Germania Park in Rockaway, NJ had its annual Oktoberfest celebration on September 20 – 21. It’s the first time I’ve been to this event, but locals tell me they’ve been coming for traditional German dishes, beer and music for years. The cash-only event will set you back $5 for adults plus food and drinks. Wine and spirits are available for purchases in addition to beer, but who celebrates Oktoberfest with wine? Not this girl. Hofbrau, Ramstein and Yuengling were available on tap for $5 and food ranged from about $4-$10.
Tip: This event uses $1 tickets as currency to speed up wait time for beers and brats. I didn’t see an ATM on site, so I recommend bringing cash and getting in the ticket line ASAP because it got a bit long at times. Note: If you have left over tickets at the end of the night, you can sell your tickets back.
Hofbräu Oktoberfest (6.3% ABV): This Marzen/Oktoberfest brewed by Hofbräu München in Munich pours a clear cinnamon brown with a thick, two-finger white head. The malty aroma has notes of bread, caramel and floral hops. Hofbräu Oktoberfest starts off with bitter hoppiness followed by rich, bready, caramel and a bit of sweetness. The flavors commingle to create a clean finish that will have you reaching for another beer all night. This is a traditional representation of the style that I look forward to every September.
Ramstein Oktoberfest (6% ABV): This Marzen/Oktoberfest, only available on draft for a limited time (September 1 – October 31), is brewed by High Point Brewing Company in Butler, NJ. It pours cloudy amber brown with a thin, light brown head. Ramstein Oktoberfest has a nice nose of cinnamon, nutmeg and malt with a bit of orange zest underneath. The flavor profile is all bready malt and sweet caramel with a bit of subtle bitterness to balance the flavor that finishes dry. This brew was a bit heavy compared to other beers in this style, but will appeal to those who like a slightly sweeter marzen.