La Mesa Octoberfest – Oct. 2

The inadequate selection of 3 beers in the beer garden

If this event were a beer, it would be a Bud Light in a very small glass for $6. It was Marisa’s first Octoberfest and she was expecting a celebration of beer. Instead she got cheap street vendors and a large fenced parking lot with one beer provider – Karl Strauss. We made the best of it and had fun with 3,000 of our new best friends in what became a very crowded space as the night wore on. In the spirit of trying something new for our fans, we both ordered different selections from the lone vendor. CJ tried the Oktoberfest and Marisa had the Tower IPA. Typical to the IPA stereotype – it was bitter at the start and the finish. Atypical of us, it was so bad, we actually exchanged it for a Endless Summer Light. This was a standard wit beer – but with a lot less flavor. Our group thought that Red Trolley Ale would have been a better selection for Strauss to serve, but alas, that was not one of our options.

After leaving the confines of the “beer” garden, we stopped off at the Regal because it boasted Hanger 24, Stone Ruination, Anchor Steam, Ballast Point and Lagunitas IPA. Navigating through the crowded outside smoking area, we arrived to find a bar with 20 glorious taps of microbrew. Marisa smiled and ordered a pitcher of Newcastle Brown Ale for our table. This bar is worth a separate trip when you are in La Mesa.

If you are going to go, understand that this festival is not about beer, but about getting drunk in public and so, start early and avoid the lines. The porta potties were one highlight because there was a hand washing station and a general state of cleanliness. Woo-hoo. CJ says she would have enjoyed seeing some of the German folk dancing, but we only made it to the beer garden and street fair, so maybe another year. Or not.