I had my Oktoberfest dinner on Saturday. It was a lot of fun. One of the guests was from Berlin, which gave the evening a ring of authenticity. We sampled four beers. Two were lagers – the Spaten Marzen and the Victory Prima Pils. We had one ale, Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale and one stout, Left Hand Milk Stout.
The Marzen went very well with the cabbage and bacon dish. It is a very smooth beer with a nice flavor. The Victory Pills was very light in color but had more taste and flavor than most lagers I have drunk. We drank it with chicken schnitzel. If Budweiser tasted like that, it would be a lot better.
The Pumpkin Ale is very nice with a moderate amount of hops flavor. I actually like Dogfish Head Punkin Ale better. It has a more pronounced pumpkin flavor. The warm potato salad I served with it had a tangy flavor so the ale was a nice contrast.
I served the stout with dessert, which was an apple cake. It was the best stout I have ever tasted and a very good flavored beer; several of my guests were surprised that you could serve beer with dessert.
I had never done a beer pairing meal before so this was very interesting. Although I think you could make too much of it, I can see that certain types of beer go very well with certain foods. I would not want to see beer drinking become as complicated as wine. The final decision should be one of taste.
Last year, when we were in New York, I wrote a post about fall beers. This was the picture I used.