—Bavaria may be several thousand miles away and it may be the middle of August, but a German celebration that goes back 204 years makes its annual appearance in Wayne County this weekend.
Complete with live German bands, smoked meats and wurst, Frauleins wearing dirndls and wide selection of Teutonic beers, the 36th annual Oktoberfest at the Alpine Wurst & Meat House kicks off Friday at 6 p.m.
The first Oktoberfest was held as a wedding celebration for then Crown Prince Ludwig I and Germans, loving a good party, have kept up the tradition ever since and have taken the tradition with them all over the world.
Strict rules about alcohol content, the adherence to the purity law in brewing and location of where the beer was brewed apply to all of the beer served at Oktoberfest.
The most popular style of beer served at Oktoberfest is Marzen.
Long before refrigeration was available, brewing in Bavaria all but stopped in the spring.
Beers brewed in March (Marzen) tended to have more alcohol and hops content to allow them to keep through the warmer months until brewing could commence again in September.
Spaten’s Oktoberfest, the US version, while clocking in at 5.9% Alcohol by Volume (ABV) falls just short of the required 6.0% rule alleged to be in place at the Munich Oktoberfest, it is nevertheless a good representation of the style and a superb beer to accompany the fare served up by the folks at the Alpine.
An amber lager, Spaten Oktoberfest has a medium body and, true to the style, has a sweet, malty flavor accented by just enough hops to give it a little bite.
Also on tap at the Alpine this weekend will be Franziskaner Heffe Wiess (which we covered in the last installment) as well as Dinkel Acker, a crisp, lighter bodied pilsner from Stuttgart.
At 4.9% ABV it’s not as potent and thus better suited for those of you who won’t be burning off the booze promenading around the dance floor.
The Alpine’s bottled beer selection is also noteworthy. German staples such as Lowenbrau, St Pauli Girl and Warstiner can also be found lined up in the beer cooler or boxed in a sample six-pack suitable for gifting or enjoying yourself.
While not everything on the Alpine’s diverse menu is available at the Oktoberfest food tents, there is enough to give those without a lot of experience with these foods a good sample.
Find something you like and chances are you can head into the meat shop and take some home for yourself.
It’s a good idea to bring a cooler along to keep in your car should the sudden need arise for you to procure meat.
If a big crowd of lederhosen clad men and the sound of blaring brass section isn’t your thing - but good food and beer are - there’s no reason to put off your visit until another time. The restaurant is open Tuesdays through Sundays.
Hope to see you at Oktoberfest, Prost!