According to Munich, Germany’s tourism website, Bavaria’s Oktoberfest tradition dates back all the way to 1810. The 201-year-old event began as the citywide celebration of a royal wedding, when Munich’s residents were invited to join the matrimonial merriment at Theresienwiese, or “Theresa’s fields,” named after the then-bride.
In the centuries since, the festival has gained an international reputation, celebrating the brewing of Oktoberfest-style beers and other aspects of German culture. Many mistakenly assume the event occurs during the month of October, but the 17-day long celebration actually began on September 17. That means it’s time to don your lederhosen, grab a stein and prost the person next to you! Here are a few places where you can do just that:
WurstFest (Boulder City) Head to BC’s “biggest party of the year” for a pint of Boulder Dam Brewing Company’s marzen (a lager originating in Bavaria). The keg gets tapped at this annual fundraiser benefitting the city’s high school senior grad party. Silent and live auctions, food, a car show and children’s activities complete the festive event. September 24, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Dog-Tober Beer Fest & Brat Party (Big Dog’s Draft House, 4543 N. Rancho Dr.) Enjoy more than 25 brews on tap (including the all-new Rebel Red) and a number of bottled, German and Oktoberfest-style beers at the local brew pub’s fall beer fest. Also on the menu: a spread of German favorites, including bratwurst, frankfurters and Bavarian-style kraut and pretzels. Live music and an Epiphone guitar raffle are also planned. September 24, 2-9 p.m.
Gordon Biersch (3987 Paradise Road, 750 S. Rampart Blvd.) The chain brewery busts out a seasonal menu and its festbier this Oktoberfest season. The on-tap festbier commemorating the German festival is made with Munich malts and spicy German hersbrucker hops. That and the Jäger schnitzel (along with a number of other German menu items) are available through October 24.
Hofbräuhaus (4510 Paradise Road) Every day is Oktoberfest at the Hofbräuhaus! The Paradise Road venue is an exact replica of the brewing company’s Munich location, so it’s no surprise that German tradition reigns supreme at the festive brew pub during the Bavarian-bred occasion. Enjoy German food and beer, not to mention Bavarian-style music, throughout the Oktoberfest run. The ladies of Luxor’s Fantasy serve as celebrity hosts for a September 23 keg-tapping celebration.
Freakin’ Frog (4700 S. Maryland Pkwy.) Home to the city’s largest beer collection, the Freakin’ Frog features 12 different Oktoberfest-style brews to enjoy during the German celebration. Paulaner, straight from Bavaria, will be on tap and on special through October.
Fall Beer Festival at The Golden Nugget (129 E. Fremont Street) The Downtown hotel presents a two-day beer fest on October 14 and 15. The brew bash begins on Saturday with the Great American Craft Beer Tasting sponsored by Sam Adams and featuring more than 300 craft brews complemented by appetizers and live music. The event runs from 7 to 10 p.m. and tickets are $50 (which includes a commemorative sampling glass).
Return on Sunday for the Oktoberfest Pool Party, where 200 international and domestic beers will be available to purchase. A German Oktoberfest band completes the festive fete.
Tenaya Creek (3101 N. Tenaya Way) The local brewery’s Oktoberfest is a classic German festival beer made with both Vienna and Munich malts. Head to the brewery’s bar to try it on tap (through October) or take some home—this is the first year Tenaya is bottling its Bavarian-inspired brew.
Barley’s Brewery & Casino (4500 E. Sunset Road) If you can’t make it out to celebrate Oktoberfest this year, you need not worry. This Green Valley brewery serves its Red Rock Oktoberfest year-round.
Joseph James Brewing Company (155 N. Gibson Road) The Henderson brewery officially releases its Oktoberfest brew for sale on October 5. You can purchase it at the brewery’s Henderson location or try it direct-from-the-keg at its Tapping Party the following Friday (October 7, 6:30 p.m.) at badass-beer bar Aces and Ales. In addition to the featured seasonal brew, all of Joseph James’ beers will be available for purchase.
Todd English’s P.U.B. (Inside Crystals at CityCenter) The Public Urban Bar features both beer-braised brats and Spaten Oktoberfest on the tap for the German celebration. A $22 special gets you the entrée, the beer and a celebratory mug to take home.
Pubtoberfest at The Pub (Inside Monte Carlo) The Strip-side watering hole turns into an all-you-can-drink beer garden on October 1. There are more than 25 beers on tap, so at $25, this sampling opportunity’s bang is worth your buck. Dueling pianists take their place at 5 p.m. to feature German drinking songs. Also, a special menu of Bavarian dishes is available through October 3, as well as 20-ounce pints or $12 “Das Boot” beer boots of seasonal brews.