** Updated 10/8/2014: Congratulations to Greg Blueford. Your two premium Sactoberfest tickets (Value: $80) will be waiting at will call. Bring your ID. E-mail me so we can connect to make sure you get these. Darrel@CowtownEats.com.
I probably have an unhealthy obsession with Oktoberfest.
I was lucky enough to go to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany last year, and it was one of the most fun experiences I've ever had. There's the non-stop drinking, the delicious food, great polka music, hordes of people (10,000+) sharing a communal experience in the same tent, and the group of interesting international students our group met sitting at a communal table. If you've never been, add it to your bucket list.
Since then, I've been chasing that Oktoberfest High. I know it'll never be the same, but something has to come close, right?
Lucky for us, Sactoberfest is this weekend at The Bridge District in West Sac, and after quizzing the owners, I think they're doing their best to recreate Oktoberfest in America.
Beer: Sactoberfest will feature both traditional German Oktobersest-style beers and some of your favorite craft brews. Beer selection includes selections from Spaten, Erdinger, Hofbrau and Franzikaner, and local craft beers from Sudwerk, Yolo, Bike Dog and Jackrabbit. They'll also have national favorites from Samuel Adams and Omission.
Beer will be served to your table by Sactoberfest Beer Maidens dressed in the traditional dirndls. At the Munich Oktoberfest, visitors walk into a giant fairground (not unlike Cal Expo) and they select a tent sponsored by a beer company. All they serve is beer from that company, and you only have a choice of white beer or dark beer. Sactoberfest has improved upon this by letting you order beer at yor table, and the beer maiden will return with your beer of choice.
Food: Sactoberfest will offer a great selection of German foods available for purchase from great local restaurants like Ten 22, Broderick Roadhouse, Frickle Brothers (who had much-buzzed about fried pickles at Outside Lands) and The German Deli. At an event held for bloggers last week, they let us sample some of the dishes they planned on offering. Among the winners were the Jagerschnitzel (fried pork cutlet with mushroom cream sauce), cabbage rolls (just trust me on this one) and Beer Braised Thursinger (handmade sausage by Morant, a local sausage company).
Music: The Chico Bavarian Band, The Internationals and other musical acts. It'll add a great atmosphere to the party atmosphere.
Fun: Just like the Munich Oktoberfest, there will be a Sportsplatz, featuring carnival rides, corn hole, and other games. I'm not sure I'll want to ride a carnival ride after a couple beers, but if you have kids, it'll be a great place to hang out with your kids while enjoying a beer.
If you went last year, there was a beer tasting component of this event. They won't be doing that again, making it more a more authentic Oktoberfest experience.
Finally, before this post, I went and read Yelp reviews from last year's event. Honestly, the feedback was pretty negative, with issues with having enough beer and food. I asked the organizers about this, and he acknowledged that last year was a learning experience for them. Because they had never done it before in Sacramento, they had no idea what the demand would be. In addition, they sold the vast majority of their tickets in the days leading up to the event, and there wasn't enough time to ramp up the food and drink. But he said he's learned and ready to go.
Sactoberfest runs Friday 3 to 10 p.m., Saturday 1 to 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tickets start at $30 per day, which pays for admission and your first 16 oz beer. They have premium tickets starting at $45 per day, which includes a Sactoberfest Stein and your first 32 oz beer. VIP tickets start at $95, and include access to the only bar with hard alcohol at the venue. Parking is available for a separate fee from Raley Field. But honestly, you should be taking Uber.
Now, the part you've been waiting for. You can win 2 premium tickets from Cowtown Eats - $80 value, courtesy of Sactoberfest. You can enter 3 ways.
1. Tweet "Hey @CowtownEats! I can't wait to enjoy [insert beer or restaurant] at @Sactoberfest this weekend in West Sac."
2. Comment on the post at Facebook.com/CowtownEats with what food or drink you want to try.
3. In the comments below, leave which restaurant or beer you want to try.
You must enter by 12 noon on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 and a winner will be selected randomly that afternoon.
For more information or tickets, visit http://sactoberfest.com/.