HISTORY, SCHNITZEL, MUSIC: While the Anaheim of today, and the last 60 years, is very much tied to its fame as the home of the world's most famous theme park, there was a time, early on, that Sleeping Beauty's Castle was still a dream in a storybook. The city was founded in the mid-1800s by a group of German colonists, which is how Anaheim has the German word for "home" in its very name. (The "Ana," as you might guess, comes from the nearby Santa Ana river.) And while many California communities pause each September and October to join Munich and other German cities in their Oktoberfest celebrations, Anaheim's parties do have that extra layer of meaning, given the area's 19th century settlers. There are a few places to raise a stein around the Orange County location, and one that's ongoing and storied, as far as years earned along the way.
THE PHOENIX CLUB... is the venue of which we speak, and its full-throated, full-accordioned Oktoberfest is well underway. It's a place that generations of locals have raised a stein or schnitzel over the years; after all, it all started in 1960, and the people who founded it did so "to preserve German culture, customs, and language." Classes and the on-site pub and other heritage-filled doings happen throughout the calendar, but the Oktoberfest songs and bites and kid-nice happenings are chicken-dancing each weekend right through into Halloween.
ANAHEIM BREWERY: This craft-forward brewpub has also been hosting its own Oktoberfest-themed shindig for nearly a half decade now, and the 2015 version kicks its heels up on Saturday, Oct. 3 and Saturday, Oct. 10. There shall be a traditional Alpenhorn blast on Oct. 3, there shall be German folk dancing and brassy tunes, and there shall be fine foams to be those 21-and-over in the autumnal spirit. Don't have your lederhosen washed? That's all right; call it a relaxed celebration, Anaheim-style, complete with a special lager "recreated from a 100-year-old recipe found in a Paulaner brewery in Germany." Delish.