It’s October, and in beer speak October means Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest as I’m sure most people know is a corner stone of Bavarian beer Culture. The first Oktoberfest was held just outside the Munich city gates on October 12, 1810 on a field that was known then as Thereseienwiese now known simply as the Wiesn. The original celebration was a royal wedding reception for King Ludwig 1st and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen , but at this time beer wasn’t yet the focus. Back then in Bavaria horse races were all the rage at royal celebrations. In 1811 the introduction of an agricultural show slowly morphed into a beer focused festival we know today with the first Beer tents and halls cropping up in 1896.
Oktoberfest Varieties available at Wine World:
Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen
Ninkasi Oktoberfest Festbier Lager
Left Hand Oktoberfest Marzen Lager
Victory Festbier Lager
With more to come…
Although Oktoberfest Celebrations are recognized in many American Cities we obviously can’t lay claim to it, but there is one quintessentially autumn beer Americans can lay claim to…Pumpkin ale. Pumpkin ales have a long history in the U.S. dating back to the 1600s. Using Pumpkin as a brew ingredient was done out of pure necessity for back in colonial America most European malts were rather hard come by and colonist had to find fermentable sugars somewhere. Pumpkins being indigenous to North America and Unknown to Europeans at the time where readily available in season and in the first pumpkin beers the meat of the pumpkin took the place of malt entirely. Pumpkin Based brews and food eventually became hugely popular and sought after in America though out the rest of the 17th and 18th century.
By the 19th century, pumpkin brews waned a bit in popularity with various malts, now available to brewers, pumpkin ale was largely viewed as a health tonic. Also at this time was the beginning of using pumpkin as a compliment to more traditional malts rather than using only pumpkin. Pumpkin beers in the 20th century were not made part of the mainstream seasonal market Until the 1980s with Buffalo Bill’s brewery in Hayward, California being largely responsible for the modern pumpkin ale revival.
Pumpkin Beers available at Wine World:
Southern Tier PumpKing
Southern Tier Warlock Imperial Pumpkin Stout
Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin
Laurelwood Pumpkin ale
Timmerman’s pumpkin Lambicus
Harlot’s Harvest Pike Pumpkin ale
Anderson valley Fall hornin’ Pumpkin
Central City Red Betty Pumpkin
Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin