Beer brings people together like a warm hug during the autumn season. Oktoberfest in California celebrates this cozy time of the year with German-inspired delights and fall festivities.
Oxnard Farm’s Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest in California is back and so are the fall-tastic festivities at Oxnard Historic Farm Park. Visit the farm on Saturday, Oct. 8, for beer, brats and bands. While celebrating, you can explore two vineyards of 1880s Zinfandel Blanc grapes, a lemon orchard, an avocado grove and five historically representative gardens. Throughout this gorgeous, historic estate, there will be plenty of Oktoberfest games, activities and contests. Even just showing up in German attire earns you a free drink! Or enter the family-friendly scarecrow contest for free admission. Tickets are $15, and free for guests 12 and under. For more information, visit oxnardfarmpark.org.
Carlsbad Oktoberfest Fall Festival
Prost and prepare for the 40th Annual Carlsbad Oktoberfest Fall Festival, which will feature authentic German cuisine, family-friendly activities, live German music and, of course, a biergarten. Get your Oktoberfest on at the beautiful Carlsbad Strawberry Company on Saturday, Oct. 1, from noon to 8 p.m., when the festival grounds will be overflowing with fun. As always, you can expect plenty of beer and German food favorites like brats, hot dogs and pretzels. You can also count on the chicken dance-off and wiener-toss competition to keep you busy. Be sure to dress to impress at the costume contest if you can’t wait to dust off your dirndls and lederhosen. And considering this fall festival kicks off the first day of October, it is only fitting that there will be a pumpkin patch, corn maze and petting zoo. For more information, visit rotaryoktoberfest.org.
Oktoberfest at Shadelands Ranch
It’s time to polish up your stein for a day filled with fun Oktoberfest activities in the lovely Shadelands Ranch Museum Biergarten. It’s not Oktoberfest in California without spending the first Saturday of October surrounded by family and friends in a stunning outdoor biergarten. So, saddle up and visit Shadelands Ranch on Saturday, Oct. 1, for live music, stein-holding contests and a whole lot of traditional German entertainment. Alongside German beer and California wine, guests can indulge in a classic Oktoberfest feast that includes savory sausages, sauerkraut, freshly baked German pretzels and sweet treats. Seating is limited, and tickets cost $55 per person. For more information, visit wchistory.org.
Oktoberfest at Societe Brewing
Founded on the idea that beer is the world’s greatest social unifier, Societe Brewing in San Diego is bringing back its annual Oktoberfest in honor of the world’s largest beer festival. Visit the brewery on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., when it is fully converted into an authentic German beer hall. Prepare to fall in love with the Fest Bier, inspired by the light beers of Munich with crisp floral notes and a touch of lemony zest. This perfect pint is only offered from August through September, making it a must-try Oktoberfest specialty. And you can’t go wrong with pairing your brew with traditional German street food from Biersal Food Truck. Kick back in Societe’s Beer Garden and indulge in Munich-style pretzels with house-made Bavarian cheese spread, chicken schnitzel, apple strudel and more. For more information, visit societebrewing.com.
There’s a first time for everything. If you’ve never attended an Oktoberfest festival in Crockett, then this year is the best time to make the trip. Help Downtown Crockett celebrate its first-ever Oktoberfest in California. This beer and wine block party will take place on Saturday, Oct. 15, and will feature contests, live music and plenty of authentic street vendors. The yodeling and axe-throwing competitions aren’t the only things that make Crockett’s Oktoberfest unique. There will also be an exclusive live cooking demonstration where you can learn how to make four courses of German delicacies. The culinary experience begins with an appetizer of German herbed quark sandwich bites followed by German potato salad, tons of deli meats, freshly baked rolls and assorted pickled Bavarian condiments. The grand finale will be a Black Forest no-bake parfait. For more information, visit crockettcalifornia.com.
Discover Northern California’s premiere Oktoberfest and celebrate in traditional Munich-style in Clayton’s charming downtown area beneath the majestic Mt. Diablo. Make the first weekend of October one to remember. Take a scenic stroll along Main Street to browse the array of arts and crafts stores selling anything from jewelry to hot sauces. Then, take advantage of the German cuisine and beer while dancing to live music by The Internationals in the biergarten. As authentic as it gets, all of the wood benches and tables in the biergarten were imported from Munich. Plus, there is fun for all ages when the carnival is in town. Here, Downtown Clayton is converted into a full-scale carnival with amusement rides, game booths and street entertainers all weekend long. For more information, visit claytonoktoberfest.com.
One Paseo Oktoberfest
The annual Oktoberfest festival at One Paseo signals the arrival of fall. The fall festivities bring Munich, Germany to San Diego’s favorite urban village on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 2 to 6 p.m. Aside from the naming of Mr. and Mrs. Oktoberfest, the event will also include beer gardens, German-inspired food from The Butchery, live music, traditional lawn activities and more. After you grab a stein, you can explore the abundance of One Paseo’s small businesses for one-of-a-kind finds. Or head to One Paseo’s Art Walk to see the largest outdoor exhibition of public art in North San Diego County, which includes installations by London Kaye, Andy Davis and other artists. Tickets are $30 and include pours from the event’s beverage sponsors, Harland Brewing and Scout Distribution brands. For more information, visit onepaseo.com.