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By October 11, 2011Beer, Food, Wine


We visited Oktoberfest in nearby Hermann this weekend. The only other Oktoberfest I’ve been to is the one back home in New Ulm, where my family is from, and being that my grandpa is in failing health, it felt almost bittersweet to attend one here for the first time.

Hermann is a gorgeous little town about an hour from where we are. It is right on the river, so it has a very authentic river-town feel (I grew up in Hastings, MN). Neil’s coworker Jeremy made the drive with us and brought his camera, so it was nice not being the only person snapping shots.


Our first stop, breakfast!


Saturday was our cheat day, so it was impossible to pass up fresh pastry. I don’t think I’ve had pastry since our trip to Montana, when I had a bear claw to celebrate not actually seeing a bear.


We then made our way to the Tin Mill Brewery. It was right around noon, unseasonably warm, and we were thirsty! They have a beautiful building and I adore their logo.


I had a lovely plastic cup of pomegranate beer, while Neil opted for a mug of the same. Aren’t they gorgeous mugs? I kind of wish I had gotten one as well.


I love all the facets in the glass! We ordered wurst and kraut and some awesome german potato salad and sat in the beer garden overlooking the river. People were just starting to arrive, so it was mostly quiet.


We met up with Jason and Jason, who work in IT with Neil and Jeremy. They’ve actually read the blog, which is so weird to me, because on most days, I’m convinced I’m still the only one reading it.


After finishing our beer, we made our way across the street to the Hermannhof Winery. It is so beautiful, I don’t think I captured it well enough…


We made our way to the tasting room inside this gorgeous building. Imagine a whole town of buildings like these, I was in heaven!



The sommeliers were excellent. We tasted several wines and chose a bottle of semi-sweet rose to split. Typically I’m not a fan of rose, but it felt perfect for the unseasonably warm weather.


While we were tasting, I couldn’t help but people watch. There were some interesting people. Fur vests on a warm day? Maybe I’m just too midwest for my own good?


The decorations in the room were gorgeous. Even though I can’t imagine having a lot of it in my own house, I absolutely LOVE Americana.



We then explored the crowded pavilion and made our way to the grass to drink and people watch. It was so crowded, and people were just starting to reach saturated levels. What is that guy doing to his face?


We found a great place on the hill to sit that overlooked Hermann and the rolling hills. It didn’t feel like we were in Missouri. It was like we’d been transported somewhere else. Such an amazing place!


We also had a good view of the brat operation going on below. Insane amounts of wurst!


After finishing our wine and people watching from above, we made our way back toward the car. We heard polka coming from one of the bed and breakfasts, so we stopped in to check it out.


A real polka band! Now THIS is what I’d been waiting for. I grew up with famous New UlmĀ polka at nearly every family event. Definitely music to my ears! The dance hall was beautiful. I wish I had known of it when I was planning our wedding. Definitely a little Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow-esque.


The dancers reminded me so much of my grandparents back in the day. Their costumes were beautifully handmade and they danced so beautifully together.

We had such a great time! I didn’t know what to expect coming from a very traditional and family-oriented Oktoberfest, to one that is a little more like a random cross-town party. I think we’re going to have to come back one more time before October is over.

Do you have an Oktoberfest in your area?


  • Liz says:

    Looks like a fun time, I need to make it to Oktoberfest in Hermann one of these days!

  • Scott says:

    I haven’t been to Hermann’s Oktoberfest since college, when our goals for the day were somewhat different. But it’s a lovely town with a number of good wineries and great history. Time to get back…

    • Jessica says:

      I think little mini-breaks to some of these communities are highly underrated. It was a nice breather to explore a new place and there are so many little nooks to check out around here.

  • casacaudill says:

    That looks absolutely lovely!

    We have something here called Oaktoberfest which is a beer festival in one of the neighborhoods of East Oakland. A few of the microbrews set up a tent and there’s a home brewer’s competition. It’s not really so much about Oktoberfest as it is a beer fest that takes place in October, so it’s kind of lame in that regard. But, it’s also kind of fun because nothing else like that happens all year. We went last year and had a blast, but this year we skipped out because we were in Montana when it was taking place. So now, naturally, I’m off to read about your trip there.

    • Jessica says:

      Woo, where did you travel in Montana? Loved our trip to Glacier last year. It’s an amazing place, unlike any I’ve ever been to. I really want to go back, but the drive (26 hours straight) was daunting and I think I’m still recovering!