Moerlein, Paulaner bringing massive festival tent to Cincinnati’s central riverfront for Oktoberfest

Cincinnati has long been home of the world’s largest Oktoberfest celebration outside of Munich, and it will soon be getting larger. At the 2012 Oktoberfest Zinzinnati festival, the Moerlein Lager House will partner with Germany’s Paulaner Brewery to create the ÜberDrome.

The ÜberDrome will be a massive Oktoberfest tent covering the entire event lawn at Smale Riverfront Park. It will connect with the biergarten at the Moerlein Lager House and will create a space for approximately 3,000 festival goers.

“This ‘über’ fest tent, filled with Munich-style tables and benches, will span the entire length and width of the Schmidlapp Event Lawn, adjacent to the Lager House in Smale Riverfront Park,” said Greg Hardman, Managing Partner of the Moerlein Lager House and CEO of the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company. “The Oktoberfest beer will be flowing, there’ll be endless platters of delicious German dishes and the celebration will go on and on!”

The Moerlein Lager House will add a new element to Cincinnati’s annual Oktoberfest celebration when it introduces the ÜberDrome in 2012. Photograph by Randy A. Simes for UrbanCincy.

Paulaner is a famed German brewery that is well known for its enormous festival tent in the Theresienwiese during Munich’s Oktoberfest. Hardman says that the brewery was looking for a perfect location to present their Munich-style Oktoberfest celebration in Cincinnati, and determined that the central riverfront was just that.

The ÜberDrome will feature German-style pretzels, specially made Hudepohl Beer Wurst and other sausages, wiener schnitzel and strudel plus a wide selection of Paulaner and Moerlein beers including the Paulaner Oktoberfest Weisn, which was the original beer sold at Munich’s Oktoberfest.

The festival tent will also include a performance stage in the center of the space that will feature a variety skits, comedy, games, and music by Bavarian-style bands like Alpen Echos, Pros’t, and Heuboden Musikanten who will fly in from Germany for the event.

“This has been a life’s dream of mine to bring something like this to Cincinnati and, like the Moerlein Lager House itself, we are shooting for the ‘WOW’ factor,” explained Hardman.

Cincinnati’s 2012 Oktoberfest celebrations will take place from Friday, September 21 through Sunday, September 23. The ÜberDrome (map) will be open on these days from 4pm to midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 12pm to 9pm on Sunday.

  • John Schneider

    Maybe they can eventually drag all of Oktoberfest down there with them. It’s a great festival, but it really kills downtown business, especially restaurants, while it’s underway. In the early riverfront planing during the Nineties, it was assumed that all of these festivals would move to the riverfront. Hasn’t happened.

    • Mark Christol

      There is a comic book convention at the convention center that weekend, too. And, I think, a ball game. There’s certainly reason to spread things out a bit.
      Will there be goat drawn wagons to move people from the park to 5th & back?

    • Don_Thompson

      I agree that these festivals and other events where they shut down the city streets around fountain square really disrupts businesses and traffic in the city. For example government square, the main bus depot for the city gets shut down. The downtown core is mainly a business district with some entertainment establishments and should be used as such. I think Oktoberfest would be a good fit for a street festival in OTR. Although the real Oktoberfest in Munich isn’t a street festival. It is done in a big fairgrounds like field and there are just a bunch of massive tents full of people drinking and eating. You could shut down a few blocks in OTR, route the buses around it and it wouldn’t have that big on an effect on traffic, parking and other events and activities in the city. I think moving these festivals out of the central business core to the riverfront or other areas downtown like OTR would be less disruptive and be a good idea.

  • Yes, not the riverfront is becoming more and more appealing to festivals. That way there is room for the biggest festival and people from the festival and others can patronize downtown businesses at the same time.

  • Perhaps during Oktoberfest an umlaut can be added to the U in UrbanCincy.

  • I think it would be great to close off the road in front of Moerline and put the whole shebang right in the parking lots and street.