When the leaves start to change in Chico, you can feel the excitement in the air from knowing that Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest celebration is just around the corner. Like Germany’s traditional celebration, Sierra Nevada’s also aims to bring friends together for a full day of laughs, drinks, traditional German food and giant soft pretzels.
Last year’s celebration sold out within minutes both online and at the brewery so this year they moved sales to online only and decided to spread the celebration over two weekends. That’s four days of a crazy, traditional, German merriment.
This year, as is goes every year, Sierra Nevada provides free bus rides to shuttle festival goers from downtown to the brewery’s hop garden where a giant, white tent full with enormous wooden tables and blue banners awaits. It depends how you want to start your day but grabbing a beer and exploring is usually a good bet.
On one end of the grounds you’ll find a long table where you can trade your beer tickets for a stein full of beer. Keep your stein with you though because that is your beer vessel for the day!
Next stop: food. Everyone needs a good meal before a big day of drinking and dancing. From German potato salad to beer cheese, (that’s right, beer and cheese wrapped into one mouthful of deliciousness), and everything in between, pile your plate high to give yourself the fuel to get going.
Keep an eye out for the yearly facial hair contest where someone with a fabulous beard or mustache always takes home the prize of satisfaction. Nestled away in corner an easy to miss, but definitely not to be missed glass blowing demonstration takes place throughout the day. Get up close and personal with glass blowers and watch them create beautiful designs.
As the day rolls on and the beer steins are drained the people watching gets better and better. There are girls in traditional dirndls, men in lederhosen and performers on stilts who every once in awhile will swoop down and throw someone up onto their shoulders.
The goal for everyone is to hang out with old friends, make new ones, and have fun under the big Oktoberfest tent. Get ready for dancing on the tables until it’s time to go home, drinking more beer than anyone thought possible and having an incredibly memorable night.
Keep an eye out towards the beginning of September next year for your chance to grab tickets to this celebration! Past year’s tickets included a contemporary German meal, a huge soft pretzel, one drink ticket and a commemorative Sierra Nevada logo beer stein. Additional beer tickets can be bought prior online or at the event when you’re ready for another beer! Remember for this one, leave the kids at home. (And as always, DayTripper Magazine reminds all its readers to designate a sober driver)! For more information visit Sierra Nevada’s events page http://www.sierranevada.com/oktoberfest.