Raise a pint to polka and bratwurst
You don’t need to fly to Germany to enjoy this sixteen-day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria—you can host your own Oktoberfest bash and celebrate with friends and family right at home.
Oktoberfest began with the celebration of a royal wedding on October 12, 1810.1 King Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen organized a horse race on October 17 of that same year to commemorate their marriage and the end of the wedding festivities. What started out as a way to celebrate a royal union has since turned into the largest “volksfest” (beer festival and traveling funfair) in the world. More than 6 million people from around the world attend annually, making Oktoberfest an important part of Bavarian culture.2
These days Oktoberfest is mostly known for the food and drink, so a homegrown celebration with your favorite suds and some sausages is something your friends and family are sure to love.
If you want to stick to tradition, only serve beer that has been brewed in Munich. But if that’s too restrictive, get whatever brew you like best. Consider picking up several different varieties and adding a beer-sampling element to your party, and make sure to check out offerings from breweries that are local to you. It’s nice to support small, local businesses.
As far as food goes, it’s all about the bratwurst—and the cheese and the sauerkraut and the schnitzel and the pretzels and German cakes for dessert! Check out Epicurious for Oktoberfest menus, or mix and match with recipes like these to create your own German feast:
- Chicken schnitzel
- Bratwurst with apples, onions and sauerkraut
- Beer, bacon and cheddar bread
- Potato salad with horseradish
- Beer and cheese soup
- Sweet and sour cabbage
- Sweet pretzels
- Beer-braised hot dogs with braised sauerkraut
To create the right atmosphere, download or stream free traditional German music—including polka tunes, of course—from The Holiday Spot, and encourage your guests to dress in traditional costumes—or at least clothes the color of the German flag (black, red, and gold).
But of course, if all you do is serve your guests a delicious German-inspired meal, they’ll leave your home saying, “vielen dank” (thank you very much) and hoping for another invitation next year!
412847D CAN/US (10/15)