Oktoberfest began as a wedding celebration. In the fall of 1810, Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria was married. The celebration continued for two weeks and the idea of it has lasted for over 200 years!
Oktoberfest 2016 is here!
Join in the fun! See your friends, neighbors - maybe even you!
See some of the fun we've had during Oktoberfest over the past few years!
Watch this space - new photos will be added throughout during Oktoberfest 2016!
View the 2016 slideshow →
View the 2015 slideshow →
View the 2014 slideshow →
View the 2013 slideshow →
View the 2012 slideshow →
View the 2011 slideshow →
View the 2010 slideshow →
View the 2009 slideshow →
View the 2008 slideshow →
2016 Oktoberfest Events!
While most people associate Oktoberfest with lots of beer drinking, it’s always been a carnival-like celebration in Germany.
There are rides and games, and Munich holds the annual poster contest (an idea we've borrowed!)
The foods that you will see on every corner at Oktoberfest include Roast or Rotisserie Chicken, Pretzels and, of course, sausages. We've got all those food and great German beer too!
So join in the fun this fall at the Black Forest Inn!
See below for details & schedule of events.
This year, given the current events and issues, we are adding a featured German protest story for each night of Oktoberfest. Many of these stories illustrate how populist protests are a natural response to indignation and outrage and how they can effect profound change.
Don't forget to enter our Grand prize drawing! Enter to win a V.I.P. Summit Brewery Tour for up to six people with an additional hour in the tasting room and t-shirts! Enter throughout Oktoberfest. Grand Prize drawing will be Sunday night, October 4. (Need not be present to win.)
2016 Schedule of events!
Day One: Prost! Night
Friday September 23, 2016
The best way to start Oktoberfest is with a toast! Celebrate fall, beer, and each other with a toast. We'll have some for you to read, or make up your own. Standing up to toast is encouraged. Speaking from the heart is essential. Rhyming is optional. Prizes will be awarded for exceptional toasts.
6:00 – 7:30 pm Live music!Alphorns! The Matterhorn Trio will play outside in our beer garden
7:30 pm Ceremonial Keg Tapping & restaurant-wide toast
7:30 – 9:30 pm Toasting!
7:30 – 9:30 pm Live music!Eric Ray on accordion and Jim Strehlke on horns
Paulaner Night!Buy any Paulaner beer and get a logo glass for $1 (while supplies last; one per customer)
Sample Paulaner beer with the Paulaner girls!
Poster and Menu Cover Contest winner unveiled!
Get your picture taken with the giant pretzel!
The Bavarian Beer Riots of 1844
When King Ludwig I decided to tax beer, the people rioted. The army, made up of beer-drinking men, were reluctant to interfere. It should be noted that in general the quality of drinking water in nineteenth century Bavaria was very poor and beer was often the safest beverage for people to drink so a tax on beer was indeed a burden on everyone. The rioting went on for five days, from May 1 to 5 and order was only restored when His Majesty decreed that there should be a corresponding ten percent reduction in the price of beer. By rights, the brewers and innkeepers should then have rioted, but they lacked sufficient numbers to effectively protest this turn of events.
Day Two: Tie the Knot Night
Saturday September 24, 2016
As you know, originally Oktoberfest was a wedding celebration. So we're going back to its roots and honoring the original Oktoberfest tonight. Get married! Renew your vows! Celebrate your anniversary! We have all the fixin's: ministers, flowers, bridesmaids, wedding cake, and an atmosphere of love.**
**Seriously, you could have your wedding here. Call us. And don't forget to get your marriage license seven days in advance.
6:30 – 9:00 pm Live music!Dreamland Faces, an accordion and saw duo, plays in the restaurant!
All day weddings & vow renewals
7:00 pm The Wedding – yes! It's real!!
All day weddings & vow renewals
Hacker-Pschorr Night!Buy any Hacker-Pschorr and get a logo glass for $1!
