with Local Brewers and
Restauranteurs, Michael Zislis
and Mike Simms
We thought it would be fun to sit down with two of Manhattan Beach’s most popular brewers to discuss Oktoberfest. Here’s what we learned:
How many times have you been to Oktoberfest in Munich?
Michael Z: 11
Mike S: 1 – but I go to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver every year!
Tell me about your Lederhosen!
Michael Z.: I’ve collected a few over the years, but these I had custom made in Germany to celebrate the opening of Rock and Brews.
Mike S: I bought mine in Munich because you want them to be authentic. Editorial note: lederhosen look especially authentic when worn with flip flops!
Which is your favorite beer tent?
Mike S.: My first night I went to a traditional tent, Marstall, where you have to be wearing traditional garb to even get in. They had a non-traditional German rock band playing covers, and I was listening to AC/DC and Prince in German and the whole tent was going off! It was super fun!
Michael Z.: I don’t know that I have a favorite—I like them all. They’re all different. Spaten has more Germans, but Lowenbrau is all tourists from Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe…it’s a lot of fun. Those Australians really know how to cut loose!
What is your best piece of advice for someone traveling to Oktoberfest?
In unison, “Make reservations!”
Simms shared that on his first night he didn’t realize that even inside a tent you won’t be served beer unless you have a seat. He talked his way into an empty seat at a table of Europeans and at the end of the night they learned they had a special connection when he told them he was from Los Angeles. They told him they had gotten engaged in a little town called Manhattan Beach and then celebrated with a beer at a place called Simmzy’s. “I freaked out and was like, ‘I’m Simmzy!’ See…here’s my drivers license!” Crazy small world!
Michael Z. was at Oktoberfest to celebrate his bachelor party and their large group didn’t have a reservation one night. In typical Zislis style, he found his way to a host and shared all of his restaurant experience and his invitation, which had Oktoberfest on it and then popped the question: do you think we could get a table for 12? The guy said he didn’t have any open tables and Mike Z said, “what about that one?” The host walked over, turned around the reserved sign for the no shows and wrote “Americans.” Cheers to German hospitality!
Are your restaurants doing anything to celebrate Oktoberfest?
Michael Z.: Rock’N Fish will be serving a traditional German Schnitzel special with Lingonberry preserves, garlic mashed potatoes along with dill and cucumber salad. Order it with a German Marzen Oktoberfest beer and you’ll get $2 off the beer! BREWCO and Rock & Brews both will be featuring rotating Oktoberfest taps all month long.
Mike S.: All Simmzy’s will be featuring Breadbar’s baked fresh daily pretzel mustaches as well as Bratwurst steam-cooked in Simmzy’s Beach Cruiser Blonde, then charbroiled until hot and crispy. It’s served on toasted ciabatta topped with creole mustard, bacon onion jam, and parsley. Don’t forget to pair it with Simmzy’s 33 oz. custom “boots” of their freshly brewed Bierfest Lager!
One of you is serving beer in a boot and one of you in a stein?
Michael Z.: It’s easier to drink out of a stein. Boots get a little tricky at the end.
Mike S.: Yep. They’ll bubble.
Michael Z.: You have to swirl it at the end.
Special cheers to Kelley Haley for hosting us at Homie! When you’re ready for something different from Oktoberfest, stop by for a delicious bowl, soup and salad or breakfast burrito…the menu and atmosphere are great any time of the day!