Put away those sky miles. Close down that browser with satellite maps of Munich. You ain’t going anywhere this year. If you were dreaming of visiting the Bavarian capital this Fall and raising a stein, Oktoberfest 2021 is already cancelled – much like the prior year. Before you start weeping that empty glass full though, check out these Utah events that promise a small amount of local-cheer.
Saturdays and Sundays through October 17th
Noon – 6.00 p.m.
The proverbial jewel in the crown was also cancelled in 2020 but is back in full pomp for 2021. The mountain top gathering is already in full swing every weekend at the Snowbird resort, with the mega-bash currently celebrating its 48th year. This one is a family friendly affair and runs through mid-October.
Thousands upon thousands descend on the Bird each Fall for not just the biggest Oktoberfest in the state, but one of the largest festivals full stop. Admission is free, but parking will run you ten bucks.
The event dates back to 1972 with this year seeing more than 50 different beers being poured as well as German cuisine staples like bratwurst, sauerkraut, spaetzle and more. If you’re planning on draining several glasses, consider staying up at the resort overnight which offers various lodging/dining/drinking deals during the season.
9385 Snowbird Center Dr, Snowbird, UT 84092
Featured image: Oktoberfest at Snowbird, credit, Jay Dash Photography.
September 18th – September 26th
This is the one I’m personally most excited for. Bewilder chef Justin Field plans to throw his entire menu out of the window for their weeklong celebration; in its place a 100% German affair that is shaping up to be the best German restaurant in town. I don’t say that lightly either – Field takes replicating regional dishes true to their authentic selves, very very seriously.
While we can’t ever expect the reputed array of Germany’s 1,500+ sausage varieties here in Utah, the Bewilder team confirmed the Oktoberfest menu will feature a number of speciality bratwurst such as:
- Munichen weisswurst – white sausage with mace, coriander, ginger
- Bierwurst – nutmeg, paprika, mace, mustard seed
- Heissiche bratwurst – ginger, pepper, cardamom
- Fleischwurst – smoked pork and beef
- Currywurst – bratwurst spiced with curry
Field will also be cooking up a number of other German specialties such as wienerschnitzel, kartoffelpuffer (crispy potato pancake with applesauce and sour cream) and obatza (German cheese spread with brie, camembert and butter), schweinshaxe too (marinated pork hock).
The menu isn’t final yet – but I guarantee no one else in town is cooking such authentic dishes. Don’t miss this one.
445 400 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
SnowWiesn at Snowbasin
Sundays, September 12th – October 3rd
Noon – 5.00 p.m.
Another resort based bash, this one over in Huntsville; which is also home to Utah’s oldest bar and a fabulous sausage crowned burger too I should add. Here’s the full release from the Snowbasin organizers:
Snowbasin Resort is thrilled to host SnowWiesn, an Oktoberfest themed event taking place during the Blues, Brews & BBQ concert series. Every Sunday from September 12 through October 3, Snowbasin will offer a free, family friendly, Bavarian themed event with delicious themed food, games, activities, and free live music on the Blues, Brews & BBQ main stage.
The inaugural SnowWiesn in fall 2019 was extremely popular by the Snowbasin guests, and the resort looks forward to bringing it back for another successful season. The event runs from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm in conjunction with normal operations of Needles Gondola and Wildflower Mini Golf between 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Free music will take place on the Blues, Brews & BBQ main stage on Earl’s Lawn, presented by Mountain Town Music. The afternoon will start with a polka themed band and finish the day with rock music. Snowbasin is partnering with local brewery, Roosters Brewing Co., to offer a SnowWiesn beer and a limited amount of refillable glass mugs. A variety of lawn-games and German-themed activities will be offered, including free Hammerschalger and a Masskrugstemmen, a stein holding competition. Guests can participate in the stein holding competition by purchasing a commemorative mug, with the winner receiving exclusive prizes from the resort.
3925 Snow Basin Rd, Huntsville, UT 84317
Saturday, October 9th
1.00 – 5.00 p.m.
This one day event takes place over in South Salt Lake (next to the city’s best distillers, Beehive). As well as plenty of local beer and cocktails, Craftoberfest features live music, artists booths, food trucks as well as we barrel and art auctions.
2250 S West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Sunday, September 26th
Noon – 6.00 p.m.
