Every now and then the puzzle pieces of life seem to fit perfectly. When I saw the flyer for Anaheim Brewery’s Oktoberfest it was simply too perfect to pass up. For starters, it is stumbling distance from my house! I was also pretty jazzed that the proceeds of the event go towards the Anaheim Historical Society. As a previous member of AHS, events like this make me want to re-join! When I say jazzed, I was literally doing jazz hands like the West Side Story or something.
Digging into historic Anaheim and its beer culture I found something interesting. If you’ve ever been to Stone Brewery and World Bistro in Escondido, you’ll know what I’m talking about. An early proprietor of Anaheim Brewery in 1888 purchased 10 acres of land on Broadway in West Anaheim. On the west side of the brewery, there was a park, with trees, tables and benches, and a central pavilion. They named the park Tivoli Gardens and later changed it to Columbia Gardens. You could buy beer at the brewery and chill in the park with a picnic. I’m pretty sure people did some fun stuff in the bushes, thinking back to one of my blood relatives from the late 1800’s you’ll see why.
That’s all fine and good, how the hell was the Oktoberfest? Short answer? Good! Long answer, sit down on uncle Beer Blog’s lap and let me tell you a story.
The weather was perfect; Sunny and 75 outside. I spotted a big white puffy cloud that looked like two wiener dogs making sweet love on a sailboat with a pirate flag. I chuckled at precisely the same moment Devon Reeves of the Downtown Anaheim Association walked by. Great! Now she’s thinks I’m batshit insane. Wait! She might read this. Yipes. Clearly I have no idea how to delete words that I’ve typed. Fuck! She’s pretty cute with her lush head of red hair. MMM, red hair. Damnit! Back on topic!
Center Street Promenade is host to many events and is the perfect spot to host the Fest. Historically, this location is where saloons and breweries were located in Anaheim! Upon spotting the tent, I pitched my own. The blue and white striped tent housed a stage with a HUGE 17 person lederhosen clad band and twenty or so tables to drink at. The band smelled like a BenGay truck slammed into a suede leather factory! There were some serious old dudes on the horns taking oom-pah-pah to the next level. I wish there was a German Oktoberfest Rock Band video game!. Think of the possibilities…Lederhosen and Dirndl’s included! It would be fun for ze whole fam!
Outside the tent were several food vendors serving up tacos, brats, ice cream, etc. I was impressed with a live blacksmith on site. I commented that some of his wares look like medieval sex toys and torture devices in which the blacksmith said, “what?”. Nothing dude. Nice stuff.
Two taps gushed Anaheim Brewery’s delicious fest bier. I filled my German made stoneware Anaheim Brewery stein with the stuff and quickly gulped it down. My only complaint about drinking from a ceramic stein is I can’t see my beer. I like to eyeball it and mumble “say hi to my urinary tract” before taking a sip…don’t judge! The beer has a bready aroma with some fruity esters and is easy drinking. The recipe is a modernized version of a 100 year old Oktoberfest recipe found in the basement of Paulaner brewery in Munich, Germany. I wonder if Pee-Wee’s bike was in there as well.
Anaheim Mayor, Tom Tait tapped the ceremonial Keg as the band played Ein Prosit. Gemütlichkeit was had! I sucked down half of an overdone bratwurst and a couple beers while watching a polka instructor show the locals how to dance.
- Barbara and Greg in Dirndl and lederhosen!
- The polka dance instructor was awesome.
- The beer!
- Small town neighborly atmosphere
- Stein is super high quality and well done.
- Price was spot on if you stayed a while.
- Always fun to see the mayor tap a keg!
The Minor Gripes:
- 17 person band was way too much sound and space. It was hard to have a conversation.
- Smoke from a nearby food vendor was overbearing the tent. I smelled like was at a campfire when I got home.
- Flyer had misinformation: 21 and over, yet there were kids. It also said $25 for the stein, but it was $15…sometimes typos are good!
- Games at Oktoberfest are always fun; Beer drinking contest, Brat eating contest, etc. I had to leave early and I’m not sure if they did games; but that would be great for next time!
Youtube video from friends at Squeeze My Orange: