Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Oktoberfest’

by Sarah Steimer

Caitlin and I sort of turned this into an international wonton guide. Considering we already did something a bit Asian (mushroom and kale), one that was clearly French (French onion) and a Greek wonton (beef, onion and feta), I figured I’d wander into German/Eastern European territory with this last savory wonton.

  • 15 wonton wrapper
  • 3-inch piece of kielbasa, cut into very small cubes
  • 1 cup sauerkraut (or more)
  • 1/3 of an apple, cut into very small cubes (comes to a little less than 1/4 cup)
  • olive oil
  • paprika

Toss together the kielbasa, sauerkraut and apple in a bowl.

Wet the edges of the wonton that are facing up, working one sheet at a time. Place a heaping tablespoon of the sauerkraut mixture into the center of the wonton. Fold in half, making a triangle, pressing tightly to seal the edges well. Arrange the wontons on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

These would be an awesome appetizer for an Oktoberfest party. What’s that? You need beer suggestions? Got ’em here.

Brush both sides of the wontons with olive oil and dust just one side with paprika.

Bake the wontons at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, flipping the wontons over about half way through. The wontons should be crispy and golden-brown when they are ready.

For the spicy mustard dipping sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Whisk together all ingredients and serve with the warm wontons.

Makes 15 wontons.

* Want One? is our October guide that pays homage to the wonton, a traditionally steamed, fried, baked or boiled dumpling that can be filled with an array of goodies. We’ll feature meatless, meat-full and dessert renditions.

Read Full Post »

It’s back!  The first guide we ever undertook for the blog — way back in October 2010 — was our Oktoberfest beer review. We covered a few local beers, some national brews and even an import or two. This year we decided to try a few more Oktoberfests on the market, because who doesn’t want a second round? Prost!

*Note: Our rating system is out of five stars.

Two Brothers Atom Smasher

Two Brothers Atom Smasher

(7.7% alc. by volume)

The Atom Smasher is Two Brothers’ Oktoberfest-style lager. This was the first Oktoberfest beer I had of the season this year. I’m not sure how far the reach is for this brewery, as it’s a local product from Warrenville, Ill. What differs it from the competition? It’s aged in French oak foudres, which are historically used for fermenting and aging beer and wine.

Impressions: This was certainly a pretty smooth Oktoberfest, and pleasantly average. What do I mean by that? I like my Oktoberfests to snap a little more than this did, but it was very easy to put down. I tasted a bit of honey and maybe something along the lines of oak.

Rating: ★★★

— Sarah

———————————————————————————–

Yuengling Oktoberfest

Yuengling Oktoberfest

(5.4% alc. by volume)

Yuengling’s Oktoberfest is a newbie to the Oktoberfest beer market. It was introduced in 2011. Lucky for me, Yuengling is distributed in Virginia (and a handful of other states, not Illinois. Sorry, Sarah).

Impressions: This was pretty thin for a Märzen-style beer. The flavor was pretty standard, too, with some soft caramel and yeast fragrances. I also found this beer to be a bit sweet, which didn’t bother me.

Rating: ★★★

— Caitlin

———————————————————————————–

Great Lakes Oktoberfest

Great Lakes Oktoberfest

(6.5% alc. by volume)

Let me start this by saying that somehow we got this all backwards because Caitlin’s from Ohio and I’m from Pennsylvania and she got to drink Yuengling and I, instead, had Great Lakes. What added salt to the wound was seeing Brown’s gear in a picture online of this Cleveland-based brew. So sad.

Impressions: I really enjoyed this and I’ve never found a Great Lakes beer I actually like. You got me, Cleveland! This Oktoberfest (which I also enjoyed on tap) had the crispness I love in a Märzen-style beer. It had a caramel-y, spicy flavor that went great with my cold roast beef sandwich.

Rating: ★★★★

— Sarah

———————————————————————————–

St. George Brewing Company Oktoberfest

St. George Brewing Company Oktoberfest

(6% alc. by volume)

The St. George Brewing Company is located in Hampton, Va., about four hours from where I live. After trying this beer and deeming it to be my favorite of the Oktoberfest bunch, I’m sad to report that St. George’s beer is only distributed in Virginia and North Carolina.

Impressions: I wasn’t prepared to like this beer so much. It was the last bottle I added to my pick-your-own six-pack. Frankly, I though the label was a little corny. But I took the risk and ended up loving this beer! It poured with a nice thick head and maintained a  sparkly carbonation. I picked up on flavors brown sugar and caramel with just a tinge of bitter hops. Overall, this was a nice, crisp Oktoberfest.

Rating: ★★★★

— Caitlin

———————————————————————————–

Victory Festbier

Victory Festbier

(5.6% alc. by volume)

I tried Victory’s Summer Love Ale a few months ago, admittedly because I thought the label was cool. This label, on the other hand, I absolutely hate. Had I not been looking specifically for Oktoberfests, I never would have picked this up in a million years. It looks like beer for children.

