Originally published in D-Tales here.
Now. Let me preface all of the following by saying: EVERY. BAR. will be having an "Oktoberfest" celebration. All of them. They will serve you seasonal Sam Adams on draft and cheap plastic banners that say "Oktoberfest" strung on the walls and maybe even have their waitresses in fraulein costumes if you're really lucky.
What I care about is beer. I likes to keeps it real, dig?
At nearest count, there are (approximately if not exactly) 74 brewpubs and microbreweries in the Great Lakes State. Yes, 74. Yeah, I figured you didn't know that, that's why I told you.
Now. You can go to your (sound of violent wretching) O'Toole's, or wherever the hell you quasi-trendy people go to celebrate Oktoberfest and St. Patrick's Day and Thanksgiving Eve and New Year's Eve and Boxing Day and Guy Fawkes Day and whatever the hell else you use as an excuse to get shitfaced aside from just the plain 'ole sake of it, OR you could try to be a bit more authentic-like and patron one of these fine pubs with indigineous brews.
(Indigineous means local.)
Oktoberfest is now ("But it's only September?!?" "Yes, I know it's only September, but the Germans are strange and celebrate Oktoberfest in September, whereas Americans celebrate in the last weeks of September through most of October. Thus, it has already begun, regardless of your country."), so it's time you got out there and sipped some fine pumpkin ales and cream porters.
And if I see any of you with a Heineken bottle I will break it over your heads.
Don't judge me because I drink Miller Lite; I'm poor and it's certainly not my preference.
But if you're spending good money on beer, please let it not be on that overpriced imported Austrian swill.
The following list is of brewpubs and microbreweries of interest in the metro Detroit/Ann Arbor area with their Oktoberfest specials. Drink responsibly. Adopt a child.
(Mind you: some well-known establishments are missing because their Oktoberfest celebrations have already passed, they haven't got anything special planned, and/or their website is not updated with current information. I did my best. What I do for you...)
Arbor Brewing Company-Ann Arbor: Oktoberfest Beer Tasting Night, Thursday, October 9
Featuring Marzen and Vienna style lagers as well as an assortment of fall specialty ales and lagers. Tickets $25 advance/$30 day-of.
Atwater Block Brewery-Detroit
The Blocktoberfest seasonal brew is worth the off-season trip to the riverfront. Top that off with the Vanilla Java Porter 'cuz it's good.
Bastone Brewery-Royal Oak: September 29-October 23
Purchase a half-liter limited-edition beer stein for only $9 and get it filled with any brew--including the specially-brewed Oktoberfest Lager--for just $3 all during Oktoberfest. Also try the Jagerschnitzel, Sauerbraten, and Roast Chicken.
Big Rock Brewery-Birmingham
Now serving their seasonal beers: Kölsch, Wit, IPA, Strong Scotch Ale, and Russian Imperial Stout, with Altbier, German Pilsner, and Doppelbock now on tap.
Black Lotus Brewing Company-Clawson: Black Lotus Turns 2, Friday, September 26
Check out their Birthday Brew, a cream ale made with vanilla birthday cake frosting. Also try the Oktoberfest Bier and the Monster Mash Pumpkin Ale. This Friday, celebrate Oktoberfest with beer brats and DJ 2040.
Detroit Beer Company-Detroit: Anniversary Extravaganza, Saturday, October 18
Huge "Detroit-style" BBQ, $2.50 pints and mugs all day, live music 8:00-11:00PM.
Fort Street Brewery-Lincoln Park: Harvest Fest, now-September 27; Beer Fantasy Camp Sunday, October 5
Harvest Fest offers a special menu of Michigan-grown foods and Michigan-inspired menu items including: Duck & Cherry Ravioli, Baked Trout, Squash Bisque, Michigan Salad, Beer Battered Asparagus, Apple Stuffing, and more. A new harvest beer released at 8:00PM every night, Monday-Friday, through Harvest Fest.Beer Fantasy Camp offers six beer tastings with a three-course dinner. Tickets $35.
Grizzly Peak Brewing Company-Ann Arbor: September 29-October 23
Enjoy $5 pints of hand-crafted beer in a take-home limited-edition glass, with refills only $2 during Oktoberfest. Also enjoy authentic German foods such as Chicken Schnitzel and Braised Short Rib Goulash.
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company-Warren: Saturday, October 18
Enjoy traditional German Bier and cuisine, including Eisbein (smoked pork shank), sausages, and all the sides. Food served noon-8:00PM.
Motor City Brewing Works-Detroit
Try the Oktoberfest beer while they have it. Have some pizza, too. It's good.
Rochester Mills Beer Company-Rochester Hills: September 26-27
German-style beer, food, and music under a massive tent. Lots of good clean family fun with carnival games, balloon artists, moonwalks, pony rides, a petting zoo, magicians, clowns, and more. Friday 5:00-11:00PM, Saturday 1:00-11:00PM. Tickets $5, children 16 and under free. Proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the YMCA North Oakland WAVES Swim Club.
Sherwood Brewing Company-Shelby Twp.: Saturday, October 4
Celebrate Oktoberfest on the release date of their special Fest Bier Oktoberfest. Bier, food, games, music, bier. And beer. And more bier.
And last, but most importantly:
The Dakota Inn Rathskeller-Detroit: Oktoberfest, Fridays and Saturdays September 26-October 4
Now celebrating its 75th anniversary, the Dakota Inn Rathskeller has been bringing authentic German cuisine, the widest selection of imported beers from Germany in the Detroit area (with special Oktoberfest brews flown in from Germany just for this occasion), and the infectious Old-World-style German sing-along tradition to Detroit for our very own slice of Bavaria! It is a historically designated site featuring intricate, hand-carved woodwork created by the current owner's grandfather, as well as trophy animal heads from family hunting trips, family pictures, and waitresses adorned in traditional Bavarian costume.The Rathskeller has been owned by the same family for three generations, and it continues to be Detroit's only authentic German bar. If you want to really experience Oktoberfest but can't afford the flight, look no further than the Dakota Inn. Tickets to all Friday and Saturday night Oktoberfest parties are $3, and are selling out fast. The party runs from 8:00PM-midnight.