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Oktoberfest
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Where to celebrate Oktoberfest 2021 in Los Angeles

What’s on tap for everyone’s favorite boozy fall holiday? Live oompah bands, lederhosen, dirndls and more beer than you’ll know what to do with.

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Written by
Patricia Kelly Yeo
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If beer and sausages are your idea of a good time, look sharp: Oktoberfest is around the corner. With all the beer Los Angeles has to offer—from craft breweries to Bavarian-style biergartens—you’d be remiss not to celebrate Oktoberfest here in the City of Angels. Put on your lederhosen, brush up on your oompah dancing and welcome autumn with a bratwurst in one hand and a stein in the other. Prost!

The best Oktoberfest events in L.A.

  • Things to do
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  • Arcadia

Held over two weekends (Oct 2, 3, 9, 10), this Oktoberfest celebration combines Santa Anita’s famous horse races with the best of the Bavarian fall festival, including stein holding and costume contests, as well as, of course, pretzels and beer. Each $35 general admission ticket includes a mini tasting stein and eight three-ounce beer tastings, as well as a $5 betting voucher and access to grandstand seating. A pricier $80 VIP reservation (four-person minimum) secures you table or high-top seating, as well as a free T-shirt.

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  • La Brea
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Wear your lederhosen to this Fairfax-area biergarten, where an extensive selection of German brews gets served alongside traditional German fare like pretzels, sausages and Black Forest cake. Every Friday and Saturday, you'll find a big Oktoberfest celebration here complete with live music, food specials and even free beer from Wirtshaus’ ceremonial keg on kickoff day (Saturday, September 18). Through October 30, they’ll also be celebrating Oktoberfest with stein-holding and best costume contests at their two other biergarten locations: Rasselbock Mar Vista and Rasselbock Long Beach.

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  • Things to do
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  • Venice

Starting Sunday, October 3, this Venice gastropub is throwing a Bavarian celebration complete with live music, lederhosen, yodeling and finger-licking fare. Dive into a savory rattlesnake and rabbit hot link topped onions and peppers, choose from a selection of German and Belgian beers on draft, and enjoy yodeling and live German music. The best part? Each $45 entry ticket (with 11:30 or 4pm start times) includes a Wurstküche beer mug, with first fill-up included in ticket price.

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  • Westlake
You could celebrate Oktoberfest by eating giant brats, or you could opt for something more sustainable with Vegan Oktoberfest. Scheduled to be held on Saturday, October 16 at LA Center Studios, this celebration of the German fall festival replaces meat-laden food trucks with vegan breweries and plant-based vendors like Thai-Mex Cocina and Word of Mouth Truck. In addition to live oompah music, there will also be a stein holding costume—though after a few beers, you may find it hard to hold anything at all.
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  • Things to do
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  • Lake Arrowhead

Held in the so-called Alps of Southern California, Lake Arrowhead’s all-ages Oktoberfest runs every weekend from September 18 to October 30 this year, hosting live German-American oompah bands, stein holding contests, children’s games and a daily sausage toss competition. Although there’s no entry free, attendees are advised to book picnic (for up to eight people) or pub tables (for up to four) to secure seats closer to the stage. Just a heads up: The organizers state clearly that they do not intend to enforce any Covid-19 health mandates, although the event will be held in an outdoor, open-air venue.

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  • Big Bear
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If you don't get tickets to Oktoberfest, then you're the wurst! 🍻#oktoberfestbigbear (PC: @lkwermersphotos)

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Head to the mountains for the annual Oktoberfest at Big Bear Lake, where you'll be able to clink steins every weekend from now until November 7. Beer will flow, brats will sizzle and you’ll see every dirndl color under the rainbow. Although more limited in capacity this year due to Covid-19, they’re offering both indoor and outdoor events, as well as live oompah bands and a full German food menu—including vegan options.

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  • Huntington Beach
Billing itself as “Orange County’s biggest party since 1977,” the Old World Oktoberfest promises all the beers, brats, babes and bands to make you feel like you’re in Munich (though with better ocean views). Every Wednesday to Sunday starting September 19 through Halloween, this recreated Bavarian village will feature “Shot Girls,” dancers, and oompah and German bands. Although Old World’s Oktoberfest is 21-plus with a cover charge on Fridays ($10) and Saturdays ($15), it’s open to families and revelers of all ages on other nights (with free entry on Wednesday and Thursday). Yes, this is extremely OC.
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  • Arcadia

On Saturday, October 16, this all-ages Oktoberfest-inspired celebration hosted on the field at the Rose Bowl will feature over 20 Southern California craft breweries, as well as traditional Bavarian foods like pretzels and bratwurst. Spend an afternoon enjoying unlimited pours of craft beer and kombucha from the five-ounce tasting glass included with each ticket.

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  • San Gabriel Valley
If German food doesn’t strike your fancy, swap brats and giant pretzels for boba and dumplings with this beer fest happening Friday, October 15, at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse. Each $35 entry fee includes a beer tasting wristband, which will get you unlimited craft beer from 6 to 10pm. This year, they’ve added boba trucks as well as dumpling and other food trucks, plus live entertainment.
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