Hawaii’s largest and longest running Oktoberfest will return to the
Ala Moana Hotel Oct. 5-10, with the familiar clamor of cowbells,
polka, hearty sing-a-longs, flagons of beer and a menu of authentic
As one of Hawaii’s most anticipated cultural celebrations of the
year, Ala Moana’s Oktoberfest has become a popular gathering spot
for Island residents and visitors alike since the celebration began
at the hotel in 1970. In a destination more familiar with the
cultures and influences of the Far East and South Pacific, this
Bavarian-themed festival has grown in appeal for its
“People really enjoy getting together with family and friends to
experience the German music, food and all of the cultural aspects
associated with Oktoberfest,” said John Cushnie, general manager of
the Ala Moana Hotel. “It’s one of the best times to be at the Ala
Moana Hotel, and we’re looking forward to another fun and exciting
This year’s Oktoberfest will see the return of the Edelweiss
Band, there from the beginning of this 34-year tradition. Edelweiss
has a history of keeping the crowd on its feet all night with
upbeat polka tunes, including the popular “Chicken Dance” song.
According to Keith Koehler, director of food and beverage, the
popularity of Ala Moana’s event over other Oktoberfest celebrations
is its high quality.
“We have the longest running Oktoberfest in Hawaii, with our
band that’s been with us for 34 years,” Koehler said. “Another
thing that makes Ala Moana’s Oktoberfest so popular is that we get
the word out. People know about it and they look forward to
Koehler has noted how many of those attending Oktoberfest have
done so for years.
“We have people who were coming since they were kids,” Koehler
said. “Now, it’s generations the grandparents, mom and dad and
their kids. They expect and know they’ll find the same high quality
event here every year.”
For food and spirits, Ala Moana’s Oktoberfest menu will feature
a full range of Bavarian dishes, a large selection of German beers
and schnapps in every flavor imaginable.
“We offer authentic foods, different beers and schnapps from
Germany,” Koehler added. “I went to another Oktoberfest in Hawaii a
few years ago and it had more of a Hawaiian flavor to its foods.
While we do our event with aloha spirit, we keep it authentic to
Germany in what we serve.”
Ryan Day, the Ala Moana Hotel’s executive chef, shares his
German heritage with a menu highlighted with bratwurst, German
sausages, sauerbraten, giant knackwurst and pig knuckles. Entrees
are complemented with a selection of traditional side dishes such
as dumplings, potato salad and sauerkraut.
Desserts including apple strudel with vanilla ice cream and
Black Forest layer cake top off the night.
An Oktoberfest wouldn’t be complete without a variety of German
beers flowing all night long. This year’s selection will include
Ayinger Dunkel, Paulaner, Bitburger, Isenbeck, Becks, Spaten, St.
Pauli Girl and Lowenbrau.
For non-beer drinkers, Louis Guntrum wine and a selection of
German “schnapps bude” will also be served, including Barenjager,
Goldwasser, Rumple Minze, Kleiner Feigling and Jagermeister.
Held in the Ala Moana Hotel’s Hibiscus Ballroom, Oktoberfest
will begin with the official keg tapping ceremony on Tues., Oct. 5,
at 6 p.m. Festival hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 6-11
p.m., Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m.-midnight and Sunday from 5-11
Admission is $5 per person Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and $8
on Friday and Saturday. Tickets may be purchased through the Ala
Moana Hotel’s concierge beginning Sept. 1 or at the door each
For those clients interested in staying where all the action is,
the 1,152-room Ala Moana Hotel is located at the gateway to
Waikiki, just steps from the Hawaii Convention Center and adjacent
to the Ala Moana Shopping Center. The full-service hotel offers
five restaurants and lounges, fitness center, pool, business
center, shopping arcade and nine meeting and banquet rooms.
Rack rates are from $135 nightly, double occupancy.