Whether you are pulling up your lederhosen or tying up your trachtenbluse, don't miss Oktoberfest in full swing in San Diego. Brewers with love and respect for the old country create a mouthwatering array of local brews modeled after the German classics. Put down that IPA for just a San Diego second and try these delicious offerings, many here for a limited time only:
Green Flash Brewing, noon to 9 p.m. Oct. 3: Suit up in your best fest wear and head over to Mira Mesa for their latest Genius Lab offering, In der Mitte Maerzenfestbier, which translates to "In the middle of March beer." Grab a commemorative glass and munch on Oktoberfest-style eats provided by the Green Flash Gastrotruck.
Ballast Point 19th Anniversary Oktoberfest Party, Oct. 11: No matter where you live in the county, you can party German-style with Ballast Point! At all four locations, the popular brewery will fill steins with a variety of brews, including the Dead Ringer, their Oktoberfest bier. This red malty lager is toasty with caramel and toffee, and clocks in at an easy 6 percent ABV. Look out for Oktoberfest munchies and more beer releases that day.
Other German-style beers to put on your Oktoberfest tour:
Bagby Beer: Count on Jeff Bagby to always be timely in his delicious beer endeavors. Make the trip to Oceanside to sample his variety of Oktoberfest and German-style offerings, including ALT in the Family, an altbier; Of Kolsch! (self-explanatory); Wiseacre Wheat, his German-style Hefeweizen; Weissenhopper, a hoppy Weissebier, and my personal favorite, Abockalypse, a German-style Weizenbock.
Karl Strauss: While their Oktoberfest celebrations came early this year, you can enjoy their annual Oktoberfest brew around the county for days to come. At 5 percent ABV, it's a classic take on the festbier, easy-going with soft notes of toast and caramel.
Mother Earth: Fulfill your love of German Weissbiers with the Honcho Hefe (5 percent ABV), a local take on the timeless German superstar. Expect banana and clove in this true-to-style version, perfect for a warm San Diego Oktoberfest.
Fall Brewing: Add a twist to your German dance moves with Jazz Hands, a refreshing Berliner Weisse. At only 3.4 percent ABV, it's the perfect way to start or end your German odyssey. Don't miss the Mittens, a smoked Schwarzbier collaboration with Monkey Paw Brewing.
Pizza Port: The Bressi Ranch location in Carlsbad cranks out its own Oktoberfest bier, and it can be found throughout the county at various craft beer bars. It's a great intro for those just venturing into German-style beers or those wanting to stay on the lighter side.
ChuckAlek: Take a ride out to the Ramona hinterlands to enjoy the German fruits of ChuckAlek, notably the Flycaster Helles Lager at an easy 4.8 percent ABV, or their rich twist on a Dopplebock, the Coffee Double Bock at 8 percent ABV.
Whatever you choose to do this Oktoberfest, have fun, be safe, and please don't drink and drive. Cheers!
With 15 years in the restaurant and beverage industry and more than 700 reviews under her belt, Laurie Delk is a one-stop guide to all things craft beer, wine and spirits. You can follow Delk on Twitter @100beers30days or Instagram @sandiegobeer. Send ideas for featured drinks to firstname.lastname@example.org.