Men are from MÄRZEN, Women are from PUMPKIN BEERS

While your grocer, fast food, or coffee joint may be saying “PUT PUMPKIN SPICE IN ALL THE THINGS”, I personally don’t care for pumpkin flavored anything. This time of year, I reach for a nice crisp Märzen style beer, ripe for Oktoberfest, which fuels my inner desire to do the chicken dance with sweaty old people with silly hats.

The Chicken Dance song is proof that German mind control techniques still work! Within seconds of hearing that festively annoying song, my hands pop up making two chicken beaks, then my wings spread, only to shake my ass like I’m in Sir Mix-a-Lot video. Oh, my, God, Becky. After a few fest biers, I switch from clapping my hands to slappin’ drunk Oktoberfest ass! Protip: It’s a great way to wipe the bratwurst juice off your hands…don’t judge! I rock Oktoberfest proper.

Kevin Kidney Designed.

Label art by local artist Kevin Kidney, inpspired by a recent trip to Munich.

For review, I have a fresh Anaheim Brewery Oktoberfest Lager poured from the bottle into an Anaheim Brewery pint glass. Its rosy copper hue is topped with a lasting Alpen snowcap of head that lasts all Winter. Although not as malty sweet as Bavarian-brewed versions, this beer is crisp with a medium body at 6.5% ABV. Hints of Munich malt tingle the nose ever so slightly like a mountain climber stuck in a cave, yodeling until being eaten by the abominable snowman. This snowman loves beer though, and continues on a mad beer-hunt to wash down his epic climber meal. This beer’s flavor is simple, clean and delicious! Notes of blackberry bread are quickly washed away by a very dry finish. It’s such an easy drinking beer, I manage to down it halfway through this paragraph. Damn. I wish I had two, with a pretzel and mustard. Yodelay-he-hoo!

The story behind the beer is equally refreshing. From a Brewery rich with history, so is the beer’s recipe. From Anaheim Brewery’s blog:

We learned our Oktoberfest recipe from Greg’s first boss, Chris, who trained at the Paulaner Brewery, in Munich.  As an apprentice, Chris had to keep a journal and write an entry every work day.  One day, Chris was exploring the tunnels and basements of the Hacker brewery, which Paulaner owned.  He came across a room full of very old wooden beer barrels.  On top of one barrel was a dusty leather notebook full of hand-written recipes.  Chris took the book to the brewery historian, who pronounced the notebook “about 100 years old.”  Chris copied out the recipe for Oktoberfest Märzen from the leather notebook as his journal entry.

Anaheim’s Oktoberfest is a modern brewery adaptation of that 100 year old recipe! Brewed with their super clean house Lager yeast, Owners/Brewers Greg and Barbara Gerovak know it well. This proprietary yeast is used with their recent Pilsner release as well as their flagship 1888 California Common. The Pilsner can still be found at nearby Anaheim Gypsy Den, whereas 1888 is available in the brewery and many accounts around Orange County.

Anaheim Brewery will celebrate their 2nd Oktoberfest in their biergarten located at the brewery on 10/13. Look for details soon!


Cismontane Oktoberfest Beer Release and Chicken Dance

I’m a huge fan of new beer releases. Especially when they’re seasonal, interesting and born from a brewery I’ve never been to. Cismontane brewery down in Rancho Santa Margarita has the goods! I stopped in with my Phoenix Club Oktoberfest Stein ($2 for the first fill) and unterhosen to see what was cooking in South County.

Cultivation on the outside, inebriation on the inside!

Cismontane Brewing is situated in an outdoor shopping plaza near the 241 toll road and RSM Parkway. I found the landmark KFC, followed the steeping barley smell, and looked for the live hops plants growing up the building. Colonel Sanders would lick your fingers for a taste of some good local beers for sure…”Finger lickin’ good”! Being a packed joint I joined a booth with none other than Jessica Rice from and her crew. Dave, the dude with the stache, Michael, the dude with the shutter snappin’. I love randomly meeting people in my Untappd friends list. I’ve long admired Miss Rice and her extensive  list of rare beers she imbibes. Unfortunately I didn’t realize it was her until they all left. Oh well. I’m sure our paths will cross again.

Locals wetting their whistles. Einz, Zwei, Gsuffah!

Midway through my stein, I must say, is a thoroughly enjoyable Oktoberfest beer. It’s dry, deep copper, wild honeysuckle on a biscuit native Southern California lager. Sitting down with head brewer Evan Weinberg on a brewday of all days is a hoot. I caught him Mid-boil pre-hops pitch, sweat dripping on his black rubber boots.  He’s holding a 1 liter dimpled traditional Oktoberfest Stein filled halfway, shaking it buzzingly side to side as we chat. Evan fills me in on the specifics of this brew. The beer is a collab with Newport Beach Brewing Co. Derek Bougie made with locally sourced wild Buckwheat from the area. This is the first in a series utilizing local natural ingredients. Taps’ Victor Novak provided the proprietary yeast to eat the sugars on this seasonal brew. It doesn’t necessarily have the tell tale noble hop style of an Oktoberfest, but it does have the crisp yet lingering after-finish of the German counterpart. Sometimes when drinking an Oktoberest beer such as a de facto Spaten Oktoberfest, the beer sets up shop in your mouth well after drinking. Subsequent beerless swallows continue to engulf your pallet with sugary malty flavors. Your saliva thickens and pallet aches for German food…a Wurst, a potato pancake, sauerkraut or a pretzel act as an agent to reset your mouth’s atmosphere to zero.

