Munich is celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Oktoberfest this year from September 18-October 4th. As the website announces, the event promises “14 giant tents with a total seating capacity of 100,000, serving 5.5 million litres of potent ‘March beer’, more than 600,000 fried chickens and 84 heads of cattle.”
“March Beer” you ask? According to Wikipedia, by tradition, beer could be brewed only between Michaelmas (September 29) and St. George (April 23). That meant that all your brew had to be stored (or lagered) in icy caves by the end of March so it would last through the spring and summer. Naturally, you’d throw a party in September to clear the cellars before you began brewing next year’s batches. The VCBE recently stopped by Sudwerk in Davis, CA to pick up a case of their award-winning Marzen for his own Oktoberfest celebrations [see photo].
In the United States, craft beer’s biggest party is the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), held September 16-18 in Denver, CO. CraftBeer.com has a great article by Beer Muse John Holl about the history of the event, celebrating 29 this year. The VCBE is excited that a number of brewers and breweries featured in this column are going to be part of this year’s festivities, including Ladyface Alehouse, The Lost Abbey, Island Brewing, Telegraph Brewing, Lagunitas, and of course Sierra Nevada, the granddaddy of California craft breweries. Other California breweries that we plan to feature in upcoming columns include Hollister (in Santa Barbara), Eagle Rock (in Los Angeles), and both Fullerton’s Bootlegger Brewery and the Bruery out of Placentia. Click HERE for a full list of participating breweries from across the nation.
Closer to home are several events worth noting:
- Bar One Beer & Wine Parlor in North Hollywood is tipping its hat and stein to Oktoberfest with a German Beer tasting this Saturday, September 18. Our Wine Warehouse pal Jeff Musial will be on hand to give his expert analysis of the beer.
- The California Beer Festival takes place in Ventura’s Mission Park this Saturday, September 18. Because of the participation of a number of non-California brewers (though our local Anacapa Brewery will be there), the VCBE suggests renaming this festival, “Beer Festival in California.”
- On September 25, downtown Los Angeles will be the scene of the first ever LA Craft Beer Pub Crawl. Rising beer-lebrities The Beer Chicks are “curating” the beer for the event, which features Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jonathan Gold hosting a VIP room and pairing beer with Cole’s French Dip sandwiches.
- Also on September 25 is Septemberfest, put on by the same group that does the L.A. Beer Festival. This event takes place at Sony Picture Studios in Culver City. In addition to some of the same breweries attending the GABF (man, these guys work hard!), our friends from Fireman’s Brew will be pouring, as well.
- Finally (for now), one of the VCBE’s favorite beer emporia, Ojai Beverage Company, is hosting an Oktoberfest at their place on October 2 & 3.
NOTE: When I posted an earlier draft of this article, I noticed that a number of ads endorsing a California gubernatorial candidate were nestled around my article. I DO NOT ENDORSE THIS CANDIDATE. I write about craft beer. I endorse the craft breweries that I write about in this column.