By Mary-Justine Lanyon
COVID-19 regulations may have nixed the traditional Oktoberfest activities in Lake Arrowhead Village but Grant Dunning, owner of The Grapevine, was not going to let the festival go unacknowledged.
The festivities at the Village wine bar began last Saturday and will continue through Oct. 31.
Five German beers are available on tap – Weihenstephaner Festbier and Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen, which will be poured outdoors; and Weihenstephaner Hefe Weiss, Hofbrau Oktoberfest and Paulaner Dopplebock.
Oktoberfest specials that have been added to the menu include a giant pretzel, served with beer cheese sauce and mustard for dipping; a beer bratwurst with mustard and sauerkraut with a side of German potato salad; an Oktoberfest platter featuring sliced beer bratwurst, a giant pretzel, vegetable crudites, crackers and a crock of The Grapevine’s housemade German beer cheese spread; and a traditional German apple strudel.
Speaking of strudel, Dunning has also added a savory strudel to the menu. “I can guarantee no one has had strudel like this before,” he said. He searched German recipes until he found one where someone took all of their favorite Oktoberfest things and put it together.
The savory strudel includes chopped beer bratwurst, sauerkraut, munster and Barber’s cheddar cheese, onion, sour cream and Dijon mustard wrapped in puff pastry, baked and served with a mustard dipping sauce.
“We would have been doing German-themed beers and food anyway,” Dunning said. “But when I heard the Village was not allowed to hold Oktoberfest due to COVID-19 regulations, I told Erin (Willey, general manager of Lake Arrowhead Village) that I was willing to step up.
“People want to celebrate,” Dunning added. “We will be the Oktoberfest headquarters. Sometimes you just have to pick it up and run with it.”
The Weihenstephaner beers on tap are from the world’s oldest brewery, established in 1040. Dunning had the opportunity to visit the brewery and is pleased to offer two of their beers to mountain residents and visitors.
In addition to the beers, The Grapevine will be pouring a German Anselmann Riesling Kabinett and a Rhulmann Gewurztraminer for wine lovers.
Oktoberfest originated on Oct. 12, 1810, with the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The locals were invited to attend the festivities, which have continued to this day on that same field.
Come raise a glass and enjoy an Oktoberfest treat in honor of the royal couple.
For more information, call The Grapevine at (909) 337-6700 or visit them at www.thegrapevinestore.com and on Facebook.