The granddaddy of all American fests is Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, in downtown. More than half a million celebrators will down about an equal amount of liters of beer (no small feat considering many of the attendees are kids) to wash down more than 80,000 bratwursts. CMI’s Nascimento says that this free event includes the Gemuetlichkeit Games, contests ranging from log sawing to nail hammering to beer-barrel rolling and, oh yes, a Dachshund Derby. Beer from a wide range of breweries make this the biggest Oktoberfest outside of Munich.
Additional events in August, September, and sometimes October include the 42nd Annual Germania Society of Cincinnati Oktoberfest, which Nascimento says features “one of the better beer selections in the area”; the 34th Annual Mainstrasse Village Oktoberfest; and several church- and community-based ones such as Annunciation-Clifton Oktoberfest and St. Jude Oktoberfest. While not technically an Oktoberfest, this year marks the 42nd annual Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville, 40 miles from Cincinnati, where the vendors don’t stop at German staples—you can try sauerkraut pizza and sauerkraut fudge.
Brian Yaeger is the author of Red, White, and Brew: An American Beer Odyssey.