Fall is packed with seasonal food and drink events
Now that the kids are back in school, Labor Day is in the rear-view mirror and we're finally heading toward hoodie and leather jacket weather, it's time to talk about fall fun.
Of all the seasons, autumn is the most food-centric not only because of the fall harvest, but in Michigan we've got apple and cider season, Oktoberfest celebrations and other fall fun.
Oktoberfest, a German folk festival of food and drink that kicks off in late September, is celebrated locally at establishments old and new.
Detroit's 85-year-old German restaurant Dakota Inn starts its weekend Oktoberfest celebrations Friday with German beer, food and singalongs every Friday and Saturday through Oct. 27.
One of the newer kids on the block, Ferndale's Detroit Fleat food truck restaurant, is getting in on the oom-pa-pa action with an Oktoberfest of its own Oct. 6. Get a taste of Frankenmuth's Bavarian Inn without leaving Oakland County as their Cluck Truck food truck rolls in, serving brats, pretzels and chicken. The house food trucks at Detroit Fleat (Mac Shack, Pita Post and Delectabowl) will also serve Oktoberfest cuisine. The party is 2-9 p.m. and tickets, $40, are sold in advance at facebook.com/detroitfleat.
Next month the Cider Slush returns to Eastern Market on Oct. 19. The event is a fundraiser for Core Orchards, Detroit's first nonprofit U-pick apple orchard. Tickets, $30 and up, include 10 samples of hard cider, a doughnut and two cider slush drinks, made with apples and Fireball whisky. Additional food can be purchased from food trucks. Visit coreorchards.com for tickets and more info.
Cider is dandy, but the fall is when beer events and festivals kick into overdrive. Here are some highlights:
Octobeerfest is one of the first major events at the new Detroit Shipping Company in Midtown. On Sept. 29, from 1-6 p.m., sample beers from local and regional craft breweries and vote on which one the bar should keep on tap throughout the fall. Tickets are $7-$25 depending on how many tokens you'd like.
Another pun-loving event is the Boatober Beer Tasting Beer Cruise at the Detroit Princess Riverboat. Organized by Motor City Brew Tours, tickets include 15 sample tickets that are 4 ounces each, snacks and a boat ride down the Detroit River. Even if you aren't a big craft beer fan, these events usually include a variety of hard cider and the boat ride alone makes for a fun afternoon. Visit motorcitybrewtours.com for tickets and details.
Probably the most popular beer festival of the fall is the Michigan Brewers Guild official Detroit Fall Beer Festival. Now in its 10th year, the party is a one-stop shop for your fall beers and seasonal suds. It's Oct. 26-27 in Eastern Market. Tickets, $40 and up, are on sale at mibeer.com.
A handful of area chefs are taking advantage of the fall bounty with a farm-to-table fundraising dinner at Stone Coop Farm on the evening of Sept. 22. The culinary minds behind Rocky’s of Northville, Salt and Saffron, the Brighton Bar & Grill and other spots will each serve a course featuring ingredients from the farm, plus Michigan-made beer, wine and cider. Go to Stonecoopfarm.com for details.