Vancouver Oktoberfest at the Vancouver Alpen Club in October is the Lower Mainland’s original and arguably most authentically German Oktoberfest event.
It’s also one of the most fun and festive Oktoberfest events in BC.
OKTOBERFEST IN 2020
Unfortunately, the Alpen Club didn’t host their annual event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They did, however, offer a special Oktoberfest Takeout Package for people wanting to celebrate with traditional food and drink at home.
Oktoberfest Takeout Packages cost between $75 and $270 depending on what and for how many people you were ordering for. They could be ordered and then picked up at the Alpen Club from Thursdays to Sundays between 3:00 and 8:00 pm up until the end of October in 2020.
Menu items included cans of German beer, a “Jägerschnitzel Meal” and an assortment of traditional German goodies. The packages also included at least one souvenir Vancouver Alpen Club stein glass.
We ordered a two-person package the other day and it was delicious! In addition to generous servings of schnitzel, ham, sausages and German pork hock, plus a side of sauerkraut and other toppings, our package included four large cans of Krombacher beer, a jar of Hengstenberg cornichons pickles and some Landjaeger sausage. For dessert there was a package of Manner-brand hazelnut cream wafers and some German chocolates. It was all so delicious!
Vancouver Oktoberfest at the Alpen Club is a series of weekend beer festival-style events featuring German food, German beer, live music and dancing in October.
The festival usually occurs on the first three Fridays and Saturdays of October, and in 2019 it took place on the weekends of October 4-5, 11-12 and 18-19. Because of the high demand, they also added Friday October 25 as an extra day.
In years when the event does take place, doors open at around 7:30 pm and the place starts to fill up around 9:00 pm.
You can tell that the Vancouver Oktoberfest event is a pretty good rendition of the original world-famous Munich festival when you notice that the majority of people attending are of Germanic descent. Yes, those Germans like to have fun, they love their beers, and they celebrate the season seriously at the Alpen Club!
For details about the Vancouver Alpen Club’s Oktoberfest celebrations, see below. For information about other similar events in the Lower Mainland, click Vancouver Oktoberfest Events.
The Vancouver Oktoberfest event typically takes place at the Vancouver Alpen Club in a large and festively-decorated beer hall-type room at 4875 Victoria Drive. The venue is just south of Kingsway and a 5-minute drive east of Mountain View Cemetery.
In the hall there are rows of tables, a large open dance floor, a bar at one end of the room, a stage for the band, a room where food is served and an area with a balcony overlooking the hall upstairs.
TIP: Upstairs there is a photo booth most years where you can put on silly hats and other accessories and get your photo taken for free with your friends.
Vancouver Oktoberfest is a beer hall, adults-only event, so participants need to be age 19+.
Admission usually costs about $35 plus taxes, or $80 for a VIP ticket that includes a selection of German foods and some beer.
What to Expect
At the Vancouver Oktoberfest event in years when there isn’t a pandemic, expect to see a fairly large hall with rows of long tables, a good-sized dance floor and lots of merry people drinking from beer steins and having a great time.
At the event a fair number of participants are in lederhosen (for the men) and dirndl dresses (for the ladies), but the majority are in their everyday clothes. The beer hall is festively decorated and the band is amazing.
At Vancouver Oktoberfest, as the evening progresses, the dance floor starts to fill up, the energy in the room gets thoroughly festive and before long you feel like you’re in a real Munich beer hall!
Vancouver Oktoberfest attracts a crowd of mixed ages (but primarily in the 25 to 55 age range), and is a favourite place for German Canadians. The venue holds up to 350 people and on most nights of the 6-day event the place hits capacity.
There is a bit of DJ time at Vancouver Oktoberfest, but most of the music is live. The Continentals are a talented 5-member band (who don’t wear lederhosen at all their performances), and their music ranges from traditional German beer festival tunes to famous hits from the 1930s to the 1970s and beyond.
At Vancouver Oktoberfest the Alpen Plattlers provided an entertaining dance performance mid-evening. It’s a fun, high-energy show and a great addition to the night.
German Food and Drink
The Vancouver Alpen Club Oktoberfest event usually features a good selection of authentic German food and drink. There’s schnitzel, bratwurst, pork hocks, Bavarian meatloaf, sauerkraut and pretzels. One of our favourite menu items there is the veggie strudel, and the Austrian kaiserschmarn dessert is delicious!
Menu prices are all fairly reasonable. Last year the pretzels were about $3.50, bratwurst on a bun with sauerkraut was $9.50, and the schnitzel with potato salad cost $12.00.
Beers on tap likely include Erdinger Weibbeir (a white wheat beer), Erdinger Dunkel (a dark brown ale) and Erdinger Festbier (a seasonal beer brewed for the traditional German autumn festival of Volkfest). All three are delicious, from Germany and cost about $8 per stein.
Other beverages at the bar include Krombacher Pils, Ayinger Festbier and a selection of German wines, all for around $8, plus Jagermeister and a plum brandy for $6-ish, and soft drinks for around $2.
About the Alpen Club
Founded in 1935, the Vancouver Alpen Club is a private club and cultural organization that has its own German restaurant – the Deutsches Haus – that’s open to the public.
The Alpen Club and its German restaurant are located at 4875 Victoria Drive in Vancouver.
Below is some advice to help you make the most out of your Vancouver Oktoberfest experience.
TIP # 1: There is free on-street parking in the area. You may need to drive down a couple of side streets though to find it, and the later you arrive the farther you’ll need to go.
TIP # 2: Go with a group of friends. The more the merrier! And don’t forget to invite someone willing to be the designated driver or at least share the cost of your taxi ride home!
TIP # 3: Especially if going on a Saturday, book online in advance. The slowest day of the season is typically the first Friday, especially if it coincides with the Thanksgiving Weekend, but even it attracts a sizeable crowd. The second and third Saturdays, meanwhile, typically sell out a good two or more weeks in advance!
TIP # 4: Especially if you go with a large group, don’t arrive too late if you all want to sit together. Doors open at 7:30 pm and the place starts to fill up by around 9 o’clock.
For more information about the Vancouver Oktoberfest event, see the Vancouver Alpen Club website.
For details about other Oktoberfest events, click Oktoberfest in Metro Vancouver.
For a list of other things to do in the Lower Mainland, check out any of the following:
- Vancouver October Calendar
- Festivals & Events Calendar
- Thanksgiving in the Lower Mainland
- Autumn in the Metro Vancouver
- Halloween in the Lower Mainland