By Scott Gargan
We may be far from the lavishly painted halls of Munich, but there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the holiday at home. Take a look at our picks of the area’s area Oktoberfests and related beer bonanzas.
Bethel Oktoberfest at Old Heidelberg, Bethel — Bow down, beer-vangelists, to Connecticut’s authentic, award-winning German eatery, which hosts multiple weekends of food, brews, entertainment and, of course, lederhosen. Can’t make it to Old Heidelberg? Check out its catering operation at some of the other Oktoberfest celebrations on this list. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 20-22 and 27-29. 55 Stony Hill Road. 203-797-1860, www.restaurantheidelberg.com.
Ok2berfest at Two Roads, Stratford — The hype surrounding Connecticut’s biggest brewery and its Rosemary’s Baby pumpkin beer is out of control. Two Roads’ owners are hoping to capitalize on the popularity, and thank beer lovers for their support, with its first-ever Oktoberfest. A ticket will get you your very own stein to fill with two new seasonal brews. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21 and 22. $15. 1700 Stratford Ave. 203-335-2010, www.tworoadsbrewing.com.
Oktoberfest at The Beer Garden at Harbor Point, Stamford — This sprawling South End jump-off is about to go overboard: For 16 days, the harbor-side venue will host a celebration of live music, food trucks, specials, contests, giveaways and, get this — bottomless steins ... so, bottoms up, everyone! Saturday, Sept. 21, through Sunday, Oct. 6. 15 Harbor Point Road. 203-316-9044, www.beeratthepoint.com.
Oktoberfest at the Loading Dock, Stamford — Have a beer, help your community. This fundraiser for the Greenwich United Way features German-inspired fare, regional beers, games and dancing — all for a good cause. Friday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m. $5,000-$250. Loading Dock, 375 Fairfield Ave. store.unitedway-greenwich.com/oktoberfest.html.
Oktoberfest at Fowler Field, Milford — Bring the whole family to this community celebration hosted by the Rotary Club of Devon, featuring a beer garden with 10 seasonal brews, German and American foods, dancers, music by Hitlist and The Rumrunners and a bratwurst eating contest. (Hopefully, Takeru Kobayash won’t be in attendance). Saturday, Sept. 28, noon-9 p.m. $10, free for kids 16 and younger. Shipyard Lane. www.devonrotary.org.
OKTOBERFEST AT REDDING ROADHOUSE — Grab your stein and gather under a tented beer hall for this monthlong celebration featuring a rotating variety of Oktoberfest brews, local craft beer and Bavarian-inspired fare. An oom-pah band plays traditional Volkstümliche Musik on Sundays. Sept. 29 through Oct. 27. 406 Redding Road. 203-938-3388, www.reddingroadhouse.com
Harbor Brewfest at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport — A whopping 39 regional breweries, including local favorites Two Roads and Half Full, will be on tap at this annual beer bash at the ball park. Don’t drink on an empty stomach: The area’s most popular food trucks (Melt Mobile, LobsterCraft, Fryborg) will be on hand for your noshing needs. John Reid, The Alpaca Gnomes and The String Fingers Band will provide the soundtrack. Saturday, Sept. 28, noon-5 p.m. $40, $10 for designated drivers. 203-257-6403, www.harborbrewfest.com.
Film Festival and Oktoberfest at the Bijou Theatre, Bridgeport — Ever sneak a beer into the movie theater? Try enjoying a brew out in the open at this four-day festival, featuring a slate of contemporary documentaries (including an opening-night screening of the Ushio Shinohara-starring “Cutie and The Boxer”), along with German beer and cuisine courtesy of Old Heidelberg. Thursday, Oct. 3, through Sunday, Oct. 6. $125 for VIP pass. 275 Fairfield Ave. 203-332-3228, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harvest Festival 2013, Nature on Tap at New Canaan Nature Center — Enjoy a fall beer in fall surroundings at this annual fundraiser. Grab a pint from one of 10 local and regional breweries and drink up as you take in the jaw-dropping scenery. And try your hand at bocce and ping pong while you’re at it. Saturday, Oct. 5. $65 in advance, $80 at the door. 203-966-9577, www.newcanaannature.org.
Fall Beer Tasting, Mystic Aquarium — Sample 22 beers, including some local varieties, along with New England clam chowder and a variety of snacks. Local brewer Aaren Simoncini of Beer’d Brewing Co. in Stonington will talk about how he got into brewing, one beer at a time. Oct. 5, 5:30-8 p.m. $40, $35 for members. 860-572-5322, mysticseaport.org/event/fall-beer-tasting.
Oktoberfest on the Meadow, Stamford Museum & Nature Center — Throw back a crisp fall beer and take in the crisp fall air at this annual beer ball. Old Heidelberg Restaurant has been tapped to cater the event, and The Bavarian Boys are back to provide the music. Order in advance and get a commemorative pilsner glass. Friday, Oct. 18, 6:30-9:30 p.m. 39 Scofieldtown Road. $80 at the door, $65 in advance. 203-977-6521, www.stamfordmuseum.org.
Scott.email@example.com; Twitter: @scottgarg