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Oktoberfest Unplugged


How It All Started . . .

Est. 1971


Hans and Erika Bandows, as a way of saying thank you to all of their new clients and the new friends who hadIMG_7338 welcomed them to Big Bear Lake, decided to hold an Oktoberfest just like the one they had attended so often in Munich.

For many days beforehand and with the help of their two daughters, Janet and Monica, the Bandows’ cooked, cleaned, decorated and cooked some more. Erika in the kitchen preparing authentic German food. The smells of sauerkraut and rouladen filling the lodge and making everyone’s mouths water. Hans, with sweat on his brow preparing the dance floor, hoisting kegs of beer and rounding-up the band.

Finally, with anticipation in their hearts, the Bandows household greeted theirIMG_6955 first guests and what would become a tradition for more than four decades, the first Oktoberfest in Big Bear Lake began.

At precisely 12:00 noon Burgermeister Hans struck mallet to wood and cried “Ozphat Is!” cracking open the first keg of Oktoberfest beer. The band followed his lead and the merry sounds of the first polka filled the mountain air.

Today the tradition continues. The Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest has grown to be one of the largest and most authentic on the West Coast.

Oktoberfest “Unplugged” celebrates the heritage of Big Bear’s event. Gather together with many of the personalities who helped start and grow this annual festival. Enjoy Rouladen, red cabbage, Apfel Strudel, German spirits and beers like those introduced back in 1971. A night of singing, dancing, eating and, of course, drinking in true German fashion.

Oktoberfest Unplugged

Welcome to the 2nd annual “Oktoberfest Unplugged” evening. The following is this year’s specially created menu.  We are looking forward to celebrating an intimate, traditional German evening with new and old friends.

Festivities begin at 6:00 p.m. with dinner served at approximately 7:00 p.m.
We have planned a full night of German fun, great food and entertainment.  You will not want to miss a moment of the fun!



A sampling of German Sausages and Cheeses served with a Dill Mustard infused with Honey Bourbon Barenjager


Oma Bandows’ Herring Salat and Fleischsalat
A hearty portion of both Herring salat made in true ‘old World’ fashion and Fleishsalat, a meat salad made with beef, apples, pickles, cappers and a variety of German seasonings.


Leberknödel Suppe
For anyone who has ever traveled to Germany, you will most likely recognize this Bavarian favorite!  Calf liver dumplings served in a seasoned beef bullion broth.

Salat Terzett:

A trio of salads including beet salad, cucumber salad and mixed greens with a raspberry vinaigertte dressing.


Holstein Schnitzel and Rindsrouladen
Created in the late 19th century at a Berlin restaurant, this re-vamp of the traditional veal schnitzel was named after one Friedrich von Holstein. The crisp-fried veal topped with luscious egg and salty anchovies and capers is a brilliant study in contrasting flavors and textures.

A classical Sunday dish in Austria and Germany, Rindsrouladen is a thin beef filet rolled and filled with a blend of mustard, bacon and dill pickle.   Sides dishes include hand-made Spatzle, Red Cabbage and String Beans all served family-style.


Hildegund’s Apfel Strudel with warm Vanilla Sauce topped with Barenjager Infused Whip Cream.