September 18, 2020

20 Ways to Celebrate Cincinnati's Citywide Oktoberfest This Year

It's that time of year again: Folks are dusting off their lederhosen, Alpine hats and steins and celebrating Oktoberfest. And while Zinzinnati's annual giant in-person fest — the second largest in the world — has been canceled due to the coronavirus, there are still plenty of ways to honor the longstanding tradition with an abundance of bier, Bavarian cuisine and festive music to fill your bellies and ears. Some bars and restaurants are officially affiliated with the Oktoberfest Zinzinnati citywide "In Za Haus" event (visit oktoberfestzinzinnati.com for a list of all of them), and others are just celebrating the centuries old Munich holiday in all its splendor. Here's a few to check out:
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Arnold’s Bar & Grill
210 E. Eighth St., Downtown
Downtown's Arnold’s Bar & Grill is one of the restaurants teaming up with Sam Adams to bring a week of German fun to Cincinnati. They are promising live music, a full German menu prepared by Guy’s Grocery Games-winning chef Kayla Robison and 10 different kinds of German beer to celebrate.
The bar and restaurant will be handing out free German Alpine hats, lederhosen suspenders and steins.  In addition, there will be $5 pints of Sam Adams' Oktoberfest beer, plus Braxton Oktober Fuel, Listermann Fest Beer, Moerlein 5th and Vine Oktober Fest-Märzen, 50 West Oktoberfest, Rhinegeist Franz, Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen, Bells October Fest, Great Lakes Octoberfest and Spaten Oktoberfest on tap.
Photo via Facebook.com/arnoldsbar

Arnold’s Bar & Grill

210 E. Eighth St., Downtown
Downtown's Arnold’s Bar & Grill is one of the restaurants teaming up with Sam Adams to bring a week of German fun to Cincinnati. They are promising live music, a full German menu prepared by Guy’s Grocery Games-winning chef Kayla Robison and 10 different kinds of German beer to celebrate. The bar and restaurant will be handing out free German Alpine hats, lederhosen suspenders and steins. In addition, there will be $5 pints of Sam Adams' Oktoberfest beer, plus Braxton Oktober Fuel, Listermann Fest Beer, Moerlein 5th and Vine Oktober Fest-Märzen, 50 West Oktoberfest, Rhinegeist Franz, Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen, Bells October Fest, Great Lakes Octoberfest and Spaten Oktoberfest on tap.
Photo via Facebook.com/arnoldsbar
Moerlein Lager House
115 Joe Nuxhall Way, The Banks
The Lager House has a special Oktoberfest menu, featuring items like a German sausage platter and Jagerschnitzel, as well as eight German beers, which will be available until Oct. 3. 
They’re also welcoming folks to celebrate in their socially distanced Oktoberfest-edition backyard beer garden, which will be offering brews and a small selection of their specialty menu via a concessions window throughout three weekends: Sept. 18-20, Sept. 25-27 and Oct. 2-4. 
They will also be hosting guests for the World's Largest Chicken Dance via Zoom on Sept. 19, and the World's Largest Toast via Zoom on Sept. 26.
Additionally, the inaugural non-competitive 5K Volksmarch walk kicks off from Moerlein Lager House at 10 a.m. on Oct. 3 — the last day of Moerlein's Oktoberfest celebration. Following the walk, Moerlein will be open for refueling. 
Photo via Facebook.com/MoerleinLagerHouse

Moerlein Lager House

115 Joe Nuxhall Way, The Banks
The Lager House has a special Oktoberfest menu, featuring items like a German sausage platter and Jagerschnitzel, as well as eight German beers, which will be available until Oct. 3. They’re also welcoming folks to celebrate in their socially distanced Oktoberfest-edition backyard beer garden, which will be offering brews and a small selection of their specialty menu via a concessions window throughout three weekends: Sept. 18-20, Sept. 25-27 and Oct. 2-4. They will also be hosting guests for the World's Largest Chicken Dance via Zoom on Sept. 19, and the World's Largest Toast via Zoom on Sept. 26. Additionally, the inaugural non-competitive 5K Volksmarch walk kicks off from Moerlein Lager House at 10 a.m. on Oct. 3 — the last day of Moerlein's Oktoberfest celebration. Following the walk, Moerlein will be open for refueling.
Photo via Facebook.com/MoerleinLagerHouse
Frisch’s Big Boy
Multiple Cincinnati locations
Cincinnati-based restaurant chain Frisch's Big Boy, has rolled out several new seasonal menu items to commemorate America's largest Oktoberfest, including two dishes that feature a beer cheese infused with Fat Tire ale from New Belgium Brewing. Frisch's new Beer Cheese Burger, "the official burger of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati," is made with a quarter-pound beef patty, covered in Fat Tire Beer Cheese and topped with onion rings, pickles, red onions and spicy brown mustard on a pretzel bun. In addition to the burger they have also added pretzel sticks to the menu, served with the same Fat Tire Beer Cheese. 
Photo: Provided by Frisch’s Big Boy

