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This Oktoberfest party is a celebration of the New England landscape

Northern Spy hosts its first-ever beer festival with a lineup of local brewers and Germanic food.

Northern Spy patio
The Northern Spy garden patio becomes Bavarian-inspired fairgrounds for Oktoberfest. Provided

How would New Englanders from generations ago interpret Oktoberfest traditions? The seasonal celebration of beer, bratwurst, and brass bands originated in Germany in the early 19th century to honor the marriage of a crown prince of Bavaria. So, Oktoberfest has not much to do with our culture — yet the festivities fit right in here. 

Around that same time, in 1801, Patriot-turned-entrepreneur Paul Revere founded a copper company in Canton. It’s easy to imagine Revere’s neighbors planting gardens, raising livestock, and crafting wood-burning ovens to cook it all up. Elsewhere along the Neponset River, Revere’s contemporaries were brewing their own beer and using local ingredients to make New World versions of recipes their ancestors drank in Europe. 


More than 200 years later, the one-time Revere Copper Company is now home to Northern Spy, a restaurant paying homage to traditions of past generations while supporting the present-day culinary — and cultural — landscape. At Northern Spy, local farms and purveyors provide ingredients for comforting cuisine that would have felt familiar to New Englanders of the past.

That scene sets Northern Spy’s first-ever Oktoberfest, a local beer fest-style “salute to Munich.” Across two sessions on Saturday, Oct. 1, the garden patio will be transformed into Bavarian fairgrounds pouring seasonal styles from more than a dozen New England breweries, including Idle Hands, Schilling, Proclamation, and more. Chef Marc Sheehan and team are taking on German-style festival fare such as schnitzel, sausage, spaetzle with local vegetables, and soft pretzels with beer mustard.

The $25 entry fee includes an Idle Hands beer glass plus eight tickets, which can be redeemed for two beers, two food items, or one of each. More food and drink tickets will be available for purchase on-site. This event is all ages, but proof of ID is required to purchase drink tickets.

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