Summer's not even over yet, but Oktoberfest is already here.
Don’t get caught with your lederhosen down. We've got your guide to Chicago’s top three Oktoberfests.
Modeled after Munich’s famous Hofbrauhaus, this authentic German beer hall is filled with live bands, celebrity keg tappers including Mancow Muller, and the best food this side of Deutschland for another month. Pair their new Oktoberfestbier with bacon-stuffed braised beef roulades and pork belly with bacon sauerkraut.
Today thru Oct 31. Hofbrauhaus Chicago, 5500 Park Place, Rosemont (847-671-2739). No cover.
Today, the outside of the Berghoff is overrun with exclusive VIP beer tastings led by Berghoff’s brewmaster, German music, and beer cheese pretzels. A special Oktoberfest menu pops up inside the restaurant until Oct 26 — at which time a giant party erupts with a beer toast every 30 minutes.
Fri Sep 13 outdoor party 11a-9p. Kluczynski Federal Building, 230 S. Dearborn St., Loop. No cover; VIP beer tasting $15 here.
Sat Oct 26 closing party 11a-1:30p. The Berghoff, 17 W. Adams St., Loop (312-427-3170). $60-75 here.
Wurst Festival at Daley Plaza
Thanks to locally raised beef from area farms, this might be the first and last time you'll actually want to see how the sausage is made. In addition to sausage-making demos, this new festival showcases top local bands including Scott Lucas & the Married Men, a battle of marching bands, and the best excuse to party at Daley Plaza since St. Patty's Day.
Wed-Fri Sep 18-20. Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington Blvd., Loop (773-904-2849). No cover.