The Rosenstrasse Protest
In February and March of 1943* in Berlin, a group of women protested the detention of their Jewish husbands, who had, up until that point, been exempted from deportation by virtue of being married to non-Jewish women. Rosenstrasse was a street in a traditionally Jewish neighborhood and that is where the detention center was located. The women protested day and night chanting "Give us our husbands back!", despite being threatened with machine gun wielding SS officers every day. The crowd of women grew, emboldened by the sense of safety in numbers and after weeks of protest, Goebbles himself decreed that it would be easier to just release the men than continue to listen to the constant shouting outside. The building was bombed by the Allies near the end of the war, but several monuments on the site have been erected to honor the women who saved their husbands.
*Normally we would stay miles away from evoking anything having to do with World War Two, for obvious reasons. But this story of courageous and ultimately successful protest against a murderous regime is inspiring and worth sharing on this wedding themed night.
Day Three: Dumpling Night
Sunday, September 25, 2016
We're not taking any sides in any ongoing dumpling wars. They're all delicious to us! We'll have the best and the biggest, the fluffiest and the heartiest, a-meal-in-itselfers and the dessert type dumplings. The Dumpling Appreciation Society meets here today!
6:00 pm Miss Dumpling contest results announced
6:30 – 9:00 pm Live music!Mark Stillman on accordion!
Dumpling (food) specials
You know goes with dumplings? Beer, that's what.
Pilsner Urquel night!Buy any size Pilsner Urquel and get a logo glass for $1 (while supplies last) (one per customer)
Grounding the Starfighters
In 1967 a man living in a town near Munich protested the low flying Starfighters which roared over his property. He built a catapult and relentlessly fired dumplings at the aircraft. His one-man protest eventually made international headlines and, more satisfyingly, he succeeded in changing the flight paths away from the area entirely.
Day Four: The Wurst Night of Oktoberfest
Monday September 26, 2016
We'll celebrate sausages with sausage specials, mustards galore and fantastic sausage-enhancing condiments. Order the "brat bar" and choose your sausages and sides. Swim in sauerkraut. Pile your plate with pickles. Relish some relish. You deserve our best. We'll give you our wurst.
Brat bar includes: Handmade bratwurst, Handmade chicken curry sausage, Weisswurst, Polish sausage, celery relish, fried peppers, fried onions, sauerkraut, homemade Bavarian Sweet mustard, Maple mustard, Horseradish sauerkraut sauce, Curry ketchup, rye bread, potato salad, red cabbage and pickles. All that sausage goodness for $16.00
Also included: Unterberg! (because you might need a digestiv after all that sausage goodness!)
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm The Brat Bar Is open!
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm Live Music!Mark Stillman on accordion!
Bring your tuba and get a free beer!You may be required to play your tuba to earn the beer.
Monday Night Demonstrations
On September 4, 1989, after a weekly prayer for peace service at the Lutheran Church in Liepzig, a group of parishioners stayed to publicly protest the East German regime, with the hopes that by staying within the church square they would be safe from arrest. The following week, several thousand people showed up to join the public protest. Each Monday the peaceful protests grew, and other towns and cities in East Germany followed suit. By October 17, six weeks later, 120,000 people showed up to protest in Liepzig. The following week, 320,000 people protested in Liepzig, a city of 500,000. On November 4, a million people showed up to protest in Berlin. On November 9, the government announced the end of travel restrictions and the Germans began to dismantle the wall. The Monday Night Demonstrations continued, however, as the goal of having democratic elections had not been met. The demonstrations ended the following March, when the first free, multi-party elections in more than 40 years were finally held in East Germany.
Day Five: Dada Night
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
One hundred years ago a group of artists came together at Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. For the next eight years and along with groups in five other cities, the group known as Dada challenged society with their performances, writing, visual art, music and manifestos. Their work continues to challenge and inspire people today, just please don't ask us what it means.
6:30 – 9:00 pm Random Dada performances with Tom Cassidy and guests
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm Live Music!Dreamland Faces, an accordion and saw duo plays in the restaurant!
7:00 pm Join in the Exquisite Corpse!
7:30 pm Dada films in banquet space
Beer is anti-beer!Win nothing! Winning is nothing! Nothing is won!
