17 Places to Celebrate Oktoberfest in Raleigh (and beyond) For 2023

Okay friends. It’s nearly Oktoberfest in Raleigh time and I’m going to be real brave now and share a photo of me enjoying the original Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany way back in 1997.

man and girl drinking stein beers at munich oktoberfest
Caz at Oktoberfest in Munich (1997)

That was when I was 21. At least I am not the one wearing napkins on my head. That was my friend Patto, the kind of person you want to drink beer with at Oktoberfest.

We had two days in the Munich beer halls drinking steins and prosting (a toast when drinking alcohol) while listening to German oompah and chatting with locals in an effort to understand their culture. I’m not sure if it was the beer, but I was delightfully surprised at how funny the Germans were!

How could you not love a culture that creates a two week long festival around beer? A festival that’s so much fun many countries around the world have adopted it as their own and join the celebrations. 

Large group of people drinking beer together at Oktoberfest festival
Oktoberfest in Munich. Photo by DepositPhotos.com

There’s no way Raleigh is going to miss out on that beer and festival fun, and if you are searching on your phone for Oktoberfest near me, our list below is for you!

While the Oktoberfest celebrations in Raleigh may not involve beer halls next to beer halls, each packed to the brim with thousands of people, they’re still offering loads of beer and Gemutlichkeit – that’s German for good times (not a direct translation but a thereabout). 

How did Oktoberfest start?

Group of friends drinking beer together at Oktoberfest
Image courtesy of DepositPhotos.com

Oktoberfest began on October 12, 1810 to celebrate the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria, (who later became King Louis I) to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. 

By the late 20th century food and drink booths grew into the large beer halls with balconies and bandstands that are now hosted by local brewers and can fit up to 6,000 people. 

Oktoberfest in Munich draws more than 6 million revelers a year who drink about 2 million gallons of beer. The festival also has rides and entertainment. But somehow I missed all of that? Blame Patto!

4 people holding up jugs or beer in celebration at Oktoberfest
PROST! Image by DepositPhotos.com

Many cities around the world, especially those with large German populations or heritage, hold Oktoberfests modeled on the original Munich festival. They feature beer, German food and music, and lederhosen or dirndls costumes! You must bring with you good cheer and an open heart to prost with strangers. 

When is Oktoberfest?

Large group of people celebrating in a tent for Oktoberfest in Munich
Oktoberfest in Munich by DepositPhotos.com

Oktoberfest in Munich is actually no longer even held in October (well a few days of it are). Opening day is always mid-September and goes for around 16 days finishing in the first week of October. It was brought forward so people could enjoy the longer daylight hours!

Oktoberfest celebrations in Raleigh will be held across September and October. 

Check out the nearest brewery to you – I am sure if they don’t have a specific Oktoberfest event on, they might at least have an Oktoberfest flavored beer. 

A word of warning: If steins are involved and you hold a few of them, you will end up with sore muscles and bruises on your hands. 

We will update this post if we discover more Oktoberfest in Raleigh events announced Be sure to subscribe to our email below as we send weekly updates with fresh finds and happenings. We have a free PDF Fall Bucket List for all our subscribers:

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Let’s start with the Triangle’s largest Oktoberfest and follow up with the smaller brewery events in date order. Get your calendar ready as prosting will begin this weekend! 

Triangle Oktoberfest, Oct 6 & 7, 2023

People standing in a line holding up glasses of beer
Photo: TriangleOktoberfest.org
  • Where:  Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary
  • Time: Fri 6th: 5-10 p.m.; Sat 7th: 12-8 p.m.
  • Cost:  Starts at $20 | Kids free under 16
  • Website: TriangleOktoberfest.org

The biggest Oktoberfest event in Raleigh is the Triangle Oktoberfest held in Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary. This is the closest to Munich tradition that you’ll get here in Raleigh. 

This authentic German festival is focused on family fun, traditional Bavarian food and fare; and plenty of local and authentic German beers from Munich.

Of course, rest assured there will be Polka music to ramp up that Oompah vibe. 

Live entertainment will be the King Guys Oktoberfest Brass Band, the largest and most exciting Wiener Dog Races in NC, a kid friendly Kinder Platz with inflatables and face painting, MassKrugstemmen (Stein Hoist), Schlagen-Hammer (Hammer-Striking) competitions, and the Miss and Mr. Oktoberfest contest.

Large group of people at a beer festival - Oktoberfest Raleigh
Image by TriangleOktoberfest.org

100% of this rotary sponsored event goes to charity. This year the beneficiary is the Meg’s Smile Foundation.

It is the largest Oktoberfest in Central North Carolina, and they’ve finally changed the dates so it no longer clashes with the World of Bluegrass Event – yay!

Raleigh Brewing, Sun., Sept. 10, 2023

Craig Makepeace (a male) standing with a beer in his hand with the sign City of Blokes behind him
Craig at Raleigh Brewing
  • Where: 3709 Neil St, West Raleigh
  • Time: 1-6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Facebook Event

The annual Oktoberfest event at Raleigh Brewing will feature German food from Truman’s Smokehouse & Kitchen, Capital Club 16’s truck – The Wandering Wolf, and Eat, Sweet, Repeat 

The Little German Band will provide the live music and there will be a keg hoisting contest and an exclusive merch release!

Gizmo Brew Works, Sat., Sept. 16, 2023

Group of men holding our jugs of beer at Oktoberfest
Image by GizmoBrewworks.com
  • Where: 5907 Triangle Dr, North West Raleigh
  • Time: 12-10 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: 

Known for their live music and open mic sessions, Gizmo Brew won’t disappoint with their Oktoberfest celebration heavy on the live music component with three live acts. 

Tents will have you covered for all weather conditions. A variety of food options will be available from Rescue Dogs and The Blue Window.

Plus, plenty of craft beer including their Oktoberfest ale.

Durham Oktoberfest, Sat., SEPT. 16, 2023

  • Where: Motorco Music Hall, Durham
  • Time: 
    • Session 1: 1pm – 5pm
    • Session 2: 6pm – 10pm
  • Cost: $10 now | $15 at door (includes first beer and Marchtoberfest glass!)
  • Oktoberfest Tickets

This 13th annual Oktoberfest event in Motorco Music Hall in Downtown Durham has a German beer hall vibe with steins of Oktoberfest Bier, German food (bratwurst, schnitzels, pretzels) and live oompah party, music and dancing from the Little German Band and Dancers. 

Compass Rose Brewery, Sept., 16 & 17, 2023

  • Where: 3201 Northside Dr #101, Raleigh, NC, United States, North Carolina
  • Time: 12-9 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Website 

Compass Rose Brewery’s weekend Oktoberfest will include stein hosting competition, live music, raffle prizes, keg toss, and German Bratwurst and Bavarian pretzels. Their seasonal Wünderfest and Märzen Lagers will be available.

Crank Arm Brewery Sproktoberfest, Sun., Sept 23, 203

Hand holding a cup of beer in front of Crank Arm Brewing
Crank Arm Brewing

This year Crank Arm are closing down the street and throwing a German style block party! Capital Club 16 will have a pop-up menu with classic German Food and the Little German Band and dancers will be play.

It’s free to attend the party, but you can buy a ticket for $32.50 that will include a SPROKTOBFEST .5L Stoneware stein imported directly from Germany and their first fill of the stein with our delicious Oktoberfest lager. (the first 135 people who purchase)

Vicious Fishes Apex Sharktoberfest, Sat., Sept 23, 2023

Two glasses of beer siting on a bar at Vicious Fishes Brewing in Apex, NC
Vicious Fishes
  • Where: 2237 Old US 1 Apex, NC 
  • Time: 3-7 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Website 

Since Vicious Fishes Brewery has a focus on clean German lagers, it makes sense you’d want to celebrate Oktoberfest at their Apex location, especially since they have a big biergarten conducive to lederhosen style dancing.

You can prost to the release of their annual festbier, Sharktoberfest, a smooth, clean, slightly malty lager that will transport you to the beer halls of Munich. There will be limited edition Sharktoberfest Steins and Sharktoberfest T-Shirts for sale and the The Little German Band and Dancers will be entertaining you!

I am very excited about the Vicious Fishes upcoming new downtown Cary location complete with fire pit and live music.

Bombshell Beer Company, Sat., Sep 23, 2023

  • Where: 120 Quantum Dr, Holly Springs, NC 27540
  • Time: 12-11 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Facebook event

This female owned brewery in Holly Springs will have a Wunderbar day filled with delicious beer; fun games and contests; a kid’s zone, good food, music and their Oktoberfest brew. 

Live music from Mike and Any and The Ridge Band, and food trucks from Carolina Moe’s BBQ and Don Taco,.

Fortnight Brewing, Sat., Sep 23, 2023

Glass of beer on an outside table at a brewery
Fortnight Brewing
  • Where: 1006 SW Maynard Rd Cary, NC 27511
  • Time: 12-11 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Website

Fortnight Brewing in Cary knows how to put on an Oktoberfest Celebration. At this all-day event you’ll find special Oktoberfest brews, food from Bull City Eatery and live music from Old Sap.

There’s also a ton of games and competitions to participate in including a corn hole tournament, beer pong stein holding competition, and a costume contest. Includes the Grand Opening of their Pub Room.

Lonerider Brewery, Sat., Sept 22 – 24, 2023

  • Where: 8816 Gulf Ct. Suite 100, Raleigh, NC, United States, North Carolina
  • Time: 12- 10 p.m
  • Cost: Free
  • Website 

Lonerider is going all out for Oktoberfest this year with a three-day celebration which will feature a stein holding, finger wrestling, and catching pretzels with your mouth competitions; live music and dancing from the Little German Band; and a lineup of Lonerider’s finest brews on tap.

Lafayette Village Oktoberfest, Sat., Sept 30, 2023

Shopping village, tree and green grass - Lafeyette Village
Lafayette Village
  • Where: Lafayette Village, North Raleigh
  • Time:  12-4 p.m.
  • Cost: free
  • Website

It may be a French inspired village, but that doesn’t mean German traditions can’t be celebrated.

This North Raleigh Oktoberfest festival will feature Fall Brews, German inspired Foods, the 8th Annual Wiener Dog Races, Live Music, Shopping & Fun throughout the Village! RSVP for a chance to win a $100 Gift Card to any Lafayette Village Shop!

Hops and Shops Oktober Market, Sat., Sept 30, 2023

  • Where: Norse Brewing Company, Zebulon
  • Time: 11-4pm

Norse are celebrating their first Oktoberfest at their new location in Zebulon. Will feature a pop-up market, a beer trailer and Shitzngyggles for the live music.

Southern Peak Brewery Peaktoberfest, Sept. 30, 2023

  • Where: Southern Peak Brewery, Apex
  • Time: 11am
  • Cost: Free
  • Website

The Annual PEAKTOBERFEST festival will feature amazing Beer Releases, Tasty Food Trucks, stein holding competitions, jewelry selling store, and Live Performances all day! The first 100 customers will receive commemorative PEAKTOBERFEST glassware.

Oktrophyfest, Trophy on Maywood, Saturday, Oct 14th, 2023

  • Where: Trophy on Maywood
  • Cost: Free
  • Website

We popped into Oktrophyfest last year and had a fun time. This year will again be music from the Little German Band and Mozel Franzi and the JaJaJas and food by the Wandering Wolf/Capital Club 16. Trophy will be releasing this year’s lineup of exclusive German-style beer releases.

Apex Oktoberfest, Sat., Oct 14, 2023

  •  Where: Apex Town Hall Campus
  • Time:  starts at noon
  • Cost: free
  • Website

This family-friendly Oktoberfest celebration in Apex features a Car Show, Corn Hole Tourney, Food Trucks, Beer Garden, Kids Zone, beer and live music from Peak City Sound! This event is put on by the American Legion Post 124. (no pets allowed). Read our guide to Downtown Apex!

The Glass Jug, Sat. Oct 20, 2023

  • Where: Durham Central Park
  • Time: 4-8pm p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Website

Join the NC Polka Time Allstars and The Glass Jug Beer Lab at Durham Central Park for The Glass Jug’s annual Durham Oktoberfest!

There will be a mobile bar in the park, slinging delicious German Lagers, hot soft pretzels, and commemorative steins! There’ll be a bouncy Kid Zone, and food will be available from the Smokehouse Bandits and Bull City Eatery.

Oktoberfest Clouds Brewing, Sat., Oct 28, 2023

Clouds Brewing, Raleigh
Image by CloudsBrewing.com
  • Where: 1233 Front St, Downtown Raleigh
  • Time: 2-9 p.m
  • Cost: $10 – $30 (includes first beer and Marchtoberfest glass!)
  • Oktoberfest Tickets

The Little German Band & Dancers is back at this German inspired Raleigh brewery. I love how Clouds is prolonging Oktoberfest with an end of October event. We’ll see you under their big tent! The party will host traditional contests, food trucks, and special beer releases including their Signature Oktoberfest beer from Clouds Brewing is Cloudstoberfest. 

There’ll also be a keg ceremony and stein holding contests. Saturday entry ticket includes first beer and Marchtoberfest glass!

There you have it, a great list Raleigh Oktoberfest events. Will we see you at one of these celebrations? Share in the comments below which event you are looking forward to?


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