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Beer, Beer, Everywhere, and Every Drop I’ll Drink!

Have you ever wanted to go on a beer tasting trip around California, but designating a driver and traveling all over the entire state to visit your favorite breweries has put a damper on your plans?

What if I told you that you could visit 25 breweries and sample over 75 different beers and you wouldn’t even have to leave the great city of Davis? There is more, what if I told you this amazing experience would only costs $30 and includes unlimited beer samples, a juicy bratwurst, and live music from bands that would put the oompah in anyone’s lederhosen!? You are now probably thinking that this is too good to be true, but I say NEIGH! It exists and it was called the 4th annual UC Davis Oktoberfest! This grand event was created in the good name of beer to celebrate UC Davis as the only public university in the United States that offers an accredited four-year program in brewing science and one that has produced some of the greatest brewmasters in the nation.

It was my friend Daniel and I’s first time attending the UC Davis Oktoberfest and we didn’t really know what to expect, but we can say now that this event far exceeded any of our expectations. Upon arrival we were armed with beer steins in hand and then ushered under a huge tent. Once our eyes adjusted from the sun it was brewery tables as far as the eye could see. With all our favorite names blasted in colorful banners, the shock and awe was too much, and we didn’t know where to go first;  Sierra Nevada, Anderson Valley, Lagunitas, North Coast, Bear Republic, Speakeasy. There were so many to choose from. It was like being at a music festival and finding out that all your favorite bands were playing… At once!

I bet many of you would be surprised to find out how many local breweries there are right in your own backyard.  As Daniel and I toured around, mugs in hand, we sampled the local favorites Sudwerks, and Rubicon, but we also discovered some new local favorites as well; Berreyessa Brewing Co., Track Seven Brewing Co., Hoppy Brewing Co., and my new favorite Heretic with their new brew aptly named Heroin, I was hooked.

After sipping on so many beers, and drooling over the numerous brats going around, I knew that if I did not get my hands on one of those juicy dogs I would surely not be making it to the rest of the tour. So we made our way to brat line, as we waited I thought about how impressed I was with the event and how above and beyond it went to incorporate every detail to ensure UC Davis Oktoberfest was an amazing experience. For instance, as we waited in line it was of no concern to us because the whole way was studded with more breweries, and once we arrived at the end with sausage in hand there was a condiment table with not only ketchup and mustard, but ONIONS, RELISH, and SAUERKRAUT. There was even a table where guests were urged to help themselves to bottles of water and cans of soda in case you wanted something else to drink. I truly felt very special and warm, beer excluded.

Happy, full, and rejuvenated we waddled over to watch the awesome band Sweet Haggis that had kept the party going and rocking out some sweet 80’s covers all day. After the band finished their set the UC Davis Marching Band and Ban-duh! took to the field and as always made a very lively and entertaining performance.

Once Daniel and I deduced that we had indeed went to every single brewery we were satisfied to call it a day. We both whole heartedly agree that we would return next year and bring everyone we knew because this Oktoberfest is hands down the best deal around and an amazing event that you would be sorry to miss.

-Veronica Brookshaw