Savor the season this month at Oktoberfest parties, fresh-hop frolics and other seasonal beer gatherings in the Boise area.
Payette Brewing Oktoberfest: Sept. 16
Idaho’s largest brewery goes big for Oktoberfest. This indoor/outdoor party centers on Payette Brewing beer — Oktoberfest Marzen Lager and German Hefeweizen — served in a 1-liter stein, which you’ll buy for $15 (includes your first drink token). Urban Smoke will sell brats and sauerkraut, Jammi’s Dawgs will have German sausages and Polish dogs, Acme Bakeshop will bring serious pretzels, and City Peanut Shop will offer Bavarian almonds. The seven-piece Boise Polka Project will crank tunes. By the way, other Payette beers will be available — just not for stein pours. Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, Payette Brewing Co., 733 S. Pioneer St. Extra beer tokens are $7. All ages and dogs welcome. Online: Facebook.
PreFunk Nampa’s 3-Year Anniversary Party: Sept. 16
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PreFunk Beer Bar in Nampa will celebrate three years of business with live bands from 5 to 10 p.m., including Overcast, Jac Sound and Red Light Challenge. Food trucks will include B-Town Bistro, Genki Takoyaki and Spoonthumb Ice Cream. Plus, there will be a special beer release from Barbarian Brewing called FunkShine. It’s a golden sour — dry hopped with Citra and Azacca — that’s been barrel-aging for a year. Bottles will be available, and a keg of FunkShine will be tapped an hour after the party starts. 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, PreFunk Beer Bar Nampa, 1214 1st St. South, Nampa. Online: Facebook.
Rock’n Brews & BBQ Festival: Sept. 16
Eat. Drink. Repeat. Essentially, this is Idaho’s state barbecue championship, washed down with lots of beer. Sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, it will feature more than 20 teams trying to smoke each other in four categories: ribs, chicken, pulled pork and brisket. Admission is free; competitors sell food samples. Thirsty? About a dozen local breweries will pour from noon to 4 p.m., including Sockeye, Slanted Rock, Powderhaus, Woodland Empire, Bear Island, Crescent, Grand Teton, Mad Swede and Payette. Bands will include The 504 Plan, The Voltz and The Carlos Danger Band. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (breweries will pour from noon to 4 p.m.) Saturday, Sept. 16, Boise Spectrum, 7701 W. Overland Road. Tickets for the unlimited beer tasting cost $20 online at rocknbrewsandbbq.com prior to the event, or $30 at the door.
Punk in Drublic: Sept. 17
More than 100 different craft beers. Punk and third-wave ska bands. Ten hours of partying at the Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater. What’s not to love? “Stumbling through a town near you” — aka Nampa — the Punk in Drublic tour will rock with NOFX, Bad Religion, Goldfinger, Less Than Jake and Bad Cop Bad Cop. Concertgoers will enjoy free beer in taster-size cups until 4 p.m. (Or you can buy full-size beers.) The beers will be focused on West Coast and Idaho breweries. After 4 p.m. the tasting will end, but you’ll be able to purchase beer. Noon to 10 p.m. (music starts at 1 p.m.) Sunday, Sept. 17, Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater, Nampa. $49 and $59 with limited VIP options for $99 and $199. Online: punkindrublicfest.com.
Powderhaus Oktoberhaus Celebration: Sept. 22
Powderhaus Brewing Co. in Garden City is hosting its debut Oktoberhaus Celebration. The brewery will open its production floor for a festival with German food and style. For $20 you’ll get a 20-ounce commemorative mug, two beer tokens, a locally sourced bratwurst plate with sauerkraut and other goodness, priority access to the brewery’s one-off export-style lagers, plus pint prices for 20-ounce fills. Bust out the lederhosen, because there will be prizes for best-dressed men and women. 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, Powderhaus Brewing Co., 9719 W. Chinden Blvd., Garden City. Online: facebook.com/powderhausbrewing.
Boise Bacon & Beer Benefit: Sept. 23
Ready to pig out? Head to the parking lot outside Sockeye Brewing. About 20 local restaurants are expected to get creative with bacon at this second annual event, which benefits Meals on Wheels and Community Outreach Behavioral Services. “Each restaurant gets an allotted amount of bacon, and it’s up to them to create whatever they want,” explains Sockeye marketing director Mark Breske. “Last year, we had everything from sushi-roll-type things to bacon lollipops to brownies to tacos with bacon in them.” Wash down the salty deliciousness with liquid from about 20 breweries, including locals such as Sockeye, Payette, Crooked Fence and Edge, plus out-of-staters such as Lagunitas, Stone, Firestone Walker, Melvin and Sierra Nevada. This party will draw a crowd, so use the overflow parking at Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park, where there will be free shuttles. 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, Sockeye Brewing, 12542 W. Fairview Ave., Boise. A $30 ticket — purchased online or at the gate — gets you a commemorative glass, 20 drink tokens and 10 food tokens. Use promotional code “STATESMAN1” for $5 off through Sept. 18. Online: facebook.com/sockeyebrew. 21 and older only.
B’Arc & Brew: Sept. 23
Each year, this dog-friendly brew festival takes over the parking lot and patio at Highlands Hollow, Boise’s oldest microbrewery. Breweries will include Highlands Hollow, Payette, County Line, Boise Brewing, Mad Swede, Lagunitas and Ninkasi, plus Meriwether Cider. Along with wagging tails, you’ll find dog-related vendors and a silent auction. And don’t miss the pooch parade and costume contest at 3 p.m. The Idaho Humane Society will have dogs available for adoption. Live music will be provided by Emily Tipton (noon), Critter Soup (1 p.m.), Bernie Reilly (2 p.m.), Christine Thomas and Larry Kiser (3 p.m.), Deborah Michels Gang (4 p.m.), Great Bait (5 p.m.), Lonesome Jetboat Ramblers (6 p.m.), and Bread & Circus (7 p.m.). Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, Highlands Hollow Brewhouse, 2455 Harrison Hollow Boulevard, Boise. $15 gets you a tasting mug and eight drink tickets. Proceeds go to the B’Arc Bones program of The Arc. Online: highlandshollow.com.
The Merry Hopsters Bus Tour — Back 2 the Hop Fields: Sept. 23
Jump into one of three buses scheduled to cruise out to local hop mecca Gooding Farms in Parma. Bittercreek Alehouse organizes this event, which will include beer from Colorado-based Odell Brewing, live music from Matt Hopper and the Roman Candles, a whole pig roast and fresh food from the fall harvest. You’ll tour two hop facilities and hang out in way-cool hop fields. You also get to taste through a bunch of hoppy beers from Odell. 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23. 9:30 a.m. check-in at Bittercreek Alehouse, 246 N. 8th St., Boise. Bus leaves at 10 a.m. $35. Buy online: Eventbrite.
Funky Fresh: A Fresh Hop Festival: Sept. 29
Made from green hops harvested hours before they’re dumped into the brew kettle, fresh-hop beers offer a seasonal autumn treat. PreFunk Beer Bar in Boise will celebrate this short, special time of year with about a dozen different fresh hop beers from around the Northwest, PreFunk owner Justin Flynn says. Brewery list: Fremont, Rogue, Payette, Sockeye, Barbarian, Double Mountain, 10 Barrel (Boise), Odell, Mother Earth, Crux, Breakside, Barley Brown’s and Fort George. A food truck will sling grub, and Jac Sound will crank live tunes. 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, PreFunk Beer Bar, 1100 W. Front St., Boise. $20 buys an 8-ounce tasting glass and seven tokens. Additional tokens: $3. Online: Facebook.com/PreFunkBeerBar. 21 and older only.
Old Boise Oktoberfest: Saturday, Sept. 30
This street party is family-friendly and heavy on brats. Not ornery little kids — bratwursts! Paid admission gets you a commemorative Oktoberfest mug and one free bier. (Purchase tickets online to get a hat and a commemorative hat pin, too, while supplies last. Beers include Paulaner Oktoberfest, Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest, Warsteiner Oktoberfest, Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest, Sam Adams Oktoberfest, Payette Oktoberfest and more. Two food booths will sell grub such as Schweinebraten-roasted pork on a bun, potato salad, pretzels, hot dogs and brats. German Oktoberfest band Wolfie and the Bavarians will perform twice — from 3 to 4 p.m. and from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. — and cover band Pilot Error will rock the block from 7:30 to 9.30 p.m. Games start at 4 p.m. and happen again at 6:30 p.m. with the brat toss, men’s and women’s stein hoisting events, cornhole, a mug relay and more. You can win gift cards from Downtown businesses, and an authentic Oktoberfest Munich 2017 mug will be awarded to one men’s winner and one women’s winner of the stein hoisting. 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, Old Boise, 6th Street between Idaho and Grove streets. Limited tickets starting at $15 at oldboise.com and on Facebook, $20 at the event. Admission is free for nondrinkers.
Hoptober Freshtival: Sept. 30
For hopheads intoxicated by the mystical scent of fresh hops, this fourth annual block party outside Boise Brewing is the can’t-miss fall brewfest. More than 30 breweries will pour 60-plus brews, emphasizing the aromatic, sometimes palate-slaying style. (There also will be other types of beers, so everyone can have a good time.) Your wet-hopped taste buds might melt right off your tongue, but it’s the sacrifice one must make for scrumptious beers that are akin to fresh-mowed lawn clippings. Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, Boise Brewing, 521 Broad St., Boise. $35 at the gate buys a commemorative sample cup and 10 drink tickets. Additional tickets will be available for purchase. Online: HoptoberFreshtival.com. 21 and older only.
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