Party like a German at Calgary’s Oktoberfest events

It’s time to swap board shorts for lederhosen now that autumn has arrived in Calgary

Andrea Aube, marketing coordinator for Bow River Brewing, held up the brewery's Canadian Brewing Awards winning RiverFest amber lager at their taproom in Calgary on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. Bow River Brewing will be holding an Otoberfest event on Oct. 1 featuring authentic German bratwurst, pretzels, a Dirndl and Lederhosen contest, and the brewery's selection of Octoberfest and German style beers. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

The world’s most popular celebration of German culture is returning to Calgary breweries and cultural clubs starting this month.

For Calgarians looking to put on their Dirndl or Lederhosen, partake in a stein of lager and eat bratwurst there are plenty of options.

Bow River Brewing, one of Calgary’s breweries with an authentic German link, has even offered a contest for best dressed in the traditional alpine wear.

“We really want people to just delve into the festivities,” said Andie Aube, marketing coordinator for Bow River Brewing.

Bow River Brewing will be hosting an Oktoberfest on Oct. 1 in their taproom. Tickets are $20 and includes a guest’s first beer.

The planned celebration will include decorations, an accordion musician, and even pretzels to make guests feel like they’re in Munich. Aube said that pandemic restrictions in 2020 allowed for some singing to go on during that year’s festivities. Safety permitting, they hope to have some singing again this year.

“It’s just meant to be a fun night where people can kind of get out and experience something a little bit German, kind of get into the spirit of moving into fall, and just drink good beer of course,” she said.

The brewery will be featuring their 2021 Canadian Brewing Awards Gold winner Riverfest Saxony German lager. They will also have radlers, another German Oktoberfest staple that combines wheat beer and sodas like Seven-Up.

Bow River founder Beatrice Binmore is from Saxony. The brewery has also employed a brewer from Bavaria who has been responsible for their taproom series of beers. 

Binmore’s connection to Germany is featured has been featured on the wall of the taproom. And on their Riverfest beer cans. The black and gold paddle represents Dresden, the white and red Calgary, and the blue for the Bow River.

Oktoberfest around Calgary

Free House Local Beer and Food Hall will be hosting their four-course Oktoberfest meal on Oct. 7. Tickets are $65 per person and are being sold by table for social distancing reasons.

The Austrian-Canadian Cultural Centre will be hosting a luncheon on Oct. 14, and an Oktoberfest evening on Oct. 16. Call the club at (403) 250-9126 for more details.

The Calgary International Beerfest is returning on Oct. 15 and 16. Tickets range from $19.99 to $49.99.

All events are subject to the city’s new vaccine passport bylaw.

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