Oktoberfest is a 200-year-old Bavarian tradition and the best possible way we can think of to celebrate the arrival of fall: with beer, sausage, pretzels, apple strudel, and lots of fun for all ages.
But wait: Are you an avowed wine drinker and think you donâ€™t like beer? Robyn Schumacher, a certified cicerone (think â€śbeer sommelierâ€ť) and cofounder of Stoup Brewing Company, smack-dab in the middle of the Northwestâ€™s craft beer country, begs to differ.
Read on to find your perfect beer match and plan a party menu worthy of the best biergartens.
"Doppelbocks are malt-forward, rich beers with minimal hopping, which reduces some of the bitterness that wine drinkers often associate with beer and donâ€™t often appreciateâ€¦yet," says Robyn. "They have sweetness to them, but it's not cloying due to a lovely warming alcohol presence. In both aroma and flavor, doppelbocks provide an essence of fruit along the lines of dried fruit, plums, and grapes. In some darker versions, you might even get a hint of chocolate. Who doesnâ€™t love chocolate?"
Robynâ€™s Recs: Paulaner Salvator or Ayinger Celebrator. For an American take on the doppelbock, try Victory Brewingâ€™s St. Victorious.
Robyn advises, "Pilsners are very clean and dry with a good dose of carbonation to amplify their refreshing qualities. Pilsners show just the slightest hint of bready sweetness to offset the spicy, floral German hops."
Robyn's Recs: Spaten Pils or Bitburger. For a softer, gentler version, try a Bohemian pilsner such as Redhook Pilsner.