Enter the 23rd Street Armory this Columbus Day weekend and be transported to a Munich-style beer hall for the 2nd annual celebration of Oktoberfest, presented by Philadelphia’s own Brauhaus Schmitz. Born in the historic Bavarian town of Aschaffenburg, owner Doug Hager guarantees a fun time and a genuine German experience, with authentic décor, food, drinks, and entertainment, for the 4,000 guests (ages 21 and over) expected to attend the three-day festival – the largest of its kind in the Tri-State area.
The interior of the castellar Armory – a 16,000 square-foot space with 30-foot-high ceilings – has been decked out in Bavarian blue-and-white banners, hangings, and tablecloths, with long wooden tables and benches imported from Germany, colorful cut-outs of dancers in lederhosen and dirndls, and tents serving an array of favorite Oktoberfest foods and beverages. Drink selections include beers from the famous Hofbräuhaus, Bemble cider, red and white wine, soft drinks, and shots of Jägermeister and schnapps (Berentzen pear and Obstler apple/pear). At the food stations, Chef Jeremy Nolen provides familiar fare from the region, with a menu consisting of Bratwurst, Bauernwurst, roast pork, ham hocks, pork chops, fried bologna, and dried meats, along with sauerkraut, potato salad, potato pancakes, crudités, pretzels, cookies, and the customary Brotzeit of fresh breads, grapes, cheeses, radishes, and condiments (so vegetarians need not worry, we also have a large selection of food items to enjoy!).
At the end of the hall, a lofted stage features musical acts The Heimatklänge Band, New York’s Bavarski Band, and the Grammy-nominated Alex Meixner and his band, playing a variety of polkas and other ethic genres. In addition to the music, popular folk entertainment is provided by the German Hungarian Dancers, wearing traditional local costumes. Each session also presents a ceremonial keg tapping with special honored guests.
Ticket levels and pricing for the four-hour sessions range from General Admission ($35) to VIP ($65) and Uber VIP ($85) packages. All include a souvenir glass liter mug, which you can take home to continue the celebration!
Video courtesy of Brauhaus Schmitz.