While out exploring the different beer samples available during Oktoberfest, beer enthusiasts enjoy matching the right food and flavors with the right beer. Below you will find great beer and food pairings to assist you as you taste your way through your local Oktoberfest.
Best Oktoberfest Food and Beer Pairings #1: Fruit Danish and a Sweet Stout
Dessert first! Fresh fruit pastries that feature tart fruits like green apples or under ripe kiwi are excellent when matched with a sweet stout. The contrast of sweet and tart in the pastry with the sweet and yeast in the beer make for an excellent pairing. If you’re making them yourself, make sure to use a light pastry like philo dough to make sure that you don’t overwhelm the yeast in the beer with yeast in the bread.
The best stout for a pastry pairing is a Left Hand Milk Stout. It starts out creamy and ends with a smooth finish and it’s lightly sweet flavor perfectly complements the pastry.
Best Oktoberfest Food and Beer Pairings #2: Dark lagers and Cheese
Another simply matched food and beer pairing comes in the form of a beer and cheese. The dark, nutty lagers that Oktoberfest are famous for go well with hard cheeses like Swiss and Gruyere. Dark lagers start out with a malty flavor and end with a satisfying meaty weight which is cut perfectly by the sharp, flavorful hard cheeses. Try Munich Dark or Harpoon Octoberfest with your favorite Emmentel or Swiss.
Other recommended cheese and beer pairings include Feta with wheat beer, gorgonzola with barleywine and sharp cheddar with India Pale Ale.
Note: When buying your cheeses, make sure you choose the raw milk versions, whether you opt for cow, goat or sheep cheeses. Pasteurized cheeses are diminished in flavor and scent but raw cheeses allow you to experience the full rich range of the cheese.
Best Oktoberfest Food and Beer Pairings #3: Fried Chicken and Brown Ale or Lager
From dessert to appetizer to the main course: fried chicken! Fried foods are ubiquitous at Oktoberfest festivals and it makes sense that those who appreciate well made beer will appreciate well made fried chicken to go with it. Never frozen, the fried chicken must be hand fried with a flour and spice coating and served just after frying. White meat pieces like the breast are the best choice to match with beer pairings.
The beer that goes best with the crunchy deep fried chicken is something crisp that will cut through the richness of the meal, like a brown ale or lager. Recommended is a Radeberger: it starts and finishes with a light and refreshing flavor that won’t weigh down the already-heavy fried chicken dish. Make sure to drink it in an iced tumbler.