Pandemic Oktoberfest: Germanophiles Can Celebrate at Home This Fall

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By Annika Tomlin

For Germans, few cultural exports better capture their bratwurst-loving, beer-pounding national spirit than Oktoberfest—the yearly fall festival that grants free license to get drunk around family at 3 p.m. While the iconic festival normally takes place in Munich from the last weeks of September to the first weekend of October, the celebration has been canceled during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But around Arizona, several restaurants and breweries still plan to safely host revelers for the special occasion, offering appropriately German beer (and food) for the Bavarian holiday. So, don’t forget your dirndl and lederhosen as you lean into a slightly more domestic Oktoberfest season.

URBAN ALE TRAIL

Downtown Phoenix Inc. is extending the annual Urban Ale Trail to a full week of festivities to try out dozens of rare and unique brews around the area. Participating bars and restaurants include Majerle’s Sports Grill, Squid Ink Sushi and Floor 13 Rooftop Bar.

Each location will offer a food and drink special or pairing for dine-in or takeout. There is no registration necessary, and the trail can be done in any order.

Those who spend more than $25 at participating locations will receive a commemorative DTPHX Urban Ale Trail Week pint glass.

Info: dtphx.org/aletrail

HUSS BREWING CO.

At the Uptown Plaza location (100 E. Camelback Road, Suite 160, Phoenix) only, Huss Brewing Co. will offer Oktoberfest packages through October 17.

Dine-in special includes Oktoberfest brat and chips, along with a pint of the Oktoberfest lager and a commemorative mug for $20. A two-person to-go special includes two brats with sauerkraut, bun mustard, red cabbage and chips; festive decorations; two Oktoberfest mugs and one six-pack of Oktoberfest lager for $28. A four-person to-go special includes four brats, festive decorations, four mugs and one six pack of Oktoberfest lager for $48.

Want to only drink the Oktoberfest lager? They’re available at Total Wine and other grocery and liquor stores.

Info: hussbrewing.com

DOG HAUS

Guest can say “danke schön” to Dog Haus for bringing back its famed Oktoberwürst—a one-third pound Cajun-spiced Emmental cheese-stuffed bierwurst topped with caramelized onions, sauerkraut, mustard aioli and scallions all served on grilled King’s Hawaiian rolls. Created by Dog Haus Würstmacher and TV personality Adam Gertler, this sausage beast is available at Dog Haus locations in Gilbert, Downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale through October 31.

For guests looking to celebrate at home, participating Dog Haus locations are offering a DIY Oktoberwürst Pod Party Kit and Oktoberwürst Pod Party Pack through October 31. The $46 DIY kit allows guests to grill their own sausages at home with everything they need to craft six Oktoberwürsts, including hand-crafted sausages, King’s Hawaiian rolls, sauerkraut, caramelized onions, mustard aioli and scallions. Or, if guests prefer to pick up a ready-to-eat pack of this limited-time item, they can order a Pod Party Pack of six or more to score 10% off.

As part of its Chef Collaboration Series, Dog Haus will donate $1 of the purchase of every Oktoberwürst sold and $6 from every DIY kit and pack sold to the restaurant’s national charity partner, No Kid Hungry, whose mission is to end childhood hunger in America.

Info: doghaus.com

HAUS MURPHY’S

Haus Murphy’s at 5739 W. Glendale Avenue, Glendale, offers German bratwurst and brews with a side of Bavarian beats all year round. They are available for dine-in or curbside pickup.

Info: hausmurphys.com

OKTOBERFEST AT HOME

For those who are still not ready to head out and go to a bar or restaurant yet, there are several ways to participate in Oktoberfest from the comfort of your own home. Several Arizona-based breweries, including SanTan Brewing Company, Pedal Haus Brewery, Front Pourch Brewing and Saddle Mountain Brewing Company, offer their rendition of an Oktoberfest-worthy lager or beer.

Whether you get takeout from a restaurant or choose to make food at home, no Oktoberfest celebration is complete without a sauerkraut-covered brat or sausage and a Bavarian pretzel. CT

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