DinkelAcker Night!Buy any size DinkelAcker Oktoberfest and get a logo glass for $1 (while supplies last) (one per customer)
The artists who founded the Dada movement were angry and convinced that the materialism and nationalism that pervaded Western society had brought about World War I. Their art was intended as a critique of, and challenge to, bourgeois society and the authoritarianism it supported. Though they sincerely hoped to end the war with their art, they also seriously innovated art as they knew it. They incorporated chance into the creation of art; they used "readymade" objects and, with minimal preparation, displayed them as art; they even picked a name that evokes nonsense in many languages. They so opposed conventional thinking they even opposed themselves, often declaring "Dada is anti-Dada!" Though the movement itself gave way to Surrealism and the Western world ultimately descended into war again and now again, much of their work stands as truly innovative, challenging and surprisingly modern and relevant one hundred years later.
Day Six: 95 Theses Night
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Got some beefs? A few issues? One or two pet peeves? Or 95 of them? Martin Luther had 95 points of contention with the church and he nailed them to the church door. We've got some complaints ourselves and we've got a door to nail them to. Care to join us?
5:00 – 10:00 pm Nail your critiques to the door! Or use a push pin.
6:30 – 9:00 Medieval music!
Medieval food!Try some interesting dishes from culinary history.
Win tickets to the Luther exhibit at MIA!
Lutheran jokes! Hilarity!
Spaten Night!Buy any Spaten beer and get a logo stein for $1 (while supplies last) (one per customer)
A Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences or Luther’s 95 Theses
Martin Luther was a devout monk who believed the Catholic Church was losing its way. He particularly objected to the selling of Indulgences, the practice of accepting donations to the church in exchange for the absolution of sins. Luther strongly believed that the clergy could neither confer absolution nor salvation upon anyone; only God could do that. Furthermore, the selling of indulgences was a transparent grab for money that the church didn't need, but the clergy clearly wanted. He summarized his concerns into a 95 point document, which, legend has it, on October 31, 1517, he nailed to the Wittenberg Castle church door. He was reform minded, but had no intention of being a revolutionary. He succeeded in getting the Church to call a conclave to address his issues, but they ultimately rejected his criticisms and called for him to recant them. He refused and his defiance sparked a theological revolution, as well as a political one (though he took a leadership role in neither). After finally being excommunicated he devoted ten years to translating the Bible into German, believing that ordinary people ought to have access to the Word of God. He then faded into obscurity, even as his cause burned more and more brightly across Europe.
Day Seven: Hermann the German Night or Why do the Germans Speak German?
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Get in the way back machine: Arminius! Germanicus! Folk heroes from a time when there weren’t that many folks. Fight the Romans! Fight each other! The Germans were the original pagans, the original barbarians and they were so not unified.
6:30 – 8:00 pm Is Your German Better than a Sixth Grader's? Sixth graders from the Twin Cities German Immersion School will challenge your German!
6:30 – 9:00 pm Live music!Mark Stillman on accordion!
7:30 - 9:00 pm Play games and win prizes from Schells beer!
9:00 pm Schells prize drawing – enter to win a fall outfit from Schells including a jacket, hoodie and gloves!
Schells Night! Schells samples! Schells prizes!
20% of our food sales today will go to support the Amity Aid program at the Twin Cities German Immersion School. This program brings young German teachers here to work for up to a year with students in the Twin Cities. The Teutoberg Forest, incidentally, is home to the town of Steinhagen, the place where Steinhäger Gin is made. We are no longer able to get Steinhäger from Germany so the good people at J Carver Distillery in Waconia are making it for us. And for you. And for all gin-loving Minnesotans. Try a sample! Buy a shot! Order some pickled herring to go with it!
The Battle of Teutoberg Forest
In and of itself, the defeat of the Roman Army at Teutoberg Forest in 9 A.D. was neither a stroke of military genius nor the beginning of Germanic unity, as it is sometimes characterized. Arminius, or Hermann, auf Deutsch, was a naturalized Roman from the Germanic Cherusci tribe. He had the title of Equestrian and worked for the Romans in his home territory. A change in Roman army leadership, as well as a plan to implement taxation, angered the Germanic tribes. They were able to set aside their long standing conflicts with each other and, led by Arminius, work together to plot an overthrow of the three occupying Roman Legions. The new leader of these legions dismissed intelligence that an overthrow was being plotted and marched right into an ambush. Rome never occupied land north of the Rhein again and, ultimately, this marked the end of several centuries of Roman Empire expansion. For their part, the Germanics went back to their inter-tribe squabbling for many hundreds more years. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why the Germans speak German (and not Italian)
Day Eight: The Triumphant Return of David Hasselhoff Night
Friday, September 30, 2016
Once again, we honor Mr. Hoff-tastic himself tonight (He's big in Germany!) We will have his face all over the restaurant! The main event is the giveaway of an array of excellent un-Hoffingly-believable prizes.
