TAMPA BAY, Fla. — Today is National Beer Lover’s Day, and what better way to celebrate than by sitting at a local craft brewery and making your Oktoberfest plans?
The Tampa Bay area is home to plenty of lederhosen-laden events celebrating not just the beer, but also the food and cultural hallmarks of the annual German harvest tradition. Here are a dozen of the local and regional Oktoberfests scheduled for the next couple of months.
What You Need To Know
- There are many opportunities to celebrate Oktoberfest in Tampa Bay
- Celebrations begin in September and run through the last weekend in October
- Always confirm with the venue that any scheduled event is still occurring
This little beachside burg Oktoberfest takes place at Gulfport Brewery + Eatery. Get your fill of authentic German dishes and a wide variety of beers, from local favorites to seasonals marking the occasion. Music and games are on tap, too. Sept. 24-26. Open-close. 3007 Beach Blvd., Gulfport.
This popular brewery-slash-adult playground on St. Pete’s ever-evolving strip The Deuces brings back its annual Oktoberfest Marzen amber lager (available now on-site and in stores) and single-day harvest party. In addition to the raft of brews available, guests can enjoy (?) live oompah music from 2-6 p.m. and nosh on a special themed menu until 7. Sunday, Sept. 26. 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. 222 22nd St. S., St. Petersburg.
Lauded lager-focused Tampa microbrewery BarrieHaus will also be marking the season with limited-edition steins of their Oktoberfest Marzen and live traditional German folk music. Oct. 16-17. Open-close. 1403 E. 5th Ave., Tampa.
This Wesley Chapel outpost hosts an afternoon of family-friendly Oktoberfest events, including a costume contest, corn hole tournament, and coloring and chicken dancing competitions for the kids. There will be live music, too, as well as a raft of draft specials, including $3 off select labels. Saturday, Oct. 2. Noon-4 p.m. 2029 Arrowgrass Dr., Wesley Chapel.
It’s tough to get closer to the real deal than this one, which spans two weekends in October. Authentic beer and food? Check. Traditional garb? You know that’s a check. A mix of traditional and contemporary live music? Check and check. Throw in a keg tapping ceremony, a parade of flags, a raffle and a merchandise market, and you just saved yourself the price of a plane ticket to Germany, which you probably couldn’t get or use right now in any case. Oct. 1-2/8-9. 5-10 p.m. 8098 66th St. N., Pinellas Park.
Tampa’s home to year-round German beer, food and fun is bringing back its multi-weekend DunderFest, a Hillsborough County tradition for a couple of decades now. It kicks off September 23 and runs Thursday-Sunday through October 24. In addition to the market-and-restaurant’s fine selection of German-style beers and dishes, expect live music, door prizes, stein hoists and much more. Thursdays-Sundays Sept. 23-Oct. 24. Open-close. 14929 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa.
Downtown St. Pete gets into the spirit of the season with this big ol’ party at its historic Coliseum. Local craft breweries and distilleries will be prominently featured at this throwdown, with sampling available alongside the, you know, frankly huge steins of German beers that will of course be in attendance. This is the full deal, offering traditional and authentic food, dress and festivities, and proceeds benefit Crestview, FL-based veterans’ support organization HOOAH. Saturday, Oct. 9. 4-8 p.m. 535 4th Ave. N., St. Petersburg.
Hoist a stein close enough to the beach to feel a seabreeze. Beloved St. Pete Beach taproom Mastry’s will be celebrating the season in Florida style, with plenty of brews flowing and eats from its dedicated food truck The Kitchen. Sept. 17-19. Open-close. 7701 Blind Pass Rd., St. Pete Beach.
Now in its 11th year, Curtis Hixon Park’s “festival of Gemütlichkeit” — that means warmth, friendliness and contentment — is kind of a big deal. Obviously there’s gonna be German-style beer and live music at this sprawling three-day fest, but there’s also so much more. Dancing. A full-on Bavarian-style food hall. Free-to-play games like the stein hoist, brat toss and keg stack. And did we mention the friendliness and good cheer? The organizers will be undertaking special sanitation procedures and encouraging social distancing (good luck with that), active or retired Armed Forces members get in free, and proceeds benefit the local anti-domestic violence nonprofit Are You Safe. Friday, Oct. 8, 4-11 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 9, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 11, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 600 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa.
Pierfest is the latest top-tier Oktoberfest party on the Bay area’s schedule, and details are still scant at this point, but we know that it will take place at the gorgeous new St. Petersburg Pier, which just celebrated its first birthday this summer. Expect a wide variety of local and global beer options, along with live entertainment and (we’re guessing here, but we’re pretty confident) plenty of retail opportunities, as well. Keep your lederhosen at the ready and your eyes on the event’s Facebook page — we’ve been told ticket information is imminent. Sept. 25 & 26. 800 2nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg.
The Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce slotted a late-October weekend for its seasonal soiree at Tampa Bay Downs. This particular ‘fest boasts a carnival and midway in addition to the usual beer, food, live music, dancing and costumes. It’s definitely one of the most kid-friendly events on our list. Friday, Oct. 22, 5-11 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 23, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 24, noon-6 p.m. 11225 Race Track Rd., Tampa.
This Ybor City eatery and drinkery is already in the middle of a month-long Oktoberfest run that features six German craft brews on tap, all available in liters. The joint’s menu is German-forward for the duration, and live music is on the bill as well. Through Sept. 26. 1902 E. 7th Ave., Ybor City.