Munich's traditional Oktoberfest celebrations take place during the last two of weeks in September and the first weekend of October. The U.S., however, puts the "October" in Oktoberfest by observing celebrations throughout the month.
Salu (3226 Magazine St., 504-371-5809; www.salurestaurant.com) kicked off the season with a pig roast Sept. 21 and is serving German-inspired food paired with German and American beers such as Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen on tap and Stoudts Pils. The Oktoberfest menu is available through Oct. 6 (prix-fixe or a la carte).
At Aline Street Beer Garden at Prytania Hall (1515 Aline St., 504-891-5774; www.facebook.com/alinestreetbeergarden), every day is Oktoberfest with a year-round beer garden featuring traditional orange picnic tables and more than 50 German beers (pictured above). Owner Jason Comboy's collaboration with local hot dog purveyor Dat Dog means brats are available as well. Aline Street Beer Garden kicked off its Oktoberfest Sept. 26 by unveiling the bar's weekly Thursday cask program with a special cask of Covington Brewhouse's Kolsch. Half-liter mugs of all cask ales cost $2.50 throughout October.
For the fifth year, The Avenue Pub (1732 St Charles Ave., 504-586-9243; www.theavenuepub.com) will offer traditional Franconian lagers as her Oktoberfest tradition. Beginning the weekend of Oct. 5, four cask lagers and three beers on tap will be presented as "unpasteurized German lager in the traditional small 'anstich' type that are served in Bavaria as part of the Oktoberfest celebration," says proprietor Polly Watts. "These beers are always a real treat, but what I love about the whole thing is the effort to preserve the traditional way of brewing and the culture that surrounds it."
Local brewpubs are getting in on the action as well with the Old Rail Brewing Company (639 Girod St., Mandeville, 985-612-1843; www.facebook.com/oldrailbrewingcompany) offering its first Oktoberfest beer with complementary food pairings and Gordon Biersch (200 Poydras St., 504-552-2739; www.gordonbiersch.com/locations/new-orleans) tapping its traditional Festbier accompanied by a German-inspired menu through Oct. 20.
Next week's column will feature more Oktoberfest events. Prost! — NORA MCGUNNIGLE