We're now up to our lederhosen in Oktoberfest.
King's Oktoberfest began the weekend of October 5-7, but it continues (and ends) this coming weekend (Friday to Sunday) at King's BierHaus in the Heights. And while there's a robust German beer list (go for the Hacker Pschorr Munich Gold) and a gut-busting food menu (eight-hour roasted turkey leg, anyone?), what really separates King's party from the other German-themed fall drinking festivals is its deep roster of scheduled events, from the necessary to the nutty.
Let's rank them.
8. Ceremonial Keg Tapping (7 p.m. Friday)
The Sitter men (Hans and Philipp) kick things off (or, well, tap things off) by opening up that 150-year-old wooden keg. Then everyone drinks the beer until it's gone. The great thing about this is it's the one time during the weekend when it's likely nobody will be tipsy, so spirits should be high and unified. But what if there's a splinter in your beer? Or what if the beer smells like a musty old barrel? To be honest, I'd rather drink from das boot. But hey, to each his own.
7. Arm Wrestling (9 and 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday)
A natural competition during Oktoberfest, arm wrestling is a confined activity, so those trying to watch from afar will have trouble getting the gist of things. Fun arm wrestling needs a twist (a small person with shocking strength; a muscular person who throttles everyone), so hope for that.
6. Bier Pong Tournament (throughout the weekend)
Bier pong is super fun ... unless you're watching and the teams aren't very good. A bad bier pong game can last 20, 30 minutes, and that's tough to sit through. Also, what if one of the players annoyingly makes faces and shouts and dances while on defense? Again, not fun. In short: Catch the final few matches of the tournament.
5. Cornhole (throughout the weekend)
Like bier pong, when people aren't good at it, boy is it a drag. But the saving grace is sometimes the bad players are really bad, tossing beanbags at people's faces, into drinks, maybe at musicians. Who knows. There's room for surprise here!
4. Local Celebrity Dunking Booth (throughout the weekend)
How local are we talking here? Broadcast news personalities? Chefs? Influencers? Owners of sports teams and/or half the city? Now that could be something.
3. Jousting (throughout the weekend)
You may be thinking "Something awesome is going to happen here," but generally these trained professionals know what they're doing and put on a nice, entertaining show. Now, if someone loaded after das boot got onto a horse ... (please no).
2. Bavarian Strongman Competition (8 and 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday)
Always a treat. People try to hold a filled mug of beer upright without spilling. That early Friday session is a warmup—try to catch the late Saturday session for the highest variance of competitor lucidity.
1. Bavarian Bull Riding (throughout the weekend)
Look, whether participating or watching from the sidelines, bull riding is always awesome. Most people are tragically hilarious (especially after a few too many drinks), while a select few actually have skill, and you can't help but be impressed. Honestly, hang by the bull for a bit and goad the riders. You can't waste a weekend that way.
King's Oktoberfest also includes live music and a raffle for a free trip for two to Oktoberfest 2019 in Munich, Germany.