A number of German-themed beer festivals take place in the Lower Mainland each fall including Harvest Haus and Oktoberfest at the Vancouver Alpen Club.
There is also the Harrison Beer Festival, Steveston Oktoberfest and Port Moody Oktoberfest events. In addition to these, the BC Cancer Association hosts an Oktoberfest fundraising event in Abbotsford.
Oktoberfest is a German festival traditionally held in late September and early October. The largest and most famous Oktoberfest in the world is the one in Munich, Germany, but ones in Metro Vancouver are pretty fun too!
Oktoberfest events invariably involve copious amounts of beer as well as German-style pub foods like sausages and sauerkraut, not to mention German accordion and polka music. If you like beer and/or dressing up in lederhosen, then Oktoberfest can be a lot of fun!
Vancouver Oktoberfest Events
Below is a list of Oktoberfest events in the Lower Mainland that take place most years.
Vancouver Alpen Club
The Vancouver Alpen Club is a local cultural organization at 4875 Victoria Drive that hosts an Oktoberfest event and boasts the largest selection of German beers and wines in Vancouver. The event is for folk ages 19+ and, as should be expected, it features German beer, food and music.
General admission for the Vancouver Alpen Club event is about $35 plus taxes, or $75 for VIP tickets which include access to a designated area with a complimentary buffet. Beer and other festive drinks are extra.
Dates for the club’s Oktoberfest Vancouver event in 2017 were the Fridays and Saturdays of October 6 & 7, 13 & 14 and 20 and 21. Doors open at 7:30 pm.
Activities at the event include beer drinking (of course), dancing, singing, German games and the optional wearing of lederhosen and other traditional German attire. Performers at Oktoberfest Vancouver include the Alpen Plattlers dance group and the band The Continentals.
The Vancouver Alpen Club venue has a capacity of about 350 people and most years each of the nights sells out (although a small number of tickets are still usually available at the door).
For more information or to buy tickets for this event, click Oktoberfest Vancouver.
Cloverfest is a fundraising Oktoberfest event in Surrey that’s put on by the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce and Cloverdale Rotary Club.
In 2018 the event takes place on Saturday, October 13th, from 4 until 9 pm at Shannon Hall at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds at 17607 60th Avenue in Surrey.
Tickets for Cloverfest are $25 in advance, $45 for VIP tickets and $35 for regular admission at the door. In 2017 the price for general admission included 2 beverage tasting tokens, a souvenir sampling cup and a fun evening with live music. VIP admission included 4 beverage tasting tokens, a sampling cup, complimentary food, priority line access, nicer seating in the VIP area and a fun evening with live music. 2018 details will likely be similar.
For more information click Cloverfest.
The Steveston Community Society hosts an adults-only Oktoberfest event at 4111 Moncton Street in Steveston Village. The event is always on the first weekend in October.
The Steveston Oktoberfest event attracts an older crowd than most other Oktoberfest events in the Lower Mainland, and many of the participants know one another.
The Richmond event has a capacity of about 250 seats and sells out most years. It starts at 6:30 pm, dinner is served at 7 o’clock and the dancing begins at 8:00 pm.
Tickets cost about $40 and include an alcoholic beverage, souvenir beer mug, dinner and live entertainment featuring a band like the Rheinlander Oompah Band.
The venue is pretty simple, being that’s it’s in a community centre gymnasium, but the $40 price tag is a great deal. Other Oktoberfest events typically cost around $35 just to get in, and they don’t include dinner or the free mug!
A typical dinner at the Steveston Oktoberfest event consists of German potato salad, baked pretzels, sauerkraut and sausage, plus strudel for dessert. Beer and wine cost about $7 per glass and a bottle of wine in 2017 was $35.
This is a fundraising event and net proceeds from ticket sales benefit the community centre’s playground fund. Also, funds raised from the event’s 50/50 draw benefit general programs at the centre.
If you like bratwurst, polka dancing, oompah music, beer and hanging out with local folk from the Steveston Village community, you’ll like this event.
For more information click Steveston Oktoberfest.
Port Moody Oktoberfest
The Oktoberfest event in Port Moody takes place in a giant tent at 100 Newport Drive outside the Port Moody Public Library and just a short walk from the Inlet Centre SkyTrain Station.
Port Moody Oktoberfest hours of operation for the 2017 season are from 4 to 10 pm on the Friday evenings and from noon until 10 pm on the Saturdays and Sundays.
Regular admission to each event is about $20 per person, or $50 for a Full Festival Pass which is good for all six days. Groups of 10 can also reserve a private table for $500 which entitles them to 10 complimentary beers and 10 food items.
