Oktoberfest 2012 in South Florida: Celebrations in Lantana, Las Olas, Oakland Park, Boca, and Miami

Oktoberfest is here again, folks. It is the time of year to party like a German in brown leather pants, guzzling endless liters of barley and malt brews. We know -- sporting lederhosen in South Florida's penetrating heat is not a logistical reality, considering the risk of massive chaffing and potential for yeast infections. Traditional attire aside, one thing South Florida does right is throw a proper party. Prost!

Although our part of the country does not sport an extraordinary amount of German descendants, what it lacks in ancestral makeup, it makes up for in bacchanalian desire. Give us any old reason to throw a shindig --we dare you-- and we will be there, looking like beer wenches, swigging our mugs, no matter the occasion. So here we go, toasting to the marriage of some German prince from two hundred years ago. Sounds like a good excuse for a sizable hangover, right?

Look for the list of South Florida's top five Oktoberfest parties, after the jump.

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American-German Club of the Palm Beaches' 39th
Annual Oktoberfes

The Skinny: With over 30,000 attendants every year, this is the largest Oktoberfest celebration South Florida has to offer.

When: October 12, 13, 14, 19,20, 21

Cost: Adults $8, Children under 12 with paying adult are admitted free.

The American-German Club of the Palm Beaches throws the longest running and largest Oktoberfest in our area.This is the best fall-down-drunk-with-1,000- other-strangers option on our list. Held the second and third weekend of October on ten acres of ground and one massive tent, the American-German Club's Oktoberfest is one of the largest Bavarian celebrations in the country. It offers authentic German cooking such as Bratwurst, Potato Salad, Leberkäse, Sauerkraut, and original Hofbräu Bier, imported directly from Munich. Domestic beer, liqueurs, wine or non-alcoholic beverages are also available for those not feeling as traditional. Highlights also include German folk dancing, choral singing, and sing-alongs, with two bands flown in straight from Germany.

The City of Oakland Park's Eight Annual Oktoberfest

The Skinny: A Broward County-based Oktoberfest for seekers of the traditional Bavarian experience.

When: October 5 and 6

Cost:$5 per adult.

With Oakland Park German eatery The Ambry as it's official caterers, rest assured that this Fort Lauderdale party will be the closest comestible  Munich experience in South Florida. Ambry chef/owner Hans Huber will be slinging out the tenderest week-long roasted pork that attendees'  tongues have ever savored. Also, be ready for it's bevy of sausages; delectable pork products such as Bratwurst,


Currywurst  are standing by, with a side of sauerkraut. Tucher is the beverage of choice at this Bavarian fete. There is Gemuetlichkeit aplenty with scheduled Dachshund races, beer stein races, and beer barrel rolls. The good times, laughter and good will abounds.

"Wieners, Brats N' Brew," First Annual Las Olas Oktoberfest

The Skinny: The Oktoberfest for the Himmarshee crowd.

When: September 28-30

Cost: Free entry; pay for food & beer.

Presented by the Riverside Hotel and Fritz & Franz Bierhaus, this inaugural three-day festival kicks off at high noon on Friday September, 28 with a customary keg-tapping ceremony. A weekend chocked full of live music, authentic German food, and games--including Bratwurst-eating, beer stein holding and Jodel contests,-- follows. Endless amounts of ice cold Bitburger Pilsener, Köstritzer Oktoberfest  and Benediktiner Weis will be pouring in hearty pint glasses. All the festivities will be occurring under a 4,000-square-foot beer tent on the Riverside Hotel's lawn. Attendees will also have the chance to win two round-trip tickets to Munich through a raffle benefiting PACE,Center for Girls,

Broward County. Crusty Ed Hardy t-shirts are entirely optional.

  Second Annual Oktoberfest Brickell

The Skinny: For those who love their German beers almost as much as their luxury German cars.

When: October 5, 6, 7
Cost: General Admission One Day Pass - $10 in advance, $15 at the door

 VIP One Day Pass - $100

 The scenic Miami Circle -- the area by the Miami River next the Viceroy Hotel -- plays host to this lavish, waterfront version of Munich's biggest inebriated shebang. Revelers can drive right up with their BMW seven-series and enjoy premium VIP tents, bite size dishes and unlimited Radeberger beers-- while they last. A bier garden pop-up restaurant has been constructed just for the occasion, but just like finding a seat in Miami's top-tier restaurants, this temporary pop up joint only accepts advance reservations. Plan ahead for this one.
Celebrated Chef, Wolfgang Ban (Chef/Owner of Edi & the Wolf in Midtown, Miami, and New York,) has created a three-course menu exclusively for the Bier Garden Pop Up restaurant , all set with pairings by Radeberger. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Brickellbiergarden.com


The Skinny: A fest for University of Miami students on a weekend bender and beer-aficionados in Kendall, too lazy to drive anywhere further north.

Cost:  General Admission $39
          VIP  $89

Not nearly as devout in German folklore as other festivals, this South Miami gathering revolves solely around the love of hops, barley and wheat. Goers will not be as likely to see women in busty German Beer Maid outfits here, but who really cares? Everybody will be drunk on craft beer here (that makes up for it, right?) The star of this festival is the beer. Grovertoberfest is assembling a selection of beer from not only Germany but across the U.S. and the world. BX Beer Depot, a South Florida's purveyor of home-brewing, will have its staff on hand and will  showcase different home-brews from the area. A sampling of dozens of home-crafted beer from individuals and brew teams will be offered. Live brewing demos are scheduled at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Biergarten Boca's 2nd Annual Oktoberfest

The Skinny: Look for the restaurant with the party spilling out into the parking lot.

Cost: Free; pay for food & drink

Thankfully, where there was once a beer desert in the long stretch between Oakland Park and Lantana, Biergarten Boca has stepped up as a nice frothy oasis to sate the thirsty populace. The popular pub is celebrating October 5 through 14 with $4 beers and shot specials, plus giant pretzels and live music.

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