Hotoberfest, taking place in Glenwood Park in East Atlanta on Sat., Oct 3 from 12-7 p.m., promises "Earth. Beer. Music." Which are three things I really like. Especially beer. No offense, Earth, but you just don't taste as good with pizza. The event puts a new twist on the traditional beer tasting festival by having many of the vendors in a free "World Market" area encircling the Glenwood Park pond, which will feature retail beer and food sales, artists, music on a solar-powered stage, and informational displays on sustainable and environmentally responsible products and services.
However, if beer is your focus, purchase a ticket to the Beer Tasting area for $30 in advance ($35 at the gate) and get unlimited sampling from almost 150 beers. Select your favorites and vote for the Best Brew, a people's choice award presented to the top 3 picks. If you want to get really decadent, purchase a $50 ticket that will grant you access to the VIP tent where there will be over two dozen special beers, some brewed just for the occasion, such as an aged cask from Sweetwater, and special offerings from Twain's, Atlanta Brewing Company, and Lagunitas. Oh yeah, and VIP bathrooms. Proceeds from Hotoberfest benefit Dialogue, Trees Atlanta, and Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.
If you are looking for a more traditional Oktoberfest, there are plenty of options. The festivities tend to get pretty silly at the Brick Store Pub, as "Das Boot" is passed around all day and regulars in lederhosen lead the crowd in singing Bavarian drinking songs, but that's what festivals are all about, right? Of course, there were be a good selection of traditional German Oktoberfest beers served in liter steins to keep you in the spirit.
Brewer Crawford Moran at 5 Seasons Westside has been known to dance on a bar after a few steins of his own festbier. The kitchen has put together a typical German feast, and there will be Oompa music, as well. The festivities kick off at 2 p.m., Saturday and continue into the evening. $55 per person includes all you care to eat and drink and a stein to take home as a souvenir. The Prado location will also be celebrating Oktoberfest with Bavarian food, music and beer, along with a costume contest at 7 p.m.
Finally, if Americans can celebrate St Patrick's Day, then the Irish can surely celebrate Oktoberfest. Fado Irish Pub in Buckhead will host Fadoktoberfest featuring brat eating and stein holding contests, and yes, a polka band (what do these guys do the rest of the year?). The party starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday and tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door.
(Photo courtesy of www.rustydiamond.com)
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