It’s time, yet again, to don your lederhosen, twist up some pretzels, and crack a malty german beer. If lederhosen aren’t your thing, you can still throw a great Oktoberfest beer tasting party in your American casual wear. The extensive beer selection at Tacoma Boys has you covered.
Beer with a Side of History
Oktoberfest began in 1810 when Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria was married to Therese Charlotte Luise of Saxony-Hildburghausen (don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz). The king threw a party for the people in his new wife’s honor with free beer, food, and horse races. Suffice it to say he threw a party worth repeating. For over 200 years Oktoberfest is still celebrated at the beginning of October in Germany and all around the world. And, while you may not care to celebrate a queen long since departed from us, you might get behind the idea of beer and celebrating the end of a good summer harvest.
A typical Oktoberfest beer has a strong, toasty malt aroma, is brewed in spring and aged throughout the summer. American made Oktoberfest beers can vary from one another and from the traditional style served in Germany. So why not throw an Oktoberfest beer tasting party and see how they all stack up next to one another?
Tacoma Boys Oktoberfest Beer Contenders
Festbier Occidental Brewing Co. Portland, Oregon
Petrichor Skookum Brewery Arlington, WA
Oktoberfest Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Festbier Reuben’s Brews Seattle, WA
Fest Bier Chuckanut Brewery
Oktoberfest Left Hand Brewing Co. Longmont, CO
Pretzel Day Matchless Brewing
Oktoberfest Black Raven Brewing Co.
Make It a Competition
Be playful in the way you present the beer selection. Sure, you could just drop those beers in a cooler with ice for your guests. That’s a great approach for a casual Oktoberfest. But, to make it a festive occasion, why not set up a true Oktoberfest tasting and rank those beers?!
Called a “flight” in the beer world, a selection of 4-6oz pours of beer is a great option to give guests a true sample of each beer selection. Keep it simple by placing a large sheet of butcher paper across your table and hand labeling each beer directly on the butcher paper. While beer connoisseurs will tell you there is correctly shaped glassware for each style of beer, you can make your life easy and use small mason jars for tasting glasses. You’ll still get a great tasting beer and you can save those jars for all that jam you plan to make when berry season comes back around.
Beer Tasting Cards
Create a simple card for guests to rank beers and then compare notes. Tasting cards make comparing beers more straight forward. Typical beer tasting cards might include categories like: appearance, smell, taste, aftertaste, and drinkability. You can also throw in a fun category like “describe beer using a song lyric” or “if this beer was a color it would be _______.” Why not give a prize for the most creative responses, while you’re at it?
Create a simple bracket and have guests sample two beers at a time, taking a vote to see which beer will advance into the next round. This is a great, interactive way to compare the beers.
If you want to go the extra mile, start the night out by letting each guest make a guess at which beer will take home the championship and send the winner home with a six pack of beer or a gift card to pick out their favorite beer at Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce.
Don’t Forget the Nosh and Beer
There’s a reason why taprooms are notorious for snack pretzels. Beer and food go hand in hand. Tacoma Boys has your german grub covered. Here are some ideas to keep your guests well fed.
Brats and Beer
…a match made in heaven. Tacoma Boys is your local fresh meat market. If you’re not sure what to get, ask your Tacoma Boys butcher for their favorite german sausages to try. Grill up sausages and then cut them into bite sized portions to serve on a platter with toothpicks and ample amounts of stone ground mustard and sauerkraut.
Pretzels and Mustard
Pretzels are the quintessential German snack food. Make easy, shortcut soft pretzels with our ready-made pizza dough by Kalama Sourdough Bakery found in our cheese section. For a true German treat, dip those tasty pretzels in mustard. Pick out a sampling of mustards from our large selection.
Spicy and Aged Cheeses
Skip the mild cheeses that might be drowned out by the robust flavor of a fest beer and head for the sharp cheddar, jalapeno jack, blue cheese, and goudas. You’ll have plenty to choose from at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce. The cheese aisle is almost as much fun as our candy aisle.
Something for Every Palate
If beer is really not your jam, come check out the extensive selection of wines, ciders, and even hard kombucha drinks at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce. If you’re looking for a new culinary adventure or for something to pair with your dinner, one of our wine and beer specialists is sure to have a suggestion for you.