Oktoberfest might be wrapping up in the motherland right now. But down in South Florida, we're just getting the party started -- hey, we are known for being fashionably late, aren't we?
From full-fledged Germanic bashes to mellow (ish?) drinking contest to specials on traditional food and drink, are the six best places to celebrate Oktoberfest in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
6. American Social, Fort Lauderdale
When it comes to Oktoberfest, the bigger the beer, the better. This Las Olas spot is pulling out the steins for the entire month of October. Fall selections are being offered in the traditional mugs. Look for selections, like Shipyard Pumpkin Head Ale ($7), Ayinger Oktoberfest ($9), Blue Point Blueberry Ale ($9), South Hampton Pumpkin Ale ($9), and Jacko Traveler Pumpkin Shandy ($9).
5. Biergarten, Boca Raton
Taking place from Friday, October 3 through Sunday, October 12, this Boca Raton German spot is going Oktoberfest crazy. Each day a polka band starts playing at 5 p.m. (regular bands start at 9 p.m. on weekends), liter contests, Bavarian folkd dancers, food specials, and the same happy hour deals that are offered throughout the week, along with celebratory discounts.
4. Old Heidelberg, Fort Lauderdale
Beginning with the official start of the festival in Munich and running through the end of October, the Fort Lauderdale eatery is offering a number of specials and parties. It's featuring a rotating array of half-priced beers, free shots, and a number of drinking games (including a beer holding contest). Plus, every weekend evening, starting at 6 p.m., the restaurant hosts Ukrainian or German dancers and other merriment to start the party. Grab your dirndl and get on the dance floor.
3. German American Society of Greater Hollywood, Hollywood
Modeled after the original, the annual Munich Oktoberfest, this traditional German-style celebration that takes place at the historic Bavarian clubhouse (in Hollywood), originally built in the 1960s. The annual festival takes place over the course of three Saturdays, including 11 and 25. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and music plays until 11 p.m. Guests can get a glimpse of authentic German culture with traditional dances, music, and a variety of authentic German food including weisswurst (veal sausage), würstl (sausage), sauerkraut, pretzels, and reiberdatschi (potato pancakes). Entrance is a $7 donation at the door.
2. Due South Brewing Co., Boynton Beach
There's no party like brewery party. And this Boynton Beach spot is throwing a three-day celebration. On Thursday, October 9 from 4 to 11 p.m., it kicks off, with several food trucks, polka music, and plenty of interesting beers. Like the past events, expect to see Oktoberfest Marzen Lager as well as a number of other special release beers each day.
1. American German Club of the Palm Beaches, Lake Worth
By far South Florida's biggest Oktoberfest extravaganza, the American German Club of the Palm Beaches goes all out for the festival -- it's actually one of the largest in the entire country. Held on ten acres of ground, under pavilion, and massive tent, it's worth checking out no matter the weather. It features two bands (flown over from Munich), folk dancers, craft booths, carnival activities, authentic food, great beer, and even a Jagermeister booth. It takes place Friday through Sunday, October 10, 11, 12 and 17, 18, 19. Gates open Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday from noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. The cost to attend is $8 for kids 12 and up (hint: that probably includes you).
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.