Raise a Stein at These Oktoberfest 2016 Celebrations Around Boston

The season of pretzels and beer is here, and both can be found in abundance, without jetting over to Munich.

bronwyn beer

German beer at Bronwyn. / Photo by Chelsea Kyle for “Four Reasons to Say ‘Prost!’ at Bronwyn in Somerville

Beer and salt. Unless you’re sipping on a gose-style beer, it’s a combo you have to actively seek out. But when you find it—say, when you take a swig of a marzen-style beer right after biting into a warm, salty pretzel—it’s an immaculate mix of flavors. And it’s synonymous with Oktoberfest. But no need to jet to Munich in search of malty, doughy salvation. Simply head to one of these local bars and breweries eager to fill you with pretzels, sausage, and lager this fall.

Bone Up Brewing Company

The newest member of Everett’s Fermentation District (the ’hood that’s also home to Night Shift Brewing and Short Path Distillery) has just been open a few weeks, pouring beer at its taproom Friday through Sunday. Co-owners Liz and Jared Kiraly also added more noshing options, including soft pretzels made by Fat Boyfriend Bakery in Malden. Each $5 snack comes with a side of beer cheese made with the brewery’s Extra Naked cream ale.

Bone Up Brewing Co., 38 Norman St., Everett, 781-691-9092, boneup.beer.

Notch Brewing

The session-only brewery finally has a brick-and-mortar taproom and outdoor biergarten of its own, and it seized the Oktoberfest-y opportunity with something called the Notch 3-way (a nod to a beefy North Shore classic): a Swissbakers pretzel, a plate of pickled vegetables from Maitland Mountain Farm in Salem, and two links of landjäger sausage. After you’ve had a few glasses of the brewery’s zwickel lager, the whole scene might convince you that you’re actually abroad.

Notch Brewing, 283 Derby St., Salem, 978-238-9060, notchbrewing.com.

Olde Magoun’s Saloon

The Somerville bar already has a reputation for stocking quality German beer, and it doesn’t look like Oktoberfest will be much different. On top of a rotating draft list that features traditional German breweries like Weihenstephan, Warsteiner, and Ayinger, there are German food specials every Wednesday, all season long, like kartoffelpuffer, potato pancakes with a rustic apple suace, and schweinebauch rouladen, sausage-stuffed pork belly with potato dumplings, caramelized onions, and braised cabbage. Check out their website for the complete menu.

September and October, Olde Magoun’s Saloon, 518 Medford St., Somerville, 617-776-2600, magounssaloon.com.

Deep Ellum

Already thinking about post-work drinks? Allston’s European beer haven is tapping six German beers on Tuesday night, adding to the large roster it already has on hand. Aldersbacher Urhell and Kloster Weisse, Veltins Pilsner, Pfungstädter 1831 Schwarzbier, and more will be available exclusively for Oktoberfest, so grab a pretzel and start your shenanigans early this year.

Tuesday, September 13, 5:30 p.m., Deep Ellum, 477 Cambridge St., Allston, 617-787-2337, deepellum-boston.com

Dorchester Brewing Company 

One of the newest additions to Boston’s brewing scene is marking its first Oktoberfest with $2 brats from B. Good, live German music, and a TBD beer list of Oktoberfest brews. The event takes place on the same day that Munich observes Oktoberfest, and if that isn’t a reason to come out and party like a Bavarian, then we don’t know what is.

Saturday, September 17, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Dorchester Brewing Company, 1246 Massachusetts Ave., Dorchester, 617-514-0900, dorchesterbrewing.com.

Jack’s Abby at State Park

Boston’s favorite brewery is taking over the taps at State Park for an Oktoberfest bash full of German fare and lagers. While you eat schnitzel, pretzels, and sausages, partake in sausage tosses, stein-hoisting, and general yodeling. A few of the activities even yield prizes, so bring your game face and an empty stomach.

Monday, September 19, 5-9 p.m., State Park, One Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-848-4355, Facebook.

Kirkland Tap & Trotter

Chef Tony Maws certainly knows sausages, and his Somerville spot is stuffing them in force this fall. In addition to a lineup of Oktoberfest beers, there will be sausages, sauerkraut, and boiled potatoes aplenty through October 3. But for one night only, Jack’s Abby is coming over for a feast. Maws is cooking up a four courses for the Oktoberfest party on September 20, with pretzel rolls, a schnitzel-style bone-in pork chop, a malted vanilla ice cream sandwich with dopplebock chocolate sauces, and more.

