Oktoberfest 2022: Denver and Colorado’s best Oktoberfest beer events
It’s hard to make your way through September in Colorado without running into Oktoberfest. The traditional German celebration has become almost as big a deal as St. Patrick’s Day, and you’ll find events at nearly every craft brewery in the state, beer gardens and mountain towns.
This year, there is also a dogtoberfest, an oldtoberfest and a falltoberfest. Many of these events have similar activities, from stein-hosting to traditional keg tappings, but each has its own unique attributes and they’re spread out all over the state. Enjoy one for us. Prost.
Copper Kettle Brewing
Sept. 9-10. Copper Kettle in Denver hosts one of the larger brewery Oktoberfest parties in the city each year, offering up German-style music, food and games like hammerschlagen) over two days. There will also be branded steins for sale and a stein-holding contest. The brewery will also tap its Oktoberfest lager, along with several other German-style beers, including a hefeweizen and a Dunkel lager. No tickets are necessary; copperkettledenver.com.
Lone Tree Brewing
Sept. 10. Lone Tree Brewing brings back its annual Oktoberfest and outdoor Craft Market beginning at 11 a.m. in its parking lot. There will be a three-piece polka band, a stein hoisting competition and the Schnitzelwirt food truck. The outdoor market is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with 18 vendors, including those selling jewelry, soap, jam, leather goods, pottery and more.
Sept. 10. Denver is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country, so it makes sense that someone would throw a dog-themed Oktoberfest — and that’s what’s happening at River North Brewing, which hosts Dogtoberfest at its Washington Street taproom. For humans, the brewery will serve its annual Festbier lager along with pretzels; there will also be an Alpine Horn Competition. For dogs, the Fetch Photo Truck will be doing dog photo shoots (signups required) from 2 to 5 p.m., while Clover Dog Co. will be selling dog treats, toys and bandanas. And Taysia Blue Rescue and Lola’s Rescue will have multiple dogs available for adoption throughout the day.
Sept. 9-11 in Lionshead and Sept. 16-18 in Vail Village. Vail’s Oktoberfest has an unfair advantage every year since it is located in a town with a plethora of pseudo-Bavarian architecture and very real mountains. That setting is part of why it was named among the 10 best Oktoberfests in the U.S. by USA Today. But the free, family-friendly celebration also boasts a heavy metal polka band, among other musical acts, a keg-bowling championship, bratwurst-eating contests, German food, costumes, a stein-lifting contest, and plenty of beer, available for sale in three sizes of German-style steins; oktoberfestvail.com.
Sept. 16-18 and Sept. 23-25. The big daddy of Denver Oktoberfest events begins its run today and will last this weekend and next at 21st and Larimer streets. Denver Oktoberfest has been a staple here since 1969. From keg bowling to stein hoisting, food, beer, live music and much more, “there’s something here for Oktoberfest pros and first timers. So grab your stein, throw on your lederhosen and join in on the fun,” organizers say. Entry is free, although there are VIP packages available. The first night kicks off at 5 p.m. thedenveroktoberfest.com.
Sept. 16-17. Mainstage Brewing in Lyons knows how to name an event: Oktoberfestfest, which runs today and tomorrow, is a festival of Oktoberfests, Marzen and festbier styles from 25 of the best and most well-known craft breweries in Colorado. The list includes Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Comrade Brewing, Dry Dock Brewing, Left Hand Brewing, Little Machine Beer, Oskar Blues, Prost Brewing, Ratio Beerworks, Ska Brewing, Station 26 Brewing, Upslope Brewing, WeldWerks, Westbound & Down Brewing and Wibby Brewing. All beers will available for purchase in 10-ounce pours and liter sizes and served on draft. There will also be polka music, bratwursts, games, pretzels, costumes and more; mainstagebrewing.com.
Barnett & Son Brewing
Sept. 16-18. Barnett & Son in Parker loves to throw down for a three-day celebration each year. This time around, you’ll find Schnitzelwirt, Big Stuff food truck, stein hoisting Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m., and liters of freshly tapped Oktoberfest Lager.
Sept. 17. Bierstadt can’t be beat when it comes to honoring German traditions. Not only does it wait until today – the official kickoff of Oktoberfest in Munich – to host its party, but it will also have a maypole, a ceremonial barrel tapping of its Marzen lager and much more. Details are still TBA, but there will be live music, food, dancing, outfits and plenty more.
Sept. 17. Dry Dock Brewing brings back Docktoberfest, its long-running party, to its original location on East Hampden Avenue in Aurora. Wear your lederhosen and come hungry and thirsty because there will be pizza, wings and German-style beer, including the brewery’s Docktoberfest Marzen lager. The Polkanauts will play from 1 to 4 p.m. drydockbrewing.com.
Sept. 17. “The time has come to slip on your lederhosen and dirndls, dust off your hats and boots, and quench your Märzen thirst,” says Zwei Brewing in Fort Collins, which hosts its 8th annual Oktoberfest starting at 11 a.m. There will be beer, European cuisine provided by Pierogies Factory and C-Lot Brats (formally Caupona), hours of live music (including polka) and official t-shirts.
Sept. 23-24. Greeley’s OktoBrewfest takes place in historic Lincoln Park downtown, where there will be seven northern Colorado breweries and several local distilleries serving beverages. Attendees will also find food from nine different vendors, and yes, there will be plenty of brats, burgers, and schnitzel. Entertainment includes Randy Eckhart and the Dutch HopMakers, The Twirling Zucchinis, The UNC Jazz Lab 1 Band, the Greeley Children’s Chorale, The Colorado Conservatory of Dance, The Danny DeRail band, Incoming Groove, and more.
Sept. 23-25. Breckenridge Oktoberfest, the 26th annual version, runs over three days in the historic mountain town, features collectible steins and beer from Breckenridge Brewery. There will be food, music and plenty of Oktoberfest outfits on Main Street. You can pre-order stein and beer packages early and get other information at gobreck.com.
Left Hand Oktoberfest
Sept. 23-24. Left Hand Oktoberfest features live music, food, costume contests, a stein-hoisting competition, polka music and lots of beer. It takes place in the brewery’s huge new outdoor amphitheater at 1245 Boston Ave. in Longmont. Tickets are $20 on eventbrite.com.
Oktoberfest in Colorado Springs
Sept. 23-35. Weiner dog races highlight the 10th annual Oktoberfest in Colorado Springs, which takes place at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry. But you’ll also find live bands, dancing, food vendors, stein hoisting contests, costume contests, retail vendors, beer and much more. Get all the information about times, tickets and events at www.csoktoberfest.com.
Sept. 24. Launch Pad Brewery puts the autumn in Fall-toberfest with a party featuring German food from Schitzelwirt Food Truck and the release of the brewery’s Festbier. (PS bring your steins.) Launch Pad rounds out the fall theme by tapping Headless Astronaut Pumpkin Beer and its World Beer Cup-award winning Pumpkin Paddy. There will also be stein holding contests and lederhosen costume contests.
Sept. 24. Lakewood’s Old 121 Brewhouse does things its own way with Old-Toberfest where you can enjoy a pint of festbier, live music from The Inablers, along with a pretzel-making station and a stein-hoisting competition. There will also be brats, sauerkraut, and more.
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