Autumn Hoorah: Sierra Nevada’s Oktoberfest

Pints, music, and an iconic Chico landmark all merge for one merry party.

Sierra Nevada Brewery

OKTOBERFEST WHERE OKTOBERFEST IS MADE: Even if you've never been to an over-sized tent or beer hall, the kind of place that books an oompah band every fall, you have, if you like beer, done some Oktoberfest-y celebrating at home, most likely. And that's likely due to the lively and large selection of Oktoberfest-themed beers on the market, the sort of deep-toned brews that echo the famous libations of Munich. One of the best-known of these seasonal libations, and one often seen on Golden State grocery store shelves come September and October, is Oktoberfest from Sierra Nevada. You know the label -- the warm brown of the hue, the bountiful appearance of the illustration -- and you may have sipped some in lieu of hitting a local Oktoberfest. But did you know that the place that makes Oktoberfest throws an Oktoberfest each year? In an act that is both meta and merry? That's right: Sierra Nevada Brewery's Chico-based HQ sets up the big tent for a three-day raise-the-stein soiree that's all about fall's foamiest brewhaha.

CHICKEN DANCES AND 'STACHE LOVE: Is this thing popular? Beyond. Check it: It's three days in 2015, Oct. 2, 3, and 4, and tickets go on sale in the middle of August. That date is Aug. 14, if you want to keep your index finger hovering over the appropriate keys on your keyboard, the better to book your ticket. The ticket you buy is good for one day, so choose your day (just in case you thought it got you in for the entire shebang). Each day "is identical," says the brewery, so you'll get your fill of chicken dances, live bands, "German-inspired food," the 'stache contest, and the brewery's "first Oktoberfest collaboration festival beer among others." You'll want to stay over in Chico, after the enjoying of pints, thus setting up your hotel is key. (There's a shuttle to the brewery from downtown Chico, so please leave all the driving to others forgoing the foam.) A ticket is $47.50, there's a cheaper designated driver choice, and given how the event has grown over the last half decade -- 2015 is year #6 -- you'll want to decide to do this or not soonish. Of course, you can always buy a bottle of Oktoberfest, made by Sierra Nevada, to sip in your den one chill autumn night. Or you can venture to the very place where Oktoberfest is made to celebrate, what else, Oktoberfest.

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