There’s more to Oktoberfest than the ubiquitous Samuel Adams seasonal.
American brewers are embracing the traditional German festival in new ways, brewing not just one beer for the occasion but several, and throwing parties that will ease the regret of not shelling out for a plane ticket to Munich. Here’s how some Massachusetts breweries are celebrating this year.
Night Shift Brewing, Everett
Night Shift is going all out for Oktoberfest, brewing six distinct beers for the occasion. They include Oldenburg, a Märzen-style lager traditionally cellared in March and tapped just for the festival. Village Lager, a Zwickelbier, is slightly hazy and crisp, with notes of bread and biscuit and a floral finish. Storm & Drive, a Schwarzbier, uses dark roasted malts to create nutty, chocolate-y flavors. Those brews, as well as three more, will be served in steins for enjoyment at long, communal tables.
“Lots of new friends get made out on the patio during Oktoberfest and that element is a real joy for us,” says Gene Buonaccorsi, who is running the event for Night Shift.
Night Shift’s Oktoberfest event runs Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (87 Santilli Highway, Everett)
Idle Hands Craft Ales, Malden
Idle Hands is brewing “as much lager as we can muster” for the Saturday event, including Bluma, a Maibock, and Brunhilda, a Munich Dunkel Lager with hints of cola, nuts, and bread crust. The day will feature live music, food trucks, and a cornhole tournament. There’s a 5K at 10 a.m., cohosted with the Malden Lions Club. The fest runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (89 Commercial St., Malden)
Notch Brewery, Salem
Notch and Karl’s Sausage Kitchen are teaming up for a Sunday event featuring liter pours, German food, and the Mad Bavarian Brass Band. Notch is taking over part of the parking lot to make room for more partygoers. The fest runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (283 Derby St., Salem)
Medusa Brewing Co., Hudson
Beer details are still being worked out, but Medusa’s website promises that “at this point we’ve made enough German-style beers to more than justify throwing an Oktoberfest bash.” The Sept. 30 event runs from noon to 10:30 p.m. and features all day music and a Stein-holding contest. (111 Main St., Hudson)
Gardner Ale House, Gardner
Why host a party at a brewery when you can party in the street? Gardner Ale House’s 12th Oktoberfest features an outdoor beer garden, the “world’s largest chicken dance”, a chair luge competition, and more. The Sept. 30 event runs from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. (74 Parker St., Gardner)