Ach du Lieber! It’s almost time to enjoy Greeley’s annual Oktobrewfest on September 29 & 30, 2017 at historic Lincoln Park in Downtown Greeley. The event kicks off on Friday, September 29 from 5-10pm with beer, brats, games, and a free concert and then the fun continues all day Saturday (11am-9pm) with live music, a wide variety of craft beers from Northern Colorado breweries, food from more than a dozen vendors, and a huge children’s’ area full of face painting, an obstacle course, inflatable slide, WOW bubbles, and more! Plus, festivalgoers can compete in pie eating contests, stein lifting contests, gladiator jousting, and life-size beer pong. It’s two days of live music, and all the beers, brats, and German heritage you can handle. (Admission is free!)
Don’t forget about the VIP Beer Tasting! Tickets for the 6th Annual VIP Beer Tasting are on sale now! (They sell out every year. Get yours here.)
If you’re wondering why the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) calls this event OktoBREWfest instead of Oktoberfest, there is a good reason. In Munich, Germany (home of the world’s largest Volksfest), Oktoberfest beers have to meet certain criteria and be brewed within city-limits. In 2014, the DDA decided to change the name of Greeley’s Oktoberfest to OktoBREWfest, in order to help emphasize and include the flourishing craft beer industry, not just in Greeley, but all of Northern Colorado.
Some of the Breweries participating in Greeley’s Oktobrewfest 2017 include:
- Grand Lake Brewing
- Crabtree Brewing Company
- WeldWerks Brewing
- Wiley Roots Brewing Company
- High Hops Brewery
- Brix Taphouse & Brewery
- Broken Plow Brewery
- Grimm Brothers Brewhouse
- Odell Brewing
Oktobrewfest is the annual fundraiser for the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and helps provide for the revitalization of Greeley’s downtown district and helps them accomplish all the great things that are happening there.
Why is there such a big celebration in Greeley? There is a lot of German history here, especially Germans from Russia. Many Germans moved to Russia in the 18th and 19th centuries, and then came to the United States for an opportunity for a better life. Many came to Colorado, particularly to Greeley, to work in the sugar beet fields and then on to other occupations. To this day, we still see a lot of German influence in Greeley, although it’s becoming more diluted with each passing generation. Many locals are actual decedents of those same beet farmers that immigrated here in the 1800s. Their legacy still endures today, and you can see German influence in some of the architecture on the east side of town and even on the University of Northern Colorado Campus.