r’s note: I was invited to a media preview for Bauhaus Schmitz’s Oktoberfest to facilitate this review. Thoughts and opinions shared are my own.
What is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest is a beer festival and traveling fun fair and Bauhaus Schmitz is transforming the 23rd Street Armory into Philadelphia’s largest festival over the Columbus Day weekend.
Where is the action?
The 16,000 square-foot 23rd Street Armory (22 S. 23rd St.) will be transformed into the likeness of a Munich festival tent for the 2nd Annual 23rd Street Armory Oktoberfest on Friday, October 6-8, 2017. Decked out with Bavarian blue and white ceilings, authentic festival tables and benches imported from Germany plus a lofted stage area for musical acts like the Grammy-nominated Alex Meixner Band, Brauhaus will throw the tri-state region’s largest Oktoberfest celebration. Traditional food provided by Chef Jeremy Nolen and beer will be provided by the famous Hofbräuhaus will be served.
This weekend long festival will give guests the opportunity to celebrate at one of four separate 4-hour sessions each accommodating up to 1500 people. Tickets will be available in General Admission as well as VIP options with the most authentic German dancing, food, entertainment, beer and more this new festival is sure to be a hit! For tickets to the 23rd Street Armory Oktoberfest, visit http://
“We have years of experience from South Street Oktoberfest in hosting tens of thousands of guests for the city’s most well-known celebration,” said Brauhaus owner Doug Hager. “We will again transform the Armory from top to bottom – and put on an even bigger and better show. With its 16,000 square feet and 30 foot ceilings the vision was clear the first time I walked into the space. There truly is nothing currently like this in the entire region or state and expects to attract folks from Philly, SE PA, Baltimore, DC, NYC and beyond.”
The fortress-like structure located at 22 South 23rd Street in West Center City (only a 5-minute walk from 30th Street Station) will mimic an authentic Munich festival tent. The three-day festival will offer four sessions each for up to 1,500 people. Each session will also include a ceremonial Keg tapping with special honored guests. The schedule is as follows:
Friday, October 6, 2017, 7:00pm to 11:00pm (entertainment: Alex Meixner)
Saturday, October 7, 2017, 1:00pm to 5:00pm (entertainment: The Heimatklange Band)
Saturday, October 7, 2017, 7:00pm to 11:00pm (entertainment: Alex Meixner)
Sunday, October 8, 2017, 1:00pm to 8:00pm (entertainment: Bavarski Band and The Heimatklange Band)
General admission tickets for all sessions include: open seating on imported festival benches, traditional Bavarian food, first liter of beer, glass 1L mass stein to take home and entertainment by the German Hungarian Dancers as well as a featured entertainer (listed above).
The food is delicious! During the preview I was able to sample Brotzeit, Bavarian pretzels, Sausage and Roast Pork Sandwiches and fresh veggies and dip. Everything was so savory but the roast pork…amazing! It was tender, juicy but did not make the bread soggy and messy and seasoned without being overpowering. I would totally return just for the pork (and stay for the party!).
VIP tickets this year for $65 (for groups of 4 or 8) include reserved seating, table service, glass 1L mug, first Liter beer, Brotzeit for 4 or 8 people on the table (election of meats, cheeses, radishes, bread, pretzels, and accompaniments) and 3 food tickets per person. Three food tickets is good for food items on the event menu.
The VIP spread, shown below, is for the guest who wants to party but not stand in line. It was convenient to be able to nibble and taste without wait. The food was flowing and plentiful so either option will give you your money’s worth.
New for 2017, UBER VIP tickets are $85 (per person minimum of 8) includes reserved seating, table service, glass Liter mug, 10L mini keg at your table, two Brotzeits, two Schlachtplattes (two Schweinhaxen, two Pork Chops, Roast Pork, four Sausages, Sauerkraut, and Potato Salad), unlimited additional food, two schnapskis and use of downstairs bathrooms.
Traditional Oktoberfest food will be provided by Chef Jeremy Nolen and beer will be provided by the world famous Hofbräuhaus.Nolen’s menu for this year includes pay-as-you-go items such as sausage sandwich or roast pork sandwich served with sauerkraut, fried bologna sandwich, sausage or roast pork platter served with sauerkraut and potato salad, curry wurst platter, french fries and more. Sausage choices include Bratwurst (pork, marjoram, caraway, mace) and Beauernwurst (hickory smoked pork and beef, garlic, pepper, mustard seed). Guests can also indulge in a seperate stand for pretzels and cookies.
ABOUT THE ENTERTAINMENT
Alex Meixner, a 2007 Grammy nominee, is a musical chameleon. He has performed traditional ethnic music since he was 4 years old and has extensive experiences in a wide variety of musical genres (everything from classical to jazz to pop to world music from around the world!) His true passion lies in entertaining audiences…. he does this primarily with an international party mix of polka music. See a live show. Become a believer.
The Heimatklänge Band has been providing music to the German-American Community since 1955. Today’s band members Bill, Fred, Joe, John, Wayne, and Dino are the second generation in the musical tradition. With a true love of music of all varieties, Die Heimatklänge is at home in any venue. Their unique sound combines traditional waltzes and polkas, with some classic rock and roll and even a musical ballad or two. The band brings song and dance to German-American organizations and people up and down the east coast. In the Philadelphia area, having a good time with German music means “DieHeimatklänge!”
The Bavarski Band featuring Eddie Biegaj, Ron Oswanski, & Chuck Pendrak. A new brand of polkas — stay tuned! What do you get when you mix when you mix one of the hottest jazz organists with one of the most versatile drummers around and an opera singer? New York City’s newest Polka Sensation- BAVARSKI! Of course, these aren’t just any musicians putting on lederhosen.
Tickets are $35 each for general admission, which include entry, glass liter mug and first liter of beer. Food is pay as you go, with plenty of communal seating for everyone. Table service will also be available. VIP and Uber VIP packages are also available for $65 to $85, and include reserved seating, table service, glass liter mug, beer, food tickets, exclusive menu items and more. With the most authentic German dancing, food, entertainment, beer and more this new festival is sure to be as amazing as Munich! 23rd Street Armory Oktoberfest is 21 and up only. For more information and tickets, visit http://brauhausschmitzoktoberfest.com/