If you know the history of Munich’s Oktoberfest celebration, you know that it’s a world-class festival, with a history that spans centuries and a reputation for great beer. Yes, you can find Oktoberfests all over Chicago this month. But, if you’d like something unique, exciting, and authentic, you’ll want to attend the fifth annual Oktoberfest at Rosemont’s Hofbräuhaus.
Because the fact is, Oktoberfest and Hofbräuhaus are intertwined – and that’s been the case since 1812.
Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München, the original beer hall from 1589, was actually founded by the Duke of Bavaria, Wilhelm V, and his counselers as a way of improving the beer brewed in Munich, Germany. We’re talking 400 years of history here – longer than the United States has been in existence. In 2003, its owners brought the brand to the U.S. The Rosemont location is actually the fourth one in America; there are now seven around the country.
In 1810, the Bavarian people started Oktoberfest to recognize the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig (King Ludwig I) with Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Two years later, the royal Hofbräuhaus started brewing a beer specifically for the festival. This deep golden brew became the world-famous Oktoberfestbier.
Oktoberfest has grown and changed since then. It’s now considered the largest festival in the world. Six million international visitors come to Germany to enjoy Oktoberfest every year. Today, other Oktoberfests are held in many places around the world, in imitation of the original.
The Hofbräuhaus Rosemont Celebration
At Hofbräuhaus Chicago, Oktoberfest is special because of its long relationship between Oktoberfest. It’s an opportunity for this restaurant to truly embrace its roots, offer authentic entertainment and food, and celebrate!
The event takes place from 9/15-10/29, with nightly festivities that include the serving of freshly-brewed Oktoberfestbier, inspired by the original. This beer is brewed on-site using the traditional method used at the original location, by a brew master who is trained specifically in the recipes and techniques needed to produce the authentic style.
Participate in celebrity keg-tapping ceremonies every Friday! And come every day for a variety of entertainment options. The schedule includes 40-piece German bugle band, live music, singing and dancing troupes, and German “oompah” bands direct from Germany. Also, on Friday and Saturdays, the Masskrugstemmen contest takes place. The goal is for participants to hold a filled one-liter stein parallel to the floor using just one arm. The one who does it the longest, wins.
Food Specials for Oktoberfest
The menu for Oktoberfest includes a variety of schnitzels and sausages, along with many daily specials. Enjoy these meals Monday-Friday from 4 p.m.-close and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.-close. They include:
- Monday – Paprika Hanchen, a savory pulled chicken dish with spicy paprika sauce, served with spätzle, broccoli and crispy onion straws
- Tuesday – HB Bier Gulasch, braised pork roast smothered in HB bier-onion gravy, served with mashed potatoes, root vegetables and crispy onion straws
- Wednesday – KrautWickerl, bacon-wrapped cabbage rolls stuffed with ground beef and pork sausage with rice, served with mashed potatoes, root vegetables, HB bier gravy and sour cream
- Thursday – HB Smokehouse Platter – roasted, smoked pork belly and grilled, smoked Kassler pork chop with bacon sauerkraut, “Bratkartoffeln” (pan-fried potatoes with bacon and onions), and HB bier gravy
- Friday – HB Rinder Roulaten, braised beef roulade stuffed with bacon, pickle, onions, and mustard, served with spätzle, red cabbage, and gravy
- Saturday – Chef’s Weekly Special
- Sunday – Entenbraten, half of a roasted duck, served with potato dumplings, red cabbage, root vegetables, and rosemary duck sauce
Also, the Hofbräuhaus will sell traditional cinnamon sugar roasted nuts on Friday and Saturday evenings, as part of a German tradition. They’re roasted on-site, so it smells great in there!
Find the Hofbräuhaus Chicago at 5500 Park Place in Rosemont, part of MB Financial Park. You can park for free in the parking garage. For information on entertainment schedules during Oktoberfest and anything else you’d like to know, visit hbchicago.com.