With October right around the corner, throw caution to the (hopefully forthcoming cooling) wind and take a weekender trip up to the 40th Annual Big Bear Oktoberfest for log sawing contests, guys in lederhosen, and even unicorn rides.
Grab a $20 book of Burgermeister Bucks to grub on Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, Pickled delights, Strudel, even American Fare, and 11 Biers galore. As for admission, you can pre-purchase discounted tickets online or over the phone – Saturday Adult tickets cost $12, Children are $6; and Sunday Adult tix are half price, while children are FREE. If you get too tipsy, you can take the O'Douls Shuttle back to your place of lodging in the Big Bear Valley area, complimentary.
- smooth, malty and not too hoppy Warsteiner Premium Oktoberfest 5.9% ABV
- i like to drink, drink, drink apples & bananas Konig Ludwig Weiss 5.5% ABV
Of course I couldn't go to Oktoberfest without trying the sponsored beer. The Warsteiner Oktoberfest has a rich malty flavor, it's definitely not too bitter, and is smooth going down with a final little nip.
The Konig Ludwig Weiss kinda stole my heart, especially after a long day playing at the Hot Dawgz & Hand Railz event. I was pleasantly surprised by the big frothy head, fruity apple & banana nose, a touch of spice, and a sweet finish.
If you fall in love with one beer, you might wanna go with the Mini Keg that holds 8 beers for $48. Other beers include Jack's Pumpkin Spice, Landshark IPA, and Michelob Amber Bock.
- spicy, tangy, enough to split Bratwurst Dinner with Sauerkraut, Peppered German Potato Salad & Buttery Roll ($10)
- assorted Pickled foods, Pickle on a Stick, and ginormous Pretzels ($2-3)
- flaky, sticky 'n sweet Apple Strudel ($6)
Unless you've spent the afternoon sawing logs all day, you might want to consider splitting the Bratwurst Dinner – especially if you plan on tackling the Pickled Vegetables & Strudel. The Brat is thick, steamy 'n spicy. The Sauerkraut is stringy, tangy, vinegary, and so good for you & your digestion. The German Potato Salad is peppery, spiced with Oregano, and you'll like it more than it looks. And I highly recommend breaking open the buttery Roll and stuffing it with all the fixins to make your own sandwich.
As for the Pickled things – Pig's Feet, Eggs, Large Germans (Cucumbers that is) – I wasn't so brave. So I stuck with what I imagine to be Snooki's favorite, Pickle on a Stick (it's pretty much what you expect). The Pretzel was bigger than my torso, so I decided to pass and save room for the Strudel.
The Apple Strudel has the same consistency of Entenmann's (the fat-free dessert that was all the rage in the 90's). However, this one's got loads more Butter & Sugar, and fantastic fat pieces of Cinnamon-spiced tart Apple slices.
After you're fed and bier-ed, dance to the Bavarian Mainfloesser band, buy some wrought-iron Peacocks from the vendors outside, go for a Unicorn pony ride, and take respite on the peaceful patio – the screaming ladies on stage will get to you, trust me.
Prost, Gaudi, and Zicke-Zicka Zicke-Zicka Hoi Hoi Hoi!
Big Bear Lake Convention Center, 42900 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315. 909-585-3000.