8:00 – 11:00 pm Prize giveaways!
8:00 – 11:00 pm Malibu girl giving away samples. Try a sample of Malibu! (this is in reference to Baywatch. Get it?)
Win a piece of the Berlin Wall!
Surly Night!Buy any sized Surly Fest beer and get a logo stein for $1! Surly prizes!
David Hasselhoff Brought Down the Berlin Wall
Well, he didn't exactly bring down the Berlin Wall, but he genuinely was a symbol of freedom for the Germans at that time, largely on the strength of his number one hit in Europe, "Looking for Freedom." Europe, and particularly Germany, had embraced American pop culture in the late 1980s and, for some reason, Dallas, Baywatch and David Hasselhoff in particular. His song "Looking for Freedom" played in every nightclub in Berlin all throughout the fall of 1989. After the wall fell, a unified Berlin put on a spectacular New Year's Eve party and the main event was a David Hasselhoff concert. Do the Germans recognize that he is not a great singer (or actor)? Of course. Do they still have a soft spot for him in their hearts? Yes, yes, they do.
Day Nine: Black Turtleneck Night
Saturday October 1, 2016
The black turtleneck is the outfit of choice for 20th century protesters of anything. Because it's essential to stay warm, have freedom of movement and look androgynous while you rage at society / patriarchy / disco / the government / the mainstream / nuclear power.
8:00 – 11:00 pm Live music!Zodiak Berlin spins the Krautrock in the music lounge (also known as the banquet space) with special guests!
The beverage of choice for protesters is beer.
Summit Night!Buy any Summit beer and get a logo pils glass for $1 (while supplies last) (one per customer)
"Better Active Today Than Radioactive Tomorrow!"
At the beginning of 1973, the German government agreed to sell land near the town of Wyhl to a nuclear power developer. The citizens in all the surrounding towns and the nearby city of Freiburg joined together to protest. Farmers, wine-growers, even hunters joined in the protest by funding scientific studies of the potential environmental impacts the power plant would have on the air, land and water in the region. Hearings were held to allow citizens to voice their opposition but the protesters walked out of the hearings because the chairman of the hearing worked for the power company that planned to build the plant. When the government issued a permit to begin construction in June of 1975, more than 20,000 people marched to the site and began a ten month long occupation. Ultimately the plant was not built, though the government officially cited insufficiencies in the design as the reason.
Day Ten: Drain the Keg Night
Sunday October 2, 2016
We don't want to lug any barrels home with us after the party, so we're going to start dropping the price of beer at 2 pm, and keep dropping it until the beer is gone. Seriously.
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm Price on ½ liters of beer drops 25¢ per hour
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm Live music!Mark Stillman on accordion!
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm Price on ½ liters of beer drops 50¢ per hour
When the keg goes, the boot (or glass or t-shirt or mug) goes! Prizes for the person who ordered the beer that blew the keg. There's 18 beers on tap, folks!
The Lager Riot of 1855
In March of 1855 a law-and-order, anti-Immigrant mayor was elected in Chicago, in a very typically low-turnout election. He and the newly elected city council of the same ilk promptly raised the cost of a liquor license from $50 to $300 and started enforcing the universally ignored ban on Sunday beer sales. However, it was almost exclusively German and Irish immigrant tavern owners who were arrested; native born proprietors were left in peace. The German immigrant community raised legal defense funds for their countrymen and fellow immigrants. The first scheduled trial was to begin on April 21, 1855. An enormous crowd showed up to support the defendants and the mayor called in the militia. A short riot ensued, one policeman and one rioter were shot and there were many arrests. The city suffered through a year with the unpopular, extremist city government. The following March, largely due to very high immigrant voter turnout, they were all voted out of office.
Congratulations to our 2015 Drawing winners!
Thanks to everyone who participated in last year's Oktoberfest!
See you again this year!