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Oktoberfest 2018: Where to celebrate on Long Island

On Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, the owner of Oak Chalet discussed the restaurant's mission to deliver tradition in atmosphere and food, as well as upcoming dates they will celebrating Oktoberfest.   (Credit: Newsday / Raychel Brightman)

The world’s longest wedding celebration resumes at noon on Sept. 22 in Munich.

That's when the city's mayor will tap the first keg at the 185th festival. And Oktoberfest will start pouring in Bavaria.

Not to be late to the festivities, some Long Island breweries, bars and restaurants already are partying and offering amber, toasty Oktoberfest beers and German cuisine.

 The first 'fest, in 1810, was a party for the citizens of Munich. They were invited to attend a gathering on the fields beyond the city gates to join in good times after the wedding on Oct. 12 of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The crown prince later became King Ludwig I. The fields were dubbed “Therese’s meadow.”

And the partying has become an international attraction, easily the most popular beer festival on the planet.

Oktoberfest now is a seasonal event that attracts more than 6 million visitors each year to Munich. About 1.8 million gallons of beer are consumed at the Bavarian showcase, along with approximately 280,000 sausages and 75,000 pork shanks.

Among the leading German breweries producing Oktoberfest beers are Ayinger, Hacker-Pschorr, Augustiner-Bräu and Paulaner; in the United States, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Great Lakes Brewing Co., New Glarus Brewing Co. and Avery Brewing Co.

On Long Island, you’ll find very satisfying Oktoberfest beers from brewers such as Long Ireland Beer Co. in Riverhead and BrickHouse Brewery in Patchogue.

AT THE BREWERIES

Long Ireland Beer Co. (817 Pulaski St., Riverhead):  This brewery will hold an Oktoberfest party on Saturday Oct. 6. The event will include special prices for brews, with a 1-liter mug of the 'fest beer for $20 and refills for $10. The brewery also will show the 2006 movie comedy “Beerfest." In addition to its Oktoberfest beer, Long Ireland will be pouring its seasonal Pumpkin Ale, said co-owner Dan Burke. More info: 631-403-4303, longirelandbrewing.com

Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. (Multiple locations): Expect a deeper, darker Oktoberfest brew next month at the brewery's two locations in Greenport (234 Carpenter St.) and Peconic (42155 Main Rd.), said co-founder Rich Vandeburgh. The brewery’s “oyster fest” is planned for Oct. 7, featuring live music. Greenport Harbor’s lively, seasonal Leaf Pile ale will highlight the pours.greenportharborbrewing.com

Great South Bay Brewery (25 Drexel Dr., Bay Shore): On Oct. 13, Great South Bay Brewery will host its annual Punktöberfest. It will feature live music from five of Long Island's punk-rock bands, and enough bratwurst, burgers and barbecue from local food trucks to go with Great South Bay's autumn beers. Tickets are $20 for designated drivers, $55 general admission, and $70 for early admission and special tastings. Tickets are available on ticketfly.com. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. for early admission, 1:30 p.m. for regular admission. More info: 631-392-8472, greatsouthbaybrewery.com

Black Forest Brew Haus (2015 New Hwy., Farmingdale): Oktoberfest runs from Sept. 28 to Oct. 20 at Black Forest Brew Haus, which is both a brewery and a restaurant.  Black Forest's beers will include a special seasonal one that's still in the works. There will be live music and the eatery's menu of German and continental specialties, from bratwurst cooked in beer, grilled and served with braised sauerkraut; to amber lager fondue with pretzels; Wiener schnitzel; sauerbraten; smoked pork loin with sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and applesauce; and tafelspitz, or marinated beef with horseradish sauce. More info: 631-391-9500, blackforestbrewhaus.com

BrickHouse Brewery (67 W. Main St., Patchogue): Bricktoberfest beer and Vienna Lager will be among the brews poured at the brewery and restaurant. There will be a beer dinner and tasting on Sept. 25 that will take in up to 14 beers. Executive chef Phil Capobianco said monthly specials will include a baked Reuben-style strudel in phyllo; sauerbraten with house-made spaetzle and braised red cabbage; a German sausage platter; and chicken schnitzel with caraway dumplings. More info: 631-447-2337, brickhousebrewery.com

Oyster Bay Brewing Co.:(36 Audrey Ave., Oyster Bay): Oyster Bay Brewing will have its pumpkin ale and Oktoberfest beer in time for the annual oyster festival, said co-founder Ryan Schlotter. The 35th Annual Oyster Festival in Oyster Bay will take place Oct. 13 and 14. The event, one of Long Island's most attended, is expected to bring 200,000 visitors to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park and downtown Oyster Bay. More info: 516-802-5546, oysterbaybrewing.com

Port Jeff Brewing Co. (22 Mill Creek Rd., Port Jefferson): This brewery will be celebrating its seventh anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 13. It will feature live music and specialty beer releases led by Boo Brew Pumpkin Ale, said tasting room and social media coordinator Liam Hudock. More info: 877-475-2739, portjeffbrewing.com

AT RESTAURANTS AND BIERGARTENS

Oak Chalet (1940 Bellmore Ave., Bellmore): This veteran eatery has a varied, continental menu, but German fare is the primary attraction. To get in the right mood, you can start with the oversize Bavarian pretzel. Notable appetizers and main courses include herring salad; marinated herring with sour cream; smoked trout with creamed horseradish; the schlacht platte of bratwurst, knockwurst and smoked pork chop with potato pancakes; frikadelle, a meat loaf of veal, beef and pork, with mushroom gravy; Wiener rostbraten, a sirloin steak with fried onions and steak fries; and sauerbraten with red cabbage and potato dumplings. There will be live music with accordionist Frank Rapuano each Thursday, Sept. 20 through Oct. 25, from 6 to 9 p.m.; and on Wednesdays, Oct. 10, 17 and 24. The restaurant also has a $24.95 fixed-price dinner of wursts with potato pancakes and either soup or salad on Tuesdays. More info: 516-826-1700, oakchalet.net

