It might be pushing 100 degrees out, but Oktoberfest season won’t wait for something as inconsequential as the weather. The stein-hoisting celebrations of Bavarian culture (and beer) begin this weekend and continue around the Southland until the end of October. Here are five local Oktoberfest parties where you can sing, dance and eat and drink yourself silly.
Alpine Village Oktoberfest — One of the biggest and best Oktoberfest celebrations in the Southland is held in the nearly 50-year-old Alpine Village in Torrance. Starting Friday and running for eight weekends, the Alpine Village Oktoberfest has the most lederhosen, dirndls, oompah bands and beer from classic German breweries and local craft operations. General admission ranges from $10 to $20, depending on the day, and there are premium “Dine Stein No Line” passes that include dinner at the Steinhaus Restaurant, no-wait entry into the festival and a ceramic stein filled with 32 ounces of Warsteiner beer. Each weekend will feature a different California craft brewery, beginning with Firestone Walker. Check out the Alpine VIllage Oktoberfest site for details on dates, times and ticket purchasing information. 833 W. Torrance Blvd., Torrance.
Angel City Brewery’s Oktoberfest — The downtown L.A. craft brewery will host an Oktoberfest celebration on Sept. 20 centered on the release of its Oktoberfest lager. Beginning at noon, there will be German bites, three “German-style” bands in the ACB beer hall, stein holding and sauerkraut eating contests, and prizes for the best Bavarian outfits. More details can be found on the event’s website. 216 S. Alameda St., Los Angeles.
Big Bear Oktoberfest — Nearly as long-running as the Alpine Village Oktoberfest is the Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest, which starts its 45th anniversary celebrations on Saturday. Running for eight weekends, the party in the mountains skews heavily toward beer from sponsors Warsteiner and Anheuser Busch (nothing says Oktoberfest like a Shock Top branded biergarten), but there will be plenty of entertainment, bands, dancing, crafts and food to make the drive worthwhile. Tickets start at $14. 42900 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake.
Lake Arrowhead Oktoberfest — Another multi-weekend Oktoberfest party, the Lake Arrowhead shindig starts on Sept. 19 and runs through Oct. 24. There’s no admission fee, but you’ll have to pay for all the beer and food individually. You can buy a half-liter beer mug for $15-$20 (depending on the day), and each refill will cost you $8. Craft options look limited at this Oktoberfest as well. 28200 State Highway 189, Lake Arrowhead.
Vegan Oktoberfest — On Oct. 3 and 4, Bavaria comes to L.A. Center Studios as Vegan Oktoberfest sets up shop with more than a dozen breweries and a focus on vegan-friendly bites (though many omnivore-focused food trucks like the Grilled Cheese Truck and Dogtown Dogs are also scheduled to participate). Beer from local craft breweries like the Dudes, Venice Duck and Bravery Brewing, and farther-flung operations such as San Diego’s Modern Times and Iceland’s Einstok will be available. A $45 ticket gets you unlimited tasters of suds, but you’ll have to pay extra for the food. Admission also includes three full 14-ounce fill-ups of the included souvenir stein. A VIP admission is available for $10 more and gets you into the party an hour early. Tickets won’t be sold at the door, so grab yours in advance at the Vegan Oktoberfest site. It should be noted that this party has no connection to the popular Vegan Beer Festival held every spring in Los Angeles. 450 S. Bixel St., Los Angeles.