What the Lager! Oktoberfest Ist Hier!

Ein pro tip! Ein pro tip! It’s Oktoberfest time! Isn’t it funny that we have turned St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo into the de facto drinking holidays in America, despite the fact that Germany has had a lock on all things beer and Jäg for hundreds of years? The official Munich Oktoberfest this year runs from Sept. 21 through Oct. 6, instead of just one day like the other holidays—maybe that has something to do with its popularity?

As was much of Orange County, Anaheim was founded by German immigrants in 1857, only around 50 years after the first Oktoberfest event in Bavaria, celebrating the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Therese. Originally, their anniversary was celebrated with horse races, but over the years, it broke down into doing what Germans do best: Eins, zwei, drei! G’suffa! 

Here’s a look at a few local Oktoberfests, plus one outside the county:

The Phoenix Club (1340 S. Sanderson Ave., Anaheim, 714-563-4166; www.thephoenixclub.com) is the only one with a huge Festhalle tent similar to what’s done in Munich. Fri., 6 p.m.; Sat., 5 p.m.; Sun., noon. Through Oct. 27. Non-members, $10.

Anaheim Brewery (336 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, 714-780-1888; www.anaheimbrew.com) holds two such celebrations every year, with music and buy-as-you-go beer. Oct. 5 & 12, 5-10 p.m. Free admission.

Old World Huntington Beach (7561 Center Ave., Huntington Beach, 714-895-8020; www.oldworld.ws) offers something like Disneyland’s interpretation of a German village, but it’s still legit. Daily, 11 a.m. Through Nov. 3. Free-$25. 

Do a mountain getaway and enjoy the 49th-annual Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest (Big Bear Lake Convention Center, 42900 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake, 909-585-3000; bigbearevents.com). Sat., noon-midnight; Sun., noon-6 p.m. Through Nov. 2. $10-$33.

Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, level 1 WSET in Wine, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest happening on June 29th in Anaheim!

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