Port Moody Oktoberfest calls itself “Western Canada’s largest and most original Oktoberfest,” so it’s not a tiny affair. Another nice thing is the fact that proceeds from the event benefit the local Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation.
Food at the Port Moody event includes pork hock, schnitzel, bratwurst, pretzels and corn, all of which are available for sale. German beers include Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr, and there’s also wine from BC’s Ledlin Family Vineyards.
Live music at Port Moody Oktoberfest event in 2017 was with the Oktoberators, Rheinlander Band and Billy Jones Live. Each year expect to hear the accordion, tuba and lots of oompah and polka-style music!
For more information click Port Moody Oktoberfest.
Harrison Beer Festival
The Harrison Beer Festival is a community event that takes place in late October at St. Alice Hall near the Harrison Hot Springs Resort which is located at 100 Esplanade Avenue. The popular 2-day event includes a Cask Night, Beer Festival and Oktoberfest Dance.
Friday Cask Night
Celebrating its 7th year in 2018, Harrison Beer Festival celebrations include an Irish-themed Cask Night on the Friday from 6:30 to 10:30 pm.
IN 2017 tickets for this were $30 and included a tasting glass, 3 beverage tokens, a buffet and music by the Celtic Vancouver-based band Blackthorn.
At the event 8 to 10 different breweries compete to see whose beer is most popular (as proven by whose keg gets finished first).
Saturday Beer Festival
Also at St. Alice Hall, usually on the last Saturday in October, the Beer Festival takes place between 1 and 5 pm. At the event BC breweries sell samples of their brews and compete for people’s votes.
Attendees receive a complimentary beer tasting glass, three beverage tokens, access to a light buffet and the opportunity to sample dozens of craft beers at about $1.50 per mini glass. The Saturday event is so popular that it typically sells out over a month in advance!
Breweries participating in the 2017 event included Central City from Surrey, Dead Frog from Aldergrove, Deep Cove Brewery from North Vancouver, Foamers Folly from Pitt Meadows, Moody Ales and Yellow Dog from Port Moody, and Parallel 49 and Main St. Brewing from Vancouver, as well as about a dozen others.
NOTE: Tickets for the Saturday Beer Festival event in 2017 sold out well in advance! If you want to attend in 2018, reserve your tickets early!
The Oktoberfest Dance at Harrison Hot Springs takes place on the last Saturday in October at St. Alice Hall at 100 Esplanade Avenue.
The event runs most years from 8:00 until 11:30 pm and the cost is usually around $45 per person.
At the Oktoberfest Dance there is dancing to polka music (not unsurprisingly), and a German-themed buffet. Participants also receive a complimentary souvenir Oktoberfest mug and one free beer. Additional brewskies cost about $5 per glass.
For more information about the Cask Night, Beer Festival and Oktoberfest Dance, check out the Harrison Beer Festival website.
Harvest Haus is Vancouver’s largest and arguably most impressive Oktoberfest event. It takes place in a giant tent “Festzelte” structure that holds up to 1000 people and features German food, beer, live music and other entertainment.
In 2017 Harvest Haus ran from Thursday, October 5th, until Saturday, October 14th. The Festzelte venue is near Concord Pacific Place at 88 Pacific Boulevard not far from BC Place Stadium.
Tickets cost between $25 and $35 for general admission and food and beers are extra.
For more information about the Vancouver Oktoberfest event, click Harvest Haus.
The BC Cancer Foundation hoss an Oktoberfest event at the Phoenix Ballroom at 33780 King Road in Abbotsford. The event takes place most years on the last Friday in September, doors open at 6:30 pm and tickets cost $60 per person.
Abbotsford Oktoberfest is a fundraising event that includes craft beers and wine tastings, German and miscellaneous pub-style foods and lively musical entertainment.
Tickets for the event are only available online, there are only slightly more than 120 available in total, and the event typically sells out (so if you plan to go buy your tickets early)!
For more information about this Fraser Valley fundraising event, click Abbotsford Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest at the Shipyards
North Shore Green Markets hosts an Oktoberfest event at the Shipyards in North Vancouver. In 2018 it is scheduled for Friday, October 19, but details are to be confirmed. In 2017 about 200 people attended.
For a list of other things to do in the Lower Mainland check out the following:
- Vancouver’s October Calendar of Events
- Vancouver’s Festivals & Events Calendar
- Halloween in the Lower Mainland
- Fall Activities in the Lower Mainland
- Vancouver’s Best Places in Autumn