Impressions: This Philadelphia brewery’s Oktoberfest-style beer fell a bit flat for me (I hadn’t been a fan of its summer ale, either). Definitely the caramel-style notes you look for in a fall beer, but instead of a fuller grain or oak-y flavor, it ended on sort of a green grass note. Certainly not a bad beer at all, but the fact that neither the label nor the taste was impressive made it lose points in my book.

Rating: ★★.5

— Sarah

———————————————————————————–

Paulaner Oktoberfest Maizen

Paulaner Oktoberfest Maizen

(6% alc. by volume)

Haha. I love the label on this one: rows of women in skirts carrying fistfuls of beer mugs. This is definitely a German beer, and it’s brewed in Munich. Once just a seasonal beer, this Oktoberfest can now be enjoyed year-round.

Impressions: Where the St. George’s Oktoberfest was sparkly and crisp, Paulaner’s is dark and heavy with earthy flavors of nuts, grass and wheat. It’s heavy on the malt taste and left me feeling full.

Rating: ★★

— Caitlin

———————————————————————————–

Capital Brewery Oktoberfest

Capital Brewery Oktoberfest

(5.5% alc. by volume)

I’d never even heard of Capital Brewery before I picked this beer up. I’ll admit it was sort of a random grab and I almost passed it up entirely. I’m always hearing good things about a lot of Wisconsin breweries, so I figured this was my chance!

Impressions: Another unbelievably average Oktoberfest. This was definitely the first of the bunch where I picked up on the fruity flavors the most (I would definitely say apple). But it wasn’t a very robust flavor profile, and I noticed that I was sipping it almost robotically instead of truly enjoying it. I also realized what was missing most from my Oktoberfest picks this year: No imports. I think my grand lesson is to pick an imported Oktoberfest brew if you have the option!

Rating: ★★.5

— Sarah

———————————————————————————–

BONUS: Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

(7% alc. by volume)

This isn’t an Oktoberfest-style brew, but it’s seasonal, no doubt. True to the description on the label, this brown ale is brewed with pumpkin meat, brown sugar and spices. Dogfish Head is widely available in the U.S. To see if it’s available in your area, consult this distribution list.

Impressions: Everything you need to know about the taste of this pumpkin ale is on the label. It’s got all of the flavors of pumpkin pie: cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, almond and just a touch of yeast. The taste is very smooth and somewhat sweet. This is autumn in a bottle. Delicious!

Rating: ★★★★

— Caitlin

(–% alc. by volume)

Any interesting facts about the beer. Location of brewery, appearance of label if it stands out, etc.

Impressions: appearance, taste. Did you eat anything while you drank the beer? What foods do you think it’d work well with?

Rating: ★★★/5 (copy and paste those stars, they’re not available in wordpress I grabbed it out of microsoft word)

———————————————————————————–

Read Full Post »

by Caitlin Saniga

I imagine this would taste nice served with German sausage or pork and sauerkraut.

  • 2 pounds small Yukon gold baby potatoes, peeled
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, cut into bits
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover by several inches. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; add 2 tablespoons of the salt, and reduce to a gentle boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 10 minutes.

While the potatoes cook, combine the vinegar, sugar and the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt in a small saucepan, and place over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Drain the potatoes in a colander. Using a kitchen towel to protect your hands, slice the hot potatoes into 1/8-inch think rounds and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with the hot vinegar mixture, gently stirring until all the potatoes are coated. Set aside.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until browned and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Drain the excess fat from the skillet, and discard, leaving a thin coating on the bottom. Add the onions; cook until translucent but not browned, about 8 minutes.

Add the beef stock; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Pour over the reserved warm potato mixture, and sprinkle with the reserved bacon, egg pieces and chopped parsley. Gently stir to combine, and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Recipe adapted from: The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook — The Original Classics

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

Read Full Post »

Oktoberfest originated Oct. 12, 1810 in Munich, Germany for the public commemoration of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese’s wedding. Two hundred years later, Oktoberfest is held over a 16-18 day period that involves eating a lot of German food — such as würstl, potato pancakes and sauerkraut — and, of course, plenty of beer.

Many breweries make their own version of an Oktoberfest beer this time of year, so we decided to try a few each and review them for you all. We’re no experts (although we did take a wine class once), but we hope you’ll enjoy what we put our “hard” work into. Prost!

Hofbräu Oktoberfest by Hofbräuhaus

(6.3% alc. by volume)

The original home of the Hofbräuhaus is in Munich, Germany and its Oktoberfest brew was made specially for the royal wedding. Today it’s made a little paler. I’ve been to the Hofbräuhaus in Pittsburgh, one of only a handful of locations in the world. The atmosphere is über festive and the house polka band always encourages the crowd to stand on their benches and raise their mugs.

