Prost! The 7 Best Ski Town Oktoberfests

Beers, Brats, Bavarian Babes…BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.  Even if you’re not German, Oktoberfest ranks up there with St. Paddy’s Day as America’s favorite excuse to drink beer and celebrate someone else’s tradition.  But hey, the real question here is – Why wouldn’t ya?. Grab your lederhosens, sport your best feathered hat and embarrass yourself in some good ol’ fashion stein-hoisting competitions.  If you can’t make it to Munich this year, how about you celebrate at one of your favorite ski towns. Here is a list of the biggest, baddest Bavarian bashes this side of the Atlantic!


SNOWBIRD OKTOBERFEST

WHERE: Snowbird Tram Deck

WHEN: Aug. 17 – Oct. 20, every Saturday and Sunday!

ABOUT: “The annual festival includes a biergarten offering more than 50 varieties of beer. This includes traditional German-style beers and those made by Utah breweries, including Moab Brewery, Bohemian, Uinta and Squatters. Save a few dollars on beers by reusing your previously-purchased, 1-liter Snowbird Oktoberfest beer stein or mug. Or buy a new mug, keep coming back every year and start a collection — either way. For other libation options, visit the outdoor bar at The Forklift. Oktoberfest food choices include select German favorites, such as bratwurst, weisswurst, sauerkraut, apple strudel, spaetzle, beef rouladen, pretzels and Bavarian roasted almonds. Beer and food are purchased a la carte.”


SUN VALLEY OKTOBERFEST

WHERE: Ketchum Town Square

WHEN: Sept. 20th-21st 

ABOUT: “The Sawtooth Brewery presents the annual Oktoberfest celebration in the Ketchum Town Square every September. The event started after the now-defunct Harvest Festival ended, giving locals an excuse to party and welcome the start of fall (and because every mountain town should have Oktoberfest!) This event is more than just an excuse to get day drunk in town square with all your friends, it’s an opportunity to see live music; play beer garden games like beer pong, cornhole and the famous Hammerschlagen; try the photo booth or chicken bingo; participate in the hourly Masskrustemmen (Stein hoisting) contest; get competitive in the beer Olympics; eat hot dogs and bratwurst; and, new this year, see the end of the Sun Valley Half Marathon. The event is obviously a great chance to try Sawtooth Brewery’s fall beers, including the addition of a German Hopped Pale Ale this year for the first time. After choosing your size of drinking vessel (pint, stein, or boot), patrons have their choice of beers: Oktoberfest!, Cold Springs Pilsner, Queen’s Kolsch, Free Solo Heull Melon Single Hop Pale Ale, Harvest Festival Bock, Phantom Hill Swarzbier, and Smokey the Lager. A Long Drop Semi-Dry Cider is available for those that are gluten-free and draft root beer is available for those under 21.”


WHITE MOUNTAIN OKTOBERFEST

WHERE: Loon Mountain Resort

WHEN: Oct. 12th-13th

ABOUT: “Get a taste of the Bavarian Alps right here at Loon Mountain during White Mountain Oktoberfest, the region’s largest celebration of German food, drink, and music. This two-day festival perfectly coincides with fall foliage season, so you’ll enjoy beer and brats alongside stunning views of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. All weekend long, an Oompah band will provide the soundtrack to a stein-hoisting contest, keg toss, and kids’ activities–including a root beer keg toss. It’s the perfect chance to reconnect with old friends and make new ones during the weekend’s full lineup of activities and entertainment. Prost!”


MAMMOTH OKTOBERFEST

WHERE: Mammoth Village

WHEN: Oct.19th- 21st

ABOUT: “Join us for the 4th Annual Oktoberfest! Celebrating and preserving authentic Bavarian Oktoberfest culture. Beer, Schnapps, food, music, runs and fun! Highlights Include: Authentic German Three Course Bavarian Dinner, Ceremonial Keg Tap, and the 2nd Annual Run & Chug!”


GREAT NORTHWEST OKTOBERFEST

WHERE: Whitefish, Montana

WHEN: Sept. 26th-28th; Oct. 2nd-5th

ABOUT: “Join us in beautiful Whitefish, Montana for two weekends of authentic German beer, food, music and fun – Montana-style! The 10th Annual Great Northwest Oktoberfest takes place under the “Oktoberfest Bigtop” at Smith Fields, just east of North Valley Hospital, Whitefish, Montana. So what do you get for your 5 bucks?  You get all-day access into the Oktoberfest Bigtop where you can purchase all kinds of German beer, food and souvenirs as well as access to our beer garden. Plus, you’ll be entertained by great German music & you can chicken dance your lederhosen off! You also get to watch some of the craziest contests around like log sawing, keg throwing, stein holding & waitress races.”


SQUAW VALLEY OKTOBERFEST

WHERE: The Village at Squaw Valley

WHEN: Sept. 21st

ABOUT: “This annual event transforms The Village at Squaw Valley into the largest Bavarian playground in North Lake Tahoe, complete with authentic German beer and Bavarian music and dance, plus the ever-popular Oktoberfest Games and plenty of family fun. Enjoy live entertainment by Joe Smiell’s 20 Piece Bavarian Band, the Almenrausch Schuhplattler Dance Troop and Alpentanzer Schuhplattler Dance Troop, accompanied by the Alpentanz Kapelle Band throughout the day.”


LEAVENWORTH OKTOBERFEST

WHERE: Leavenworth, Washington

WHEN: Oct 4-5 | Oct 11-12  | Oct 18-19

ABOUT: “Oktoberfest in Leavenworth is the next best thing to being in Munich! We have four venues with live entertainment and Free Shuttles in Leavenworth with affordable routes all the way to Wenatchee! What ever you do, don’t miss our Keg Tapping Ceremony at 1:00 pm every Saturday when Leavenworth’s Mayor will honor a Bavarian Tradition of “tapping the keg”. Then plan on hanging around and checking out music from our own Musikkapelle Leavenworth who will be joined by other musical groups from the US and Germany. There is much to see and do at the Leavenworth Oktoberfest! This year we’ll have bands from throughout the U.S., Canada and Germany, along with all of your Oktoberfest favorites!”

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