Oktoberfest by the Bay 2009 at Pier 48 – A Survival Guide

21Sep09

Every year, San Francisco plays host to the German tradition that is Oktoberfest. It’s a sixteen day festival held in Munich, Germany, that brings millions of people together to celebrate the history and tradition of Bavarian culture. In San Francisco, it is another reason to get thousands of people together to drink their brains out for three days.

As a seasoned veteran of Oktoberfest, I have been through the trenches and have my fair share of battle stories. For the uninitiated, surviving your first Oktoberfest is a rite of passage and I’d like to share some knowledge collected over the years to ensure a successful (read:wasted but still make it out alive, barely) time.

  • Purchase your tickets ahead of time. It usually sells out and there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to purchase tickets at the door, plus it saves you a few bucks.
  • Take MUNI, hail a cab, hitchhike, ride a bike, or find any other method to get there without driving yourself. You would think this is a no-brainer, but it’s not. Plus, parking is a bitch near AT&T Park.
  • Arrive early with your group so you can secure a table. If you show up halfway through the night, all the tables will be packed with drunkards protecting their real estate like it’s the last plot of fertile soil on earth. Having a table allows you to regroup and refocus when you’re not sure whether to keep drinking (option #1), hit the dance floor, mack on hotties, or eat more brats and pretzels.
  • Bring cash to turn into tokens. You can only exchange tokens for food and beer. The ATM machines on site rape you with fees, so bring as much cash as you think you’ll need (or would like to spend), plus $20 more. If you wait to restock on tokens after you’ve had a few steins of beer, you may end up buying $100 worth of tokens so you “won’t have to worry about it later.” Unused tokens can’t be sold back, by the way.
  • Try and order beer from the same person EVERY SINGLE TIME. Do whatever you can to become their best friend. They are the bridge between you and beer. After a couple trips and some friendly (or flirty) banter, they will usually hook you up in the form of more beer or taking less tokens. If you really turn up the charm you can usually score free beers, so kiss their ass!
  • Do the chicken dance, every time. Run to the dance floor as soon as you hear the tune. Don’t worry about how stupid you look, someone else will always look more stupid than you.
  • Bring your own glass, make it a stein if you want to keep it German. Most of the servers will fill your glass for the cost of one beer, so bigger definitely means better. No one took this advice to heart more than my friend, Derrick, with his infamous and ridiculously large fishbowl glass. Not only did he get hooked up with tons of free beer, beautiful women flocked to him just to touch his ass glass ass.

  • If you’re coming from out of town, book a nearby hotel room or crash at a friend’s place. You won’t make it home and you won’t be able to drive, I don’t care how sober you think you are.

Oktoberfest by the Bay will be at Pier 48 this year, right next to AT&T Park. It was previously held at Fort Mason in the Marina, but Pier 48 provides them with a bigger venue, and it’s more centrally located to public transportation. Plus, the amount of douchebags will probably shrink while the amount of cougars will likely remain unaffected.

For more info: http://oktoberfestbythebay.com

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4 Responses to “Oktoberfest by the Bay 2009 at Pier 48 – A Survival Guide”

  1. Haha damn I forgot to put a big ass glass or mug in my car. Hopefully my friend has one when I meet up with him in SF.

  2. 2 Nike

    This guide rocks. Thanks 🙂

  3. 3 Mike

    Went to the Oktoberfest on Saturday night, the large glasses (1 liter) cost $12 to fill up… $6 for the small..

  4. This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am actually happy to read all at alone place.


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