If a trip to Munich isn’t feasible, have no fear—Oktoberfest season is officially here in the greater Philadelphia area. Dozens of authentic beer-soaked celebrations will soon make a splash through the local region, so before you break out your lederhosen and raise your glass, pull out your planner and follow our go-to recs. Below, you’ll discover the top Oktoberfest festivities you can’t miss in 2014.
Frankford Hall Fourth Annual Oktoberfest—The fourth annual celebration hits Sept. 18–Oct. 2 at this Stephen Starr beer hall, with a hearty roster of local breweries (Yards, Victory) teaming up to collaborate on festivities. Highlights include Sept. 20’s ceremonial keg tapping and carnival, Sept. 23’s ping pong tournament with DuClaw Brewing Co. and Sept. 25’s stein-holding competition hosted by Hofbrau Brewery. www.frankfordhall.com
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant Oktoberfest—All 10 Iron Hill Brewery locations (West Chester, Phoenixville, Chestnut Hill and more) will band together in celebration of Oktoberfest by tapping two exclusive German beers—Vienna Red Lager and an Oktoberfest. A special German-infused food menu, available from Sept. 25–Oct. 12, will elevate the traditional experience. www.ironhillbrewery.com
King of Prussia Beerfest Royale—The King of Prussia district will flaunt its German pride on Oct. 2 and 4 as its mall parking lot transforms into a beer oasis for the annual Beerfest Royale. Two choices to celebrate are up for grabs. Oct. 2’s Donnerstag: Happy Hour is a perfect post-work respite, slinging 25 local breweries, a pumpkin beer bar, specialty cocktails and a cigar lounge. Oct. 4’s shindig spotlights two beer-tasting sessions that consist of more than 50 national and international breweries and over 100 types of beer. Expect live music and German dancers to enhance the outdoor party. Tickets available here. www.kopbeerfest.com
Ambler’s 23rd Annual Oktoberfest—The charming, walkable downtown of Ambler transforms into a Bavarian paradise for its 23rd year on Oct. 4, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. The outdoor event includes a beer garden, traditional food, live music, kid-friendly activities and more. Hometown beer champ Forest & Main Brewing Company has prepared a special Oktoberfest ale for the occasion (available at the brewpub). www.amblermainstreet.org
Rotary Club of the Upper Main Line’s 2nd Annual Oktoberfest—Join the Paoli-based club on Oct. 18, 3–9 p.m., for its second annual Oktoberfest celebration hosted at the Church of the Good Samaritan (212 W. Lancaster Ave.). Expect everything from beer, brats and German delicacies to an oompah band, local entertainment and even kid-friendly activities (costume contest and pumpkin painting). Tickets available here. www.umlrotary.org
Dying to know about even more beer events? Be sure to hop on over to the fifth annual Downingtown FallFest on Sept. 28, which touts a pop-up Victory Brewing Company beer garden, and the Kennett Brewfest on Oct. 11, which spotlights more than 90 craft breweries.