Having spent the early summer brewing, Jess and I decided it would be a good idea, not least for our livers, to have our own Oktoberfest party to get rid of some of the beer!
The only problem was that none of my beers were German in style so we decided to put on German food with loads of bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels, Moritz’s family potato salad, a German cold meat platter, Haribo gold bears and Pombears to give everyone their Germanic fix.
The beer menu was as follows: A keg of Fiddler’s Rest, an English style ale with Fuggles hops and Caramunich malt, at three percent a good party beer; a keg of Brewferm Framboos, one of Jess’s favourites and aimed at the slightly less beery types; bottles of three slightly different Holloway Hops, highly hopped Belgian Blondes with Styrian Goldings, Hallertau and Saaz hops and Westvleteren Blonde yeast; and bottles of The Scrubber, my Belgian Quadrupel style beer, ten percent and very fruity and spicy.
The day arrived with fine sunshine which was perfect for us as there were sausages to barbecue and the last of our roses to admire. It was good to open up the garden since our house isn’t huge and we had a lot of guests. We started in the early afternoon so the kids could enjoy themselves too and served apfelschorle, apple juice mixed with sparkling water, as a kind of kiddy beer. This was also a great hit with the designated drivers.
Jess put out a fantastic spread inside including our enormous “meat plate” and prepared sauerkraut with pancetta and Juniper- delicious. Outside our friend Helen grilled a delicious range of sausages from Aldi (keeping up with the German theme) such as bratwurst, nuremburg sausages and frankfurters.
I explained the various beers to people so they could choose something they liked. Both kegs went down well, we served the Framboos in champagne glasses and it was a favourite with the girls though plenty of guys liked it too. Fiddler’s Rest worked well as a safe, low alcohol option. As the day went on the more adventurous types progressed, first to Holloway Hop which many loved, though some didn’t, then in the evening to The Scrubber which was universally enjoyed, so much so that I frustratingly ran out of it!
We asked people to bring an interesting bottle with them and as well as lovely homemade ginger beer and cider, we received many unusual beers including a Manchester Star Ale and a Schlenkerla smoked Dopplebock. Prize for the oddest goes to Emmet who brought a can of Bavaria Pink Grapefruit Radler (shandy).
After the last people left around two am we looked back on a great day with lovely company and tasty beer. Here’s to next year!