Not Your Traditional Oktoberfest in Evanston

Sunday, Oct. 16, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

by Tina Johansson

Breweries, bands, and craft gins and whiskies, are the name of the game at the second annual Oktoberfest in Evanston.

The event is a fundraiser for Downtown Evanston, a nonprofit organization that manages and markets the business district here. Ticket sales support continued efforts to make downtown Evanston a vibrant place to live, work and play.

The event is Sunday, Oct. 16 from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the parking lot behind the Hilton Garden Inn, 1818 Maple Avenue (the site of the Downtown Evanston Farmer’s Market).

“We want to provide a fun, fall festival and to show that Evanston has a lot going on,” said According to Laura Brown of Downtown Evanston.

She gushed that earlier this year, 16-thousand people visited Evanston to see some of its amazing architecture, through Open House Chicago. “I’m hoping that some of them will come back for our Oktoberfest,” she said.

Craft beer enthusiasts are expected to come early for V.I.P. entry at 1 p.m. – Downtown Evanston photos/images

Last year 500 people attended the first Oktoberfest, and estimations for this year are around 750.

All ages are welcome, but to receive wristbands for beer, ticket holders are required to show proof of legal drinking age.

There are to be a total of eight breweries with craft beers selling their ales and pilsners. “The craft beer enthusiasts get the V.I.P. tickets and are usually the first ones here, starting at 1 p.m.,” said Brown.

“We’ve added four additional breweries, including three from Chicago and one from Glenview,” she explained. Few Spirits Distillery of Evanston will participate, featuring its award-winning craft gins and whiskies.

This year, in addition to Evanston breweries Smylie Brothers, Sketchbook Brewing Company, Temperance Beer Co., Peckish Pig, and FEW Spirits – the festival will feature new breweries including Ten-Ninety, Half Acre Beer Company, Hopewell Brewing Company, and Alarmist Brewing.

Downtown Evanston Oktoberfest will be held for the second time, on Oct. 16.
Downtown Evanston Oktoberfest is held at the same spot of the Evanston Farmers Market.

Local street food including one of the only German things on the menu – Bratwurst sandwiches.

At least a half-dozen food vendors will be featured. Back this year to keep you well fed during the event are Smylie Brothers, Peckish Pig, Homestead Meats, Tamale Express and new this year, La Cocinita and La Principal. Food is available for purchase with cash or credit.

There will also be activites for kids including arts and crafts from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., led by Gather, a creative play space in downtown Evanston. Also big games like Scrabble, Jenga and more will be going on all day.

Three musical acts including a DJ will be getting things going, providing tunes all afternoon courtesy of Evanston SPACE. DJ Dustin Harris will kick off things followed by The Dave Specter Blues Band featuring Jimmy Johnson and The Western Elstons.

Pets, alcohol, outside food, firearms, fireworks and illegal substances are prohibited.

For the latest information and to purchase tickets visit Eventbrite at .


Admission to Oktoberfest is $10 for General Admission. V.I.P. is $15, and ticket holders get early access to the fest at 1 p.m. General admission ticket holders enter at 2pm. Beer tickets are sold separately online or at the event (see the ticketing options for details). Each ticket is redeemable for one beer sample.

No need to bring your ticket if you can provide a receipt of it on your smartphone, tablet or computer when you arrive along with an ID showing that you are the purchaser of the ticket. If you purchase multiple tickets, everyone must provide an ID showing they are 21 or older.


The CTA Purple Line and Union Pacific Northline Metra stop at Davis Street, is three blocks from the fest location. For those with a designated driver, there are several local parking options in downtown Evanston. Please click here for more details. There are also bike racks located in the ground floor of the Maple Avenue parking garage.

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