Zanetoberfest was stop three on my Oktoberfest tour of Chicago. I left Prost! around 6:30pm to make sure I would get in line in time. I hopped on the Red Line and got off at North and Clybourn then walked to Joe’s on Weed St. The line was already wrapped around the building when I got there. I met three great people in line, Ryan, Hannah and Danielle. We got to talking and it was the best thing to happen. I ended up hanging out with them almost all night. The line wasn’t too bad. A couple minutes after I got there they started letting people inside. Turns out the line had general admission but also VIP. Once the VIP got inside the line was greatly reduced and we actually spent most of our time waiting inside the bar.
Once the doors opened for general admission it was crazy. I was already doing pretty well after Oktoberfest Chicago and Prost! but that wasn’t going to stop me from taking full advantage of an all you can drink. We proceeded straight to the bar and ordered our first round.
In addition to the alcohol they did have two food options for an additional cost, pretzels for $3 and brats for $6. Stadium pricing but that was to be expected. Unbeknownst to me someone ordered pretzels. They were actually pretty good and the cheese sauce that accompanied it was awesome. It really helped keep me from getting too sloppy.
We kept ourselves pretty close to the bar but that also had a great advantage, we were right near the red carpet where Zane and Steve were going to do their photo shoot with the crowd. We all got in line and were able to quickly talk to the guys as well as have our picture taken. Needless to say I, of course had to do some shameful self promotion. I’m happy to say Zane does have a Backyard Oktoberfest business card (hopefully he kept it).
The whole night was pretty much a blur and it went by way too fast. They did a live version of their podcast at the bar. There is a link at the bottom. Listening to it today brought back a lot of memories and reminded me a little of what I was doing when they were talking. One pointer I learned for next year: BYOS, bring your own stein! There were a number of people with their own Maβ and they had them filled at the tap! Also, I need to bring stickers, if the guy who gave me the Prost sticker is reading this I thank you for the idea. Everyone loves stickers and it showed since everyone around me had that sticker on. Even Zane had one!
Obviously by now you should be able to tell that this is not rated like any other Oktoberfest because in reality it was nothing more than a crazy drinking party but boy was it a blast. I do have to say that I did appreciate the German music that was played throughout the evening when the guys weren’t on stage. On top of that, I did manage to get third in the costume contest! Gangnam Style guy was the clear winner and you can’t say no to a guy dressed in a dirndl who has booze in his boobs. I would be happy if I do not see video of my dancing on stage doing a terrible version of Gangnam Style but if you have it I’ll definitely post it. Ryan, the guy I was hanging out with, was also a contestant in the yodeling contest. I can’t remember if he won or not.
Sadly, I had to leave right around midnight to catch my train home. In retrospect, I wish I didn’t leave because I missed the 12:40a train by two minutes. Really should have taken a cab to the station, CTA is way too slow at night. That’s ok because I ran into an awesome Indian bachelor party on the Red Line and they were hilarious. They took a lot of pictures with me; unfortunately, I took none of my own. Thankfully, the Blue Line to O’Hare is open 24 hours and I was able to get a flat rate cab from the airport back home. My Oktoberfest tour of Chicago was pretty amazing and if I met you that night and you have pictures shoot me an email via the contact page or write a comment. I wish I could remember more people from that night but I was definitely three sheets to the wind. I look forward to next year’s Zanetoberfest (assuming I’m not in Munich).
Zane Lamprey and I
Dude in a dirndl
Danielle and Hannah with Steve and Zane
My view from the stage during the costume contest.