by Regina, the Jax Brew Bitch
Oktoberfest originated when Bavarian Crown Prince Louis (Ludwig), later King Louis I of Bavaria, married Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. The Bavarian royalty invited the citizens of Munich to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates. Horse races in the presence of the Royal Family marked the close of the event. The decision to repeat the festivities and the horse races the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the annual Oktoberfest, which now begins in late September and lasts until the first Sunday in October. More than one million gallons of beer are consumed during Oktoberfest every year. This year’s Oktoberfest in Germany begins September 22nd and ends on October 7th. Food, dancing and fun are also involved in the many local festivities being promoted to commemorate the sixteen-day mega-festival officially known as Oktoberfest.
In the Greater Jacksonville area, many establishments are celebrating Oktoberfest with events, specials and fun! Check out this list and mark your calendars to make the most of this Oktoberfest season!
Bold City Brewery (2670 Rosselle St – 379-6551)
Bold City Brewery’s 4th Anniversary Party is set to happen on October 20th. They will be tapping some special brews that day including the Barrel Aged Duke’s Brown Ale. They have also been working with law enforcement to see if they can get the Bold City Bandits out of the correctional facility to come back and play this year. This season, the talented team at Bold City Brewery will be brewing an Oktoberfest Beer and a Pumpkin Beer. www.boldcitybrewery.com/index.php

Intuition Ale Works (720 King St – 683-7720)
According to the folks at Intuition Ale Works: “We’ll be turning our courtyard and brewery bar into a German beer hall with a special tapping of our German brews, live oompah music from the Swinging Bavarians, all-you-can-eat German food and traditional beer competitions and games.” Last year the event sold out weeks in advance, so make sure to secure your tickets early! Celebrate Oktoberfest with Intuition on Saturday, October 13th from 1 pm to 9 pm. Tickets are $35 each and can be purchased in the tap room Tues-Fri (3-11 pm) and Sat (1-11 pm). You can also purchase tickets online at : intuitionaleoktoberfest2012.eventbrite.com. Check out photos from last year’s Intuition Ale event on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/IntuitionAle.

Kickbacks Gastropub (910 King St – 388-9551)
What will “Beer Central” of Jacksonville be doing for Oktoberfest? According to owner Steve Flores, Kickbacks will be tapping both Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers including: Ayinger Octoberfest, Spaten Octoberfest, Warsteiner Octoberfest, Tucher Fest, Southern Tier, Pumking, Smuttynose Pumpkin, Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin’, Dogfish Head Punkin’, Woodchuck Pumpkin, Brooklyn Post Road Pumpkin, Cigar City Good Gourd, Shipyard Pumkinhead, Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin and Terrapin Pumpkinfest. www.facebook.com/kickbacksgastropub

Brewer’s Pizza / Pinglehead Brewing Company (14B Blanding Blvd – Orange Park – 276-5159)
At Brewer’s they will celebrate on Tuesday, October 2nd. They’ll tap your favorite fall seasonal and Oktoberfest styles from some of the great American Craft Breweries and maybe even some surprises from Chef Zach and the Kitchen crew as well. www.brewerspizza.com/home

European Street Cafe (992 Beach Blvd – Jax Beach – 249-3001) & (2752 Park St – 384-9999) The European Street Cafe Family presents Oktoberfest 2012 twice this fall: October 6th in Jacksonville Beach and on October 20th in Riverside. The festival is free, starts at 11 am, and all ages are welcome. The first one hundred folks (over 21 years old) will receive a commemorative glass beer boot to drink their beer of choice from while everyone enjoys the sounds of the authentic German Oompapa band playing all of your favorite Oktoberfest beer drinking songs. Be sure to sign up for the Corn Hole tournament and costume contest in order to win valuable gift cards. Oktoberfest at E Street is a guaranteed good time, you won’t want to miss the fun! www.europeanstreet.com

Engine 15 Brewing Co. (1500 Beach Blvd – Jax Beach – 249-2337) The 3rd Annual Engine 15 Oktoberfest takes place on Saturday, October 6th. Come hear the oompa band live! More details to come – keep checking their website. www.engine15.com/home

J.P. Henleys Beers & Wines of the World (10 Marine St – St. Augustine – 829-3337) Festivities take place from September 28 until October 14. Enjoy 15 German beers, das boots, litre mugs, German food specials and the 1st Annual Pumpkin Fest on October 26th. www.jphenleys.com

Seven Bridges Grille & Brewery (9735 Gate Pkwy N – 997-1999) The Seven Bridges Oktoberfest Brewer’s dinner takes place on Tuesday, September 25th from 6 pm-10pm. Cocktail hour includes Potato Kroketten- deep fried, bread crumb crusted potato fingers, served with sweet and spicy beer mustard. Beer: Ale Fest. The three-course dinner features: Rahm Schnitzel- breaded boneless chicken breast, with fresh lemon garnish, drizzled with a pepper cream sauce, and served with sauerkraut mashed potatoes. Beer: Hefe Weizen. Sauerkraut Bier Suppe mit Wurstchen- Sauerkraut Beer Soup with Bratwursts. Beer: Sweet Magnolia Brown Ale. Pan Seared Salmon, served with Dilled Hash Browns, and topped with Dry “Hopped” Béarnaise. Beer: Southside Pilsner. Kassler Rippchen- German smoked pork loin braised in salt brine and served with braised red cabbage. Beer: Oktoberfest. For dessert- German Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies with a Black Cherry Preserve. Beer: Vanilla Stout. Each guest will receive a commemorative Oktoberfest stein. Tickets are $50 plus a 7% tax and a 20% service charge. www.7bridgesgrille.com

Grassroots Natural Market (2007 Park St – 384-4474) Although not having a particular event, Grassroots Natural Market will have a number of special brews available. These include Octoberfest Beers, Pumpkin Beers and various other Fall Seasonal Beers from a wide variety of foreign and domestic breweries. www.thegrassrootsmarket.com

Beer: 30 (1271 King St – 388-0033)
Come by and check out the German, Pumpkin and Fall Seasonal beers! All are available for bottle purchase. Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest, Paulaner Oktoberfest, Blue Point Oktoberfest, Left Hand Oktoberfest, Sam Adams Oktoberfest, Shiner Oktoberfest. ww.beer30jax.com

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse (4907 Gate Pkwy – 998-0460)
On October 1st enjoy a beer tasting and dinner at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse! Tickets are $30 each. The 5-course dinner will be paired with a selection of Bavarian-style beers. www.bjsrestaurants.com/locations/fl/jacksonville

Whole Foods Market (10601 San Jose Blvd – 288-1100) On October 5th from 6 to 8 pm enjoy casual conversations and live music over quintessential Oktoberfest beer selections paired with authentic, festival-style foods certain to make your mouth water! This event is $10. Registration is required. www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/jacksonville

Brew at the Zoo (Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens – 757-4463) Jacksonville’s most talked-about food and drink festival will take place on October 5th from 7-10 pm. Featuring live music by Who Rescued Who (formerly the John Earle Band) and Billy Buchanan & Free Avenue. Enjoy a beer garden of local breweries plus your favorite restaurants, animal encounters, train rides and prizes. There’s a silent auction sponsored by the Rotary Club of North Jacksonville and much more at this annual signature fundraising event. www.jacksonvillezoo.org/index.php/support/wild_things_events
Okay, your Parotid, Submandibular and Sublingal glands are now going to be kicked into overdrive for a few weeks, so wipe the slobber from your mouth and start making plans – right now! You can always attend more than one event! Better yet, try to make them all and enjoy the Oktoberfest season to the fullest!