Oktoberfest, the Bavarian harvest festival, brings oompah bands and mass consumption of German brews and sausages. The occasion usually is celebrated with the Marzen beer, a toasty, copper-colored lager with a medium body and mild hoppiness traditionally brewed in March (or Marzen in German) and allowed to age in cold cellars (a process known as "lagering") throughout the summer months.
Traditional Oktoberfest parties start in September, and there are several places to enjoy the festivities in New Orleans.
• Martin Wine Cellar (714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 504-896-7300; 3827 Baronne St., 504-899-7411; www.martinwinecellar.com) hosts an Oktoberfest sampling of German beers and food at its two locations, and attendees get a commemorative tasting mug. 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29. Tickets are $25.
• Brieux Carre's (2115 Decatur St., 504-304-4242; www.brieuxcarre.com) event highlights its new Marzen, and there's food, music and a stein-holding competition. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30.
• The Link Stryjewski Foundation (www.linkstryjewski.org) presents Tchouptoberfest, a block party 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1 in front of Cochon and and Cochon Butcher (930 Tchoupitoulas St.). There's live music, German-style sausages and cured meats. NOLA Brewing Company provides beer. Admission is $20. A $100 Bratz Pass includes indoor seating at Cochon Butcher, snacks and beer.
• Deutsches Haus (504-522-8014; www.deutscheshaus.org), the German cultural organization, celebrates Oktoberfest (www.oktoberfestnola.com) at the site of its future home (1700 Moss St.). The fest includes German food, music, crafts, 16 German beers and more. Festival's hours are 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays Oct. 6-7, 13-14 and 20-21. Admission is $8.