If you have German heritage, can’t wait for October, or just really enjoy beer, here are the events you should be aware of happening now through early October.
Oktoberfest has always been kind of a big deal in Philly–driven primarily by the large-scale block parties thrown by the crew behind Brauhaus Schmitz.
This year though? They’re doing their South Street party AND a three day Oktoberfest in Center City.
Sure it’s fun to order just what you want off of a restaurant’s menu but sometimes the camaraderie of a shared feast is what you’re really hungering for. That’s when a large format meal at one of Philadelphia’s best restaurants is what you have in mind. So gather up some friends and make reservations for these family-style dinners.
Kennett Square is the next ‘burb getting in on the beer garden game. This Friday, June 3rd, The Creamery pop-up beer garden will open.
The beer garden is located in the completely revamped creamery which had been empty and in disrepair for years. Owner Michael Bontrager collaborated with Philadelphia’s Groundswell Design Group (PHS Pop Up Gardens, Talula’s Garden Spruce Street Harbor Park) to turn the site into “lush, open pop-up space” featuring the beer garden, performance venues, garden courtyards and local art.
As a lifetime Philadelphian I’ve consumed more than my fare share of pretzels. Even with the knowledge that Philadelphians eat more than 12 times as many pretzels as the average American, I feel I consume more than all but the most zealous Philadelphia pretzel eaters. And it has been that way for a long time. In Catholic grade school, the soft pretzel was as much a part of any school day as prayer. I’ve had a pretzel with mustard for breakfast more often than any bowl of cereal. I still don’t blink at the thought of ordering a pretzel from any street vendor, though I’ve become suspicious of the watered-down mustard coming out of the squirt bottles (that’s why there are always mustard packets in my desk drawer). And I believe a certain amount of Philadelphia’s culture vanished when Herb Denenberg aired his hidden camera report on pretzel vendors, but that was disgusting.
At a height taller than the even the observation deck of Berlin’s famed TV tower, Fernsehturm Berlin, Skygarten will be one of the highest places in the world to hoist a pint or boot of German beer. And that’s what you’ll be doing on the 51st floor of 3 Logan Square (1717 Arch Street). Top of the Tower is teaming up with Brauhaus Schmitz to launch what they’re calling the “World’s Most Celestial Beer Garden.”
The 3,000 square foot indoor and outdoor space will curated by Doug Hager and his team at Brauhaus Schmitz. Hager will have four draft lines plus multiple German beers by the can and select local craft beers. Jeremy Nolen is working with the Top of the Tower’s culinary team to create a menu of bar bites and snacks.
As part of this year’s Franklin Square Holiday Festival, events like Franklin Square Fridays, the Holiday Light Show and Ben’s Bites & Brews Beer Garden have all returned for the seasonal celebration.
The free Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show has more than 50,000 lights set to a soundtrack of holiday classics performed by the Philly Pops orchestra. The show begins every night at 4:30 p.m. and one guest gets the honor of flipping the switch to illuminate Franklin Square – which continues every half-hour until 8 p.m.
Today, Wednesday, October 21, Brauhaus Schmitz rolls out its new fall menu. The menu features new dishes created by Brauhaus Schmitz’s creative and always entertaining chef de cuisine, Henrik Ringbom.
The menu showcases flavors of the season in stick-to-the-rib German preparations.
Among the new dishes »
The 700 block of South Street could barely contain the crowd of revelers who packed in to celebrate Brauhaus Schmitz’s 7th annual Oktoberfest on Saturday. “This year’s Festival was certainly the largest we have had yet,” says owner Doug Hager. “All day long we had a constant stream of people coming and going. We estimate upwards of 8,000 people stopped by the festival during the course of the day.”
That’s great for business all up and down South Street, but maybe too much to handle on one block (plus a small “bonus area”) alone. Hager suggests they may have to make some changes in years to come to accommodate the crowd. “We would like to see it continue to grow … I think we may have maximized what can be done on our block alone. We will have to look at all options for ways to either expand the size of or limit attendance to this festival in the years to come.”
On Saturday, September 19 from 12 noon until 8 p.m., Brauhaus Schmitz, will host its 7th annual Oktoberfest Block Party, shutting down the 700 block of South Street, and 8th Street between Kater and Rodman, for a raucous good time.
Admission is free and all food and drink is pay as you go. You can expect ten German beers to be pouring throughout the event, including the signature Brauhaus Oktoberfest from Traunstein Hofbrauhaus. The block party will also include live Oompah music, face painting, and the finals to the now famous Liter Lift Competition (winner earns free beer for a year), German dancers, Schnapski, and more.
If you can’t wait to get the party started, head to Brauhaus Schmitz tonight for that last chance to qualify for the Liter Lift finals (pre-register here) and there’s also The Race to Kick the Keg. If you order the beer that kicks the keg, you win a prize pack.