Asheville Named a Top City to Celebrate a COVID-19 Friendly Oktoberfest

A person picking up a small glass of beer.

When the weather starts to change and the sun begins to set a bit earlier, it means fall is finally here. The mark of the changing seasons also ushers in another harbinger of cooler temps: Oktoberfest.

Held annually in Munich, this famous festival is a weeks-long event dedicated to food, fun and most importantly: beer. For dedicated ale drinkers around the world, it’s the ultimate place to enjoy the craftsmanship that goes into one of the world’s most cherished beverages.

While travelers may not be able to raise a glass in Germany this fall, Booking.com pulled together  the top US cities that celebrate a ‘hoppier’ way of life.

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Asheville, North Carolina

Filled with breweries, taprooms, tasting bars, and outdoor patios, it’s no wonder that Asheville has also claimed the title of Beer City USA in recent years. This southern mountain town joined the craft brew trend in the mid-’90s with Highland Brewing Company, soon followed by Asheville Brewing Company and Green Man Brewery. A popular stop for those new to Asheville is Wicked Weed Brewery, which offers a “Funkatorium” with over a dozen sour beers and a creative food menu for adventurous travelers. Within walking distance of South Slope Brewing District, the gorgeous Foundry Hotel is the perfect place to relax with a pint in hand outside with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Denver, Colorado

With 48 breweries in metro Denver, there’s more than enough fresh local brew to keep visitors’ taste buds guessing. The region’s beer tradition started during the 1850s Gold Rush and continued in the neighboring city Golden, where Coors was founded in 1873. Since then, the brewing business has boomed, from the nationally beloved Blue Moon and the city’s first microbrewery, Wynkoop. Travelers won’t have to go far to quench their thirst when they stay at Hotel Denver, which has an onsite brewpub, Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co. Guests can sample from 12 taps and a variety of other brews.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Named Beer City USA in recent years, Grand Rapids is the perfect destination for anyone looking to try a new ale. It’s the home of Founders Brewing Company, the state’s largest brewery and now one of the nation’s most celebrated but there are over 80 breweries in the city. There’s even a Beer City Brewsader Passport app to keep track of brewery visits and even redeem rewards for visiting select ones. Overlooking the Grand River, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is a great accommodation for any beer lovers looking to relax and rewind in luxury. The hotel has a “Brew and Renew” spa package where guests can indulge in beer-inspired pedicures or polish and massage, along with receiving a beer of choice to enjoy.

Portland, Maine

With the most breweries per capita in the United States, Portland is more than just a summer vacation spot. The seaside city is perfect for a fall getaway – it’s famous for the family-owned Shipyard Brewery, creator of the seasonal favorite Pumpkinhead, and Allagash Brewing Company, which has just resurrected the Haunted House Dark Hoppy Ale. While travelers will enjoy walking around Old Port’s charming cobblestone streets between pints, they can rest their feet later at the Westin Portland Harborview. The hotel offers a Local Brews deal for visiting nearby and Top of the East Lounge serves classic seafood, locally sourced fare, and a selection of beers with a panoramic view of Casco Bay.

Austin, Texas

Austin is the perfect place for craft brew lovers. There are almost forty craft breweries in this Texas city’s limits alone, so there’s plenty of opportunities to try a few new pints during a visit. Many breweries have spacious beer gardens and a variety of food trucks. For a more authentic Oktoberfest experience, travelers can taste old-world,” European-style beer at Live Oak Brewing Company. Beer fans seeking something new can learn about the “sour-mashes” at Blue Owl Brewing. In order to properly celebrate Austin’s growing beer presence, Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt gives guests a free beer upon arrival and there’s a free happy hour everyday with beer, wine, and margaritas. The hotel has a beautiful poolside lounge area for anyone looking to relax and enjoy the view after a day of hopping from taproom to taproom.

Prepared by Booking.com.