Edit ModuleShow Tags

Celebrate Oktoberfest at Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter


I’m 25 percent German, and I credit that quarter with my fondness for beer, Gummi Bears, and cuckoo clocks.

Last Saturday, I went to Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter in Stillwater for their annual Oktoberfest celebration (still running this weekend) and really celebrated that 25 percent (although isn't everyone German during Oktoberfest?). I wasn’t sure what to expect since I had never been to Oktoberfest at Gasthaus before, and it exceeded all of my expectations. (I have, however, been to Oktoberfest at Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit in Northeast Minneapolis many, many times. The Gasthof's celebration is equally fun, but I liked that the crowd at Gasthaus was a diverse mix of ages, maybe even a little on the “older” side. I didn’t feel like I was drinking beer with a bunch of college kids.)

We arrived around 7:30 p.m. or so, parked in a giant open field, and waited in line to get in. The festival was in full force by then. In order not to exceed fire code-safety standards, a designated number of people were allowed into the tented area. For every five that came out, five could go in, and so on and so forth. It was a beautiful night, so we didn’t mind waiting.

C, J, and LindsayOnce we paid our cover and had our hands stamped, it was hard not to get swept up in the lively atmosphere. The Artie Schaefer band played polkas in the back of the tent, and groups of people either drank at long tables, danced beside them, or stood and mingled. I noticed a lot of beer steins and a lot of festive Bavarian hats. *Tip: If you bring your own stein, you can have it filled for under $6. If you don’t, your beer is served in a small plastic cup. You can also order a mini keg of Spaten for $40 (if you have a large group).

After ordering a beer, we stood in line for food. There was a wide selection of German food available—bratwurst, knackwurst, potato salad, sauerkraut, warm pretzels, red cabbage (Rotkraut), schnitzel, smoked pork chops, etc., as well as big bags of fresh, delicious kettle korn (did you know kettle korn originated in Germany?). I’m not an adventurous eater, so I ordered chicken and a pretzel (I figured I couldn’t go wrong with a pretzel). No complaints from me!
*Tip: There are servers in authentic Bavarian dirndls (adorable peasant dresses) roaming about. Had we known this in advance, we would have ordered our food from a server instead of waiting in line.

Since there were no vacant tables in the gigantic tent, we took our food to a picnic table behind the tent, where the popular Hammerschlagen “hammer striking” game was being played. I watched a few rounds of people attempting to hammer a nail into a piece of wood in one fluid motion—using the wedge end of the hammer—before deciding to join in, and shocked everyone (including myself) when I won. I honestly can’t remember the last time I swung a hammer, but who cares? I now have Hammerschlagen bragging rights! (Plus I just think it’s fun to say Hammerschlagen.)

We spent the remainder of the evening in the big tent. We never did go inside the family-owned restaurant—there was no need to leave the party outside. As they would say in Germany (I think), Prosit! (Good health and cheer!)

This is the last weekend (Sept. 21-23) for the Oktoberfest celebration at Gasthaus. The hours are 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. (Sunday is a family day with live music. You have to be 21 Friday and Saturday.) Gasthaus is located off Mannning Avenue in Stillwater, down the street from the Saint Croix Vineyards.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Plan a Trip to Roanoke, Virginia

This East Coast visit comes with history, a burgeoning craft beer scene, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Appalachian Trail, and more

Cannon Falls Wine & Art Fest

Taste Minnesota wines and ciders, browse through local art vendors, and eat delicious food at Cannon Falls Wine & Art Fest, July 21-22

Day Trip to Taylors Falls

A Taylors Falls day trip made up of beautiful river views and a classic malt shop.

Record Store on Wheels

Like a food truck, but for music—and debuting this Sunday at Open Streets Minneapolis

Green Thumb Gardens

The 2018 Hennepin County Master Gardener Learning Garden Tour flaunts its foliage July 14

Best Caves of Minnesota

Explore Minnesota’s man-made and natural curiosities this summer

Amble Over to Afton

While you’re in Afton for Selma’s, stay a while and check out the state parks, historic buildings, quaint downtown, and more

Take a Trip for (Frozen) Treats

Grab a scoop from the state’s oldest ice cream shop in Afton: Selma’s Ice Cream Parlour

Journeys: A Minnesotan’s Happy Place

Time wasted at the lake is time well spent

Journeys: The Start of Adventure

To prep for wilderness canoe trips, Les Voyageurs brings campers out on the Mississippi River

Top 5 Instagram Spots Along the Mississippi River

Bluffs, hiking trails, and waterfalls make for beautiful summer photos

Summer Sunburn Solutions

Six ways to beat the burn

Brews and Views at the Hopped Up Caribou Festival

There's no better place to tie the knot than at a craft beer festival, and if you're not into that, you can cliff climb, too

A Day Trip to Hudson

St. Croix River views, hiking trails at Willow River State Park, and quaint downtown eats await in Hudson
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags