Wichita Oktoberfest Celebrations 2018


If you are a craft beer lover, Oktoberfest is definitely for you! 

Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival, taking place each year in Munich, Germany and bringing together millions of people around the world to celebrate!  The event typically lasts around 16-18 days, starting in the middle of September and ending on the first Sunday in October.  This year the festival starts on September 22nd and ends on October 7th.

Oktoberfest actually started back in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to the Saxon-Hildburghausen Princess Therese.  Residents of Munich were invited to celebrate for a week of festivities.  The success of the event gave rise to the Oktoberfest tradition that continues today on an annual basis!

At the Oktoberfest in Munich, only six local breweries are allowed to serve on the premises of the event.   The following breweries offer your true Oktoberfest beers, found in their purest form:

  • Paulaner
  • Spatenbräu
  • Hacker-Pschorr
  • Augustiner-Bräu
  • Hofbräu-München
  • Löwenbräu

Oktoberfest beers made in the US are intended to mimic the style that are served at Oktoberfest in Munich.   When buying Oktoberfest beers locally, look at the label to see what details are provided.  You most likely will see the words, “Marzen” or “Festbier” (aka “Wiesn”), on the label.  Depending on your taste buds, you may prefer one type of the other, but both offer a malty lager that’s perfect for the season!

My husband and I personally love to build our own six pack of beers on a Friday night after work, picking out six craft beers we had not tried before.  We create our own tasting at home and fall beers are among our favorites, with Oktoberfest brews always found in our pack!

I know we are not in Munich, but there are several local events that take place in Wichita where you can celebrate Oktoberfest!

Not able to attend a local event and still want to participate in the fun? Host your own backyard Oktoberfest! 

Ingredients for a successful backyard Oktoberfest:

  • Beer:  I obviously recommend having Oktoberfest beers on hand, but there are several German style beers that can also be included.  These Oktoberfest beers can be found locally in Wichita!  Build your own variety six pack or have everyone bring their favorite to the party!

  • Food: So many options for good food with beer, but you can’t go wrong with some of these festival favorites!
    • Pretzels: A must have for any Oktoberfest event are pretzels, called, Brezels!  You need the big, soft pretzels, with salt on top!  I would recommend some Bavarian mustard for dipping too!
    • Sausage: A traditional Bavarian favorite are Weisswursts, a white sausage made from veal and pork, seasoned with bacon, onions, parsley, salt and pepper.  Bratwursts are always easy options too!
    • Roasted Chicken: Another Oktoberfest staple is Hendl, which is rotisserie style chicken, well spiced with crisp skin).
    • Sauerkraut
    • German Potato Salad
    • Strudels:  The most commonly served strudel at the festival is Apfelstrudel, a strudel filled with apples and nuts.  This simple and classic dessert often is topped with a vanilla sauce or ice cream.
  • Attire:  If you really want to be festive, you could dress in the traditional Bavarian dress.  We are talking Lederhosen and Dirndls!  Leaderhosen, worn by the men, are leather shorts with suspenders.  The women wear dirndl skirts, which are gathered at the waist and are worn with a blouse, bodice and typically have an apron on top.  If you are like me, a good novelty t-shirt will be just fine!  In fact, sporting a beer shirt will allow you to fit in perfectly!
  • Décor:  If you want to follow a color scheme, use the traditional Bavaria colors of cobalt blue and white.  You can find plates, napkins and table cloths in blue and white checkered patterns at local party stores!
  • The Lingo:
    • To say cheers, raise your glass and say, “Prost!”
    • Wishing good health to your friend is done by saying, “zum wohl.”
    • “O’zapft is,” meaning “It is tapped!”  At noon on the first day of Oktoberfest, the mayor of Munich starts the celebration by tapping the first beer and shouting, “O’zapft is!”

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