Another one day event – this one also celebrating five years in business for the Ogden based brewers. The business promises, “new beers, live music, food, and activities for you and the kiddos!”, presumably meaning this one is a family friendly affair.
1258 S Gibson Ave Ogden, UT, 84404
4th West Oktoberfest @ Mountain West
September 25th from 11 a.m.
September 26th from noon
This yearly collaboration between Red Rock and cider producers Mountain West is also family friendly. Held over the course of two days the event takes place at Mountain West’s outdoors Garten space.
This will actually be the sixth iteration of the duo teaming up and guests will enjoy “live music from local artists, local Salt Lake Valley food trucks, Utah vendors, and fun for the whole family. Games will include giant jenga, corn hole, children’s activities, and much more! Enjoy the music, the eats, and all over fun with natural, gluten-free ciders from Mountain West Hard Cider and high-quality craft beers from Red Rock Brewery.”
Do note that 4th West Oketoberst is a ticketed event and not free to enter. Designated drivers, or those who will not be drinking alcohol can purchase a ticket that includes no mug.
425 N 400 W Salt Lake City, UT 84103
Oktobirdfest @ Tracy Aviary
6.00 – 10.00 p.m.
Another ticketed event and this one 21+ only folks. Held at Liberty Park’s Tracy Aviary the event will feature KiiTOS Brewing, Shades Brewing, Fisher Brewing Company, Epic Brewing Company, with food from Rimmels German food truck. Each ticket includes admission to the Aviary, one drink ticket, and a special Oktobirdfest mug.
589 E 1300 S Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Beer And Fear Fest
First four weekends of October
4.00 – 10.00 p.m.
The organizers sum this quirky event up as follows “Think Oktoberfest meets Nightmare on Elm Street.” If that sounds like your cup of tea, the event organisers will ” have 50+ types of beer – everything from local craft to imported brews, and not only is this a beer festival, but this is a family-friendly event!”
As well as that there will be Haunted Drive-In Movies, Haunted Walk Thru, Monster Trucks, Zombie Paintball. The event is family and dog friendly but tickets are required.
512 Sheep Ln, Grantsville, UT 84074
Through October 16th
It’s a near two month party at this Murray bar, that’s always home to German-inspired dishes year round. Now through October 16th the bar has plenty going on to celebrate Oktoberfest. From the picture Bavarian King Platter thtough to a whole new slew of German food and drink specials. There’s also music, giveaways, contents and weekly special events. Check out their Facebook page for all the details.
7 E 4800 S, Murray, UT 84107
September 24th – 28th
From 11.00 a.m.
Meanwhile over in Ogden hit up this bar for a range of specials. The weeklong celebrations are headed up by a party on Saturday, September 25th where you will find beer specials, das boots, food specials and a firkin from Kiitos.
2570 Washington Blvd. Ogden, UT 84401
Templin Family Oktoberfest
September 25th , 2021
noon – midnight
A ticketed event at popular brewer TF for this “third annual ish” party.
936 S 300 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Oktoberfest weekend @ The Westerner
September 17th and 18th. A two night event for the WVC bar.
3360 S Redwood Rd Salt Lake City, UT 84119
Of course, some might want to raise a stein in the safety and comfort of their own home. If you’re thinking of a home-based Bavarian knees up this year, lets go through your options. Starting with the sausages:
Beltex Meats – Utah’s best butcher bar none. Also home to an ever revolving array of fine house made sausage. Just look at these.
Colosimos – This venerable Magna based business might just have the largest and most diverse selection in the state. Check this menu out.
Gerome’s Market – The Gerome in question is Craig Germone, former chef at HSL, Solitude and the much missed Annex by Epic. Gerome now sells old world style sausages from a family recipe at local Farmers Markets.
Harmons – Lastly, a solid and easy accessible standby is this locally grown grocer. In spite of their mega-growth over the years, the butchers case is solid, and the brats beautiful.
As for the beer, you’re more than likely to find seasonal specials at just about any local brewer you trip over during Fall, but several are notable for their European leanings including:
Bohemian Brewery – This Midvale based brewery has been in the business since 2001 with a focus on Utah made Eurpoean lagers and pilsners.
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with multiple local publications from Visit Salt Lake to Salt Lake Magazine, not least helped to consult on national TV shows.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for the better part of fifteen years. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of big words I don’t understand. What they’re saying about me: “Not inaccurate”, “I thought he was older”, “I don’t share his feelings”.
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