When it comes to reasons to celebrate, October packs a wallop. From the tail end of Oktoberfest (which began in September) all the way through to Halloween and its ensuing festivities, the month brings with it all sorts of activities for the taste buds (and their owners). Here are four events worth your time this month.
Jackson 20 Oktoberfest Celebration, Oct. 8
The local Oktoberfest celebrations continue apace, and Jackson 20 is taking its seat at the table. Nestled inside the Alexandrian hotel on King Street (formerly the Hotel Monaco), the well-appointed bar and dining room is getting its German festivities going in style. With a menu offering everything from bratwurst and pork loin to German potato salad and German chocolate cake, Jackson 20 is aiming to leave guests full and happy. An offering of five different Oktoberfest beers doesn’t hurt, either. 4-8 p.m., 480 King St. $25 for adults; free for children under 10.
Hank’s OysterFest, Oct. 14
Hank’s Oyster Bar is doubling down on its stock-in-trade with its 10th annual OysterFest, an all-you-can eat affair featuring all manner of oysters. Fried oysters, grilled oysters and oysters on the half shell pair with Old Bay fries, onion rings, and calamari in this seafood feast. Craft beers, wine, and punch are on tap at the open bar, making this a festival of both food and drink. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 1026 King St. $90; attendees must be 21 or older.
Gadsby’s Long Black Veil Happy Hour, Oct. 14
October is the perfect month for a good ghost story. Combine a spooky tour with a great beer and you’ve got a happy hour in the making. Port City Brewing releases its annual Long Black Veil black IPA on Oct. 6, but visit Gadsby’s Tavern a week or so later and taste both the beer and the mystery behind one of Alexandria’s best legends. The “Female Stranger” died in Room 8 at Gadsby’s Tavern on Oct. 14, 1816, leaving behind a flurry of speculation that hasn’t abated in the 201 years since. Join the teams from Port City and Gadsby’s for a beer, appetizers, and a tour of the tavern (including the legendary Room 8). 6-9 p.m., 134 N. Royal St. $25.
Rustico “Near and Far” Beer Dinner Series, Oct. 16
The fifth installment of Rustico’s beer dinner series homes in on brews from The Answer Brewpub down in Richmond. The menu is still under a bit of construction, but Rustico’s got the beers all lined up. This fifth dinner also brings with it five beers from The Answer, ranging from a session IPA to an imperial IPA to an imperial stout to round out the meal. The Answer also wins out on the best beer titles around; the “Well, You Can’t Jump, But At Least You’re Slow” imperial IPA sets the tone for the evening. 7-9 p.m., 827 Slaters Lane. $60.
Hope Nelson owns and operates the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at www.kitchenrecessionista.com. Email her any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.