Contrary to its name, Oktoberfest actually begins in September, so if you’re planning to celebrate this festive holiday, now is the time to start. If you love a good reason to drink beer and eat good food with a bunch of your friends, then I’ve got some tips for you. A couple years back, my husband and I hosted an Oktoberfest party at our home and it was a lot of fun! Today, I’m going to share with you some of the things that we did for our party.
When to host your party. Oktoberfest season lasts for two weeks between September and October. This year, Oktoberfest begins September 19 and ends on October 4 so I would recommend scheduling your party sometime within the season.
What to drink. It wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without beer and we wanted to make sure that our guests had a sufficient amount for party games and drinking in general. After all, it would kill the fun if we had to do a beer run in the middle of the party, not to mention it would be incredibly unsafe! To avoid this dilemma, we opted for a small keg. A five gallon keg equals 54 servings, so that should be enough for a group of about 15 people. In addition, we put together buckets of German and Bavarian beers for tastings. Each bucket included a variety of popular German beer types including a trappist beer, a hefeweizen, a dopplebock, and a special Oktoberfest brew. The concept was to have each table share each bottle within the bucket so that everyone can try the different beers. If you want, you can also have tasting cards at the table for your guests so that they can rate their favorites.
What to eat. I wanted my party to feel as authentic as possible so I served a few traditional German dishes and snacks. I also wanted to keep my spread simple so that I didn’t have to spend too much time prepping for the party. After some research, I found some great Oktoberfest party recipes and opted for two easy main dishes, bratwurst with hot dog buns and roasted chicken. For the sides, I had potato salad and sauerkraut. I also served some light snacks including soft pretzels and meat and cheese platters which were left out for guests to consume at their leisure. For dessert, I served black forest cake.
What to listen to. I believe that music sets the mood for any occasion. For a German-themed party, the best way to create a festive ambience is to play some upbeat polka! Don’t know any polka music? You can easily create a playlist on Pandora based off a genre of music. Just make sure that you include the Chicken Dance song in your playlist! That is a MUST.
What to wear. As with any theme party, costumes are always recommended. In this case, German costumes are encouraged. That would mean lederhosen for men and a dirndl for women. In fact, why not host a costume contest and have a little fun with the outfits? A little competition is just the thing to get your friends to participate.
What to do. Keep your guests entertained with some drinking games. Think back to your college days and bring back some of your favorites like beer pong or flip cup. You can also play games like “Never have I ever” which can be hilariously revealing. As always, exercise caution and good judgment to avoid over-consumption. If you have a friend that seems to be reaching their limit, kindly grab them water and a pretzel to help them. If you have a friend that is trying to drive home, offer them a room to crash in or do them a big favor and call them a cab.
These are some easy tips to host an Oktoberfest party at home. Do you have a tip to add to this list? Share it by leaving a comment!