Plattduetsche Park Restaurant & Biergarten (1132 Hempstead Tpke., Franklin Square): It feels like Oktoberfest year-round at Plattduetsche Park, with German beers on tap and a menu that includes plenty of German specialties. On Sept. 30, there will be oompah music and dancing, along with a special Oktoberfest menu. There also will be live 'fest music on Oct. 5, 7, 12, 13 and 14. The beer hall features dishes such as baked German spaetzle with bacon, onions and Gruyère cheese; a bratwurst "burger" with Swiss cheese and smoked bacon on a pretzel bun; a wurst platter;  potato pancakes; and roast pork. Highlights at the restaurant: steak tartare; smoked trout with creamed horseradish; roasted pork shank with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut; sauerbraten with potato dumplings and red cabbage; roast pork loin on the bone; and a Bavarian platter of bratwurst, roast loin of pork, smoked pork chop, mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. More info: 516-354-3131, parkrestaurant.com

The Village Lanterne (155 N. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst): A mainstay for German cuisine, The Village Lanterne sports a renovated  biergarten as well as its traditional restaurant. The specials include "sauerbraten Tuesday," when the classic dish is served with spaetzle, red cabbage and vegetables for $14.95. Accordionist Bud Gramer provides live music. The restaurant also sends out creamed herring salad; potato dumpling soup; stuffed cabbage; roulade of beef; stuffed loin of pork; veal a la Holstein with egg, anchovy and capers; and "The Bavarian" with sauerbraten and either Wiener schnitzel or jaegerschnitzel and fresh German sausage. The house's family platter features sauerbraten, pork schnitzel, two wursts, spaetzle, red cabbage, sauerkraut, French fries and vegetables. More info: 631-225-1690, thevillagelanterne.com

The Milleridge Inn (585 N. Broadway, Jericho): The popular inn has served primarily American cuisine for more than 80 years. And Milleridge will celebrate Oktoberfest from Sept. 21 to Oct. 11 with a $30.95 fixed-price lunch and $39.95 fixed-price dinner per person, plus tax and tip. There will be $8 beers, including pumpkin and Oktoberfest, and German dishes. Among them: sauerbraten, pork schnitzel, beef goulash, a platter of wursts with warm potato salad, Black Forest cake and apple strudel. An oompah band is slated for Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. More info: 516-931-2201, ext. 4, milleridgeinn.com

AT THE BARS

Lily Flanagan's Pub (345 Deer Park Ave., Babylon): From 1 to 6 p.m. Sept. 29, there will be live music, beer tastings, yard games, a flip cup tournament and stein-holding contest. Admission is $25 ($15 ages 5-20). More info: 631-539-0816, lilyflanaganspub.com

The Bowery (300 Sunrise Hwy., Rockville Centre): Go under the big top from noon to 4 p.m. or 4:45 to 9 p.m. (two seatings) Oct. 13 with German dishes including a bratwurst in a pretzel hoagie and chicken schnitzel; live entertainment. Contests include a strongman competition and nonalcoholic beer chugging from boot-shaped glasses, plus prizes for best-dressed guest. Reserved seating is $25 (includes a beer stein to keep) or $15 general admission via eventbrite.com. More info: 516-493-9023, theboweryrvc.com

The Mill Roadhouse (142 Mill Rd., Westhampton Beach): With a staff dressed head-to-toe in Bavarian duds, German foods will be available starting at 2 p.m. Sept. 29. Musician Cassandra House will be playing acoustic 8 to 11 p.m. Steins will be available for purchase, but guests are invited to bring their own, which will be filled accordingly. More info: 631-684-9413, themillroadhouse.com

Craft Kitchen & Taphouse (44 Stauderman Ave., Lynbrook): Among the drink specials noon to midnight Saturday, Oct. 13, are $6 mugs, $11 liter mugs and $24 boots (boot-size drinks). There also will be a stein-holding contest and a full a la carte holiday menu. More info: 516-341-0547, craftlynbrook.com

Croxley Ales (Multiple locations): German food and drink served festively at the craft beer bar chain's locations in Franklin Square, Rockville Centre, Farmingdale and Smithtown Oct. 5-14, with live oompah band music and a mug-holding contest. More info: croxley.com

Rowdy Hall (10 Main St., East Hampton): Beer specials will be offered daily after 5 p.m. Sept. 22-Oct. 7, as will German food and music. The alleyway courtyard in the Parrish Mews will be transformed into a beer garden, while communal tables will be arranged indoors. Each day will feature a special entree designed with Deutsche flair. More info: 631-324-8555, rowdyhall.com

Hotel Indigo East End (1830 W. Main St., Riverhead): The hotel restaurant-bar's bash 1-4 p.m. Sept. 29 features live tunes from Smitty’s Polka Band, traditional German food, beer, a keg-tapping ceremony and a mug-holding contest. Tickets are $20 at the door ($15 in advance) and include a souvenir stein filled with Warsteiner suds. More info: 631-369-2200, indigoeastend.com

The Paramount (370 New York Ave., Huntington): The concert hall turns into a beer garden-like experience 3-9 p.m. Oct. 7, featuring live music from Die Spitzbaum and beats by DJ Beso plus Deutsche-style food and drink. Tickets are $25 ($20 in advance). More info: 631-673-7300, paramountny.com

-Compiled by Ian J. Stark

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