While Germany may be some 4,000 miles away, its wonderful culinary traditions are alive and well during Oktoberfest on the East End of Long Island. Hamptons and North Fork restaurants, breweries and organizations are celebrating with all sorts of tasty bites, fun events and great beer.
Held annually in the Germany city of Munich, Bavaria and attracting some 6 million people from around the world each year, Oktoberfest typically begins in mid to late September and continues through the first Sunday in October. So technically, the real festival, which was canceled this year due to COVID concerns, would end on October 3, but the East End is keeping things going a bit longer. After all, it’s about celebrating the country’s food, beer, music and traditions, and having a vergnüglich time, not following their schedule. Prost! Wunderbar!
Here’s what’s happening. Plan, eat and drink accordingly.
East Hampton’s Rowdy Hall (10 Main Street) is keeping with tradition and only offering their Oktoberfest specials through this Sunday, October 3. So you’ve got the weekend to try their famous giant Bavarian pretzels with mustard; Bavarian beer cheese, aka obatzda, served with rye toast and radishes; potato leek soup with pretzel croutons; knockwurst, bratwurst and bockwurst with German potato salad, sauerkraut and mustard; and for dessert, black forest torte with cherry compote, whipped cream and chocolate curls. So, zumachen! Time is not on your side.
Shippy’s Pumpernickels German restaurant in Southampton (36 Windmill Lane) basically celebrates Oktoberfest year-round, but they too are adding some special things this month to a menu already teeming with various schnitzels, sausages and much more Bavarian fare.
The Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce is bringing Oktoberfest to Main Street in Westhampton Beach next Sunday, October 10 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. The annual Gordon Werner Arts and Crafts Show will be held concurrently on the Village Green.
Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. in Peconic (42155 Main Road) is acknowledging Oktoberfest with their Grünport Oompahfest this Saturday, October 2 from 1–6 p.m. Enjoy a day of fun, including the debut of their new toasty yet pleasantly malty and not-too-sweet FestBier (with just the hoppy right bitterness), along with German food, live German oompah music from NY’s own Die Spitzbuam (The Troublemakers) and a stein-holding contest.
The Preston House & Hotel in Riverhead (428 E. Main Street) is serving special Oktoberfest menu items throughout the month of October, including classic dishes and Oktoberfest beers. Look for wienerschnitzel, everything spiced brezen pretzel nuggets in beer cheese dipping sauce, maultaschen dumplings, baked kasespatzle, crispy pork shank schweinshaxe with German potato salad and house-made sauerkraut, bienenstich (bee sting) cake and more.
Long Ireland Beer Co. will hold its eighth annual Oktoberfest celebration on Saturday, October 9 from noon–9 p.m. at their Riverhead brewery (817 Pulaski Street). Food trucks will provide German food to pair with the brewery’s Oktoberfest Munich-style Marzen and other brews. Participants can also take part in the annual stein holding, keg tossing and sausage eating contests. Perennial movie favorite BeerFest—Jay Chandrasekhar’s 2006 film about two brothers who enter a secret, centuries-old beer competition during Oktoberfest in Germany—will be shown on the big screen at the end of the night.
Garden of Eve Farm Brewery in Riverhead (4558 Sound Avenue) is hosting an Oktoberfest celebration on October 16 and 17, 9 a.m.–9 p.m., with craft-brewed beers—including their award-winning suds from Farmer Chris—live music, pumpkin picking and a special Oktoberfest menu. Fun Fields tickets include hayrides, farm animals, a bounce house, pedal kart track and other activities for the entire family.
Cooperage Inn in Baiting Hollow (2218 Sound Avenue) is holding its Fall Festival on Saturdays and Sundays throughout October. It’s not Oktoberfest per se, but they’re serving bratwurst with slow-braised sauerkraut among a wide array of other, less German treats, such as fire-roasted corn, NoFo Pot Pies, BBQ pulled-pork sandwiches, potato pancakes, autumn harvest clam chowder, crab cake sandwiches, baby back ribs and roasted BBQ chicken. Attendees can also enjoy festive local craft beers, wines and drinks while tapping toes to live music from different bands each day.