Beer Maverick

OktoberBEST: San Diego’s best Oktoberfest 2019 celebrations

There is no shortage of Oktoberfest celebrations across San Diego County over the next month or so. Prost!

Breweries can’t resist doing special events for Oktoberfest, even when German beer isn’t their focus ordinarily. That’s okay. Dirndls and lederhosen aside, drinking lots of beer with lots of people is usually a good time.

Karl Strauss normally has a big Oktoberfest party—but not in 2019! Their website says they’ll be back in 2020. The Strauss Oktoberfest Marzen is available on tap and at retail outlets.

First off the line was Mike Hess Brewing, with an Oktoberfest-themed North Park pub crawl held on Sept. 14. Their Oktoberhess beer is delicious. It is available on tap (while supplies last) at their Miramar, North Park, Ocean Bean and Imperial Beach locations.

OktoBEARDfest at Burning Beard Brewing in Santee from September 16 to 21. Nine German beers to try, including some that have won multiple medals. Try Roggen the Lightning, a truly fantastic rye beer.

Culver Beer Co. is holding their Oktoberfest party on September 21. They’ll have a beer release, limited edition glass steins, and classic German food offerings.

Also celebrating on Sept. 21 and 22, is Deft Brewing. Deftoberfest will offer nine different German-style beers. The difference between Deft and almost all other local breweries is that Deft does a lot of German-style beers–really well–all the time, not just for Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest on the Harbor, Sept. 28 and 29, is probably the least Munich-like setting and most Munich-like beer you’ll find in this round-up. Eppig Brewing makes some of the best lagers and German style beers, and they take Oktoberfest seriously. (I saw their head brewer at GABF 2018 in full lederhosen.) The Eppig tasting room on the bay is epic—one of the nicest settings I’ve found in San Diego. This will be a good one. Parking is tough; take a Lyft anyway.

You can get your Oktoberfest fill in a family-friendly form at the Carlsbad Oktoberfest, sponsored by the Carlsbad Hi Noon Rotary Club. Held October 5, noon to 5pm, in Holiday Park, this festival will feature games, contests, arts & crafts, rides, and a costume contest—in addition to beer, of course. Get your tickets here.

On October 11 and 12, the Ocean Beach Oktoberfest celebration will come to the beach. I’m not sure if leather shorts with suspenders are appropriate for surfing but, hey, anything goes in OB. More info here.

You’ll find info about some other big Oktoberfest celebrations on the San Diego Tourism Board’s website, including ones in El Cajon (Sep. 27-Oct.6), Encinitas (Oct. 6), and La Mesa (Oct. 4-6).

You’ll find even more Oktoberfest events listed here.

And of course mine isn’t the only local beer writing about local Oktoberfests this month. Check out Ian Anderson in San Diego Reader, Ian Cheeseman in West Coaster, Peter Rowe in the SD Union-Tribune, Patch (?), NBC News 9, ….