SF: Get Your German Beer On at These Oktoberfest Celebrations

IMG_0106Although there are only four days, 12 hours, and 29 minutes left to go of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany, celebrations in the San Francisco Bay Area continue until the middle of October. The 16-day party, which has been held in Munich for the past 205 years, attracts more than six million people and was originally a wedding celebration for the crown prince and princess. Today, Oktoberfest is honored all over the world and in city by the bay, there are plenty of ways to enjoy German beer and classic fare.

Schroeder’s, a historic eatery and beer hall in downtown San Francisco, is hosting a six-weekend long event that started on September 18. Every weekend from now until October 24, on Saturdays from 6-9 pm, Barvarian brews will be served along side Hofbräu activities like stein-holding contests and polka dancing. Different traditional live musicians (think an accordion player!) will be on hand and traditional wienerschnitzel, bratwurst, spätzle, and pretzels are on the menu.

This Saturday, October 3rd, all the way out near Ocean Beach, the Park Chalet Coastal Beer Garden will be throwing a German-style party with a 30-piece traditional oom-pah band, called Deutscher Musikverein, from 2 to 5 pm. The family-friendly beer garden will be filling steins with Ocean Beach Oktoberfest lager, a special brew for the event that is amber in color with a nice balance of hops and malt in flavor. The Chalet’s regular menu will be supplemented with handmade German pretzels.

Over in the East Bay, Oktoberfest is being feted at Jack London Square’s Plank restaurant. From now until Sunday, October 11th, beer lovers can enjoy German brews in special 20-ounce mugs. On Saturdays, guests can indulge in a menu of sausages including bratwursts, Polish dogs, hot links, and kielbasas along with potato salad and pretzel sticks with plank’s finger-licking good IPA cheese sauce.

Down south in Monterey Bay, Oktoberfest is taking place this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, October 3 and 4 at the Monterey county fairgrounds. The two-day extravaganza features German musical acts, The Alpine Band and The Hazelnuss Das Music, a Ms. Oktoberfest contest, and plenty of kegs of Spaten and plates of Bavarian-style chicken, local artichokes, and apple strudel.

Finally, tonight in wine country, one of our favorite resorts, Solage Calistoga, is hosting a special Oktoberfest Dinner and Beer Garden. The folks at Solage are transforming their event lawn space into a German beer garden featuring the best beers Germany has to offer and a hand crafted Oktoberfest menu put together by the resort’s executive chef, Brandon Sharp. The offerings include authentic German cuisine such as Leberkase with rye toast and spicy-sweet mustard, Schweine Braten with braised red cabbage, and soft pretzels with beer mustard. There will also be live music and plenty of games for the kiddos.