DIY Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest, the traditional German harvest festival, in Munich, Germany is one of the largest single yearly gatherings in Europe. You can bring the fun and festivity to your own backyard this fall with just a few simple things – no need for lederhosen here (that is, unless you want to…), although some blue and white streamers would add a traditional flare.
Extreme Beer Muscles

Extreme Beer Muscles

Photo Credit: REUTERS- Michael Dalder
Oliver Struempfl carries 27 beer steins for 40 meters to set a new world record at Oktoberfest 2014.

Carbs, carbs, carbs

Carbs, carbs, carbs

Photo Credit: THE FRAMED TABLE-Paul S. Bartholomew
Nothing soaks up the beer like a soft pile of everyone's favorite comfort food group. Two typical things found around the brauhaus are bread and potatoes. Soft pretzels are great options for finger food in the bread family. You can find them frozen in almost any grocery store or try your hand at a homemade version.

A little more difficult to scare up outside of a more traditional neighborhood European deli are potato pancakes. Fortunately, they're not too difficult to make at home either. Serve with sour cream and applesauce, which don't sound like they should go together, but the sweet and tangy combined with the warm, salty goodness of the pancakes are heaven on a chilly fall day.

Just the wurst

Just the wurst

Photo Credit: FLICKR-Fleshmeatdoll
If you're throwing a bigger shindig, sticking to the finger food route is probably the most crowd-friendly. Landjäger are dried snack sausages reminiscent of pepperoni or a soft jerky. A grocery store with a good ethnic section may carry these, otherwise consult your town's butcher or deli.

If you're going to put some more effort into cooking, brats on the grill are always an easy favorite. But for the more daring, why not the newest European food craze: curry. Yep, the recent waves of Southeast Asian immigrants to Europe have sparked a hunger for the orient's favorite spice all over the continent. Currywurst is now as ubiquitous a German street food as hot dogs in the U.S. and have even made the McDonald's menu in Germany. It's basically bratwurst marinated in a spiced, ketchup-like sauce and served on a bun. Some receipes even lets you set it and forget it in a slowcooker.

Condiments are key

Condiments are key

Photo Credit: GRILLING24X7.COM
The salt and pepper of the German dinner table, mustard and sauerkraut are two simple additions to any Oktoberfest spread that are not difficult to find. They go well on everything mentioned above and studies have shown that fermented foods like sauerkraut have probiotic benefits.

While any mustard will probably do just fine, most German restaurants will give you a variety of 2-3 or more. German-owned grocery store chain Aldi has an excellent selection of not only German mustards and condiments but other seasonal treats.

Dessert, please!

Dessert, please!

Photo Credit: GETTY-James Bargrie
While black forest cake is probably the most commonly thought of German dessert, some more party friendly fall flavors are apple strudel and gingerbread. Neither are that difficult to make, although strudel can be time-consuming. But you can cheat and use a pre-made dough. Both can be found without trouble at almost any grocery store.

One of the grandparents of good ol' American apple pie, a warm slice of strudel with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon is a perfect fall treat. And the all-spice kick of a gingerbread cookie or two goes perfectly with the darker beers of the season….oh my goodness, we've completely forgotten about the beer!

Fear no Bier

Fear no Bier

Photo Credit: FACEBOOK-Hofbrauhaus of America
Any food you serve is a nice thought, but let's be honest, an Oktoberfest party is nothing without a good selection of seasonal beers. If you want to go as traditional as possible, seek out Munich-origin Hofbräu Oktoberfest. Brewed by Hofbräu, one of Bavaria's oldest and largest brewery houses, it last got 94 points from us.

Plenty of U.S. craft brewers also make Oktoberfest beers seasonally. We recommend The Brooklyn Brewery Oktoberfest, Great Lakes Brewing Co. Oktoberfest, Capital Brewery Oktoberfest Lager, and The Boston Beer Co. Samuel Adams Octoberfest.

Here's our latest reviews of Oktoberfest Beers and other great Lagers

Now get crakin'! Prost!

