Where to find the best of Oktoberfest
Congrats on winning that liter-lifting throwdown at Brauhaus Schmitz -- now bulk up more than your biceps with Thrillist Philly's guide to the besten Oktoberfest essentials. We've separated the lederhosen from the lame-derhosen to find the only bar in town with harvest drafts on SELF-SERVE TAPS, perfect for washing down the ultimate brew-braised bacon-sauerkraut-smothered sausages
And if you absolutely have to burn off those 'brats playing ping pong in Fishtown 'til last call, ja, we've got a beer garden for that too.
Best Drafts: BRU
Because the future is now, the self-serve draft system at this block-deep Midtown Village beer garden features touchscreen iPads and magnetic fob taps to help you choose and pour seasonal suds like BRU Hausfest, Ace Perry Cider, and Avery Brewing's The Kaiser, and because history repeats itself, there's also an old-school stone drainage system built underneath. At 30 cents an ounce, it's easy to lose your grip on more than your decision-making.
Best Sausages: Wursthaus Schmitz
The Brauhaus Schmitz crew's Reading Terminal Market stall is a Bavarian bodega-meets-butcher shop stacked with year-round Oktoberfest necessities like boxed knudel and curry ketchup, while the sizzling grills behind display cases, packed with take-away head cheese and Hungarian salami, cook up 17 specialty sausages like beef goulash-piled 'brats, horseradish mustard-slathered kielbasa, and cole slaw-smothered Bavarians.
Best Pretzels: Frankford Hall
The oversized warm Bavarian dough-knots roving vendors peddle at Stephen Starr's Fishtown beer garden are bigger than the ping pong paddles swinging inside the Frankford Ave courtyard's outdoor tables, and are sure to land in your cuppa cheese dip before the ball ever does.
Best Cocktails: Stratus Lounge
Prefer rooftop lounges to beer gardens and brew-floating booze to steins of hard suds? Hide yourself high above Old City on the Hotel Monaco's indoor-outdoor party deck, where the resident mixologist's shaking up Oktoberfest with the rye-and-honey Reinheitsgebot topped with Yards Brawler, and October in the Caribbean, a two-rum-and-lime 'tail with a Flying Dog IPA rising above it all.
Best Patio: City Tap House
Not a real pagan celebration unless you're bathed in harvest moonlight and the glow of five high-flaming fire pits? Sorry, but Oktoberfest is actually a commemoration of the marriage of... never mind. Once your date's warmed up to you on this UCity upper deck, she'll believe pretty much anything you say, except maybe how you're descended from King Ludwig I and... what's her name?