When it comes to Oktoberfest, Columbia proves itself as the host with the prost as local breweries, bottle shops and even churches (okay, *one* church) fully embrace the weeks-long German celebration. So dust off your lederhosen and have your steins at the ready – Oktoberfest is upon us and there are ample opportunities to get your fill of Bavarian brews and bites all over town.
Steel Hands Oktoberfest at Steel Hands Brewing | September 15
Steel Hands gets the oompah going early this year. The Festbier will be flowing at this all-day Friday event and attendees can look forward to German food specials, live music from The Sauerkraut Band and competitions like a grain toss, hoisting contest and costume contest.
C-ocktoberfest at Market on Main | September 15
Blending German tradition with a gameday atmosphere, C-ocktoberfest is the combo we never knew we were missing from our lives. Fill your cup with seasonal Peak Drift Brewing creations, partake in games to win prizes and gather with fellow Gamecocks before the big game against Georgia the next day.
Springdale Oktoberfest – Dalesfest 5K at The Dales Biergarten & Bottle Shoppe | September 16
Quite possibly the only Oktoberfest (ever?) that involves some physical fitness before indulging in all the carbs to come, this particular rendition is in partnership with Strictly Running. Participate in a morning 5K that ends at The Dales, where you can then enjoy a free beer and live music from Sweet T & Honey.
Oktoberfest at Krafty Draft Brewpub | September 23
Over in Lexington, Krafty Draft is doing it up big with authentic German Oktoberfest imports on the beer trailer outside, Oktoberfest domestics from breweries all over the U.S. on the tap wall inside and on-theme food specials to boot.
Oktoberfest at Savage Craft Ale Works | September 30
Closing out the September celebrations is Savage Craft in West Columbia. Featuring face painters and balloon animals for the kids early in the day; fall beer releases; food specials to include a schnitzel sandwich, brats, currywurst and Frikadellen patties; and a big lineup of live music starting with an accordion player for most of the afternoon before Heavy Kid takes the stage to open for headliner Cowboy Mouth at night, this is sure to be one for the books.
Oktoberfest 2023 at Columbia Craft | October 7
And ushering in the October slate is Columbia Craft’s annual event. With The Wurst Wagen on site slinging sausages, schnitzel and more, plus live music by The Regulars, it’s shaping up to be quite the party. Get your fill of their Festbier, but be sure to save some room in your stein for some surprise beer releases, as well.
Steinfest at Hazelwood Brewing Company | October 7
Pop over to the Old Mill in Lexington to get a taste of Hazelwood’s special Steinbier brewed in collaboration with Bierkeller, indulge in some German eats catered by Joe Turkaly, purchase merch made just for the occasion and take in some live music out on one of the best and most underrated outdoor spaces in town.
Oktoberfest at River Rat Brewery | October 7
Maximize the wear of your lederhosen and dirndls, make a trifecta out of it and brewery hop between Columbia Craft, Hazelwood and River Rat. Order up some spätzle and a soft pretzel for a solid base, because with seven hours of live music on the schedule and specialty steins waiting to be filled with Märzen and Kolsch (plus other fun drink specials if you need a reprieve from all the beer), plan to be in it for the long haul.
WECO Oktoberfest at WECO Bottle & Biergarten | October 13 – 15
With plenty of real German beers available on tap and in the cooler, as well as doubled-up food trucks wheeling in and out over the course of the three-day event, plan to park it at a picnic table under the pergola or out in the yard with your pup and stay a while.
Oktoberfest at Bierkeller | October 14 – 15
Although they’ve only just opened, you didn’t really expect Columbia’s only authentic German-style brewery to not get in on the Oktoberfest festivities, did you? Head on over to their German market hall-inspired space (or stake a spot amidst the sizable outdoor biergarten) along the river for a weekend full of traditional brews and hearty menu options, all accompanied by the musical stylings of the Channelheimers.
Oktoberfest Columbia at Incarnation Lutheran Church | October 20 – 22
For over a decade, Columbia’s original Oktoberfest celebration has been breaking out the signature blue and white diamond-patterned tablecloths for three days of tented biergartens, live entertainment, a homemade German food menu (complete with pastries!) and family-friendly fun in the Kinderzone. It’s a classic for a reason.