The original Oktoberfest, held in 1810, was meant to be a one-time affair, a celebration of the marriage of Prince (later King) Ludwig I to Princess Theresa of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The citizens (a.k.a. burghers) of Munich celebrated for five full days in front of the city gates and indulged in drink, food, parades and music. Such a good time was had by all that they’ve been holding the fête every year since, excluding years of war a few cholera epidemics here and there—but let’s not go there.

Germany’s official Oktoberfest draws nearly 8 million visitors every year. Together these revelers consume a half-million chickens, a quarter-million pair of sausages—and a whopping 1,822,787 gallons of beer. More than a half-mile of water closets are set up to help, ahem, alleviate the crowds. There are
even flushing sink-like stations designed to allow the overindulgent to expel the contents of their stomachs face first.

While the 16-day festival was traditionally held exclusively in the month of October, it was moved up to the end of September to take advantage of the nicer weather; the official event now concludes on the first Sunday of October. However, us lucky Bay Area residents needn’t worry about this “bad weather” phenomenon, so we aim for a more traditional approach to this Munich classic and have Oktoberfest festivities from late September until the end of October because, well, beer. Duh…

Here is a short list of local establishments and celebrations that will put the lieder in one’s hosen, fill the air with oom-pah music and keep cups full of the golden nectar of the gods.

Harry’s Hofbrau
All of Oct, 11am–11pm
390 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
Everyone’s favorite German tavern celebrates Oktoberfest in true Bavarian fashion—by offering up daily German beer specials that include a commemorative mug every day in the month of October. Patrons can also dine on daily offerings of wienerschnitzel and German sausages to help soak up all those tasty German suds.

Clandestine Brewing
Oct 5-7, various times
980 S 1st St Ste B, San Jose
Clandestine Brewing’s Oktoberfest will feature more than 10 different German-style beers on tap, including a raspberry Beriner Weiss, Bavarian Bock, Hefeweizen, Vienna Lager, Dopplebock and a special Black Forest edition of their delicious Milky Way Stout. They will also feature an outdoor biergarten for patrons, plus they’ll be selling pretzels and a commemorative stein to mark the occasion. Patrons who dress in Bavarian garb will get 10 percent off.

The Cider Junction
Oct 6, noon
820 Willow St #100, San Jose
The Cider Junction celebrates their one-year anniversary with their maiden Oktoberfest, in keeping with of one the German heritage of their founders. Traditional German food such as brats, kraut, potato salad and pretzels will be served to go along with Hofbräu Oktoberfest beer from München and, naturally, German ciders. There will be live music from the band Blue House starting at 6pm to go along with hourly prize giveaways.

Strike Brewing Co.
2099 S 10th St, San Jose
Help Strike celebrate their fourth anniversary with some new beer debuts, food trucks and other fun activities. Admission to the event includes a limited edition fourth anniversary glass and three pours. But purchase tickets early ($25), as the price goes up ($30) at the door. 21 and over only.

Mountain View Oktoberfest
Oct 6-7, 11am
Bryant and Dana St, Mountain View
The Mountain View Oktoberfest marks its sixth year with German music, food and beer to keep Oktoberfest fans satiated. The 7,000-square-foot tent will be helmed by Teske’s Germania and packed with all kinds of German goodies. Musical acts the Alpiners USA, SF German Band and Big Lou’s Accordion Princess are slated to perform. Admission is free, beer tickets are $10 each or four for $38, and there is an additional one-time stein purchase ($12-25). This is a very kid-friendly event, as it features a free kid’s area that includes jumpy houses, games and a kids’ pretzel eating contest.

Peninsula Oktoberfest
Oct 13, 6pm
501 Skyway Rd, San Carlos
This indoor event takes place inside the historic Hiller Aviation Museum and combines food, music, beer and a plethora of fantastic flying machines. Seven different German beers are featured, as well as seasonal and microbrews from Devil’s Canyon, Uncommon Brewers and Seismic Brewing; food trucks Little Red Riding Truck, Boneyard BBQ and Flamin’ Dogs will provide plenty of sausages, kraut and other Germanic goodies to keep patrons satiated; and musical performers San Mateo Elks Oktoberfest Band and Bayern Maiden will transport visitors back to Deutschland with their authentic tunes. With $5 beer pours and $7 wine glasses, this is one of the more reasonably priced events around. Admission is $20 for adult with one beer and one glass; $18 for non-drinking adults; $11 for youth (5-17) and seniors; and free for kids 4 and under.

Campbell Oktoberfest
Oct 20-21, 10am
Downtown Campbell
This long-running annual festival has been voted one of the top holiday festivals in the South Bay by Metro readers for five years running now, and it’s easy to see why. Dozens of food booths delivering authentic German eats; over a hundred arts and crafts vendors; German music by Zicke-Zacke Band and Alpine Sound; authentic German beers and ales; and loads of fun activities, like a Bavarian costume contest and stein-holding contest judged by brewing legend Dan Gordon himself. Admission is free and kids are welcome to this family-friendly event.

Jack Rose Libation House
Oct 20, 4pm
18840 Saratoga-Los Gatos Rd, Los Gatos
Jack Rose hosts the holy triumvirate of German Oktoberfest goodness at their Bramble & Bier celebration: food, live music and Hofbräu beer. The live music will be provided by the Internationals, who will be bringing the noise with their acclaimed “dance music from everywhere.” Admission is $10 for 13 and above and free for 12 and under.

Pints for Pups
Oct 27, 1pm
1252 Memorex Dr, Santa Clara
Golden State Brewery is already known for being a pup-friendly brewery; they even have a resident brew dog named Nugget. They’ll be hosting a German Shepherd adoption on Oct 27. Beer, art, music and prize giveaways highlight this year’s affair, which is kid-friendly to boot. They will have 20 local artists selling one-of-a-kind pieces; seasonal sausages by Arlington Bros; food trucks Waffle Amore and Chula Puebla plying the folks with the grub; and, of course, craft suds provided by Golden State. This event is co-hosted by Southbay Beerhounds and Clay Planet and will benefit Thulani Senior German Shepherd Rescue and Jake’s Wish Dog Rescue.

Beerwalk–Willow Glen
Oct 27, 2pm
Downtown Willow Glen, San Jose
While, technically, this is more of a Halloween-themed event than Oktoberfest, I’m going to cram it in regardless just because of the copious beer consumption that will ensue. This event encourages beer lovers to walk up and down downtown Willow Glen and visit all the boutiques, art studios and restaurants lining Lincoln Avenue, all the while sipping on beers from different vendors lining the street. Admission includes a commemorative chalice, passport and, of course, beer samples. Early bird tickets run for $35, while day-of tickets will cost $40.