Impressions: The first thing I noticed about the lager is that it’s a bit hoppy and slightly bitter. It has a spicier flavor (a hint of orange?) than their house lager. Went well with my homemade pizza even though it wasn’t traditional German fare  and a football game on TV.

Rating: ★★★/5

— Sarah

———————————————————————————–

 

Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest

(5.1% alc. by volume)

Leinenkugel’s can be purchased at just about any grocery store, and I’ve tried a bunch of their other varieties before I tried the Oktoberfest brew. I like that this company includes a list of tips for buying and tasting beers on its website. I followed tip #3: “The best time to try a new beer is mid-morning.” I work the night shift, OK?

Impressions: This copper-colored beer looks beautiful in glass. My first sip had a little sting to it, but a few sips in, I caught the aromas of wheat, caramel and … apricot, maybe?

Rating: ★★★/5

— Caitlin

———————————————————————————–

Erdinger Oktoberfest

(5.7% alc. by volume)

I was watching Frontline while I was drinking my Erdinger and one of the men in the show was discussing how advertising is sort of pointless because this or that will always be good. He said, “beer will always be good… well, unless it’s American.” Good thing that when I laughed at his remark it was imported beer from Germany that went up my nose.

Impressions: One of the first things I noticed was how soft this was. Not even smooth, but soft. Really wonderful. It had an earthy flavor (no, not dirt) and I tasted a bit of pear.

Rating: ★★★★.5/5

— Sarah

———————————————————————————–

 

Samuel Adams Octoberfest

(5.3% alc. by volume)

This is another seasonal variety of a classic grocery-story beer. And it feels like a very American beer (it’s brewed in Boston), accented by the fact that it’s the only beer on our list that spells Oktoberfest with a “c.”

Impressions: When I got my first whiff of this beer, it smelled like sparkly apples. After a sip, I smelled toasty caramel and sweet malty aromas. The aftertaste was just slightly bitter. I drank this alongside a BLT lunch. Darn tasty!

Rating: ★★★★/5

— Caitlin

———————————————————————————–

Penn Brewery Oktoberfest

Penn Brewery Oktoberfest

(5.6% alc. by volume)

Penn Brewery is located right in my backyard of Pittsburgh. Last year its Oktoberfest was brewed in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. but was brought back to Pittsburgh this season. Penn Brewery won the 2008 Great American Beer Festival bronze for its Oktoberfest.

Impressions: This wasn’t my first time trying it (nor would it be my last). This beer screams fall to me. It has a slightly metallic aftertaste, but that doesn’t take away from this smooth beer. Its rich gold color makes it even appear autumn-y. This time I had it with spaghetti squash, but I loved it the most a couple of weekends ago when I had it with some bratwursts and chili.

Rating: ★★★★/5

— Sarah

———————————————————————————–

Magic Hat Hex

(5.4% alc. by volume)

This isn’t actually considered an Oktoberfest-style brew, but a Red Ale. Hence why Magic Hat calls it “Ourtoberfest.” Their website mimics the design on the bottle right now, all spooky and hip.

Impressions: If Penn Brewery’s Oktoberfest tasted like autumn, then this tastes like Halloween. It has a very apparent caramel/toffee taste. My biggest complaint is that a bitter taste lingers in your mouth a little longer than I’d prefer, and I didn’t really start to enjoy a beer for a few sips. Not my favorite Magic Hat brew, but I love that they put their own spin on the Oktoberfest season.

Rating: ★★.5/5

— Sarah

———————————————————————————–

 

Spaten Oktoberfest

Spaten Oktoberfest

(5.9% alc. by volume)

Brewed in Munich, Germany, Spaten is the straight up essence of Oktoberfest. The brewing company has been around since 1397, and, in 1807, it was acquired by Gabriel Sedlmayr, master brewer (awesome) for the royal court of Bavaria. Spaten’s website is almost halfway dedicated to Oktoberfest and has a glossary of German drinking words and phrases. Oans, zwoa, g’suffa! Look it up.

Impressions: This beer was the only import I tried for this listing, and I’m glad I did. It was bittersweet with rye and pear aromas and had a hoppy finish. I was eating an apple, too, and the pair was a match made in heaven!

Rating: ★★★★/5

— Caitlin

added 10/3/10

———————————————————————————–

All reviews and photos by Caitlin Saniga and Sarah Steimer.

Name of beer

(–% alc. by volume)

Any interesting facts about the beer. Location of brewery, appearance of label if it stands out, etc.

Impressions: appearance, taste. Did you eat anything while you drank the beer? What foods do you think it’d work well with?

Rating: ★★★/5 (copy and paste those stars, they’re not available in wordpress I grabbed it out of microsoft word)

———————————————————————————–

Read Full Post »