Prost! Break out the lederhosen, pretzels, and polka tunes – it’s Oktoberfest season. In San Diego, many communities will host their own versions of the German festival that celebrates music, fun, food and, of course, excellent beer. Grab your stein and toast with friends in America’s Finest City.
Sept. 27 to Oct. 6, Liberty Public Market
Liberty Public Market kicks off its 10-day craft beer-meets-Oktoberfest celebration featuring brews and German-inspired bites available for purchase across participating market vendors.
Over at Bottlecraft, the German Tap Takeover includes several "biers," plus a $22 collector’s stein that comes with refill deals ranging from $7 to $11.
For food, some vendors will whip up Oktoberfest-themed goodies in addition to their regular menu items, including the housemade bratwurst and Bavarian pretzels at Mastiff Sausage, or the pumpkin-spiced bourbon cocktail at Mess Hall.
The family-friendly event will also include lawn games like giant Jenga, corn hole and ring toss, and live music on the patio Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
CRAFToberfest runs through Oct. 6, during LPM's regular business hours, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The event is free; bring money to buy food and drinks.
Sept. 27 to Sept. 29; and Oct. 4 to Oct. 6, 1017 S. Mollison Ave.
Oktoberfest in El Cajon is so nice, it happens twice. The first round of Oktoberfest 2019 runs Sept. 27 through Sept. 29 and returns the following weekend, Oct. 4 through Oct. 6.
Hosted by the German American Societies of San Diego, Inc., this traditional Oktoberfest takes place at 1017 S. Mollison Ave. and will feature authentic German food – think pretzels and ox-on-the-spit here – a beer garden, games, and family-friendly activities.
Also on the agenda: live "Oom-Pah" music from the Bavarian band, Guggenbach-Buam, straight from Baden-Württemberg, Germany, performing classics like polkas, waltzes, and other toe-tapping tunes that pair nicely with a brew or two. Raffles, games, crafts and a kids zone round out the fun.
Admission costs $10 for attendees 21+ on Sept. 27 and Sept. 28, or Oct. 4 and Oct. 5. On Sundays, Sept. 29 and Oct. 6, tickets cost $5. Active duty military service members under 21 years old get in free on all days of the fest, and the same goes for kids 21 and under. You could also upgrade to a ticket + beer package for $35.
El Cajon Oktoberfest Hours: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sept. 27 and Oct. 4; 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sept. 28 and Oct. 5; 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sept. 29 and Oct. 6.
Sept. 29, Mountain Vista Drive and El Camino Real
The 24th annual Encinitas Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 1 at Mountain Vista Drive and El Camino Real. The free event includes a concert from a German-American band, Bavarian dancers and a street fair filled with more than 200 vendors selling crafts and unique goods.
There will be activities and carnival rides for the kids, too, plus a ceremonial parade at noon. A tent will boast authentic Oktoberfest food, plus beers from national and local breweries. Free parking is available at Flora Vista Elementary School (1690 Wandering Rd.), and a free shuttle service will take attendees directly to the festival.
La Mesa Oktoberfest
Oct. 4 to Oct. 6, La Mesa Village
A long-standing tradition in downtown La Mesa's Village, the 46th annual La Mesa Oktoberfest returns Oct. 4 through Oct. 6, bringing the ultimate street fair to the East County community. As always, the event will include German beer, German food, German music, and dancing aplenty.
This 3-day Oktoberfest party typically draws about 100,000 revelers to La Mesa Village, as well as 100+ vendors selling unique goods. Admission is free; bring cash for brews and bites. Also, sporting your lederhosen is not a bad idea: usually, the event includes a German costume contest.
La Mesa Oktoberfest Hours: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Oct. 4; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Oct. 5; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 6.
Oktoberfest & Family Fall Festival in Carlsbad
Oct. 5, Holiday Park
The 37th annual Oktoberfest & Family Fall Festival in San Diego’s North County returns to Holiday Park in Carlsbad on Oct. 5, from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Entertainment includes live music and dancing, costume and yodeling contests and lots of activities for the kids like a pumpkin patch, face painting and arts and crafts.
Food vendors will sell German-inspired items like pretzels and strudel; a Biergarten will give revelers a perfect place to toast. Buy your ticket ahead of time for $15, which includes a German meal and admission (bratwurst, sausage and other selections), or purchase the admission only ticket for $5. Kids 10 years old and under get in free.
Oct. 11 and Oct. 12, Ocean Beach
Tried, true and fun, the self-proclaimed "wildest" Oktoberfest celebration in San Diego returns to Ocean Beach on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12. With spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, the event includes live music, beer and quirky contests such as Bratwurst Eating, Stein Holding, The Sausage Toss, Ms. Oktoberfest and Mr. OktoberStretch.
As usual, dozens of local vendors will line the grassy area at the foot of Newport Avenue and Abbott Street, too, selling their goodies to revelers. Organizers say the beer garden will be located in the adjacent Ocean Beach Pier parking lot, which will include the main stage for bands.
Entry to the 21+ beer garden costs $5. On Oct. 12, brew enthusiasts can also enjoy the OB Oktoberfest Brewfest from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.; proceeds from those $40 tickets will benefit wounded U.S. veterans.
OB Oktoberfest Hours: 4 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 11; 11 a.m. to midnight on Oct. 12.