While the coronavirus pretty much spoils everyone's fun, area brewers and taverns are working to find ways to celebrate Oktoberfest in ways that don't necessarily involve cramming a bunch of people together to drink beer, dance and eat food. (In other words, celebrating Oktoberfest other than the only way we've known how.)
Thanks to Erv's Mug – which canceled its annual Ervtoberfest – some of us lucky folks have been quietly celebrating Oktoberfest at home, alone, thanks to cases of 24 different Wisconsin-brewed marzen-style brews. But those sold out fast, so if you're looking to do the same, you'll have to head over to your favorite craft beer retailer and assemble your own version. If you'd like a list of a couple dozen to seek out (the ones pictured at the top), click here.
You can also use it as an excuse to pop 'round to Milwaukee's craft brewery taprooms to pick up the seasonal special beers that are on offer pretty much everywhere at this time of year.
Sprecher is hosting a drive-thru SprecherFest this year on Saturday, Sept. 26 from noon until 5 p.m. and you can grab some Oktoberfest beer and giant pretzels without leaving the comfort of your vehicle. Full details at sprecherfest.com.
For folks comfortable with crowds, there are still some in-person Oktoberfest celebrations on the calendar.
While the annual Milwaukee Oktoberfest at Pere Marquette Park has been canceled, there are some in-person fests still on tap.
The second annual Prosit Tosa Oktoberfest takes place Saturday, Sept. 19 from 1 until 8 p.m. at the Kneeland Walker Grounds, 7406 Hillcrest Dr.
The family friendly event ($7) is a fundraiser for the Wauwatosa Historical Society. More info is here.
The folks at Kegel's Inn have moved their Oktoberfest celebration to the lakefront where social distancing can take place. The three-day fest, Sept. 24-26, will benefit the War Memorial Center, which is hosting the event on the outdoor Fitch Plaza. Full details, including how to reserve a spot can be found here.
The Bavarian Bierhaus, which hosts the largest celebration in the area in its adjacent Old Heidelberg Park, has not canceled. This big Oktoberfest takes place Thursdays-Sundays through Oct. 4 and there are spaced-out tables, plus live music every night, a midway for the kids, plenty of food, lots of beer and more. Table reservations are recommended. Full details on entertainment, menus, reservations and more can be found here.
On Saturday, Sept. 26, MobCraft Brewing hosts a virtual Oktoberfest celebration at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. VIPs). There are two kits available for $40 and $65 (VIP) including party admission, a mixed six-pack of beer, a build your own pretzel necklace kit, a commemorative stein and the limited edition Eisstoberfest beer. Complete details here.
The Cudahy Lions Club Oktoberfest takes place Saturday, Sept. 26, from noon until 10 p.m. at the Cudahy Family Library parking lot, 3500 Library Dr. in Cudahy. Expect raffles, games, live music, cold drinks and more. Admission is free. More here.
The annual Germantown Hunsrucker Oktoberfest is taking place Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 26 and 27 at Dheinsville Historical Park. Admission is free and there's live music and more on tap from noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and noon until 7 p.m. Sunday. More info here.
Milwaukee Brewing Company's Oktoberfest is slated for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 2 and 3. There will be German-style beers, live music, food and more. Admission is $35 and you can reserve a table for $25. Full details are here.
Lake Geneva's free Oktoberfest is slated for Oct. 10-11 on the 200 block of Broad Street and Flat Iron Park in downtown Lake Geneva. The event, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. includes pony rides, bounce houses, knocketball, live music, a craft fair, a beer tent, cider donuts (yum!) and a pumpkin giveaway. Details on a shuttle and more here.
You can have your own informal Oktoberfest celebration at one of the area's many beer gardens, too. Details on those are here.
Keep checking back as we're updating this list on a regular basis.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in an episode of TV's "Party of Five," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.