Frisch’s Big Boy

Multiple Cincinnati locations
Cincinnati-based restaurant chain Frisch's Big Boy, has rolled out several new seasonal menu items to commemorate America's largest Oktoberfest, including two dishes that feature a beer cheese infused with Fat Tire ale from New Belgium Brewing. Frisch's new Beer Cheese Burger, "the official burger of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati," is made with a quarter-pound beef patty, covered in Fat Tire Beer Cheese and topped with onion rings, pickles, red onions and spicy brown mustard on a pretzel bun. In addition to the burger they have also added pretzel sticks to the menu, served with the same Fat Tire Beer Cheese.
Photo: Provided by Frisch’s Big Boy
Germania Society of Cincinnati
3529 West Kemper Road, Pleasant Run
The Germania Society of Cincinnati is hosting a two-weekend-long "Big Biergarten Experience," celebrating with German brews, Bavarian bites, competitions and entertainment. The ticketed event continues Sept. 18-20 at the Germania Society of Cincinnati's Pavilion. The Germania grounds span 34 acres, offering plenty of space for guests to spread out and enjoy, and the event will feature several seating spaces including the Pavilion, outdoor Biergarten and new "Bitburger bier oasis," which offers high-top tables. 
Photo via Facebook.com/GermaniaSociety

Germania Society of Cincinnati

3529 West Kemper Road, Pleasant Run
The Germania Society of Cincinnati is hosting a two-weekend-long "Big Biergarten Experience," celebrating with German brews, Bavarian bites, competitions and entertainment. The ticketed event continues Sept. 18-20 at the Germania Society of Cincinnati's Pavilion. The Germania grounds span 34 acres, offering plenty of space for guests to spread out and enjoy, and the event will feature several seating spaces including the Pavilion, outdoor Biergarten and new "Bitburger bier oasis," which offers high-top tables.
Photo via Facebook.com/GermaniaSociety
Karrikin Spirits Company
3717 Jonlen Drive, Fairfax
Fairfax's craft distillery Karrikin is putting together an Oktoberfest party that will offer a taste of the real thing on Sept. 27. Karrikin is teaming up with local German pop-up eatery The Lübecker for Frühschoppen Sunday. If you're unfamiliar with the term, it is described as a German and Austrian cultural tradition where folks head to their local pubs, inns or taverns late Sunday mornings to gather, imbibe and sometimes munch. The celebration will have plenty of German foods to delight your taste buds, as well as several Karrikin brews, including the German-style Fest beer, Dark Lager Pilsner and two Karrikin sparkling spirit-infused Radlers. Frühschoppen Sunday will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be spread throughout the distillery's taproom, dining room and hop garden. 
Photo: Twin Spire Photography

Karrikin Spirits Company

3717 Jonlen Drive, Fairfax
Fairfax's craft distillery Karrikin is putting together an Oktoberfest party that will offer a taste of the real thing on Sept. 27. Karrikin is teaming up with local German pop-up eatery The Lübecker for Frühschoppen Sunday. If you're unfamiliar with the term, it is described as a German and Austrian cultural tradition where folks head to their local pubs, inns or taverns late Sunday mornings to gather, imbibe and sometimes munch. The celebration will have plenty of German foods to delight your taste buds, as well as several Karrikin brews, including the German-style Fest beer, Dark Lager Pilsner and two Karrikin sparkling spirit-infused Radlers. Frühschoppen Sunday will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be spread throughout the distillery's taproom, dining room and hop garden.
Photo: Twin Spire Photography
Washington Platform Saloon and Restaurant
1000 Elm St., Downtown
Washington Platform will be providing a full menu of Oktoberfest comfort food and two nights of live polka music. The restaurant will serve fried pickles and oysters alongside a pretzel reuben, schweineschnitzel, and smoked salmon potato pancakes. Be sure to save room for the Pumpkin Der Funken, a funnel cake with pumpkin mousse and caramel sauce, topped with whipped cream. Sam Adams Oktoberfest and Leinenkugel Oktoberfest will be on tap.
Photo via washingtonplatform.com

