Updated to include correct prices for Dubuque Oktoberfest bier tasting tickets.

Fall is a foodie’s paradise when it comes to tasty happenings in the tri-states.

It also marks the annual time of year when local breweries celebrate the release of seasonal libations, with a nod to German culture and heritage.


Though christened Oktoberfest since its inception in 1810, most events kick off in September. The happening in Munich, Bavaria, Germany is a 16- to 18-day folk festivity that begins in mid- to late-September, coming to a close the first weekend of October.

Centuries later, it’s a tradition that has left its stamp across the globe, including within the tri-states. The first annual Oktoberfest of the season is set for this weekend at the Potosi (Wis.) Brewery.

We’ve rounded up what else you can check out locally, beginning this month and including two events taking place the same day. Also, be sure to check out local breweries for Oktoberfest offerings they’ll have on tap.


Time/date: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.

Site: Potosi (Wis.) Brewing Co., 209 S. Main St.

Cost: Free, with food and beer available for purchase.

What to expect: The release of the brewery’s seasonal Oktoberfest Marzen-style lager, with German food, live music and more.

Dubuque Oktoberfest

Time/date: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21.

Site: A.Y. McDonald Park.

Cost: $5, with bier tasting tickets $35. Those younger than 10 are free.

What to expect: Bier tasting from 3 to 6 p.m., with more than 25 local, regional and nation breweries; food and drinks; live music from the Guttenberg (Iowa) German Band, the Americana Band and the Loras College German Band; wiener dog races; and games, including Hammerschlagen, Masskrugstemmen (a stein-holding contest), tug of war and beer pong. The University of Northern Iowa International Dance Theatre also will perform traditional German and Slavic dances. Proceeds benefit Camp Albrecht Acres.


Time/date: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21.

Site: Millwork District, Dubuque.

Cost: Free.

What to expect: Back for year two, the event boasts a block party featuring live entertainment provided by The Zealots, a skateboarding and a BMX contest, food and local craft brews. Bloktoberfest also includes activities for kids, such as bounce houses, a dunk tank, balloon twisters, a fire truck, the Voices Jr. mural project, body art from Challenge to Change, STEM demonstrations from Clarke University, a virtual reality expo in the 7 Hills Event Center and mobile play provided by Creative Adventure Lab.

Guttenberg GermanFest

Time/date: 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 27-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28.

Site: River Park Drive, Guttenberg, Iowa.

Cost: Free, with food and beer available for purchase.

What to expect: Live music, German dancers, weiner dog races, a German shepherd and agility demonstration, a sauerkraut contest, activities for kids and beer and brats to boot.

Galena Oktoberfest Weekend

Times/dates: 6-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4; 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5.

Site: Depot Park, Galena, Ill.

Cost: $5. Those 12 and younger are free.

What to expect: Happenings kick off on Friday with live music, food trucks, craft beer and a free outdoor screening of "Field of Dreams" at 8 p.m. Hosted by the Galena Lions Club, Saturday events will include a 5K walk/run along the Galena River Trail, wiener dog races, the ceremonial tapping of the keg, a Potosi (Wis.) rolling bar, parades and a costume contest, live music, a bounce house and activities for children, polka dancing and lessons, a beer stein endurance contest, a bean bag tournament, souvenir sales and an auction of framed poster art and beer and food.

Megan Gloss