Oktoberfest Fun Returns to Long Island

Friends with giant pretzels in Bavarian beer tent

Oktoberfest season worldwide will officially kick off this weekend with the opening of the Munich Oktoberfest and ceremonial tapping of the first keg. The Munich fest, which dates back to 1810, is expected to draw more than 6 million visitors over 16 days.

Here on Long Island there will be plenty of less-crowded Oktoberfest fun beginning this weekend, with lots of German beer and food along with chances to prove your strength and ability to withstand pain in Stein-holding contests.    

Long Island’s premier German restaurant and beer garden, Plattduetsche Park in Franklin Square, will hold its annual Ompahfest on Sept. 22 beginning at 11 am. The festival will have lots of live music, with bands from Germany and Austria that came to New York for the Steuben Day Parade held in Manhattan the day before. Ompahfest will also feature plenty of traditional German food and beer, along with family activities including Stein Holding contests.

The Baldwin Civic Association will hold its 3rd Annual Oktoberfest on Sept. 21 at the Baldwin Community Garden. The fest will feature craft beer from local breweries, German food from local restaurants and a Stein Holding contest.         

Long Island’s newest supermarket chain, Lidl, is partnering with the John Thiessen Children’s Foundation to hold two Oktoberfest events that will benefit LI’s neediest kids.  Lidl will hold an event on Sept. 21-22 at the site of its new store on Montauk Highway in Center Moriches, and a second event on Sept. 28-29 at the Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station. Both Oktoberfest events will feature German beer, food and enterainment, with all proceeds going to the charity which assists sick and underprivileged children in the region.

Several restaurants in the Lessings Restaurant Group will be celebrating Oktoberfest with special menus and events. Library Cafe in Farmingdale will have a four-course Oktoberfest dinner on Sept. 25 with traditional German food including wursts, schnitzel and strudel paired with German beers. Mirabelle Tavern in Stony Brook will have a special Oktoberfest prix fixe menu from Oct. 4-11, with Oktoberfest beers available for pairing. Southside Bar & Restaurant in Bay Shore will have an Oktoberfest menu from Sept. 27-29 featuring sauerbraten and jaeger schnitzel.

Hotel Indigo in Riverhead will host a free Oktoberfest event on Sept. 29 with live music, costume and Stein holding contests, and Oktoberfest beer and food available for purchase.  

The Mansion at Glen Cove will be pouring craft beers from Garvies Point Craft Brewery at its 5th Oktoberfest on Oct. 5, featuring German food and a Stein Holding contest.  

Black Forest Brew Haus, the German brewpub in Farmingdale, recently tapped its Oktoberfest beer which is a traditional Munich Festbier.  The beer will be flowing at the brewpub’s weekend Oktoberfest celebrations with live German bands beginning on Sept. 27.  

Croxley Ales will have an Oktoberfest in the beer garden of its Farmingdale location on Oct. 18 with Stein Holding contests for both fraus and frauleins.  All of Croxley’s four locations on Long Island will have special menus of German food and Oktoberfest beers from Germany and local craft breweries from Oct. 11-20.   

For a complete listing of Oktoberfest events on Long Island visit LIBeerGuide.com/li-oktoberfest.

Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com.