Extreme Beer Muscles
Carbs, carbs, carbs
Just the wurst
Condiments are key
Dessert, please!
Fear no Bier
DIY Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest, the traditional German harvest festival, in Munich, Germany is one of the largest single yearly gatherings in Europe. You can bring the fun and festivity to your own backyard this fall with just a few simple things – no need for lederhosen here (that is, unless you want to…), although some blue and white streamers would add a traditional flare.

Extreme Beer Muscles

Extreme Beer Muscles
Photo Credit: REUTERS- Michael Dalder
Oliver Struempfl carries 27 beer steins for 40 meters to set a new world record at Oktoberfest 2014.

Carbs, carbs, carbs

Carbs, carbs, carbs
Photo Credit: THE FRAMED TABLE-Paul S. Bartholomew
Nothing soaks up the beer like a soft pile of everyone's favorite comfort food group. Two typical things found around the brauhaus are bread and potatoes. Soft pretzels are great options for finger food in the bread family. You can find them frozen in almost any grocery store or try your hand at a homemade version.

A little more difficult to scare up outside of a more traditional neighborhood European deli are potato pancakes. Fortunately, they're not too difficult to make at home either. Serve with sour cream and applesauce, which don't sound like they should go together, but the sweet and tangy combined with the warm, salty goodness of the pancakes are heaven on a chilly fall day.

Just the wurst

Just the wurst
Photo Credit: FLICKR-Fleshmeatdoll
If you're throwing a bigger shindig, sticking to the finger food route is probably the most crowd-friendly. Landjäger are dried snack sausages reminiscent of pepperoni or a soft jerky. A grocery store with a good ethnic section may carry these, otherwise consult your town's butcher or deli.

If you're going to put some more effort into cooking, brats on the grill are always an easy favorite. But for the more daring, why not the newest European food craze: curry. Yep, the recent waves of Southeast Asian immigrants to Europe have sparked a hunger for the orient's favorite spice all over the continent. Currywurst is now as ubiquitous a German street food as hot dogs in the U.S. and have even made the McDonald's menu in Germany. It's basically bratwurst marinated in a spiced, ketchup-like sauce and served on a bun. Some receipes even lets you set it and forget it in a slowcooker.

Condiments are key

Condiments are key
Photo Credit: GRILLING24X7.COM
The salt and pepper of the German dinner table, mustard and sauerkraut are two simple additions to any Oktoberfest spread that are not difficult to find. They go well on everything mentioned above and studies have shown that fermented foods like sauerkraut have probiotic benefits.

While any mustard will probably do just fine, most German restaurants will give you a variety of 2-3 or more. German-owned grocery store chain Aldi has an excellent selection of not only German mustards and condiments but other seasonal treats.

Dessert, please!

Dessert, please!
Photo Credit: GETTY-James Bargrie
While black forest cake is probably the most commonly thought of German dessert, some more party friendly fall flavors are apple strudel and gingerbread. Neither are that difficult to make, although strudel can be time-consuming. But you can cheat and use a pre-made dough. Both can be found without trouble at almost any grocery store.

One of the grandparents of good ol' American apple pie, a warm slice of strudel with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon is a perfect fall treat. And the all-spice kick of a gingerbread cookie or two goes perfectly with the darker beers of the season….oh my goodness, we've completely forgotten about the beer!

Fear no Bier

Fear no Bier
Photo Credit: FACEBOOK-Hofbrauhaus of America
Any food you serve is a nice thought, but let's be honest, an Oktoberfest party is nothing without a good selection of seasonal beers. If you want to go as traditional as possible, seek out Munich-origin Hofbräu Oktoberfest. Brewed by Hofbräu, one of Bavaria's oldest and largest brewery houses, it last got 94 points from us.

Plenty of U.S. craft brewers also make Oktoberfest beers seasonally. We recommend The Brooklyn Brewery Oktoberfest, Great Lakes Brewing Co. Oktoberfest, Capital Brewery Oktoberfest Lager, and The Boston Beer Co. Samuel Adams Octoberfest.

Here's our latest reviews of Oktoberfest Beers and other great Lagers

Now get crakin'! Prost!