Brew-connoisseurs all over the city are dusting off their favorite pair of lederhosen for fall’s arrival. While that sweet, golden nectar may be the star of any Oktoberfest celebration, it’s impossible to forget about beer’s best — and wurst — friend, German sausage. Often served inside a toasted, buttery bread roll and topped with tangy, bittersweet sauerkraut, wurst is the perfect complement to a cold drink. Aside from the large selection of traditional German cuisine, visitors can also enjoy attractions such as carnival games, amusement rides and live music. If you simply can’t wait for New Braunfels’ Wurstfest in November, we’ve rounded up some preliminary events to satiate your need for all things Oktoberfest.
The Brackenridge Park Conservancy and the YMCA are joining forces to celebrate San Antonio’s German heritage with Parktober Fest. This free event will feature a beer tasting where guests can sample local brews from Alamo Beer, St. Arnold, Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling and more. Visitors can also enjoy hearty German cuisine from venerable San Antonio deli Schilo’s. This year’s musical showcase will include performances by the Beethoven Maennerchor, the Dirty River Dixie Band and the Jim Cullum Jazz Band. In honor of Cullum, who died in August, the event will also include a tribute dedicated to the bandleader’s legacy of preserving traditional jazz. Free, Saturday, Sept. 29, 3-6 p.m., 3700 N. Saint Mary’s St., Koehler Pavilion, (210) 207-7275, brackenridgepark.org.
Oktoberfest at Beethoven Maennerchor
San Antonio’s own Beethoven Maennerchor is going all out with a four-night festival featuring live music, hot food and cold beer. And why wouldn’t it? This 150-year-old German social club is no newcomer to the Oktoberfest game. Beethoven’s food line will offer its usual array of bratwurst, Reuben sandwiches, goulash, Leberkäse and potato salad. Of course, guests can also expect a full selection of German and craft beers in the clubroom and back bar, along with wine available by the glass. $5, 5 p.m.-midnight Fridays and Saturdays October 4 through October 12, Beethoven Maennerchor, 422 Pereida St., (210) 222-1521, beethovenmaennerchor.com.
Octoberfest at Tower of the Americas
Taking place at the base of the Tower of the Americas, this Octoberfest event has everything visitors need to get a taste of German culture in San Antonio. Beer tastings? Check. Live musical performances? Check. German cuisine? Check. Guests can nosh on a free bratwurst or pretzel on a first-come, first-served basis, and brews from at least eight different European countries will be available for sampling. If that’s not enough, expect giveaways and a costume contest. Sounds like the perfect excuse to don German folk attire. $35-$40, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2-5 p.m., 739 E. Cesar Chavez Blvd., (210) 223-3101, toweroftheamericas.com.
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