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Oct 04, 2019

Welcome to Oktoberfest

On October 12, 1810, Crown Prince Ludwig I of Bavaria married Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Five days later, the people of Munich were invited to attend a regal wedding celebration held in front of the city gates. More than 200 years later, Oktoberfest serves as the world’s largest beer festival, a cultural event that sweeps into cities for food-forward, beer-filled celebration every fall. 

While the 18-day festival in Munich draws the biggest crowds—think over 6 million people from around the world enjoying around 8 million liters of beer over the course of the event—the same jovial, cultural celebration can also be found right here in Honolulu, 7,590 miles from the authentic Oktoberfest festivities. You’ll find street festivals, pub events, and community gatherings dedicated to beer, brats, music, and fun happening from late September through early October.  

Fortunately, the festivities in Honolulu don’t have to end when the beer gardens close. Whole Foods Queen is stocked up on all the right beers and is chock full of authentic Oktoberfest foods. With a little help from our friends in the market, your DIY Oktoberfest celebrations at home or the park are sure to be 

To tap the Oktoberfest vibe, you’ll need to start with the proper libations, which in this case is the Marzen lager style of beer. Marzen beers are malty, a tad bit sweet, and showcase a copper to red color. This type of beer is traditionally brewed in the late spring, so that’s it's ready for consumption in the hot months of late summer as the season shifts to fall. Whole Foods Queen Assistant Store Team Leader Zachary Schoenborn suggests grabbing these three brews from the cold case: Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen, Samuel Adams Oktoberfest, and Weihenstephaner Festbier.

According to Zachary their Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen is the most well-known Oktoberfest-style beer, a hearty brew with a fresh and brisk finish and a sunset golden hue. He also suggests the Weihenstephaner Festbier, which hails from the world’s oldest brewery and exudes a rich, full-bodied flavor. Made with hops from Bavaria with a deep gold color and a crisp and refreshing finish, you’re gonna thank us after you taste this old-school brew. American beermaker Samuel Adams also crafts an Oktoberfest lager with hints of rich malt, toasted bread, caramel, and German hops in the aroma. If you prefer your beer from the tap, stop in for Oktoberfest brews from Sierra Nevada, Samuel Adams, local brewery Maui Brewing, and one of the Oktoberfest originals, the Paulaner Marzen.

Beer isn’t the end-all-be-all of Oktoberfest fare. Zachary says that German sausages pair so well with Marzen beer due to the epic combo of sweet and savory. The beers are malty and sweet, while the sausages are oily, juicy, and spicy. The Whole Foods’ meat department offers made-in-house bratwurst and a few fully cooked options for your grill. He suggests boiling the bratwurst in beer and butter, removing the brats when fully cooked—but before they pop—and then finishing in the grill. Jam that juicy brat into a pretzel bun and top it with spicy mustard and sauerkraut and you’re truly in for an Oktoberfest treat. If you’re down for a local twist on your toppings, Zachary suggests swapping out the traditional pickled cabbage garnish for sauerbeets—simply beet sauerkraut—made locally by Maui Wild Cultures, for an amazing new flavor for your Hawai‘i Oktoberfest celebration. 

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