One thing that Greg and Barbara Gerovac took from their eight years living in southern Germany was a love for Oktoberfest. The proprietors and head brewers at Anaheim Brewery not only enjoyed the huge Oktoberfest in Munich but especially the small-town harvest festivals where local bands played, someone was grilling sausage and you probably knew the person who made your beer.
So, when the Gerovacs, both U.S. Army veterans moved to Anaheim with its own rich German heritage they knew they wanted to bring back the more intimate harvest celebrations when they opened up their own brewery.
For the past nine years, they’ve hosted one of the best Oktoberfests around: authentic to both German tradition and Orange County innovation.
This year’s can’t-miss event takes place over the first two weekends of October, October 5th and 12th from 5-10 PM in the brewery’s quaint beer garden. There is no cover charge and all ages are welcome. The Viking Truck will be on hand for sausages including their epic Viking horn sausages.
And of course, there’s the music! The first weekend will have a six-piece band of local professional musicians accompanying dancers from The Phoenix Club of Anaheim performing traditional German folk dances. On the twelfth, the 20-25 member German American Brass Band of Southern California will be on hand performing all the fun music that makes an Oktoberfest party pop.
The star of the show is Anaheim Brewery’s signature Oktoberfest beer, brewed from a 100-year-old recipe. This year has a whimsical graphic designed by friends and patrons of the brewery (and Disney designers) Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily. The label features the blue and white color scheme and checkers of the Bavarian flag with a depiction of the Frauenkirche and Munich City Hall on the front.
About the Beer
When Greg was an apprentice brewer on the east coast in 2000, his first entry in his apprentice journal was a story told to him by his boss, a German brewer. When the brewer himself was an apprentice brewer, he wrote in his journal about discovering a day spent exploring the old brewery in which he worked. In a room in the basement, he found huge old barrels and on top of one of the barrels was an old leather notebook containing a book of beer recipes. They took the book to the brewery historian who estimated it to be about 100 years old–from the late 19th century.
One of the recipes in the book was for a Mӓrzen-style beer: a lager traditionally brewed for Oktoberfest celebrations. This is the very recipe that the Gerovacs continue to use for their Oktoberfest beer. It has the smooth clarity of a lager with the slight sweetness of malt and a bit of a hoppy bite on the finish. You can think of it as somewhere between a light lager and a mild IPA or red ale, at least taste-wise. It’s made with two very traditional German hops: Hallertauer and Hersbrucker.
This special lager will be available during the Oktoberfest both in bottles to take home, and on tap along with their regular lineup of nine beers. T-shirts featuring the logo designed by Kidney and Daily will also be available for sale as well as their imported German-made growlers for those want to take the party home!
Anaheim Brewery’s Oktoberfest takes place from 5-10 pm on Saturday, October 5th and 12th in the Anaheim Packing District, Center City, Anaheim.
For more info: https://www.anaheimbrew.com/