Next I ordered a flight of the other four beers offered: Hafer Weizen (Maybe Nelson hopped wheat beer), The Citizen (California Common/Steam), Casked Oktoberfest (same as above, but dry hopped in cask), and Blacks Dawn (Imperial Stout). All of them were spectacular! I’m a huge fan of hopped wheat beers and the Hafer doesn’t disappoint.  The Citizen had some nice roasted sweet malts that turn nutty/coffee bitter as it warmed up. The casked Oktoberfest was earthier than the keg but had a slight dank hoppy aroma. Blacks Dawn is big time coffee, chocolate, molasses; it’s smooth and very enjoyable. I picked up a growler of The Citizen to enjoy at a BBQ the following day.

On Deck – What to look forward to before years end: 

Future plans: Expansion!

  • CUP: RSM city council approved a conditional use permit to expand into the unit next door. They still need the plans to be approved, but more space for tanks and more space for tasting = good!
  • Bottles, although limited, will be available soonish!

Food: Rancho A Go Go Truck served up brats while I was there. I ordered in German! It’s funny how much German I recall from High School German class over twenty years ago. The Oktoberfest beer worked well drawing some sweetness from the sausage. A couple doors down is a Thai restaurant, and there’s also nasty ass KFC if you want to feel like a greasy shitball.


Overall I think Cismontane’s creativity will keep people interested. The quality is high, the beer is fresh, and the crew running the place bring a chill perverted surfer type vibe. Being a photographer and art hobbyist I love that they showcase artists in the tasting room. There’s also books, magazines, games to mess with if you get bored. Me, being the socialite (haha) shared my table with three groups during my stay and met some interesting and diverse people. Aside from the gal above, I met a dude that puts shoes on horses with his gal that tends bar at PF Changs at night and works for lawyers during the day. A dirt bike rider gal with a Kawasaki shirt and her dude, then there was an older lesbian couple, then a phone zombie. Seriously, this dude didn’t stop looking at his phone the entire time. Crazy.

Video of the buckwheat harvest, o’tay?:

Tasting room is open Thur-Sun, check their website for details!

Tales from Oktoberfest Past

I’m a huge Oktoberfest fan. Great German Lagers, Dirndl’s that proudly showcase a woman’s chest, green plastic Alpine feathered pimp hats and the always fashionable Lederhosen printed T-shirts. With Oktoberfest starting in a couple weeks I wanted to reflect on its awesomeness.

Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian and Salma Hayeck in Dirndls really stuffs my brat casing.

OC has a few great options for Oktoberfest:

First Story: the Jägermeister tour bus – With a seven month pregnant wife, I hit the Phoenix Club. A few beers in I was talking to the Jaeger girls and tried to get an impromptu tour of their bus. From what I recall, they declined. We did a shot, high fived and and took this photo. I don’t recall much after that.

my pregnant wife kicked me in the balls five seconds after this photo.

Second: Shooting range winnings! The Phoenix club has an Olympic air rifle shooting range that they turn into an arcade through Oktoberfest. My friend and I combined our winnings and picked up a sweet Celine Dion mousepad. If you’re ever done it, you’ll know how incredibly hard it is to hit the small 1″ target bullseye three times at 50 feet while drunk.

I won it for you, René!

3 – Dancing 70 year old lady with a panda head. That is all.

do not sexually harass her.

4 – Going to the grocery store on the way home from Oktoberfest someone had the bright idea of buying more beer. German Lager must be a creeper buzz as the drunkeness hit so hard I had to hold on to endcaps in the store to get around. I scored 50 Bonus points when my wallet exploded in line attempting to pay. To this day I’m still surprised they sold to me! I had the spins something fierce that night. I haven’t been that slammed since college, and haven’t since.

5 – I went to an Oktoberfest with my father in-law and took the photo just below. A year later, the SAME lady asked me “wo ist dein Vater”? (where is your father) I was like, no way she remembers two drunks taking their pic…she said “mit dem Pferdeschwanz” (with the ponytail) pointing to her hair. I was shocked she remembered us a year later! Freaking awesome! Hopefully she will remember us this year.

Frau Lieberschatz misses you, Mike!












Other photos from Oktoberfest past:

my buddy elsa from High School

the love of my life and my turtleneck phase. Very Steve Jobs of me.
Hey! 1 man 99 cups!











Jeffro and I looking seriously tore up at the end of the night.