It’s been nearly a year since Applebee’s launched its drink specials with the infamous Dollarita.

By Mike Pomranz
September 04, 2018
Scott Olson / Getty Images

Over the past year, Applebee’s has poured its way back into the casual dining conversation with a string of cheap drink specials. It began last October with the buzzworthy launch of the Grill & Bar’s $1 margaritas which were shrewdly dubbed “Dollaritas.” Plenty of $1 and $2 monthly mixed drinks have followed since—things like $1 Long Island Iced Teas, $1 Bahama Mamas (or “Dollarmamas”), and $2 Absolut vodka lemonades.

But the problem with cheap cocktails is that these drinks can be mixed in any proportion a restaurant wants, leading even some Dollarita devotees to admit that you get what you pay for. So for drinkers who like to know exactly what’s in store, beer specials can be more predictable, and for September, Applebee’s is opting for this more straightforward approach with $2 Sam Adams Octoberfest draft beers.

“That crisp, cool smell. That warm, cozy feeling,” Applebee’s writes. “Fall’s here—aka the $2 Samuel Adams OctoberFest. So let’s celebrate with our September Neighborhood Drink of the Month for only $2. It’s the perfect fall brew—one you’re sure to fall for this fall.”

As with Applebee’s previous promotions, the chain warns that timing may vary by restaurant and not all locations may be participating. Also, as another important qualifier, these $2 draft brews are served in a small 10-ounce mug, meaning patrons are paying the equivalent of $2.40 for a 12-ounce bottle. (It’s still not a bad deal, but you won’t be padding your savings by drinking at Applebee’s instead of at home.)

Meanwhile, some may find it strange that Applebee’s choose an Octoberfest beer for their September drink special. But blame the Germans for that one instead. Despite its name, the real Oktoberfest traditionally starts in September. This year, things kick off in Munich on September 22 and run until October 7. And for the record, Applebee’s prices are definitely a steal compared to the actual Oktoberfest: Last year, the average cost of a liter of beer at the event was said to be around $13.

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