A traditional German beer stein is twice as big as a pint glass. In the spirit of bigger-is-better, this year’s downtown Oktoberfest party at Quartyard will more than quadruple the size of past celebrations.
The 7th annual East Village Oktoberfest is expanding to include four city blocks and more than 60,000 square feet of event space. This version of the traditional German brewfest will also inject a Latin flair into various aspects of the food and beverage, art and music.
Downtown San Diego’s Oktoberfest takes place from 1 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 30.
“This is going to be a celebration for the neighborhood,” says Quartyard general manager/partner Justin Navalle. “Restaurants in the neighborhood will join us, along with local bands, artists and residents.”
Past Oktoberfests have been held within the gates of Quartyard, an 11,000-square-foot outdoor special event space that includes a concert venue, beer garden, dog park and cafe.
Those parties have sold out 500-plus tickets in the past. Partnering with the East Village Association on this year’s street festival, Navalle is expecting in the ballpark of 2,500 attendees.
To make room for that sized crowd, two blocks each of Market Street (from Park Boulevard to 14th Street) and 13th Street (from Island Avenue to G Street) will be fenced off. Picture a “cross-shaped” area with Quartyard (1301 Market Street) in the center.
The main entrance will be at Park & Market (near a trolley stop). Navalle says both sides of Market Street there will be lined with low-rider cars.
Streets will be filled with vendors, dining tables and a concert stage.
Participating neighborhood restaurants include Papalo, Papasotes, TNT Pizza and Hey Sugar.
Polka groups like the Oom-Pa-Sters will share the stage with mariachi bands and some surprise musical guests.
Breweries signed on to sling the big beers include 3 Punk Ales, Alesmith, Duck Foot, Fall Brewing Company, Harland Brewing Co., Karl Strauss, Ketch Brewing and Knotty Brewing.
Navalle says aficionados will note similar flavor profiles between German/Austrian and Mexico produced beers.
“There’s a history that connects the two, especially lager recipes,” he says.
Air out your lederhosen, gents, and unpack those dirndls, ladies. There will be a costume contest.
And local gyms in the area will host games, Navalle says. Expect friendly competitions featuring Festivus-type feats of strength, such as rowing, a hammer game and endurance sign holding. Prost!
Ticket information: Prices range from $10 (early bird) to $25 (last-minute). There is a $60 VIP ticket option that includes express entry, free stein, dedicated viewing area with full bar, and dedicated restroom.
For downtown locals: Use the promo code SDSUN to pay $5 for tickets. SDSun