Thank goodness I’m not the only one who has Googled “why is Oktoberfest in September?” Let me save you the trouble: It boils down to fun-loving Germans wanting to celebrate during warmer September evenings. And who could blame them? I’m personally a big fan of any event involving lederhosen.
Here in Seattle, Fremont’s Oktoberfest ( Sept. 20–22) reigns supreme. More than 100 seasonal beers and ciders will be served, and there will be pretzels and Zieglar’s brats for all (including dogs, if you go on Sunday).
Altstadt in Pioneer Square is choosing to celebrate through the end of October; local German-style beers and traditional food (chef Megan Coombes is pulling from her own experiences in Germany) will last from Sept. 21 until Halloween.
Hillman City is conjuring up its own festivities (Sept. 21) for the biggest, little Oktoberfest in the city at Big Chickie. Free admission and all ages welcome are certainly enticing—so bring the kiddos and make it a German-style family affair.
If you’re looking to keep things sporty, the Mariners are hosting their own Oktoberfest celebration at T-Mobile Park (Sept. 28) with plenty of music and dancing. There’s nothing better than a cold beer, free stein and good ol’ ball game to Prost to!
On Oct. 5 in Seattle and Oct. 6 in Tacoma—traditionally Oktoberfest ends the first weekend in October—Rhein Haus is throwing OktoberFEAST which involves a team relay where participants chug half liters of lager and pound plates of currywurst, pretzel bites, and German doughnuts known as Berliners—but before the clock finishes, a toast is with 20ml of Underbug is obligatory, a bitter German digestif (Burp.) It’ll require a couple hours’ drive, but nowhere near here does Oktoberfest quite like Leavenworth, or quaint (if kitschy) neighbor to the east. Dates this year are weekends starting on Sept. 13 and ending Oct. 27. If you don’t have a hotel already, you may be out of luck, but if you’re itching to get some wear out of those lederhosen, make a day trip of it—just bring a designated driver.