2014 Oktoberfest Celebrations in Iowa

2014 Des Moines OktoberfeOktoberfest-11th-annualst starts today! The 2014 Des Moines Oktoberfest celebrations always creep up on me, given how the Octoberfest is usually held in September. This year the Des Moines Oktoberfest (hosted by Hessen Haus) will be September 26-27 with the tapping of the golden keg beginning at 4:00 on Friday and hitting the high point with the 9:00 never-to-be-missed Bier Maiden Contest. More fun follows on Saturday.   A lot of fine beer is always on tap for this event:

  • Hofbrau Oktoberfest
  • Hofbrau Hefeweizen
  • Leinenkugel Oktoberfest
  • Coors Light
  • Paulaner Oktoberfest-Marzen
  • Paulaner Hefeweizen
  • Paulaner Munich-Lager
  • Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest

Leinenkugel’s Okotberfest is a German-Style Marzen. The color was a deep pumpkin yellow-orange color and it poured with slightly less than one inch of head. This beer had an average amount of carbonation. The head dissipated quickly. The first taste was crisp and effervescent on the tongue. There was a solid malt flavor with some hop bitterness on the back end. This was a brighter and somewhat more bitter beer (a relative term with this group) that was very drinkable. After that there was that peculiar toasted malt and nut or bread taste I’ve always associated with this beer. It was not unpleasant, just unusual. Leinenkugel is usually one of the better beers offered at the Des Moines Oktoberfest each year.

The Hofbräu Oktoberfest is a golden bottom-fermented lager. This is described as the same brew that the Hofbräu serves in its own Oktoberfest tent in Munich. Hofbräu is the beer from the original Hofbräuhaus in Munich.  The beer usually has a fair amount of carbonation, a hint of yeast and hops on the front with a very flavorful and drinkable malt taste to the beer. The color of the beer was considerably lighter than a lot of Oktoberfest beers, with a fizzy golden color. This is a favorite.

This is always one of my favorite events. Don’t forget the food. The cost is only $7.50 for one day. You get a free plastic mug as well.

2012 Des Moines Oktoberfest

2012 Des Moines Oktoberfest

And stay for Friday’s Bier Mädchen Contest!


Amana Okt_POSTER_2014sm

2014 Amana Colonies Oktoberfest. The 2014 Amana Oktoberfest is scheduled for October 3-5. The festival is spread around a lot of different venues, with separate admission to the events in the Festhalle, but the entire town is basically one big party. There are a lot of references to “Park and Ride,” so I take it that pre-planning might be warranted. I could not find any prices on the main website but I recall from previous years that the Festhalle ticket is not cheap.


northside_okt_12_logo2014 Iowa City “Northside Oktoberfest.”  This event is scheduled for Saturday, September 27, 2014. Admission is a pricey $32.04. The last time I was there, to get access to the beer you have to enter a fenced-off block with tents. Iowa City has its own issues with drunks, crowd control, and underage drinking, so I suppose this is an inevitable part of a beer festival in Iowa City but the locked-in feel does not do it for me. Somehow the Des Moines Oktoberfest does not create that same feel even though you have to enter a fenced-off area as well. The big stage, the old buildings, and the Hessen Haus give it a more authentic feel to me. However, if you find yourself stuck in Iowa City for that weekend then this is a good alternative.

Beer Tent Area

Beer Tent Area


One thought on “2014 Oktoberfest Celebrations in Iowa

  1. Tickets to the Festhalle barn for Amana Oktoberfest are only $15.00 for 2 day admission, not sure on 1 day price. Sunday is free.
    There are live bands with outdoor beer gardens at Mill Stream Brewing, The Colony Inn and The Ronneburg.
    It’s a great time.

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