Oktoberfest is back in San Diego. Here’s where to celebrate
Prost! It’s every beer drinker’s favorite time of year: Oktoberfest. And with most of 2020’s festivities postponed, San Diego is ready to make up for lost time. Here’s where you can celebrate the German festival.
El Cajon Oktoberfest
Hosted by the German American Societies of San Diego, Oktoberfest in El Cajon is happening on back-to-back weekends. Dance to music from German-based band Guggenbach-Baum; enjoy German beer and food like bratwurst, sauerkraut and pretzels; and participate in activities like foosball, a pellet gun shooting range and a raffle (where one lucky winner will score two plane tickets to Germany). Sept. 24’s “Tap the Keg” opening ceremony features a parade, the crowning of a new Oktoberfest queen and the tapping the ceremonial keg.
Price: General admission is $15 (Friday or Saturday) and $5 (Sunday), with food and drink package available as add-ons. Individuals under 21 years old, German American Societies of San Diego members, and active military receive free admission.
When: Sept. 24 to 26 and Oct. 1 to 3. On both weekends, hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Friday; noon to 10 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Where: German American Societies, 1017 South Mollison Ave., El Cajon
La Mesa Oktoberfest
All ages are welcome to La Mesa Village for three days of traditional German beer, eats, entertainment and more. The 48th annual La Mesa Oktoberfest features three biergartens: Hofbrahaus Biergarten; Craft Bier & Seltzer Garten; and Palm Avenue Bier Hall. There will live music and numerous activities like a keg relay, musical chairs and sausage toss. There will also be contests including bier stein holding, brat eating and yodeling. For younger guests, the German Kinder Karneval features a Ferris wheel, face painting and more.
Price: Free. A $5 Biergarten Pass grants 21-and-up guests entry into all three biergartens and are available to buy at the entrance. VIP packages and Ferris wheel tickets are available for purchase online.
When: 4 to 10 p.m. Oct. 1; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 2; noon to 8 p.m. Oct. 3
Where: Throughout La Mesa Village
Ocean Beach Oktoberfest
Head to the shore for two days of OB Oktoberfest, featuring a large beer garden with authentic Bavarian and San Diego brews and specialty cocktails.The main stage, located in the beer garden, offers a stacked entertainment lineup on both days, and additional bands will perform on a separate seaside stage at Saratoga Park on Oct. 9. There will also be various competitions throughout the weekend, such as the Cornhole Open Invitational, Mr. & Ms. Oktoberfest, as well as stein holding, balloon blow and bratwurst eating contests.
Price: Free. Admission to the 21-and-up beer garden is $10.
When: 4 to 11 p.m. Oct. 8; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Oct. 9
Where: Along Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach
Encinitas Oktoberfest invites San Diegans to its 25th annual event on Oct. 3.Swing by the beach neighborhood for the day to experience German music by a Bavarian band, performances from Gemütlichkeit Alpine Dancers, a street craft fair with hundreds of vendors, and more. A ceremonial parade is scheduled for noon. Both German and San Diego breweries will serve up bites and brews at the “Keepin’ It Local Craft Beer Garden,” and the kid-friendly event also includes a family fun zone with carnival rides and other activities.
Price: Free. There is also complimentary parking at Flora Vista Elementary School and a shuttle service from the lot to the event.
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 3
Where: Mountain Vista Drive and El Camino Real, Encinitas
The Original 40 Brewing Company
Swing by The Original Brewing Company in North Park to try its limited-release Parte Märzen, which pairs well with its Oktoberfest food offering like brats, Bavarian pretzels, sauerkraut, and mustard with beer cheese. Bring your competitive spirit to win cash prizes for its Bavarian pretzel-eating contest, stein-holding competition, partner pretzel toss and costume contest. And if you can’t make it to the Oct. 3 event, the beer and bites will be available to enjoy at the tasting room through Oct. 3.
Price: Free event.
When: 3 to 6 p.m. Sept. 25
Where: The Original 40 Brewing Company, 3117 University Ave., North Park
AleSmith Brewing Company
AleSmith Brewing Company takes Oktoberfest seriously — the Miramar brewery just won a California Craft Brewers Cup gold medal for its AleSchmidt Oktoberfest Märzen lager. Grab a pint of the award-winning brew and enjoy additional beer specials at its Oktoberfest celebration. In addition to Wicked Sausage Food Truck serving up beers and grub, guests can browse the Indie Arts Market (noon to 4 p.m.) and dance to tunes from the Bavarian Beer Garden Band (2 to 6 p.m.). Plus, there will be contests and games happening throughout the day.
When: Noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 18
Where: 9990 AleSmith Court, Miramar
One Paseo Oktoberfest
Carmel Valley shopping center One Paseo will hold its inaugural Oktoberfest event this year, which takes place on the lawn outside of Harland Brewing. Ticketholders will receive picnic plates from The Butchery Quality Meats, German chocolate cupcakes from SusieCakes, and four-ounce pours from beverage companies like Harland Brewing, Juneshine, Sundowner Spirits and others. While enjoying the delicious fare, play games like axe throwing, listen to music, and watch the crowning of Mr. and Mrs. Oktoberfest. This event is 21-and-up, so leave the kids at home.
Price: Tickets are $20 and available to buy online at eventbrite.com/e/oktoberfest-one-paseo-tickets-169674183049.
When: 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 2
Where: One Paseo, 3725 Paseo Place, Carmel Valley
Tavern at the Vogue
It’s a two-for-one: Tavern at the Vogue’s anniversary party will take the form of an Oktoberfest Extravaganza. Indulge in Oktoberfest-inspired food, like pretzels and sausages, and of course, lots of beer. There will also be live music, beer checkers, giant Jenga and bingo. Don’t forget to dress up for the costume contest and bring your strength for the stein holding contest.
Price: Free event.
When: 2 to 11 p.m. Sept. 18
Where: Tavern at the Vogue, 230 Third Ave., Chula Vista
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