Oktoberfest Denver Style

Original Oktoberfest

Photo courtesy of http://www.ofest.com/history.html

The cold weather moving into Denver is always a sign of glorious beer events to come. Between GABF and Denver’s legendary Oktoberfest, we have three solid weeks of beery goodness.

Oktoberfest originated in Germany as a celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. The entirety of Munich was invited to a field just outside the city, now called Theresienwiese  (after the princess), to celebrate with feasting and merriment.  The following year a similar party was held in the same field to celebrate the couple’s anniversary.  Thus began the yearly party known as Oktoberfest.

In Denver, the history is not as long but alas can be attributed to a couple.  Back in 1969, Fred and Hertha Thomas decided to celebrate the tradition of Oktoberfest in their small Cafe near 14th and Larimer by serving beer and pretzels.  In 2007 the celebration was moved to it’s current location at 20th and Larimer.  Starting the 3rd weekend in September and continuing the 4th weekend, 2 blocks are shut down for the weekend to make room for the celebration.  Each year features live music, stein hoisting competition, long dog derby, and of course copious amounts of beer, jagermeister and food.

Friday September 16th

5:00pm : 42nd annual Denver Oktoberfest begins!

5:00 pm -2:00am : Food, beer, live music and fun!

6:30pm – 7:30pm : Opening Ceremonies

9:00pm : Rockies fireworks

All Day: Stein hoisting pre-qualifying rounds

Saturday September 17th

11:00am – 2:00am : Food, beer, live music and fun!

10:00am : Das Husslehof 5k run

All Day : Stein hoisting pre-qualifying rouds

Sunday September 18th

11:00am – 6:00pm : Food, beer, live music and fun!

All Day : Stein hoisting pre-qualifying rounds

Friday September 23rd

5:00pm – 2:00am : Food beer live music and fun!

All Day : Stein hoisting pre-qualifying rounds

Saturday September 24th

11:00am – 2:00am : Food, beer, live music and fun!

2:00pm : Continental Sausage Bratwurst Eating Contest presented by MetroMix – Featuring World Champion Joey “Jaws” Chestnut!

7:00pm – 9:15pm : Stein hoisting competition championships

9:16pm : Super amazing fireworks show!

Sunday September 25th

10:00am – 5:00pm : Long dong derby and costume contest (one of the most glorious yearly events in Denver)

11:00am – 5:00pm : Food, beer, live music and fun!


So while you are out enjoying what has been called one of the greatest Oktoberfest celebrations in the states, make sure you raise your glass to Ludwig and Therese.

In addition to the festival itself, some the neighborhood bars are doing their own thing to get in on the celebration.

Star Bar will be tapping a few local and semi local Oktoberfest style beers as well as other German style beers.  Scruffy Murphy’s has happy hour all day Sundays.  Zanzibar will have drink special, 2 for 1 apps and a hot tub.

Please feel free to leave any other Oktoberfest events I have missed in the comments.




About Bess Dougherty

Bess Dougherty's life revolves around hooch. By day she has the pleasure of making beer. At night this dame can often be found sipping whiskey and beer around town. This bearcat is also an avid homebrewer. Yar.