Your Guide to Oktoberfest Drinking in New York

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It’s that time of the year again. Dissatisfied with having only one beer-drinking holiday each year, more and more beer bars in New York have been jumping on the Oktoberfest bandwagon - offering copious amounts of beer to coincide with Saturday’s start of Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

For a little history, Oktoberfest began in 1810 as a celebration of the wedding of King Ludwig I to his bride Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The celebration grew as time went on (although it’s only been held 178 times because of cancellations due to war and disease), and has grown into a two and a half week party that brings over six million people to Munich each year.

But wait, you say, it’s September. Why do they call it Oktoberfest? Well, it was originally celebrated in October, but the Germans were practical about things: the weather in better in September, and the beer - traditionally brewed in July and August - is fresher, too.

So, from September 20th to October 5th in Munich, two million gallons of beer will be consumed in fourteen huge tents dedicated to the mainstays of German brewing: Spaten, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, and Hacker-Pschorr each have more than two tents, where they serve up a Maß, a one-liter (about 34 ounces) glass of their beer, for $10-12 US. Oktoberfest is a celebration of excess when it comes to food, too; 140,000 pork sausage pairs were sold at Oktoberfest in 2007. That’s a lot of pig.

Okay, so nothing in New York will compare to the celebration in Munich. But we can try, right? Here’s a list of some of the spots celebrating Oktoberfest during Oktoberfest…

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Grimm Artisinal Ales rolls out the barrels for their new beer debuting this week (Photo: GrimmAles.com)

With seven breweries already coming on line this year in New York City, it’s a big year for local beer. And while you probably can’t drink every new beer without a herculean effort (and liver), we’ll help you find the ones you want to drink with this roundup of the newest beers to be released by locally-based brewers.

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Win Tickets to Brooklyn Pour on September 27th, Then Come to Our Party Afterwards

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We’ve had a lot of great beer-filled Saturdays before, but few Saturdays have both a beer festival and a celebration of our little site. On Saturday, September 27th, Brooklyn Pour returns to Skylight One Hanson for an afternoon session of one of the city’s longest-running craft beer festivals. Later that day, we here at Brew York celebrate this site’s fifth anniversary with a little shindig at One Mile House (10 Delancey St., at Bowery, Lower East Side).

You don’t need tickets to come to our party, but you will need to buy some for Brooklyn Pour - unless you win them from us. We’re giving away a pair of General Admission tickets to the festival, and all you have to do is enter for a chance to win.

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New York City's source for local news about craft beer, beer bars, and beer culture in the five boroughs and beyond. | Editor: Chris O'Leary