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I’ve been on the Internet for a while now, so you’d think I’d be immune to every gross picture imaginable. In fact, I too thought my heart had grown cold and my eyes blind to the horrors of the World Wide Web.

But a member of, a website that showcases user-driven content, changed all of that when he posted a series of pictures from this year’s Octoberfest in Munich.

My god. My Puritan, Irish-American liver quivered at the sight before me. Pictures of people, all clad in lederhosen, in various stages of consciousness splayed out in the streets; pictures of people helping other people throw up; pictures of drunken group snuggling; pictures of beer steins the size of large kiddy pools; pictures of people unwillingly evacuating the contents of their stomachs, only to willingly accept a replacement beer moments later.

It was pure insanity, and my filtration organs wanted nothing to do with it. I am so happy for the German population that they have the fortitude to handle such powerful blasts to the liver, but I am more pleased that the American Octoberfest will keep me off the transplant list for some years to come.

There are several Octoberfest celebrations in and around San Luis Obispo County, but perhaps the most philanthropic celebration of beer happens at Firestone Walker’s Oaktoberfest.

Oaktoberfest is a nod to both the German tradition of appreciating beer in the fall months and Firestone Walker’s longstanding tradition of brewing beer in oak barrels.

Oaktoberfest has all of the usual fare to offer, including live music, a Beer Olympics competition, German-style eats, a “Best Bavarian Attire” contest, multiple beer gardens, and the ceremonial tapping of the oak barrel filled with Firestone’s traditional Oaktoberfest brew.

Patrons are seriously encouraged to get in the spirit of Octoberfest and wear some lederhosen or dirndl. The most well dressed man and woman will win some sweet prizes.

But where this Oaktoberfest diverts from the norm is the philanthropic twist Firestone Walker has chosen this year.

By attending Oaktoberfest, you’re helping the homeless (and beerless) critters at Woods Humane Society find homes. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s event will go toward the shelter and the many costs it accrues each year.

So, seriously ... how often do you get to drink beer and be a good person? Don’t miss this opportunity that comes but once a year. And, as always, pretty please with a beer stein on top, designate a sober driver!

This year’s Oaktoberfest is set for Oct. 6 at the Avila Beach Golf Resort from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets cost $25 in advance and $30 at the door and are available at They can also be purchased at Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s visitor center in Paso Robles, the California Mid-State Fairgrounds in Paso Robles, Boo Boo Records in San Luis Obispo, and at all Vallitix ticket locations.

Calendar Editor Maeva Considine loves Bites and beer. Tell her all of your secrets and food news at

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