Prost! As millions conclude their annual Oktoberfest revelries in Munich, Germany (Sept. 18-October 4), Wine Country’s beer-centric affairs are just getting started. So grab your steins, oompa-attitude and Das Boots and head for sudsy events around the county…
Barley and Hops: Third Annual Oktoberfest (October 1-3, 2010)
The beer-friendliest pub Sebastopol and Bodega Bay, Barley and Hops, goes all-Bavarian for three days during their Third Annual Oktoberfest Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They’ll be bringing in special Oktoberfest beer served in traditional liter steins, serving up authentic Bavarian eats and decking out the entire staff in lederhosen and dirndls — which you can see from the picture is worth the trip alone. Owner Noah Bolmer, who owns the bar with wife Mirjam, is a beer aficionado who walks the walk 365 days a year, so he can show you the ropes when it comes to Weizens and Marzens. Looking for a boot to sip from? This year they’ve brought in glass cowboy boots to guzzle your wiezen. 3688 Bohemian Hwy, Occidental, 874-9037
Harvest Brew Tasting @ The Harvest Fair (Oct. 2) : Wine Country’s more than just wine. Microbrew tasting from 1-5pm at the Village on Saturday only. $15 for a souvenir glass and four taste tickets. Additional tastes $3. Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 21+ only.
Big Oktoberfest Bash (BOB), Oct. 8: Lagunitas, Russian River Brewery, Third Street Aleworks, Ace Cider and several other breweries and wineries will be pouring at the Sonoma County Museum’s annual bash from 5-9pm, October 8. The event includes tastings, live bluegrass music, food, beer-making demos and more. Flamingo Resort and Hotel, 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa. $40 per person. 579-1500, 21 and over.
Oktoberfest Petaluma (Oct. 16): This family-friendly event sponsored by the Rotary Club features Lagunitas beer, polka dancing, costumes and food. 4-10pm, Petaluma Community Center, 320 North McDowell Blvd, Petaluma. Adults $12, kids $6. Ticket info at petalumavalleyrotary.org/ok.
Cotati Oktoberfest (Oct. 9): Get out your lederhosen and practice your yodeling for the upcoming Cotati Oktoberfest. Wunderbar German food and beer, plus the oom-pah-pah of Karl Lebherz and his Bavarian band. Activities include; Wiener Dog Race, Tankard Hold, Beer Stein Carry, Best Adult & Youth Costume. Tickets include dinner, a stein and a glass of beer, wine, or root beer (for kids and designated drivers). Adults, $25, kids 12 and under, $10. 12pm to 6pm at La Plaza Park, Downtown Cotati at the corner of Old Redwood Hwy and West Sierra Avenue under the giant tent. Details: Cotati Chamber of Commerce at (707) 795-5508 or email email@example.com.
Oktoberfest in Cloverdale (Oct. 9): Cloverdale’s Annual Oktoberfest celebration in the Downtown Plaza includes German food, wine and beer tasting, live music, silent auctions, raffles, street vendors, children’s activities, and more. 3-8pm, Downtown Cloverdale Plaza and Museum. $15 in advance for a meal. 894-2039.
Biketober Fest Marin (Oct. 16)
Cylocross and beer tasting from more than 20 West Coast brewers. Fair Anselm Plaza, 765 Center Blvd., Fairfax. Beer tasting $25. biketoberfestmarin.com
Oktoberfest Wine Country Lunch at Schug Winery (Oct. 17)
A Harvest Celebration wine country style inspired by Walter Schug’s home region of the Rheingau. Enjoy Federweisser (fermenting white wine from the barrel)& Zweibelkuchen (savory onion cake) along with traditional German fare and live Polka music! 11am to 4pm. Advance reservations required. $25/person, 602 Bonneau Road, Sonoma, 939.9363 x207.
Adventures in Brewing Tasting & Pairing (Oct. 20)
Scattered across the globe, there exists a small cadre of revolutionaries dedicated to liberating civilization from the clutches of boring beer. They operate independently but share a common goal; to produce the finest beers imaginable. Share their history and adventure of brewing – and your opportunity to taste it! Whole Foods Coddingtown (which also features the new Tap Room pub onsite with 16 beers on tap). Don’t miss: Fresh Pretzels with Sweet Mustard: Not too hard. Not too soft, but just right. Big beefy pretzels made on-site daily. Coddingtown Mall, Santa Rosa. Pre-registration required for the Oct. 20 event: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Restaurant and Brewpub Scene…
Cafe Europe: Through October 24, Cafe Europe is celebrating Oktoberfest with imported Munich’s Octoberfest Spaten, live music on Friday and Saturday evening, Monthly menu specialties include Munich Weiswurst and Bavarian sausage. 104 Calistoga Road, Santa Rosa, 538-5255.
Lokal: Sonoma’s new Euro-style pub honors Oktoberfest with a “happy hour” from 4–6 everyday and a Beer Stein challenge every night where guests can win a 1 liter SPATEN stein. On the menu: $5 Beer & German Dog, $8 Brat W/ Salad & Kraut, $4 Happy Fries. Plus: $5 ½ Liters and $10 One Liter Steins. 522 Broadway, Sonoma, 938-7373. Through October 24.
Bear Republic Brewing Co.: The Healdsburg brewery will release their Oktoberfest beer, a late-harvest lager and serving up several German beers (including a Sticke Alt) starting Oct. 2. 345 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, 433-BEER.
Third Street Aleworks: Releasing their Marzen-style beer (with just a hint of sweetness) will be released in mid-October, just in time for their Oct. 16 “Meet the Brewmaster” dinner ($40, limited seating, reservations required). A little lower-brow is their weekly Best of the Wurst, an all-day sausage fest featuring hot dogs, Polish sausage, bratwurst, knockwurst and sausages on a hoagie roll for just $5.50. 610 Third St. Santa Rosa, 523-3060.
Yanni’s Sausage Grill: Okay, so they’re more Greek than German, but a sausage translates in any language. This bare bones walk-up eatery takes its sausage seriously. On the menu, eight flavors of sausage — from Loukaniko, a rustic Greek sausage with citrus and spice; garlic mint, sweet and hot Italian, chicken limoncello; Olympic Flame (extra hot made with brandy); greek kalamata olive and feta; and lamb sausage served with tzatziki. All are under $6, most under $5. Buy a couple because you’ll likely want another after scarfing down the first. They’ll burn your tongue and scorch your fingers, but slowing down to savor these dogs just ain’t an option. 10007 Main St., Penngrove, 795-7088.
Got an Oktoberfest-inspired event or eatery you want to share? Shout out!