If anyone out there knows me well, you already know that I am a bit of a history buff. But understanding a little behind the Oktoberfest celebrations gives the celebration more depth than just beer and my beer glasses!
In Europe and beyond, Summer is THE time to rest. The opposite is true in regard to Oktoberfest’s. For some countries and cities around the world, beer drinking gets to epic levels. I prefer to organize beer tastings, have a brewery come to your home for a beer making class, hayrides, bonfires, orchard visits…you get the picture!
Do google your local Breweries and arrange a beer tasting event for all your friends (most will allow you to set up a party outside in the “beer garden”).
Also do: Bring your Lolita Beer Glasses with you! Or have an Oktoberfest celebration right in your backyard. Offer a signature cocktail (Hot or cold Toddy, recipe below) and a selection of dark and pale local brews! That will impress guests with your loyalty to your town!
Oktoberfest festivities began with an annual festival in Munich, Germany, held over a two-week period in October. The festival originated in Bavaria on October 12, 1810, in celebration of the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria, who later became King Louis I, to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.
The very first festival concluded with an Equestrian event…. but hold your horses! Some of the other traditions work nicely as well, such as apple bobbing, candy apple making, hayrides, scarecrow building with the kids, orchard visits.
It can’t hurt to see what your local community is offering to celebrate Oktoberfest: brewery tours, hayrides, outdoor Fall festivals, apple bobbing, etc. You can pull in a few traditions in your own way or start new ones. Look NOW so you don’t miss out!!! It’s not all about Halloween!! Get something on the books.
Historically, Oktoberfest was held in large Festival Halls, and gained a reputation as a German event (as I mentioned, Bavaria was really the location that started it all!) Bring the fun home, too with German music and dancing! Slip on a Bavarian Beer Maid costume for a good laugh! Crown the new King and Queen of Oktoberfest. Could be a fun theme for a wedding shower or just a Fall party. Make your own crowns for the newly anointed out of fall leaves! Get creative by using nature this time of year your go to!!:) A few pumpkins wouldn’t hurt the ambiance.
Ale in Historical times was considered water, so people didn’t get sick. They created the perfect all-day brew with Hops. Not only was Ale served, but wine was served as well because it was taking place right at traditional grape harvest times where last year’s vintage is traditionally opened.
Are you kidding? Fall is my FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR here in New England! Friends, family, kids…. pets, too. Personally, I fully embrace the chilly air and falling leaves, all with a Hot or Cold Toddy (See party plan for that below). But beer is a refreshing change of pace from all the liquor loaded cocktails from the Summer. The pace for everything has slowed down to ease mother nature into Winter.
My fun touch of providing blankets, a beer and a hot toddy and a seat outside around a campfire can go a loooong way in terms of décor, haha.
Several U.S. cities, particularly those with large German American populations, hold Oktoberfests modeled on the original in Munich. Oktoberfest’s, which feature beer and German food, are an attempt to reproduce the Bavarian sense of gemütlichkeit—cordiality.
Personally, German food is probably one of my least favored cuisines to offer guests. I suggest a couple of my favorites below. But bring in the sauerkraut or a couple other German dishes, especially if you have any German in your ancestry! And don’t forget your beer maid costume.
It’s October, with its nippy air, pumpkin spice and apple picking…it soothes the soul. Love the late afternoon event and bed in time for a hot bath and a relaxing evening.
I love heading even further North than I am here in Rhode Island, the higher on the map equates to even prettier Fall Color, and to be honest, the most beautiful place to be in the US this time of year is New England.
But I also LOVE having my go to for impromptu occasions, my Autumn Toddy Punch. You thought “Toddy” meant hot? Not necessarily. The Toddy is one cocktail that nods to historical cocktail creations. (I have heated up this drink in coffee mugs before, lol and they were delicious.) It is also the perfect Fall batch cocktail and always popular in a crowd (along with the blankets, jackets, and jeans on a hayride through a beautiful Fall afternoon!).
A Toddy is basically a Sangria’, where there is an alcohol base (usually vodka, rum, and fruity liqueurs), with a little fruit juice and red wine spice stirred in!
While we all hate to see summer go, it does give us another reason to celebrate! It is the perfect time for late Saturday afternoons with friends. This recipe serves 12.
You can also easily make mocktails for the kids with hot apple cider. If you can find the little red Brach’s Cinnamon Imperials, just add to the cider on the stove and let candies melt, and voila!! Kids will feel so special with their own mug of warm cider.
A Smoked Salmon tray is one of my very favorite go-to’s for parties! This appetizer eliminates the headache of preparing a large platter of smoked salmon but is even more delicious! This recipe serves 12.
Get a “leaf” cookie cutter and make leaf shaped peanut butter and jelly or cheese sandwiches.
Put together a playlist of post Summertime hits to keep everyone in a fun, happy, mood! Enjoy dancing and laughing and having a great time saying good-bye to summer!