Although most would agree that Nena’s “99 Luftballoons” is the No. 1 German-made crossover hit in America, I strongly disagree. “Ein Prosit,” the famous Oktoberfest drinking song that was written in the 1800s, has the uncanny Pavlovian ability to induce strong cravings for swaying steins of beer in the air and drunkenly yelling, “Oi, oi, oi” like you just don’t care.
It goes like this: “Ein Prosit, ein Prosit, Der Gemütlichkeit” (pronounced dare geh-myoot-lish-kite) repeated a couple of times. It means “a toast, a toast, to feeling cozy.” The band leader will yell, “Ziche-Zacke Ziche-Zacke,” which is sort of an old Prussian army battle cry, followed by you responding, “Oi, oi, oi!” Then finally the toast: “Oans, zwoa, drei g’suffa!” which means “one, two, three, drink!”
Now that you’re versed in all things German, here’s where to chicken dance your booty down this fall:
Anaheim Brewery: Enjoy pours of the brewery’s toasty Märzen while listening to a brass band on the patio. 336 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 780-1888; anaheimbrew.com. Oct. 6 & 13, 5-10 p.m.
Five Crowns: The restaurant partners with Firestone Walker brewerf for a five-course Porktoberfest. 3801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, (949) 258-7288; lawrysonline.com/five-crowns. Oct. 11, 6:30 p.m. $120.
Old World: The classic fest returns! 7561 Center Ave., Ste. 49, Huntington Beach, (714) 895-8020; oldworld.ws. Wed.-Sun. Through Oct 28. Free-$24.
Phoenix Club: Get down with an older, mixed crowd, some of whom actually speak German! After a couple of liters, try your luck at the shooting range; one year, I won a Celine Dion mouse pad that I use to this day! 1340 S. Sanderson Ave., Anaheim, (714) 563-4166; thephoenixclub.com. Fri., 6 p.m.; Sat., 5 p.m.; Sun., noon. Through Oct. 28. $10.
Newport Dunes: Celebrate on the beach! 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 729-3863; octoberfestoc.com. Sat.-Sun., noon-8 p.m. Through Oct. 21. $27.50 (includes a collectible glass).
Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest.