Get your Octoberfest Beer at Wally’s!
When one hears the word “Octoberfest” (or Oktoberfest), a few immediate thoughts and images come to mind: singing, brass bands, lederhosen, and beer. And. More. Beer. Every year, this traditional celebration (which started in 1810 to honor the marriage of the king and queen of Bavaria) brings up to six million people to Munich during September and October to drink, eat and sing. In fact, it is considered the World’s largest fair. Beer plays a major role in this celebration – and it is only when the mayor of Munich says “It is tapped!” (a keg of beer, that is), that the celebration officially commences.
Traditional Octoberfest beers are brewed for this occasion – and thankfully for all of us, many are bottled for worldwide enjoyment. The traditional style of beer for Octoberfest is a Marzen – which originated in Bavaria. Brewed in the spring (March) before the summer months (which would spoil beer), the beer was cellared during the hot months, and brought out for the fall. An adaptation of the Vienna style lager, Marzen emphasizes a malty and toasty biscuity sweetness, with rich amber to deep copper color, and a dry finish.
But don’t log on to Travelocity just yet – we don’t have to travel to Bavaria to have our own fall celebration – all we need is a nice selection of Octoberfest beer, and some great deli food – sausages and smoked/cured meats and fish, rich cheeses, pickles, red cabbage or potato salad, whole-grain mustards and rye or dark breads. And if you’re too rushed for time to prepare all of that, come on over to Wally’s Cheese Box as we’ve got an incredible selection of cheeses, smoked salmon, cured meats, gourmet mustards, and Bread Lounge breads. And, don’t forget to add a few friends and music to the mix – and if you substitute Zeppelin or Aerosmith for the traditional polka, you probably won’t have too many protests. But, if you insist on listening to German music, some Scorpions or UFO will suffice. And thankfully, lederhosen are not required either.
Here are a few traditional as well as modern choices to get your O-Fest on in proper style.
First off, we recommend the Paulaner Oktoberfest Weisse and Marzen, two rich German brews, thankfully made year-round. Here’s what BeerAdvocate had to say about the Weisse:
“Very smooth mouthfeel with a fluffy moderate body and a semi-creamy palate. Lots of malt character right from the get-go, fresh toasted grain with a long maltiness that brings a bit of sweetness. Hops are casual and walk onto the palate with a well-balanced bitterness, along with herbal and floral flavors. Slight alcohol warmth in the semi-sweet finish. Just the sheer balance and cleanliness of this lager is amazing. If we had to come up with a benchmark brand for every style, this would be our pick for O-fest beers.” BeerAdvocate.
The Marzen is also a classic brew, with its deep amber color and taste of malt, bread and caramel, with a mild bitterness.
Wally’s Beer specialist, Stephanie Jensen, has a few guidelines for enjoying beers this Fall: “Traditional brews such as Paulaner are always a solid choice, and are essential in so far as respecting the Octoberfest tradition, but don’t think for a second that you can’t experiment with other modern and creative choices. Pumpkin beers are very popular in the Fall, with their clove and nutmeg spiciness, and display the creativity and boldness of our domestic breweries”. Some of Stephanie’s choices include:
Uinta Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin – aged in oak barrels for 6 months and exhibiting a 10.31 abv (the same as Halloween), this bourbon, pumpkin and vanilla spiced elixr shows why Salt Lake City’s Uinta Brewing has been one of the country’s most original brewers since their 1993 inception.
Bootlegger’s Pumpkin Ale – Brewed in Fullerton, California, and using cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, brown sugar and real pumpkin, to create a perfect Fall brew. Who says you can’t drink pumpkin pie?
Epic Fermentation without Representation – this Imperial Pumpkin Porter from Epic, another groundbreaking Utah brewery, is a heavyweight champion which utilizes real pumpkin, five spice and whole Madagascar vanilla beans in every batch. Intense flavors of dark chocolate, marshmallow and French Roast coffee will ruffle the feathers in your Bavarian hat.
And if you need more than mere bottles, Wally’s is happy to supply kegs for your celebration. Just call Stephanie, our Beer specialist, to order (310) 475-0606.