Próst!: How to keep Oktoberfest alive in 2021 with events, food, beer and even candles – USA TODAY

Germany’s official Oktoberfest held annually in Munich may be canceled for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic but that doesn’t mean the spirit of the celebration has to be dampened entirely – it just may look a little different.
“It is important for people of German descent to celebrate at home to keep the tradition of Oktoberfest alive,” Jeremy Schaller, the third-generation owner of Schaller & Weber, said.
Schaller & Weber, a New York City German grocer, is celebrating Oktoberfest by hosting a pop-up in its open-air garden through October featuring German and Austrian cuisine, and beers on tap. The store is also selling an Oktoberfest pack, available for delivery nationwide.
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Oktoberfest experiences are still happening in one form or another – at home, on the web and across the United States as cities and venues host a range of festivities that can sub in for the weekslong celebration in Munich.
“It is a jovial experience that keeps people in good spirits and gives you a reason to celebrate, even if you are just gathering with close friends and family for beer and brats,” Schaller said of Oktoberfest.
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While in-person festivities may not be happening in Munich in their traditional fashion, there are options in the U.S. for people who are interested in taking part in a closer-to-home, in-person celebration.
In New York City, for example, Watermark Bar, a bar in lower Manhattan is running Oktoberfest NYC through Oct. 24.
Likewise, Linde Oktoberfest Tulsa runs Oct. 19 through Oct. 24 in Oklahoma. 
In Carlsbad, California, the local Rotary Clubs are putting on “Oktober-Feast” offering “Oktober-Feast” pass holders promotions at participating restaurants.
And in Boston, Harpoon is hosting its 31st annual Oktoberfest Friday and Saturday.
If you’re interested in celebrating without traveling far, or in a destination you’re planning to visit, check out what local brewers, restaurants and other venues are offering.
►Próst: Pretzels and beer for Oktoberfest, sure. What about a beer made with pretzels?
There’s always the option to celebrate at home, too. Plenty of breweries, restaurants and bakeries are putting out Oktoberfest-inspired menu items. 
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is offering a Märzen lager featuring German malts with flavor notes including caramel and graham cracker, according to Sierra Nevada’s website. The 5.5% ABV Oktoberfest beer comes out annually and will be available through mid-October “for the biggest party on earth.”
Founders Brewing Co. has also developed an Oktoberfest brew – a German-style Märzen.
“Sticking with tradition, Founders used imported German malts and hops with a beautiful lager yeast for the finish. The beer pours a gorgeous copper hue with a rich, malty and slightly sweet backbone akin to the beer poured in the early days of Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest has an ABV of 6.0%,” Founders said in a July statement ahead of the brew’s release in August.
Oktoberfest comes in a 15-pack made for bringing the spirit of the holiday home.
“Celebrating at home is way more common for me these days and I love it,” Jeremy Kosmicki, brewmaster for Founders, told USA TODAY. 
Kosmicki recommends pairing Founders’ Oktoberfest with sausage, bratwurst or kielbasa and sauerkraut. Availability of the beer will vary by location but it is distributed through September and will be available in most places into October.
Other brewers including Samuel Adams, Yuengling and Brooklyn Brewery have Oktoberfest offerings, too. 
Some bakeries are observing the holiday, too. The Maui Cookie Lady, for example, releases fall cookie “Black Forest” (also known as “The Oktoberfest Cookie”) once annually that is available for shipping until Thanksgiving.  
And if you’re looking to engage additional senses, candle brand Homesick has even released an Oktoberfest scent with top notes of pumpkin ale, cinnamon and golden hops. 
With celebrations on hold in Munich, München Tourismus s offering virtual live tours of Oktoberfest promising “an (almost) genuine Oktoberfest experience” on several dates through the season ending on Sunday.
“In its second pandemic year, the Wiesn lives in the hearts of its fans. For them and all those who want to become fans, we have come up with something very special: We bring the makers of the Wiesn live into the living room via Zoom,” Clemens Baumgärtner, head of labor and economic affairs and Oktoberfest Director, said in a statement.
Through Zoom, participants are given a chance to chat with experts directly in small groups capped at 30.

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Germany’s official Oktoberfest held annually in Munich may be canceled for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic but that doesn’t mean the spirit of the celebration has to be dampened entirely – it just may look a little different.“It is important for people of German descent to celebrate at home to…

Germany’s official Oktoberfest held annually in Munich may be canceled for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic but that doesn’t mean the spirit of the celebration has to be dampened entirely – it just may look a little different.“It is important for people of German descent to celebrate at home to…

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