Oktoberfest is a world-famous festival and always promises to be a good time, even if you aren’t celebrating in Munich where it originated. You’ve probably heard of local beer festivals mimicking the famous German celebration and may have even gone to one before. I excitedly arrived on the east coast to celebrate my cousin’s wedding and snuck in a visit to Montclair to surprise my friend Todd for his birthday at Montclair Brewery’s Oktoberfest NJ.
I had my first taste of Oktoberfest in Korea’s German village on Namhae Island and hope to one day celebrate in Munich!
Montclair Brewery celebrated their first annual Oktoberfest at the end of September
I first heard about the festivities when I was trying to see who would be around after my cousin’s wedding. The only problem was I found out about the party too late and tickets were already sold out so I pitched this story to @MontclairBrew on Instagram and offered to write a review if they’d open up another ticket for me. You can probably guess that they agreed and I got ready for my first press pass back home in New Jersey!
Alaska has been a dream come true with some of the most amazing adventures to be had and a stellar new job. I recently bought a house and am getting back into my hobbies at home, which means time for blogging! More life updates coming soon but for now, Oktoberfest in New Jersey!
Oktoberfest NJ at the Montclair Brewery
Montclair Brewery just opened a few months ago and sports a number of delicious brews. I enjoyed both their lager and pilsner fresh from the tap but decided that an early flight the next day meant I shouldn’t overindulge. They didn’t have my favorite Hefeweizen, a traditional German wheat beer, but they had a number of other options with a poignant IPA seeming to be the crowd favorite.
The family-friendly festival began in the late afternoon with DJ’s and live bands providing great entertainment. My favorite band of the evening was Rasha Jay and the overall acoustics were much better inside than out in the parking lot.
Black Lace Blues finished their set before I arrived but you can watch a clip of their performance on the Montclair Brewery Youtube Channel. The first band I saw was either victim to an equipment malfunction, poor acoustics or simply not my type of music. Then again, we were there to enjoy good beer with good people and the crowd had a blast all day. I’m sure the brewery will have another great line up next year!
Montclair Bars and Lounges
Enjoy a craft brew at Oktoberfest New Jersey
Walking the perimeter of their parking lot there were a few tents filled with vendors. Local artists showcased different displays, with balloon hats and face paint adorning some of the braver souls while I ventured to Tostchu for a currywurst. If you’re looking for traditional New Jersey cuisine you’re in luck, Montclair Brewery allows you to order delivery from just about anywhere in town and there are plenty of pizza places to fill that order!
Families played backyard games like corn hole while others sported their best lederhosen. There were plenty of children there for most of the afternoon but by the time the sun went down the games turned more towards drinking challenges.
Pretzel necklaces are another staple at Oktoberfest and could be found around plenty of necks. Not only are pretzels a great German food but they help those partygoers who have a few beers too many.
Traditional German challenges like the Stein Hold and other drinking games popped up periodically during the day giving everyone a good laugh and a few prizes. I didn’t notice any major chugging events which is probably for the better. That also meant I didn’t see anyone who seemed like they drank too much so I think the brewery’s choice of events kept the sobriety at just the right level.
Montclair Brewery is sure to keep growing if they can host more events like this and make a name for themselves in the north jersey community.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Montclair Brewery and the Oktoberfest. Overcoming a couple of growing pains and hosting more events like this will surely help them become one of the more popular places in town. The outdoor space could be a lot of fun as long as the weather stays warm and even I hope to see Montclair beers available for sale on my next trip back home, maybe they’ll even have a delicious wheat beer for me to try by then!
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Disclaimer: This is the internet and It is safe to assume that links and content contained on this webpage provide compensation to the website’s owner. As stated in the beginning of the article, Montclair Brewery provided me with a press pass. The opinions here are my own and the information here is accurate as of October 2019. Unless otherwise labeled, all photos were taken by Mike Still.