Fill your stein and celebrate the season—Bavarian style!!—all along the SF Peninsula.

Ready to dig in? (Image via the Campbell Oktoberfest website)

Two hundred plus years after its first celebration, Oktoberfest is still going strong far beyond Deutschland. In fact, it’s responsible for 7.5 million liters (or 25,000 bathtubs worth) of beer being downed in Munich last year alone, and has prompted hundreds of beer fests to pop up across the United States. (It’s even inspired Adidas to release a pair of shoes tailored for the event with a special “DPBR coating”—read as: “durable puke and beer repellent”).

Interested in joining in on the festivities? A number of events in and around the Peninsula are ready to willkommen you with a brimming stein and some piping hot schnitzel.

So grab a lager, pull on your lederhosen and take a look…..

This decked-out tent has us feeling like we’ve stepped into a Munich beer hall. (Image via the Redwood City Events website)

Redwood City Oktoberfest

At the Redwood City Oktoberfest, expect your beer to be only the baseline for a lively night of revelries. Golden Gate Bavarian Club will lead the instruction of various Austrian folk dances, among them the lively Schuhplattler (a waltz modeled after the amorous mating dance of the Spielhahn bird). The Internationals will have you singing along to “Auf der Autobahn,” while Deutscher Musikverein and Alpiners USA will keep the chorus going strong throughout the evening. There’s also a wide variety of competitions that will offer even further participation, from yodeling to dancing.

When: Wednesday-Sunday, Sept. 25–29 (Weds & Thurs 5–9 p.m.; Fri 5–10 p.m.; Sat noon–4 p.m. and 5–9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 4–8 p.m.)

Where: Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City

Tickets: Adults $15–23, kids and designated drivers $10–17. Admission includes a stein and a drink ticket. Extra food and drink tickets sold separately.

Why Oktober when you can Geektober? (Image via the Tech Museum Website)


Maybe you’re seeking a twist to your run-of-the-mill Oktoberfest. If the typical beer barrel polka and bratz just isn’t cutting it these days, you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised by Geektoberfest. Here, a knowledgeable team at the Tech Museum will dive into the biology of beer. After tasting regional and national breweries, eventgoers will choose the brewer most worthy of the prestigious Golden Beaker. This event is hosted in collaboration with BioCurious, a non-profit that takes science, a subject most of us associate with bland textbooks, and brings it to life.

When: Thursday, Sept. 26, 7–10:30 p.m.

Where: The Tech Museum, 201 S. Market, San Jose

Tickets: $25 for members, $35 for general public

One beer or two? (Photo by Veronica Weber)

Mountain View Oktoberfest

Enjoy German fare under the shade of a lofty 7,000-square-foot tent for an event hosted by Steins Beer Garden and Mountain View Chamber of Commerce. Spirited traditional music offered by the Alpiners USA, SF German Band and Big Lou’s Accordion Princess allows attendees to bring out their moves (freestyling, schunkeling and chicken dancing opportunities provided). The competitive among us can enter contests in the categories of stein holding, pretzel eating and beer belly comparing.

When: Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 5–6

Where: Bryant at Dana in Mountain View, a.k.a. the parking lot behind Stein’s Beer Garden.

Learn More

Hop in and get your hop on. (Image via the Hiller Aviation website)

Peninsula Oktoberfest at Hiller

An evening of beer, bratz and Bavarian bands will soon take place at Hiller Aviation Museum. Witness the ceremonial tapping of the first keg at 6:10, then get right to work pairing German beers and microbrews with sausages and sauerkraut. The Zicke Zacke Band and Bayern Maiden will set the mood, sweeping up the crowd in the hearty spirit of the event. And with all the model planes suspended from the ceiling overhead, you can pretend you’ve just stepped out of an airport in Germany.

When: Saturday, Oct. 12, 6–11 p.m.

Where: Hiller Aviation Museum, 601 Skyway Rd, San Carlos

Tickets: Adults $20, Admission includes a stein and a drink ticket.

Serious contenders in the costume competition. (Image via the Downtown Campbell website)

Campbell Oktoberfest

If you opt for pretzels and “prost”ing with friends at the Campbell Oktoberfest, you’ll be joined by 30,000–40,000 merrymakers on the streets of downtown Campbell. After visiting the Biersch Garden tent (or Wine Central if you prefer grapes to hops), wander rows of arts and crafts booths, listen to a bevy of bands and release your children on the KidZone inflatables. If you want to go all in, don your dirndls or lederhosen and enter the costume contest.

When: Saturday, Oct. 19 (10 a.m.–6 p.m.) and Sunday, Oct. 22 (10 a.m.–5 p.m.).

Where: E Campbell Ave and N 1st St., Campbell. Here’s some parking info and general information (including public transportation options).

Tickets: Free!

An assortment of beer at Wursthall, in San Mateo. (Photo by Veronica Weber)

Also worth checking out:

Unruly Oktoberfest at Hotel Valencia Santana Row

When: Thursday, September 26; 5:30–9 p.m.

Where: Hotel Valencia, 355 Santana Row, San Jose

Ludwig’s German Table Oktoberfest

When: Saturday, September 28; 1–9 p.m.

Where: Ludwig’s German Table, 261 North 2nd Street, San Jose

Oktoberfest at Off The Rails Brewing Co.

When: Saturday, October 6; 1 p.m.–12 a.m.

Where: Off The Rails Brewing, 111 S Murphy Avenue, Sunnyvale

Wursthall Oktoberfest

When: Sunday, October 13; 4–9 p.m.

Where: Wursthall, 310 Baldwin Avenue, San Mateo

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Johanna Harlow

Journalist with a fondness for micro-cultures and all things quirky.

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