Oct. 6 through 8 at Cathedral Square Park, 520 E. Wells St. Now in its 13th year, the annual event claims to hold the title as the city’s longest-running Oktoberfest celebration.

Milwaukee Oktoberfest will feature a lineup of live music, a weiner dog beauty pageant, Miss Oktoberfest, cornhole tournament, keg bowling and competitions including stein-hoisting and brat-eating.

Attendees can also expect authentic German food and beer from Kegel’s Inn, a Bavarian-style beer hall and restaurant located in West Allis.

The event is free to the public, with $2 wristbands available for those 21 and over who wish to purchase alcohol. Ticket packages, which include souvenirs and food and drink deals, are available for purchase online.

Hours for the event are Friday, Oct. 6 from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 7 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A detailed entertainment schedule is available to view online.

The Cathedral Square Park festival falls at the tail end of the city’s Oktoberfest celebrations. In the weeks leading up to the city’s last hurrah, check out these seven events to get in the spirit.

Von Trier

Von Trier, a German tavern and restaurant, will partner with Hofbräu Munchen for an authentic beer pairing dinner at the height of Oktoberfest.

The intimate, four-course meal will be held on Monday, Sept. 25 at the eastside establishment, 2235 N. Farwell Ave.

Tickets to the event are $75 each, with a $25 down payment required to reserve a spot. Inquiries can be made in-person at Von Trier, or directed to

Indeed Brewing Company

This Walker’s Point brewery is looking to get the most out of Oktoberfest, with an ongoing celebration that kicked off Sept. 13 and is set to continue through Oct. 1

Throughout the duration of the nearly three-week celebration, Indeed Brewing Company, 530 S. 2nd St., will offer beer liters, pretzels and Hammerschlagen competitions. Indeed’s Oktoberfest beers include festbier, Hefeweizen and Vienna Lager.

On Saturdays and Sundays, guests can expect beer brulee, brats, stein-holding and live music.

A detailed entertainment lineup is available online.

Component Brewing Company

Component Brewing Company, 2018 S. 1st St., will host its own Oktoberfest celebration on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. The all-day celebration will feature food, drink and live music from Brewhaus Polka Kings and Iron Monocle.

The brewery’s Oktoberfest brew, Polka Juice, will be readily available, along with an additional surprise release. Fellow southside business Hot Dish Pantry will supply a menu of German-inspired eats including currywurst, schnitzel sticks and warm German potato salad.

Check out Component’s Facebook page for more information.

Amorphic Beer

Never one to follow the crowd, Amorphic Beer is ditching the German celebration this fall and instead hosting Czechtoberfest — we have Czechia to thank for polka, after all.

The Sept. 23 event will run from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. featuring three Czech-style lagers and IPA, Czech-style sausages and live music from Pay The Devil.

Czechtoberfest will be held in the Crops on Top garden, 3700 N. Fratney St., adjacent to the Riverwest brewery. Limited space is available, so reserve your spot for free online.

St. Augustine of Hippo Catholic Church

Join St. Augustine of Hippo on Sunday, Sept. 24 for an afternoon of gemütlichkeit. That’s a German term meaning warmth, friendliness and good cheer.

The Bay View church, 2530 S. Howell Ave., will host its annual, family-friendly celebration from 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., featuring live music from Jeff Winard Polka Parties and The Squeezettes, raffles and games, specialty German food and three Oktoberfest beers on tap.

At 4 p.m., don’t miss an epic stein-holding contest between the Milverine and Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic.

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church

A jam-packed weekend of activities awaits at Our Lady of Lourdes for the church’s annual Oktoberfest celebration. This year’s event, 3722 S. 58th St., will run from Oct. 13 through 15, featuring food, games, beer and a wide array of live music — including a Saturday evening polka mass.

Attendees can also expect a variety of raffles, a cake walk and activities for all ages. The celebration will be held from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 13, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 14 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 15.

Milwaukee’s Original Oktoberfest

While not technically within Milwaukee proper, the Bavarian Bierhaus throws an Oktoberfest party that’s not to be missed; the Glendale beer hall, 700 W. Lexington Blvd., has been celebrating the festival for more than six decades.

Usinger’s sausage, Bavarian pretzels, Doner kebab and schnitzel will be available daily, along with kid-friendly and vegetarian meals. Rainbow trout on a stick and cod fish fry will be offered on Friday nights, while spanferkel and rotisserie chicken will be available on Fridays and Saturdays.

The 2023 event is set to continue through Oct. 8, with gates opening at 4 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. General admission is free on Thursdays and Sundays, $5 on Fridays and $10 on Saturdays.

For parties, table reservations for up to eight are available for $10 on Fridays and $40 on Saturdays. For more information, visit Bavarian Bierhaus online.

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