It’s OctoberFest (BeerFest) Month!

The annual beer blowout that is Oktoberfest kicked off a few days ago in Munich, and although thousands have already guzzled enough beer inside the festival’s Hippodrom to earn “hangover of the year,” there’s still plenty to be had Stateside.

Traditionally, Oktoberfest beers (aka Märzens) are brewed in the spring, stored in cold cellars through the summer, and finally tapped in the fall. A sweet-and-toasted malt complexity is the style’s hallmark, countered by spicy Bavarian hops and a crisp lager finish—it’s as if they were brewed specifically to pair with brats.

If you feel left out of the October Fest activities because you don’t drink beer, don’t worry, cook beer instead! Whether it Guinness‘s loamy sweetness or the sharp hit of a pilsner, beer in some form or another lends its depth and effervescence to elevate each of these recipes.

Oktoberfest is just as much about hearty, warming German fare as it is about foamy mugs of beer. Host your own festive fall feast with homemade sausages, satisfying barley soup, and a decadent black forest cake. So, fire up the grill and fill your stein with our favorite Oktoberfest recipes. Let’s explore…

Venison Sausage Braised in Beer

With carrots, leeks, apples, and savoy cabbage, venison sausage takes on a rich, yeasty flavor when braised in lager-style beer. Click here for the recipe. 

Fish Tacos

Adding beer to the batter helps the fish for these tacos fry up golden brown. Click here for the recipe. 

Graupensuppe (German Barley Soup)

Klaus Weiler, the chef at Weinhaus Weiler in Oberwesel, Germany, shared the recipe for this classic barley soup. Garnished with sausage, it’s substantial enough to make a meal in itself.

This recipe first appeared in our November 2011 issue along with Beth Kracklauer’s story The Art of Soup. Click here for the recipe. 

Pasta with Spicy Tomato-Beer Sauce

In this dish, based on one served at Birrificio Italiano, a brewery and restaurant in Italy’s Lombardy region, the puttanesca-style pasta sauce is enriched with Bibock, the brewery’s bock-style beer. Click here for the recipe. Pasta with Spicy Tomato-Beer Sauce

Beer Battered Onion Rings

A flavorful batter infused with honey, paprika, and lager beer is the secret to these crunchy onion rings. Click here for the recipe. 

Seeded Rye Loaf

Dark and deeply flavored from a rye sourdough starter that’s made 10 days in advance, this earthy loaf is easily customizable depending on what seeds and grains you have on hand and want to add to the dough.
This recipe first appeared in our May 2012 issue along with William Alexander’s story American Bread. Click here for the recipe.

Steak and Stilton Pies

Pungent Stilton cheese and malty stout beer enrich the filling in these classic Lancashire meat pies. Click here for the recipe. 

Spätzle with Herbs

This German dish needs a German wine, such as a good, dry Riesling.
See SAVEUR’s recommended Light-bodied White Wines. Click here for the recipe. 

Beef and Guinness Pie

This is a hearty Irish variation on steak and kidney pie, made with the island’s most famous beer. Click here for the recipe. 


These juicy, beefy smoked sausages, from chef Michael Anthony of New York City’s Gramercy Tavern, can be served sliced on a platter accompanied by plenty of mustard. Click here for the recipe.

Mixed Green Salad with Horseradish Dressing

Depending on the strength of your fresh horseradish, add it to the dressing to taste. Click here for the recipe.

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte(Black Forest Cake)

This classic, German, cherry-filled chocolate cake, a masterpiece of cherry brandy-soaked pastry engineering, improves the longer it sits. This recipe first appeared in the 2012 SAVEUR 100 with the story Black Forest Cake. Click here for the recipe.

Spicy Guinness Mustard

Our favorite mustard recipe uses brown mustard seeds and Guinness beer (which lends a malty character and hints of sweetness). Click here for the recipe. 

Grilled Bratwurst with Shoestring Gremolata Fries

Pickled cauliflower, spiced with coriander, turmeric, mustard seeds, and bay leaf, is a great accompaniment to grilled bratwurst. It also makes a fine partner for grilled pork chops. Click here for the recipe. 

Beer-Steamed Crabs

In this dish, fresh blue crabs are steamed in a flavorful mixture of chile, garlic, lime, and beer. Click here for the recipe. 

Credit: Saveur


4 thoughts on “It’s OctoberFest (BeerFest) Month!

  1. Happy Octoberfest! This is yet another great post. It’s great seeing all the things you can do with beer besides drink it. Thanks.

  2. Pingback: Rocktoberfest L.A. | KolorBlind Mag

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