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Guten Tag meine Damen und Herren! Oktoberfest, easily the world’s largest celebration, is kicking off tomorrow. It’s time to don traditional garb, grab das boot that you have hidden away in your liquor cabinet, and plan festivities that will undoubtedly flow with beer and delectable German fare. We know the task of choosing the best places to celebrate is daunting, so we’re making it simple. Here are our top picks in a Oktoberfest roundup. Gerne trinken!

Oktoberfest starts early at Trummer’s on Main where they’ll debut their TrummerFest September 17-October 31 from 5-10 pm. Trummer’s will transform into an Austrian wine and beer tavern featuring 10 exclusive traditional Austrian dishes ranging from Aufschnitt to Schwein Goulash mit Quark Spatzle. (Say that 10 times fast.) Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Trummer’s is also offering an Oktoberfest beer tasting September 26 for $25.  7134 Main Street, Clifton, VA.

The District Oktoberfest September 21-22 from noon-8 pm is perfect for those who prefer a little more variety and the chance to walk off that bratwurst between brews. Starting at RFD, tour Chinatown’s favorite venues and experience Germany’s famous beer culture with specials on food and liquor. Event benefits Dreams for Kids DC and DC Firefighters Burn Foundation. 810 7th Street NW, Washington, DC.

Biergarten Haus celebrates September 21-22 with the tapping of Oktoberfest beers, live entertainment, a pig roast, and their grand opening of the Ratskeller Bar. 1355 H Street NE, Washington, DC.

Specializing in German cuisine year round, Café Berlin will offer an Oktoberfest menu September 21-October 27. Everyone needs a little kartoffel pfannkuchen (potato pancakes) and maultaschen (spinach and mushroom stuffed German ravioli) to help absorb all that delicious beer. 322 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Washington, DC.

Das Best Oktoberfest September 27-28 welcomes you with all-you-care-to-taste beer, wine and schnapps in addition to Oompah bands, and brat concessionaires. Wear German attire and get a free beer lanyard. Hurry to secure your tickets, Maryland’s largest beer festival is nearly sold out. 165 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD.

Celebrate a very Hoppy Oktoberfest with the Mad Fox Brewing Company‘s all day Biergarten Festival September 28. Food and drinks will be available for $2 each. Mad Fox will unveil their Hitzi Frau Oktoberfest Lagerbier in addition to offering more than 30 craft beers. Listen to The Justin Trawick Group while letting the kiddos release some energy in the bounce house. 444 W. Broad Street, Falls Church, VA.

Just because you have children that doesn’t mean you can’t teach them to appreciate Oktoberfest’s glory. (I call this Oktoberfest Early Intervention.) Frederick’s Oktoberfest September 28-29 is the perfect family-friendly celebration featuring bratwurst, “bier”, German wines, dancing, music, and children’s events with all proceeds going to Frederick County charities. Wearing authentic Dirndl or Lederhosen wins you free admission. Kids 2 and under are also free. Frederick Fairgrounds, 797 E. Patrick Street, Frederick, MD

From Oktoberfest Ale to Hefeweizen, savor the flavor of autumn brews at Oktoberfest Reston October 11-13.  Enjoy nearly 20 restaurants’ traditional culinary delights while listening to live entertainment, and exploring the carnival. For those who prefer a little exercise after gorging, take on the Anthem Great Pumpkin 5K, but for the sake of entertainment, do it in a pair of Lederhosen. 11900 Market Street, Reston, VA.

Snallygaster, the largest annual fundraiser for Arcadia, and named after a fearsome mythical beast, is a one-day gargantuan beer jamboree featuring more than 150 craft beers, fine food from the best of the best food trucks, music and more held on October 19. With so much grub and refreshments to be had, get yourself in the door a little early with The Kraken and Jabberwock advance ticket packages available online. Union Market, 1309 5th Street NE, Washington, DC.

O’zapft is! For a truly special Oktoberfest experience, march yourself over to Old Europe and experience the world renowned Spaten Oktoberfest Bier just the way it’s served at the fairgrounds in Munich. Don’t leave before you’ve sufficiently stuffed yourself full with traditional Bavarian and German  vittles. The schweinenackenbraten (roasted pork in a dark beer gravy) and leberknödel im wacholdersud (poached liver dumplings served with a Bavarian pretzel) sound like winners to me, but don’t expect a proper pronunciation. 2434 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC.

Fill up a stein and toast to fall. Capitol City Brewing Company will host its 14th annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest October 5 from noon-7 pm. Taste Smoketoberfest, Dr. Punkinstein and Oktoberfest Lager. Listen to live Alpine folk music and sample bratwurst, sauerkraut and signature fresh, soft pretzels. $25 includes a wristband, official tasting glass and 10 drink tickets. Additional drink tickets can be purchased for $1 each with a five ticket minimum. The event is free for non-drinkers and children.

by Rebekah Hale

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