We all know Oktoberfest is a great reason to consume large quantities of beer. But, what is all this mass brew guzzling really about? Since 1810, Oktoberfest has been a Bavarian holiday that consists of a 16-18 day festival, as well as one of the most popular events in all of Germany. Today, what started as a Bavarian agricultural show has turned into an international holiday loved by many.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect for us is the chance to indulge in German beer and food. While only beer made within the city limits can be enjoyed at the Munich Oktoberfest, San Diego has no such limitations, thus giving our festivals a huge selection of brews, just the way we like it. Apart from loads of beer, tons of traditional food is also enjoyed at this celebration. Popular dishes include Wurstl (sausage), Schweinebraten (roast pork), Kasspatzn (cheese noodles), and Blaukraut (red cabbage). While we may not be able to attend the real deal in Munich, there are still plenty of fun ways to celebrate Oktoberfest in San Diego. Are you ready?
Discover the best 2011 Oktoberfest celebrations in San Diego.
San Diego Padres Oktoberfest
The San Diego Padres salute Oktoberfest in a pre-game celebration at Park at the Park on September 16. The first pour will occur at 4:30pm, with the last occurring at 7:00pm: just 5 minutes prior to the game against the Diamondbacks. Admission to the pre-game party is free with purchase of game ticket, and festivities will include live music and great deals on beer from some of the best breweries in San Diego. Get details here.
La Mesa Oktoberfest
This three day festival takes place Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, from 11am to 11:30pm on Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 5pm on Sunday. The parties will include over 400 vendor booths, two beer gardens, and loads of traditional food. In addition, carnival rides and live music will serve as an excellent background. Get details here.
German American Societies of SD Oktoberfest
Happening the first two weekends of October, the German American Societies of San Diego will put together a celebration unlike any other in El Cajon. Tons of German food will be available, including potato pancakes, bratwurst, red cabbage, and German pastries, along with a huge variety of German beers and liquors. A traditional band from Germany, Guggenbach-Baum, will be performing live. In addition, there will be tons of traditional dance performances, vendor booths, games, and contests. Get details here.
The Carlsbad Rotary Oktoberfest
This exciting event is happening on Oct. 1 from 12 to 10pm at Holiday Park in Carlsbad. The highlight of the evening will be a traditional German dinner complete with warm apple strudel. The day will include live music, dancing, children’s activities, a pumpkin patch, and a pumpkin decorating contest. Live music will be provided by Faith Page, Roger and the New Villagers, The Skape Goats, The Last Call and more. Get details here.
Ocean Beach Oktoberfest
The Ocean Beach Oktoberfest is occurring on Oct. 7 from 4 to 10pm and Oct 8 from 9am to 8pm in the pier parking lot. Six cover/tribute bands will be competing for $4,000 in prizes, so good music is a sure bet. In addition to a beer garden, guests will be able to purchase $15 tickets for the OB Brew Cup, which guarantees you six different tastes of brews. Tons of contests, including Sausage Toss and Bratwurst Eating, will be taking place, along with a 5K run titled The Brat Trot. This truly is Oktoberfest, San Diego style. Get details here.
This celebration is happening on Oct. 1 from 2 to 6pm at the Standley Park and Recreation Center and is free to all. There will be plenty of music, games, food, and kid friendly activities. The beer garden will have 10 different kegs showcasing San Diego’s finest concoctions, along with several soda kegs for the non-drinkers. A home brew contest will also take place, so start practicing your brew master skills! Bavarian costumes are encouraged. All proceeds from this event will benefit University City Cluster Schools. Get details here.
International Folk Dancers of Balboa Park Oktoberfest
This free two day event will be on Sept. 17 and 18 in Balboa Park. From 1 to 4pm on Saturday there will be a “Learn to Dance” workshop for the whole family. This should prepare everyone for the Dance Festival happening from 12:30 to 5pm that Sunday. Costumed dancers, food, and eclectic vendors are all on the agenda. Get details here.
This festival will be taking place on Oct. 22 from 1 to 5pm at Mission Brewery. This event will feature live music and beer tasting from over 40 breweries. $35 tickets include beer tastings, a BBQ food voucher, and live entertainment, with VIP Limited Brew Tasting tickets available for $45. Proceeds from this event will benefit The Warrior Foundation, an association aiding military men and women. Get details here.
Discover more entertainment ideas in our San Diego events calendar.