The iconic The Standard hotel has more to offer than luxe rooms overlooking the Hudson, a lively American bistro and an exclusive rooftop nightclub. The High Line staple also caters to a more just-got-off-my-office-job-at-five-and-I-desperately-need-a-beer-somewhere-low-key crowd with its spacious, open-aired beer garden that’s known for serving up traditional German food and drinks. Think beer served in boot-shaped glasses, generous-sized pretzels and even a few ping-pong and foosball tables for the competitive finance bros. Long wooden tables provide ample space for large parties to enjoy a brat and a brew.
While I’ve slugged a few beers at the Standard’s Biergarten over the years (the Biergarten is conveniently open year-round), I’ve never experienced it during its most high-spirited festivity: Oktoberfest. Running from September 16th to October 3rd, the Standard is offering a surfeit of specials and activities in celebration of the annual German festival.
The Complete Guide to Oktoberfest BeerThings look a lot different in Germany than the United States
At The Standard Oktoberfest, you can expect traditional German fare (Bavarian pretzels, pork sausage with homemade sauerkraut and even apple strudel) along with some special menu items (pork bratwurst infused with winter black truffles, potato cucumber salad, and pork and veal sausage with nutmeg, mace and lemon), all of which are reasonably priced at less than $15. More importantly, though, the Biergarten has taps on taps of seasonally-appropriate brews, including two Oktoberfest offerings, German-style Helles lagers, premium pilsners and more. And while yes, there is a smattering of beer gardens and halls throughout the city and surrounding boroughs, what I particularly enjoy when visiting The Standard’s Biergarten is its drink ticket system.
Essentially, before you enter the hall, you can (well, are required to) purchase tickets at a quaint, outhouse-like stand that you exchange for pints and steins. Is it a bit unnecessary? Sure, especially because at the independent cocktail bar, you can simply pay your bartender then and there. But I find the entire charade extremely charming. (And don’t worry about carrying cash — you can add a tip for your bartenders when purchasing your drink tokens.)
Grab a 16-ounce beer for an amicable $9, or a 32-ounce for $16 — or take advantage of the Oktoberfest specials. These include $15 steins, $5 off beer buckets and $6 mini boot shots. Or, if you’re planning on celebrating with a larger group, the Biergarten’s VIP Stammtisch Tables includes unlimited pours of beer and an Oktoberfest food platter for two hours, which might be more your speed.
Come for the delicious fare and cold beers, stay for the heaps of entertainment. Seriously, there’s a lot going down at 848 Washington Street. During the two-week celebration, you can experience a plethora of carnival games and prizes (including a dunk tank!), live music, firkin tapping, trivia and plenty of competitive games, such as stein holding contests, musical kegs, stein races and more. Plus, as an incentive to really get into the holiday spirit, you’ll receive a free shot and a beer if you show up in traditional Oktoberfest attire, i.e. lederhosen or dirndl.
There are plenty of spots to celebrate the booze-fueled German festival around the city, but if you’re merely looking for a fun time with proper entertainment, affordable brews and delectable bites, the Standard Biergarten should be at the top of your list this Oktoberfest.
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