Braxton Brewing Saves Covington’s Oktoberfest

The brewery’s cofounder Jake Rouse, a Northern Kentucky native, saw it as his duty to support the festival’s return.

Photograph courtesy of KarepaStock/

By all accounts, MainStrasse Oktoberfest wasn’t going to happen this year. After last year’s event was rained out, putting the MainStrasse Village Association more than $100,000 in debt (ultimately resulting in a bankruptcy filing), many assumed the 30-year tradition had become a relic of the past. But Jake Rouse, cofounder and CEO of Braxton Brewing Co., said the brewery felt it “had some sort of duty to turning this thing around.”

Braxton reached out to several local business leaders and provided funding to ensure that one of the city’s most iconic events stays alive. Rouse, who grew up in the Northern Kentucky area, says some of the fondest memories of his early years were going to Covington’s annual Oktoberfest.

“It’s always been a part of fall here in Cincinnati for me,” Rouse says. “Ultimately, it’s one of those things that we didn’t want to let die because of that; it brings such a good number of people into the city to experience everything we have to offer.”

Oktoberfest will take place in Goebel Park, September 6–8. Braxton hopes to fuse the neighborhood’s well-known traditional German heritage with more modern food and beverage offerings from local Covington businesses.

The event will feature several local food vendors. On the beer front, Braxton has reprised its traditional German lager, Oktober Fuel, joined by other ales and lagers from both local breweries and national brands, like Warsteiner, Miller, and Samuel Adams.

To mark the special occasion, the Carroll Chimes Bell Tower in Goebel Park will be illuminated during the first two days; several contemporary and traditional German music acts will be performing; and the Kenton County Public Library will be hosting children’s events coinciding with the festival. More details can be found on Braxton’s Facebook event page.

The festival will run throughout the weekend: Friday, September 6, 5–11 p.m.; Saturday, September 7, 12–11 p.m.; and Sunday, September 8, 12–8 p.m.

Covington Oktoberfest, Goebel Park, 501 Philadelphia St., Covington

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