Oktoberfest – KTT Style, $65, Tuesday, September 20, seatings at 6:15 and 8:30 p.m., 425 Washington Street, Somerville, Eventbrite, 857-259-6585, kirklandtapandtrotter.com.


This Somerville bierhaus is always good spot for brats and pretzels, but chef Tim Wiechmann is readying an entire special menu for Oktoberfest season. Coming later this month: Haus pretzels, apple strudel, family-sized platters of braised pork and foot-long bratwurst, smoked turkey legs—the list goes on. Choose from a house pour of Oktoberfest beer (available in a 2-liter boot), or one of the 15-plus German beers lining the taps. A small menu of cocktails and wine is also available. Check out the full menu online. To kick off the season, Night Shift is bringing a range of German-style beers for a tap takeover on Thursday, September 22.

September 22-October 16, Night Shift tap takeover Thursday, September 22, 5-11 p.m., Bronwyn, 255 Washington St., Somerville, 617-776-9900, bronwynrestaurant.com.


A spread of items available during Shake Shack’s Shacktoberfest. / Photo by Evan Sung

Shake Shack

The Shacktoberfest menu returns to all of the burger joint’s Massachusetts locations this month. New additions include the Apfelstrudel shake with cinnamon-sugar shortbread, and Bavarian-style soft pretzels. There are also favorites like the ShackMeister Brat, a cheddar-stuffed sausage topped with cheese and ale-marinated shallots; and a brat burger, essentially the same dish in burger form. Whatever you eat, wash it down with the shop’s house ale, which is served in a 25-ounce stein that you can keep and bring back in for discounted refills.

September 23 through October 2, Shake Shack, 234 Newbury St., 617-933-5050, and other locations, shakeshack.com.

Night Shift Brewing Company

This all-day biergarten celebration is complete with live music, local eats from Munch Mobile Kitchen and Company Picnic, and steins-on-steins of beer. The Everett brewery has three new releases especially for the festival: a doppelbock called Coburg, Oldenburg, an Oktoberfest, and Gratz, a Polish-style grätzer beer. German-leaning mainstays like the Pfaffenheck pilsner, Furth hefeweizen, and Kehl zwickelbier will also be on tap, with cans of Kehl and Oldenburg just for the occasion, too.

Saturday, September 24, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Night Shift Brewing Company, 87 Santilli Highway, Everett. 617-294-4233, Facebook.

Cambridge Brewing Company

Oktoberfest comes with the bittersweet reality that summer is over. Sous chef Jon Gilman and the folks at CBC realize this, too, so they’re roasting an entire pig to officially celebrate summer’s last hoorah. The brewery’s full dinner and drink menu will be available as normal too, so consider washing your dinner down with a Great Pumpkin Ale or a crisp lager. Looking ahead this fall, CBC’s annual Great Pumpkin Festival returns October 29. Tickets sold out in an hour last year, so if you want to try Monster Mash, a new brett beer, and score this year’s limited edition Great Pumpkin pint glass, get on it.

Saturday, September 24, 4-9 p.m., Cambridge Brewing Company, One Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-494-1994, cambridgebrewingcompany.com.

Harpoon Brewery

This marquee event at Harpoon features three stages of live music this year, plus brewery tours on the hour, and of course, seasonal beers like Oktoberfest, UFO Pumpkin, and new hoppy amber ale called Flannel Friday. Tickets to the Oktoberfest celebration come with a souvenir glass and a complimentary beer to start.

$25, Friday, September 30, 5:30-11 p.m. Saturday, October 1, 1-7 p.m., Harpoon Brewery, 306 Northern Ave,. Seaport, 617-456-2322, harpoonoctoberfestboston.com.

Idle Hands Craft Ales

Not only is this Idle Hands’ first Oktoberfest at its new Malden home, it’s also the brewery’s fifth birthday bash. To mark the occasion, co-owner Chris Tkach and crew are raising tents in the parking lot and bringing in live musicians and vendors to serve authentic German snacks across two sessions. Each adult ticket comes with a plastic stein and a complimentary pour from a selection of five lagers, including Brocktoberfest, and a fifth anniversary lager called Wood. The event is cash-only, so if you’re planning on putting more than one down, come prepared.

$15 ($5 for children), Saturday, October 1, 1-4:30 p.m. and 6-9:30 p.m., Idle Hands Craft Ales, 89 Commercial St., Malden, 781-333-6070, idlehandscraftales.com.