A harvest festival celebrated since the early 1800’s, Oktoberfest is traditionally held during the month of September in Germany. Here in the Northwest, we mix it up with some Oktoberfest events starting in September, and others held in October. Regardless of when they are held, Oktoberfest events are as good a reason as any to gather with friends over German-style lagers in the Biergarten.
In 2019, Oktoberfest events will be held over several weekends in and near Bellingham, WA. From biers-on-the-bay to a 36-year-old fundraiser for loggers, there’s a Fest for everyone. Here’s where to celebrate throughout Whatcom County.
Oktoberfest season kicks off in Whatcom County on September 14 at Bellingham’s own Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen, which is the reigning Washington State Large Brewery of the Year for 2019.
Admission is $2, and gets you into the all-ages event (kids under 10 are free) where bier, brats, and pretzels are available for purchase. Bier garden games (washers, giant Jenga, cornhole) and contests (yodeling, liter-holding) abound while the oom-pah bands play. Bring the kids along for face-painting and chicken dancing. And don’t forget your dirndl or lederhosen — there’s a costume contest, too!
Perhaps the biggest draw for this Oktoberfest celebration is the beer itself. When it comes to European-style lagers, Chuckanut Brewery is the undisputed king around these parts.
So amidst the festivities, take a minute to seek out their 2018 Fest Bier (or any of their award-winning local lagers). Chuckanut’s Kolsch German Style Ale and Pilsner Lager are world-class.
Kulshan Brewing has teamed up with several Bellingham Breweries to help host their very own Oktoberfest this year at Kulshan’s K2 location on Kentucky Street. This is essentially a mini brewers festival, disguised as an “Oktoberfest”.
Dance on down to Kulshan Brewing’s K2 location, where the beer floweth from liter steins and live music keeps the party going. There’s a costume contest, too, so don’t forget to rock your finest German garb. Free admission, 21+ only.
Overflow Taps will be hosting their third annual Soktoberfest this year – at their Bellingham location in Barkley Village. Enjoy live music, games, delicious brews and a costume contest while helping collect socks and raise money for the homeless community.
Join Boundary Bay Brewery aboard San Juan Cruises’ Victoria Star 2 for a cruise featuring a variety of fall harvest beers from local breweries. German bratwurst, sauerkraut, potato salad and other selections will be on the menu, all served to the tune of festive music. These 1.5-hour cruises depart each evening at 6 p.m. and tend to sell out in advance, so grab a ticket ($49) while you can. This event is 21+ only. Check out our Brewers Cruise review for more info!
Not to be outdone, Bellingham Oktoberfest 2019 will feature 20+ beer & cider options. Boundary Bay, Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen, Kulshan, Stemma Brewing, FrinGe Brewing and Twin Sisters Brewing are a few of the breweries on hand for a nice mix of beers from Bellingham. Lost Giants Cider and Schilling Hard Cider will pour as well.
Hoist your lederhosen and dust off your dirndls and party the night away downtown at Depot Market Square!
Admission ($25 advance, $35 at the door) includes a tasting cup, 5 tasting tickets, and live music. All proceeds will benefit the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County. This event is 21+ only.
Hefty litre steins smash against solid tables, voices raise in hoarse cries of ‘Gsuffa’ (drink) as thousands link arms, swaying like wheat fields in a prairie wind to the brassy sounds of oompah bands. Dumplings, sausages, potatoes, red cabbage, and huge pork hocks arrive with more steins…The familiar song echoes overhead ‘Ein prosit…ein prosit…’
Not to be confused with the traditional German celebration, the Deming Log Show Oktoberfest offers festivities that are a little less raucous and a lot closer to home. But that doesn’t change the fact that Whatcom County’s longest-running Oktoberfest celebration — now in its 37th year — offers much merriment in the form of singalong songs, dance, food, and drink.
Held each year on the second full weekend of October, Deming Oktoberfest opens at high noon on Friday before closing out late Saturday evening. Each day, attendees enjoy live music from the Tillamook, Oregon-based Polkatones band — a traveling ensemble decked out in dirndls and lederhosen.
This event is 21+ only. Admission is $15 which includes a free souvenir stein. Proceeds benefit Busted Up Loggers, to support families of loggers who have been injured or killed on the job. And did I mention there will be lots of beer? Prost!
It’s almost time for the fourth annual Hoptoberfest. Held at Bellingham Sportsplex, this massive indoor festival features 37,000 feet of event space (complete with beer, cider, and spirits). In addition to over 60 draft beers from over 30 breweries, there will be local food trucks and live music from Sunset Superman.
Tickets range from $20-$35; all proceeds go to Rebound of Whatcom County and Whatcom County Sports and Recreation. Hoptoberfest is an excellent way to close out the 2019 Oktoberfest season in Whatcom County for a great cause.