There's something about the chill in the air that showcases the fortifying qualities of a good ale, and October is the perfect time to lift a celebratory stein to autumn. Oktoberfest is a tradition hailing from Bavaria, Germany, but it has been enthusiastically taken up by groups around Anchorage. Whether you've been waiting to bust out the lederhosen all summer or you just want to go to a fun party, there's no better excuse to grab some brats, down a brew and say "prost!"
Let's say you're dying to take your drindl out for a spin, polka music is your jam, or you just want to see what a more traditional Oktoberfest experience is about -- the German Club's event is the place to go. There will be German food, traditional dances and two bands, Alaska Blaskapelle and Marge Ford and the Polka Chips, alternating every hour. This is the German Club's 47th year in the Oktoberfest game and they know what they're doing. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4-5, at the Egan Convention Center. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets available at Egan Center, Alaska Sausage Co., Anderson's Bride and The Flying Dutchman. $15 per person each evening for adults. Children under 12 are $5.
King Street Brewing
This is the South Anchorage brewery's second year in business and their second Oktoberfest party. There will be some free "German-inspired" food and four German-style beers to try: King Street's Bavarian Hefeweizen, Dunkelweizen, Oktoberfest and Schwarzbier. The last is a collaboration with 49th State Brewing and isn't expected to last much longer than the party, so Oktoberfest may be your only chance to try it. 12 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 5. 7924 King Street.
Want to take The Microbrew Express 80 miles roundtrip from Anchorage to Portage while enjoying craft beers from the Glacier Brewhouse? Too bad. This $159 per person event sold out well in advance. But if the combination of beer, appetizers, and spectacular Turnagain Arm scenery appeals to you, be sure to jump on early ticket sales next year. 4-8 p.m. Oct. 5, alaskarailroad.com.
Humpy's Great Alaska Alehouse
Humpy's was one of the first Anchorage bars to showcase craft beers and it makes sense they'd also throw a rip-roaring Oktoberfest party. This year the festivities will be hosted by Alaska Blaskapelle, and there will be five food courses (from appetizers to dessert) accompanied by six beers. 6-9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14. Tickets are $65 per person (be warned, it generally sells out).
Cafe Amsterdam won't have an Oktoberfest party this year, but they will be featuring traditional German foods on their dinner menu throughout the month, as well as German and Oktoberfest beers. There's bratwurst, apple sauerkraut, potato pancakes, beef schnitzel and more. For details, see cafe-amsterdam.com.
Alaska Aviation Museum
According to the friendly personnel at the Aviation Museum, pilots love a good Oktoberfest party. This one will take place toward the end of the month and feature that holy trinity of the season -- brats, beers and a band. Margie Ford and the Polka Chips will play from 6-10 p.m. Oct. 25, tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Call 248-5325 or see alaskaairmuseum.org for more.
• Contact Victoria Barber online at email@example.com or call 257-4556.