When it comes to Oktoberfest, Germany is king — but the Queen City boasts its fair share too.
Some of Charlotte’s most popular Oktoberfest celebrations kick off this weekend, with others running into October proper. At almost every one you’ll be able to enjoy a locally brewed festbier or Märzen, and at many you can usher in fall with activities that include stein-hoisting competitions, costume contests and even weiner dog races.
Waldhorn Restaurant: Sept. 20 to Oct. 12
Pineville’s Waldhorn Restaurant is once again putting up its big tent outside in preparation for its annual Oktoberfest, now in its 21st year. Beginning this weekend, the German restaurant will celebrate from 5 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 12. Admission into the beer tent is $4, or free if you’re having dinner. A different German band will play each weekend. Details: www.waldhorn.us.
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery: Sept. 20-22
This weekend, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery will host its 11th annual Mecktoberfest, where you can enjoy the beer of the same name while enjoying German food and music. A gold-leafed, liter-sized Das Boot will be available for $19.99 while supplies last, which includes the first fill. Saturday and Sunday will feature a variety of competitions: costume, beard and mustache, beer-stein racing, stein-hoisting and nail-driving. Details: www.oldemeckbrew.com/events
Lenny Boy Brewing Co.: Sept. 21
At Lenny Boy Brewing Co.’s Oktoberfest this Saturday, you can enjoy the brewery’s traditional Festbier or opt for new, less traditional releases like a Kölsch brewed with cucumber and melon, or a doppelbock or German chocolate cake stout (both aged in bourbon barrels). There will be new kombuchas as well, along with live music, German-style food, vendors and a stein-hoisting competition. Details: www.facebook.com/lennyboybrewingco.
Eleven Lakes Brewing: Sept. 21
For its inaugural Oktoberfest, Eleven Lakes Brewing in Cornelius will release its Festbier and hold a variety of competitions centered around costumes and steins. And should you want a stein of your own, the brewery will be selling them on their own or in a package that includes a stein, shirt and a beer for $20 (only 100 are available). Details: www.facebook.com/elevenlakesbrewing.
Primal Brewery: Sept. 21
Huntersville’s Primal Brewery will feature German-inspired beer and food, live music and some of the aforementioned contests at its Oktoberfest event, starting at 4 p.m. Saturday. Details: www.facebook.com/primalbrewery.
Fort Mill’s Main Street Oktoberfest: Sept. 21
Fort Mill’s next Main Street Jam is The Oktoberfest Jam, 3-9 p.m. Saturday. Merchants, bands and food trucks will be lined alongside the town’s Main Street, and Amor Artis Brewing will tap a cask of its Märzen at 3 p.m. to kick things off. There will be yodeling, stein-holding and best-dressed competitions, with prizes. Details: www.facebook.com/mainstreetfortmill.
South End Oktoberfest: Sept. 28
Norfolk Hall, a new venue beside Suffolk Punch, will host the South End Oktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 28. Attendees can fill their commemorative glass with beers from more than 30 local and regional breweries, while listening to live music and perusing local vendors. General admission or VIP tickets can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com (for $40 or $55 plus fees, respectively). The festival benefits local non-profit Safe Alliance, which provides resources to those affected by domestic violence or sexual assault. Details: www.facebook.com/events/639663346554685/.
Seaboard Brewing: Oct. 5
Seaboard Brewing in Matthews will celebrate its third anniversary with an Oktoberfest celebration on Saturday, Oct. 5. The brewery and taproom will tap its own Märzen along with several German Oktoberfest beers, and will also have specials on German wines, cheeses, charcuterie and pretzels. The Exchange Pizza Depot will be selling brats, and the Tiki Bar Bakery will be serving up German desserts. Beginning at noon, Seaboard will be giving away 50 Seaboard-branded mugs with the purchase of its Märzen (after which they will be available for purchase). Details: www.facebook.com/seaboardbrewing.
Belmont Oktoberfest: Oct. 5
Dubbed a “tails and ales” celebration, Belmont’s Oktoberfest takes a “canine twist” in its second year. There will be your usual Oktoberfest fare — beers, food, vendors and contests — plus things for your dogs to do as well. The event will raise funds to build a future dog park in Belmont. Details: www.facebook.com/belmontmainstreetdbda.
Cabarrus Brewing Co.: Oct. 11-13
Concord’s Cabarrus Brewing Co. will host its fourth annual CBC Oktoberfest Oct. 11-13. Save the date and check the brewery’s Facebook page for more information as it’s announced, but expect special new beers and family-friendly activities. Details: www.facebook.com/cabarrusbrewingco.
Old Town Rock Hill: Oct. 19
Old Town Rock Hill will hold its Oktoberfest from 4-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19. Along Rock Hill’s Main Street you’ll find games, pumpkin bowling, a kid zone, music and beer — and don’t miss the Wiener Dog Run, which benefits the Humane Society of York County. Details: www.facebook.com/onlyinoldtown.