Washington Platform Saloon and Restaurant

1000 Elm St., Downtown
Washington Platform will be providing a full menu of Oktoberfest comfort food and two nights of live polka music. The restaurant will serve fried pickles and oysters alongside a pretzel reuben, schweineschnitzel, and smoked salmon potato pancakes. Be sure to save room for the Pumpkin Der Funken, a funnel cake with pumpkin mousse and caramel sauce, topped with whipped cream. Sam Adams Oktoberfest and Leinenkugel Oktoberfest will be on tap.
Photo via washingtonplatform.com
Funky’s Catering 
Order online at funkyscurbside.com
Funky’s Catering is currently offering a full German-inspired take-home spread perfect for two. The menu features fried goetta balls, potato pancakes with Ohio apple chutney, wild mushroom and sauerkraut strudel, pretzel-wrapped bockwurst, a six-pack of Sam Adams Octoberfest, and miniature Bavarian cream puffs. The special is available until Sept. 27. 
Photo via funkyscurbside.com

Funky’s Catering

Order online at funkyscurbside.com
Funky’s Catering is currently offering a full German-inspired take-home spread perfect for two. The menu features fried goetta balls, potato pancakes with Ohio apple chutney, wild mushroom and sauerkraut strudel, pretzel-wrapped bockwurst, a six-pack of Sam Adams Octoberfest, and miniature Bavarian cream puffs. The special is available until Sept. 27.
Photo via funkyscurbside.com
Wiedemann’s Fine Beer
4811 Vine St., St. Bernard
St. Bernard brewery Widemann’s is hosting a “Honkytonk Oktoberfest” with live performances by Slick Willie and the Kentucky Jellies on Friday night. Additionally, the brewery has debuted their Marzen-style Oktoberfest brew and will have food and drink specials throughout the weekend, including their Oktoburger with beer cheese. There will be more live music throughout the weekend.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Wiedemann’s Fine Beer

4811 Vine St., St. Bernard
St. Bernard brewery Widemann’s is hosting a “Honkytonk Oktoberfest” with live performances by Slick Willie and the Kentucky Jellies on Friday night. Additionally, the brewery has debuted their Marzen-style Oktoberfest brew and will have food and drink specials throughout the weekend, including their Oktoburger with beer cheese. There will be more live music throughout the weekend.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Graeter’s Ice Cream and Schmidt’s Sausage Haus
5076 Natorp Blvd., Mason
Graeter’s Ice Cream will be teaming up with Schmidt’s Sausage Haus for an Oktoberfest pop-up in the parking lot of their Mason/Deerfield parlor from 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. on Sept. 18. In addition to Schmidt’s sausages and jumbo cream puffs, a special Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chip cream puff will be available while supplies last. The event will support Greater’s Cones for a Cure initiative.
Photo via Facebook.com/schmidtscbus

Graeter’s Ice Cream and Schmidt’s Sausage Haus

5076 Natorp Blvd., Mason
Graeter’s Ice Cream will be teaming up with Schmidt’s Sausage Haus for an Oktoberfest pop-up in the parking lot of their Mason/Deerfield parlor from 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. on Sept. 18. In addition to Schmidt’s sausages and jumbo cream puffs, a special Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chip cream puff will be available while supplies last. The event will support Greater’s Cones for a Cure initiative.
Photo via Facebook.com/schmidtscbus
Jerry’s Jug House
414 E. Seventh St., Newport
Northern Kentucky neighborhood bar Jerry's Jug House is getting into the Bavarian spirit in honor of Oktoberfest with German brews and a special Friday night sausage grill-out. Starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18, the bar will be serving West Sixth Brewing's Dankechain Oktoberfest beer in both pints and 22-ounce collectible steins ($12; $6 for refills throughout the night). Then, beginning at 6 p.m., Jerry's is firing up the grill and will be slingin' a variety of sausages from Avril-Bleh Meat Market, including bockwurst, classic brats and all-beef mets. Sausages will be served on Sixteen Bricks rolls with a side of German potatoes.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Jerry’s Jug House

414 E. Seventh St., Newport
Northern Kentucky neighborhood bar Jerry's Jug House is getting into the Bavarian spirit in honor of Oktoberfest with German brews and a special Friday night sausage grill-out. Starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18, the bar will be serving West Sixth Brewing's Dankechain Oktoberfest beer in both pints and 22-ounce collectible steins ($12; $6 for refills throughout the night). Then, beginning at 6 p.m., Jerry's is firing up the grill and will be slingin' a variety of sausages from Avril-Bleh Meat Market, including bockwurst, classic brats and all-beef mets. Sausages will be served on Sixteen Bricks rolls with a side of German potatoes.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger