Pass the stein: Oktoberfest hits the Triangle this weekend | Food

Pass the stein: Oktoberfest hits the Triangle this weekend


"O'zapft is!"—or German for “It's tapped!”—is how Munich's mayor declared the beginning of Oktoberfest a few days ago. Triangle folks can join in that exclamation as the fine American tradition of appropriating other cultures' traditions and getting drunk continues. (See also Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick's Day and so on.) 

Durham can don the lederhosen and hoist the stein with abandon all day Saturday, Sept. 26 with three different Oktoberfest events. The Dtown Oktoberfest at Motorco kicks things off at noon and goes until 5 p.m. The Little German Band will bring the Oompah at 1 p.m. Motorco will be redecorated as a German beer hall, and plenty of brats and pretzels will be available.

Meanwhile, over at Guglhupf, the Sixth Annual Rocktoberfest runs 4–10 p.m. There will be German street food grilled on the patio; music from a great lineup of The Oompah Trio, D-Town Brass and Pipe; and an array of beers, including special Oktoberfest brews.

And back on Parrish Street, Bull City Burger and Brewery's Fifth Annual Oktoberfest will close off the street for a block party from 4 until 11 p.m. It features music from Bill West, The Lids and Daddy's Alright. The event helps support Durham's Habitat for Humanity.

After the fun in Durham, you have a week to rest up for the Triangle Oktoberfest weekend at Cary's Booth Amphitheatre Oct. 3–4. The second annual event is expected to be the largest Oktoberfest event in the area. There will be German food and a biergarten, of course. But also expect to see wiener dog races, a beer-judging competition, stein-hoisting contests, a “Fraulein beer challenge” and a “Ladies' Hammerschlagen," or nail-driving contest. There will be a Kinder Platz Kid Zone for the little ones and a football-viewing tent for those who can't bear to miss a game. Tickets are $20 Saturday for those 16 and up, $5 for those 6–15 and free for those 5 and under. Sunday tickets are $15 for those 16 and up, $5 for those 6–15 and free for those 5 and under. There are also two-day tickets and beer judge passes available.

Big Boss Brewing has its annual Casktoberfest on Thursday, Oct. 1, featuring the largest selection of cask ales in North Carolina. That's a lot of beer to try, so it's good that there will be German food available, too.

Along with those big events, check out some of the local restaurants that traditionally have Oktoberfest happenings and specials. Raleigh's J. Betski's always does it right, though they usually party later in the month than most other places. Cary's German Grille is also having a series of special Oktoberfest weekends.

And, if you're the anti-social sort who prefer to stay home and drink alone, plenty of North Carolina breweries are releasing special-edition beers. Raleigh Brewing Company's Nelson Bavaria Collaboration with Bond Brothers Beer and Carolina Brewery's Oktoberfest edition are good places to start.

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