The brief history of Oktoberfest, as shamelessly lifted from GermanFun.org: October 12, 1810, crown prince Ludwig of Bavaria (who was to be King Ludwig I) married princess Therese of Saxon-Hildburghausen. The festivities ended with a horse race held on a green, which was named “Theresienwiese” (Theresa’s green) in honor of the bride. Over the next years the horse race was repeated and the Oktoberfest, also called “Wiesn,” was born.
The irony here is that the king ultimately cheated on wifey and had to surrender his precious throne—all for the love of some two-bit floozy named Lola. Maybe she was supreme bun to Ludwig’s bratwurst, and Theresa looked like the back of a bier-fed sow. Whatever, the point is, the wedding reception was so fine—so very very fine—that they decided to repeat it every year “hence.” Oktoberfest has since evolved into an annual celebration of German heritage, a beer bash that last year boasted 5.9 million visitors swilling 1.45 million gallons of beer—some of it the seasonal Oktoberfest Märzen (or March) beer, a malty brew so named because it was originally brewed and laid down that month. Beer aside, New York Oktoberfest parties don’t compare, but some German bars here do celebrate for longer (in Munich, Oktoberfest ends on Monday). And if you sport the lederhosen here at—get this—LEDERHOSEN!, your Oktoberfest beer is only $3.
Getting the shit beaten out of you on the subway, oh, but a small price to pay.
Loreley (Oct 1) This Saturday starting at 3 p.m., Loreley will be celebrating Oktoberfest and their second-year anniversary, with a dinner special of glazed spare ribs ($18) and Spaten Oktoberfest beer on tap (half-liter, $7). At 7:30 p.m., there will be German music and a few suckling pig roasts. At 9 p.m., there’s a free round of Gaffel Kölsch beer and cake, and from midnight on, the owner will be spinning on the decks.
Lederhosen (Till Oct 3) Gentleman sporting lederhosen will get a half-liter of Oktoberfest beer on the house; ladies in dirndls will receive a glass of wine or the house liquor; and couples will score a free pitcher of beer. Shots of Killepitsch are $3, bitchbombs $5, and Sunday through Tuesday from 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m., a liter of HB Oktoberfest beer goes for $3.
David Copperfield’s (Till Oct 3) The Upper East Side ale house offers an Oktoberfest menu, with entrees like beef rouladen, sauerbrauten, a sausage plate, and more full liter for $11.
Blind Tiger Ale House (Oct 5) You can find Oktoberfest beer and cheese available for one day only.
Hop Devil Grill (Till Oct 6) The East Village beer emporium is serving liter mugs of Oktoberfest beers like Paulaner, Hacker Pschorr, Ayinger, and Hofbrauhaus for $10.
Croxley Ales (Oct 8) Starting at 4 p.m., Croxley Ales will be grilling bratwurst outside in the beer garden, to the tunes of a German oompah band. Oktoberfest beer (Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr) is $5 all day.
Zum Schneider (Oct 1-Oct 16) This Saturday at 4 p.m., they’ll have a tapping ceremony with the original wooden Hacker-Pschorr keg. Until October 16, look for a live oompah band from Sunday to Tuesday. There will also be Oktoberfest food specials and beers, and on the last day, a performance by the German-American Mosl Franzi Band.
Waterfront Ale House (Oct 1-mid-Oct) The ale house will serve up an expansive Oktoberfest menu (house-smoked salmon, Bavarian butcher board, German wurst platter, leberkase, and more), with domestic and imported Oktoberfest beers on tap (Spaten, Bluepoint, Hacker-Pschorr) for $3.50-$5.
Killmeyers’s Old Bavarian Inn (Till Oct 31) Every Saturday and Sunday, the oompah band Happy Tones will play in the beer garden out back, and on Oct 14, the German band Die Schlauberger. Purchase Oktoberfest beer bottled or on tap for $4.50-$7, and an Oktoberfest dinner menu is available every weekend.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 27, 2005