One of the interesting things about Oktoberfest is that it really doesn’t happen in October, at least not mostly. Traditionally, the two-week Oktoberfest starts in mid-September and wraps up the first week in October. That means Oktoberfest is pretty much right now.
If you can’t make it to Germany, there are plenty of ways to celebrate locally, though Americans tend mistakenly to shift their events into mid or late October, as you will see from the local lists. Here’s our list of local events, and here’s Sonoma Uncorked’s list. Most, naturally, have some kind of German beer and food connection.
One really interesting-looking (and calendrically correct) event, and not on either list, is the Oktoberfest at Bergamot Alley, a neat little tap room and wine shop more or less across the street from Bear Republic’s brewpub. They specialize in interesting and hard-to-find brews on tap and in bottle, making it a must stop for beer nuts.
Owner Kevin Wardell tells me they have a great lineup of German and German-style beers set for the Oktoberfest event, which will be this Saturday, that’s the 21st, from Noon to 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 (though Kevin promises free admission to anyone in lederhosen. I dare you to try and it see if he is serious). And, of course, sausage will be available to round out the experience.
“This is truly a German beer lovers dream come true,” he said, “not just one of those Oktoberfest celebrations that gets sponsored by a distributor and the selection is rendered one dimensional.”
Here’s the tentative tap list, though he warns it might shift a little before Saturday.
Ayinger Fest Marzen
Schneider “Aventinus” Weizen Doppelbock
Ninkasi Oktoberfest Dortmunder Lager
Firestone Oaktoberfest Marzen
Moonlight Reality Czech Pils (our local standout on the lineup).
Bergamot Alley is at 328A Healdsburg Ave. Call (707) 433-8720 for information.
– Sean Scully