Your complete guide to Oktoberfest in San Diego

Grab your stein and practice lifting: It's the thirstiest time of year. (courtesy photo)
Grab your stein and practice lifting: It’s the thirstiest time of year. (courtesy photo)

Supersize steins, giant pretzels, lederhosen and, of course, incredible Oktoberfest beers are taking over San Diego starting this weekend. With so many opportunities to experience the German festivities around town, we have compiled the best of Oktoberfest events for you to check out.

Get ready to drink up, chow down and be merry at one (or all seven) of these Oktoberfest celebrations.

La Mesa Oktoberfest - Sept. 30 through Oct. 2

Head to La Mesa for its 43rd annual Oktoberfest celebration. The massive event will take over six blocks in the La Mesa Village from Sept. 30 through Oct. 2. Attendees can enjoy the annual tapping of the keg and “confetti burst” ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Throughout the weekend, taste brews from Helix Brewing Company, Bolt Brewery, Spaten Beer, Franziskaner Beer and Stella Artois, and grab traditional German potatoes, beer brats, sauerkraut, goulash, beer-marinated pork chops, warm pretzels and more. Live entertainment will go all night long, including a beer-chugging contest, stein-holding contest, sausage-eating contest and live music from The BlueBirds. This event is free to attend.

Friday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. In between Spring Street and La Mesa Boulevard, La Mesa.

El Cajon Oktoberfest - Sept. 30 through Oct. 2; Oct. 7-9

El Cajon knows how to do an Oktoberfest right. The festival, which spans two weekends, embraces German everything here in San Diego. From folk-dancing demonstrations to Guggenbach-Buam, a band from Germany, performing throughout the weekend, this fest is traditional and deeply rooted in German culture. Festivalgoers can indulge in ox-on-the-spit, potato pancakes, red cabbage, pretzels, German pastries and, of course, bratwurst. There will be a plethora of crafts and vendors at the El Cajon Oktoberfest, a kids’ zone and the chance to win a round-trip flight for two to Germany. Admission is a $10 donation on Friday and Saturday, $5 on Sunday.

Various times. 1017 S. Mollison Ave., El Cajon.

Craftoberfest at Liberty Public Market - Oct. 1-9

Liberty Public Market will host a craft-beer festival to celebrate Oktoberfest, complete with patio games such as giant Jenga and ring toss, as well as custom beer mugs, beer pairings and Oktoberfest beer selections. Various vendors throughout the market will offer Oktoberfest-inspired fare. The festivities will begin Oct. 1 and last until Oct. 9.

11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. 2820 Historic Decatur Road, Liberty Station.

Carlsbad Oktoberfest - Oct. 1

Gear up for Oktoberfest in Carlsbad, which will be decked out with arts and crafts and feature fair rides, live music and more. This year’s fun will showcase authentic German cuisine, fresh-baked apple strudel and plenty of food vendors to keep you satisfied. DJ Efraim Nunez will be spinning tunes in between live music sets by Faith Page, The BlueBirds and The Last Call. Get ready to do the chicken dance, nosh on German meals, sip cold brews, enter the yodeling contest and more. Tickets are $5 for regular admission (ages 10 and older) and $15 for admission plus a German-style meal.

Noon to 10 p.m. Holiday Park, between Tamarack Avenue and Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad.

Encinitas Oktoberfest - Oct. 2

The 21st annual Encinitas Oktoberfest will feature a variety of German performances, including the highly regarded Gemutlichkeit Alpine Dancers and Hammerstein Musik Bavaria on the main stage. Peruse the many local craft, food and drink vendors on site, enjoy traditional Oktoberfest beers as well as local favorites such as Ballast Point Brewing and Saint Archer Brewing Company. German eats will be provided by Tarantino Gourmet Sausage, so come hungry. This event is free to attend.

10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Between Mountain Vista Drive and El Camino Real, Encinitas.

Ocean Beach Oktoberfest - Oct. 7-8

Put on your best lederhosen and head to the beach for an OB-style Oktoberfest. Drink brews in the 21-and-up beer garden that will feature both local and German beers. Enjoy craft vendors and plenty of live music to groove to from Bang Pow, Boogie Brothers, Brothers Gow, One Drop, Mike Pinto, Todo Mundo, Electric Waste Band and more. There will be a stein-holding competition, a sausage toss, brat-eating competition and a new event called “das bootie flip.”

Friday, 4:20 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Intersection of Newport Avenue and Abbott Street, Ocean Beach.

Bier Oktoberfest - Oct. 8

The best of San Diego’s breweries will gather at Bier Oktoberfest, taking place at the Hard Rock Hotel downtown. Participating breweries include Mike Hess, Pizza Port, Coronado, Bagby Beer Company, Rip Current, Helix, Thorn Street Brewery, AleSmith Brewing Company, Societe Brewing Company, ChuckAlek Independent Brewers and Stone Brewing Company. Snack on Bavarian pretzels and sausages from The Brew Project and groove to live music from The German Zeitgest Band. Enter the stein holding or beer chugging contest and don’t forget to get your photo snapped in the photo booth.

Saturday, 12 to 6 p.m. Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, 207 Fifth Ave., downtown.

Source: DiscoverSD