Where to drink now
Can you hear the oom-pa-pa in the air? Oktoberfest is just around the corner, so it's time to shake off the lederhosen, rinse out the stein, and say prost! to the German tradition. South Texas may be far from Munich, and the original beer festival may only last for a precious two weeks, but these Alamo City places prove that Bavarian culture is alive in San Antonio all year long.
Alamo Beer Company
This revered San Antonio brewery’s official Oktoberfest celebration kicks off at 5:30 pm on Friday, September 27, with a tapping from Mayor Ron Nirenberg, but beer lovers shouldn’t fret if they can’t make it before the September 29 end date. The tap room pours out pilsners and lagers almost every day of the year. And, anyway, it’s rumored that Tyrolean hats are one of fall 2019’s must-have fashion accessories.
This River Walk staple is devoting two weekends to Oktoberfest — September 27-29 and October 4-6 — but dirndls are eternal. In addition to having one of the broadest German beer lists in the city, it also serves up mash-ups like the (perhaps ill-advised) Radler made with Hofbräu beer and Sierra Mist. Ward off any hangovers with deep-fried pork sausage, sauerkraut, and cream cheese balls or the Nuremburger sausage wheel slathered in beer cheese and served on a pretzel bun.
With that umlaut, Künstler is as German as it gets. Sign up for the stein hoisting competition during the proper party October 12-13. Or get those fall vibes going earlier with a cheddar bacon brat, a giant pretzel, and the Cashmere hefeweizen — a citrusy sipper that is as delicate as its name.
The Quarry Hofbräu & Beer Garden
Whether coming in by car, plane, or das boot, this Quarry Market staple is a must-hit fall destination. The beer list is a master class on how German beer spread throughout the world, covering hard-to-find European brands like Franziskaner, Hill Country newcomers like Altstadt, Mexican lagers like Dos Equis, and, uhm, Budweiser. Visit October 12-13 to see Terry Cavanagh & the Alpine Express rock the accordion.
A San Antonio institution since 1917, this German restaurant does not have an Oktoberfest party planned on its on, but it will be participating in the October 12 festivities at Market Square. Until then, locals can come in for Drunk Germans (root beer spiked with Jagermeister) and one of the best schnitzels in miles.