In case you needed an excuse to drink beer and dance polka, Oktoberfest has your back. This year, Germany's sixteen-day celebration of all things Bavarian returns to the Bay Area, where German tradition is alive and well. Here, you'll find the complete event guide to the Bay's 2016 Oktoberfest, which includes where to fill your beer steins, eat pretzels, and oompah like nobody's watching.
Thursday, September 22
Oktoberfest at Zeitgeist
What: Zeitgeist, the Mission’s no-frills bar and beer garden, will be serving up its brews to the brassy medleys of a traditional oompah-style band in celebration of Oktoberfest.
Details: 7:30 p.m. at Zeitgeist (199 Valencia St., SF); free admission. Details here.
Oktoberfest at Fat Angel
What: Fat Angel joins in on the Oktoberfest celebrations with the addition of several premium German drafts to its already comprehensive beer menu. There will be Freigeist "Geisterzug’ Gose Spruced, Kulimbacher ‘Eisbock’ Dopplebock and more, along with ample servings of pretzels and bratwurst.
Details: 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Thursday, September 22 and Friday, September 23 at Fat Angel (1740 O’Farrell St., SF); free entry, menu available. Learn more here.
What: Heavyweight Anheuser-Busch isn't one to be left out of the Oktoberfest celebrations, and so it's presenting its second annual Oktoberfest at Anheuser-Busch Fairfield, where you can barrel roll and listen to German music alongside Franziskaners and Dopplebocks.
Details: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, September 22 through Thursday, October 15 at Anheuser-Busch Fairfield (3101 Busch Drive, Fairfield); free admission. Get details here.
Friday, September 23
What: Join in on the Bavarian take over of the Bay during the 17th annual Oktoberfest celebration at Pier 48, a three-day event filled with goulash stews, wienershnitzel, music, beer, and dancing.
Details: Friday, September 23, from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m., Saturday, September 24, from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., and Sunday, September 25 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Pier 48 (Pier 48, SF); tickets start at $25. Learn more here.
Bottomless Oktoberfest at Spark Social SF
What: San Francisco's food truck park will team up with Lagunitas, Firestone Walker, Ballast Point, and more to present three boozy, beer drenched days of yodeling contests and pretzel eating.
Details: Friday, September 23 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, September 30 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday, October 8 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Spark Social SF (601 Mission Bay Blvd North, SF); $30 bottomless beers. RSVP here.
Saturday, September 24
What: There'll be no shortage of beer during Okdroberfest, a shuttle tour between Bay Area Breweries 21st Amendment, Cleophus Quealy Beer Co., and Drake's Brewing.
Details: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 21st Amendment Brewery (563 2nd St., SF), Cleophus Quealy Beer Co. (448 Hester St., San Leandro), and Drake's Brewing (1933 Davis St., #177, San Leandro); shuttle tickets are sold out, but beer specials are available at each brewery. Learn more here.
Tam Valley Oktoberfest
What: Tam Valley presents its family-friendly celebration of Oktoberfest, which means that there will be plenty of activities for kids in addition to plenty of German drafts.
Details: 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Tam Valley Community Center (203 Marin Ave., Mill Valley). $10 for kids, $15 for adults. Learn more here.
What: Vacaville reprises its annual all-day Oktoberfest with brats, brews, and live music.
Details: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in downtown Vacaville (Town Square Plaza, Vacaville); free admission. Learn more here.
Thursday, September 29
Oktoberfest at Town Hall
What: Town Hall presents Oktoberfest with a New Orleans twist, translating to plenty of jambalaya and Andouille sausage in addition to beers and brats.
Details: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Town Hall (342 Howard St., SF); food and drink vouchers start at $30. Get them here.
Saturday, October 1
Mountain View Oktoberfest
What: Toast to German tradition beneath a 7,000-square-foot beer tent in Mountain View, where Steins Beer Garden, Tied House, and the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce have united forces to present two days packed with face-painting, live music, and food. Bring your own stein.
Details: Saturday, October 1 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, October 2 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Bryant St. and Dana St. (Mountain View); tickets start at $8. Learn more here.
Automat Pop-Up at Woods Island Club
What: Northern California-inflected take-out food will make its mark at newcomer beachy brewhouse Woods Island Club, where Lazy Bear alum Matt Kirk will host pop-up Automat in celebration of Oktoberfest.
Details: 12 p.m. at Woods Island Club (422 Clipper Cove Way, Treasure Island); free admission, menu varies. Learn more here.
What: Celebrate Oktoberfest the Oakland way at Oaktoberfest, where there will be craft beer, plenty of music, a biergarten, and an appearance from the Raiderettes.
Details: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Dimond (intersection of Fruitvale Ave. and MacArthur Blvd., Oakland); ticket start at $20. Learn more here.
Thursday, October 6
Oktoberfest at Zeitgeist
What: Oktoberfest celebrations continue at Zeitgeist during a night of food, live music, and of course, plenty of beer.
Details: 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Zeitgeist (199 Valencia St., SF); free. Call (415) 255-7505 for details.
Sunday, October 9
Oktoberfest on the Lake
What: Celebrate Oktoberfest at Lake Chalet during an afternoon of Bavarian dancing, pretzel-eating, beer-drinking, and more.
Details: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Lake Chalet Seafood Bar and Grill (1520 Lakeside Dr., Oakland); $25. Tickets here.
Thursday, October 13
German American Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest
What: The German American Chamber of Commerce will present live music from Blow Musik! and Bayern Maiden along with a catered meal from Ludwig's German Table.
Details: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Gallery 308, Fort Mason (2 Marina Blvd., SF); tickets start at $35. Get them here.
Saturday, October 15
Walnut Creek Oktoberfest
What: Immerse yourself in German tradition during Walnut Creek’s Oktoberfest, a full-day festival filled with microbrews, food, music, and a pumpkin patch.
Details: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Walnut Creek (between Locust Street and Civic Drive, and Bonanza Street and North Californian, Walnut Creek). Learn more here.
What: Bikes, brews, and ska bands abound at Marin County Bicycle Coalition's Biketoberfest, a bike-friendly spin on the traditional German festival.
Details: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at FairAnselm Plaza (765 Center Blvd., Fairfax); tickets start at $25. Get them here.