New Jersey Date Night is a series on NJ Flavor by relationship writer Craig Rogers.

Oktoberfest: It’s more than beer steins and oompah bands. What started in 1810 as a public wedding reception for Bavarian Prince Ludwig and his bride Princess Therese of Saxon-Hildburghausen has grown to a multi-million dollar enterprise, according to the personal-finance website WalletHub.

And thanks to some great places in New Jersey, where the people know how to throw an epic party that stays true to the Oktoberfest theme, we don’t have spend the estimated $5,000 per person that WalletHub says it would cost to visit Munich this time of year.

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The food, the music and the celebration of entering into a new season makes for a fantastic date you’ll want to repeat year after year.

Get ready for a New Jersey Date Night guaranteed to leave you singing Eins… zwei… g'suffa!

Where the Wurst is the Best

Beer tents reign supreme at Oktoberfest, and the one at Asbury Festhalle Biergarten in Asbury Park gives you a rooftop view.  Besides their extensive beer menu, their selection of German favorites includes an assortment of sausages (wursts) that could rival any found in Munich. 

You might be tempted by traditional bratwurst (mildly spiced pork sausage) or perhaps the weisswurst (veal and pork belly sausage seasoned with parsley, garlic and lemon) or maybe the elk sausage (elk seasoned with Madeira wine, apple and nutmeg). Regardless of your choice, your plate includes sauerkraut, German potato salad and tons of mustard. 

Oktoberfest at Asbury Festhalle Biergarten is celebrated on Columbus Day Weekend, Oct. 12 and 13, from noon to 11 p.m.  For more information on Asbury Festhalle Biergarten, visit their website at

Shaking Your Tail Feather

Ales ’n Tails at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange is a great way to celebrate Oktoberfest while lending a hand to our animal friends. This annual fundraiser for the zoo features live German music, dozens of food vendors and a sampling of dozens of beers brewed in New Jersey and all over the world. 

American beers include Lienenkugel from Wisconsin and Revolution Brewery from Chicago. Tri-state favorites include Lone Eagle Brewing from Flemington and Captain Lawrence Brewing from Elmsford, NY.  You’ll also find some fantastic New Jersey wines to sample and you and your date will have the chance to meet some of the animals!

Ales ’n Tails will be celebrated on Oct. 5 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  For more information, visit

The Nonstop Party

Oktoberfest is celebrated for a month at Zeppelin Hall in Jersey City.  This authentic German Biergarten boasts indoor and outdoor spaces featuring 30-foot tables perfect for communal enjoyment. 

With over 40 beers on tap, Oktoberfest beers like Spaten Oktoberfest and Hofbrau Oktoberfest (both imported from Munich) and their own Pennsylvania-brewed Zeppelin Hall Oktoberfest give you and your date lots of choices.

The only thing more varied is their menu, offering many kinds of German food. The Full House Wurstplate is a perfect option for German flavor and more, offering bratwurst, kielbasa, chicken bratwurst, andouille and cheese bratwurst with a side of spicy cabbage salad and plenty of rye bread and mustard.

Oktoberfest is celebrated at Zeppelin Hall from Sept. 27 through Oct. 20. For more information, visit

Tried and True Tradition

When it comes to Oktoberfest, Deutscher Club in Clark knows exactly how to celebrate and has years of experience doing so. Established in 1935, the Deutscher Club has grown to be the largest German club in New Jersey and one of the biggest in the country.  Their outdoor grove can easily host 1,500 revelers, and luckily Oktoberfest is open to the public as this German gem is a members-only association.  

In addition to tasty German favorites and overflowing beer on tap, the live music will get you and your date on your feet! Two bands will be featured: Mountain Express from 1 p.m -  5 p.m. and Doppekgänger from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Oktoberfest will be celebrated at Deutscher Club on Saturday, Oct. 5 from noon to 10 p.m. For more information, visit

Not Knowing What’s On Tap

As we celebrate the 209th wedding anniversary of a German king and queen, it’s important to remember that not all marital moments are going to be a party. Ludwig’s and Therese’s marriage wasn’t always happy, considering he was a serial cheater and she was forced to put on a happy face in the presence of the adoring subjects who preferred her to the king.

Like all couples on their wedding day, Ludwig and Therese had no idea what the future would bring, but to have a 42-year marriage I think they must have remembered what brought them to an alter and why they shared vows. 

Perhaps when times were rough they remembered the original Oktoberfest with the sounds of the band playing and smiling friends singing Ein Prosit.  Maybe when times get tough in your relationship you’ll remember your “what” and “why” and the perspective gained will bring you a cozy smile.

Craig Rogers is the guy who gets relationships write. Author of The 49th Challenge, Craig has written countless articles on dating, relationships and breakup recovery. To learn more about Craig, visit

What’s your idea for a great New Jersey Date?  Tell Craig all about it at


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