Planning For An Outstanding Oktoberfest At Your Bar Or Restaurant

Experience the joy of Oktoberfest with our guide to hosting the perfect party featuring traditional beers, games, and German dishes.

Oktoberfest is a yearly celebration that takes place in Munich, Germany. It lasts for two weeks and ends on the first Sunday in October. The first Oktoberfest was held on October 12, 1810, to commemorate the union of Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen and Crown Prince Louis of Bavaria, who would eventually become King Louis I.

Numerous American communities, especially those with substantial German American populations, host Oktoberfest celebrations that are based on the Munich festival. These popular celebrations, which include beer and German cuisine, aim to mimic the Bavarian spirit of cordiality known as gemütlichkeit.

Hosting an Oktoberfest Party

Hosting an Oktoberfest party is a great opportunity for restaurants to show off their beer-pairing menus and attract customers.

Have a Ceremonial Keg Tapping

Oktoberfest in Germany can’t start until the mayor of Munich says, “O’Zapft is!” or “It’s tapped!” and taps a ceremonial keg of beer. It is exciting to start with a comparable spectacle. Invite the mayor of your city or a well-known citizen to turn the first keg of Oktoberfest.

Use Oktoberfest Decor

The traditional decorations at Oktoberfest have the same blue and white striped design as the Bavarian flag. Use traditional checkered tablecloths to dress up your tables, and instead of your regular napkins, use the colors of the German flag: black, red, and gold.

Provide Traditional German Music

Old-fashioned Oompah music played on brass instruments and accordions are frequently associated with Oktoberfest. Top 40 songs are included in Germany’s contemporary Oktoberfest playlist, though. Play whichever genre best suits your target audience for your restaurant’s Wiesn.

Play Oktoberfest Games

Hosting Oktoberfest games turns your party into a full-blown event.

Yodeling Competition: Yodeling competitions, popular in Bavaria, are a traditional Oktoberfest activity that requires little to no setup and is enjoyable all over the world.

Masskrugstemmen (Stein Holding): This Oktoberfest game requires players to hold a full stein above 90 degrees, which puts your visitors\’ strength and stamina to the test. The person who stays the longest wins.

Chicken Dancing: At Oktoberfest celebrations, groups of people dancing the chicken dance have become a tradition. The whole family will like this idea for an Oktoberfest party. Only the music and a room big enough for everyone to show off their best movements are required.

Beer Stein Race: Challenge guests to see how many filled beer steins they can run with. If they spill, they’re out!

Oktoberfest Menu Ideas

Any Oktoberfest gathering must include the serving of traditional German cuisine.  These could be items that are on the menu specifically for the celebration, or try a little German fusion with your current menu.

Oktoberfest Food

  • Soft Pretzels
  • Cheese Plates (Limburger, Muenster, and Butterkase)
  • Sausages (bratwurst, bierwurst, or knockwurst)
  • Schnitzel
  • Rotisserie-roasted chicken
  • Sauerkraut
  • Potato Salad
  • Spaetzle
  • Black Forest Cake
  • Apple Strudel
  • Plum Knodel

Oktoberfest Drinks

  • Beer (see below)
  • Orange Cola
  • Apfelschorle (apple juice and sparkling water)

What Is Oktoberfest Beer?

The official Oktoberfestbier® trademark can be found on the beers that are sold at Oktoberfest in Munich. Munich\’s Oktoberfest only offers beers that adhere to the strict guidelines of the Edict of Purity in order to preserve tradition, quality, and cultural identity. Bavarian beers are only allowed to contain barley, hops, and water, according to the Reinheitsgebot of 1516.

Luckily, in America, we aren’t restricted to “Giergesetz” (The Beer Law). Serve up German-style beers like:

  • Paulaner
  • Hacker-Pschorr
  • Augustiner
  • Hofbrau
  • Lowenbrau
  • Spaten

O’Zapft Is!

You can get creative with temporary décor and food items if you host an Oktoberfest party at your restaurant. When you host this German festival in your establishment, you might draw in new clients who are looking for seasonal events.

Keep the bier flowing and those steins and mugs clean by leasing your dishwashers with Southwest Dishwashing Service!

How to Promote International Beer Day at Your Bar or Restaurant​ 

By Leslie Radford
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