he official Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany may have been canceled for the second year in a row, but that doesn't stop the show from going on in the Inland Northwest.
Cue the West End Oktoberfest. The one-day event this Saturday, Sept. 18, takes place across five breweries — Brick West Brewing, River City Brewing, Iron Goat Brewing, Golden Handle Project and Whistle Punk Brewing — all within a 10-minute walk of each other. For $20, attendees get a unique Oktoberfest mug and $3 pours of the event beers at each location. You get to choose your starting brewery (where you'll pick up your mug) when you purchase your tickets.
The idea was developed by the crew at Brick West, the neighborhood’s latest addition. Marketing Director Bill Powers says they’ve been planning this event since the brewery opened in January last year.
“This whole west end is growing and developing,” Powers says. “There are so many breweries here that it seemed fun to have this walk-around Oktoberfest where you go to all the different breweries and get an experience for the kind of beers that we really like.”
The featured event beers include a range of German-style lagers and ales. A few of the participating breweries will also have their own version of the beverage actually served at Munich’s Oktoberfest: Festbier, a pale lager brewed to support high volume consumption. Festbier was developed to be a quaffable alternative to the richer, copper-colored Märzen lager, which is also available at some locations.
There's also plenty of food to pair with the beers, plus live music scattered around the area. River City and Golden Handle are using their shared parking lot to host local bands Fat Lady and Okay, Honey. Buffalo Jones and Echo Elysium are performing at the large urban plaza adjacent to Brick West’s taproom.
“We have our big outdoor area, so we’ve got food trucks and some tents that will be up to give it a little more Oktoberfest-in-Germany kind of feeling,” Powers says.
The Brick West team hope to make this an annual event.
“I think there’s no reason not to do it every year,” he adds. “I’d love to see the culture of this west end brewery district grow and maybe next year we can do collaborations together, maybe more Oktoberfest decorations. Build on it.”
West End Oktoberfest • Sat, Sept. 18 from 1 pm to 1 am • Downtown Spokane’s West End District • $20 • 21+; some locations are all ages • westendbeerfest.com