Have you ever dreamed of attending Oktoberfest but didn’t have the time or the money?
Don’t worry — you won’t need to break the bank or use any vacation time to experience the traditional German beer festival and carnival this year.
Local breweries and companies are gearing up to bring Germany to Gainesville by hosting their own renditions of Oktoberfest throughout this month.
First Magnitude Brewing Company will host its annual Oktoberfest party Saturday from noon to midnight at 1220 SE Veitch St.
Simon McClung, brand coordinator at First Magnitude, said the event will be bigger and better than it’s ever been.
“We're pulling out all the stops this year,” he said. “In addition to decorating the warehouse, taproom, and beer garden, we've partnered with Horse Country Carriage Co. of Micanopy to offer horse-drawn wagon rides from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.”
In addition to the wagon rides, participants can enjoy live music all day from The Polka Bears, Sooza, Madwoman, Observatory, and The Walkers. McClung said First Magnitude will also be playing the Gator football game against LSU on a 16 foot projector..
Most importantly, First Magnitude plans to give guests a genuine Oktoberfest experience by offering authentic German brews.
“At First Magnitude, we love to keep the focus on the beer,” McClung said. “In addition to our German-style hefeweizen, Wakulla, which is brewed year-round, we like to brew some of our favorite German styles to drink on Oktoberfest.”
First Magnitude will have eight German-style beers on tap, ranging from full-bodied weizenbocks to light lagers. The Pavo Pilsner, a crisp golden lager with a pleasant, hoppy bite to the finish, is a staff and brewer favorite, according to McClung.
On Oct. 19, Swamp Head Brewery will be teaming up with Audi Gainesville for their annual Oktoberfest event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, located at 1920 N. Main St.
Thomas Brinkmann, general manager at Audi, said the company has strong roots in Bavaria, Germany, and likes to make its Oktoberfest as authentic and special as possible.
Swamp Head has been working with Audi to put on the event since 2017. Proceeds from the event support the Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida.
Brinkmann said it’s important to employees at Audi to host a yearly event at their store that makes them approachable to their community and allows them to give back to a wonderful charity.
“The Ronald McDonald House is a strong partner with a very powerful volunteer force that enables us to put such a large event together,” Brinkmann said. “We fell in love with their cause in helping families while their children are ill. They can really be available for anyone.”
Entertainment at the event will include a gelato truck, human foosball, and a bounce house. There will also be a six-member band flown in from Germany.
Katherine Seropian, a 21-year-old UF business senior, said she is excited to attend the two events for the second year in a row.
“As an international business master’s student, I am constantly intrigued in experiencing new cultures,” Seropian said. “Events like these allow me to get a taste of a foreign tradition without even leaving town.”