Introducing Oktoberfest! Our Festbier is back for 2023 and it’s out now – balanced, clean and crisp, the colour of burnished copper, with a rich, bready aroma and a delicately spicy noble hop character. Full bodied, yet über-quaffable.
We reckon it’s the perfect addition to any celebration or gathering, and our team have been busily putting it to the test with some classic Beer Hall snacks! Here’s some suggested recipes for you to try at home…
Beer cheese dip
Add your butter and garlic to a small pan over a medium heat, and fry until the butter is melted and the scent of garlic fills the kitchen. Add the flour, salt and pepper, and whisk together to form a roux. Cook for a couple of minutes, then gradually add your Oktoberfest into the roux and whisk while it thickens.
Once it’s well mixed and a gravy-esque consistency, add your cheeses a small handful at a time and keep mixing until melted – be patient and take your time rather than turning the heat up any further. Once all the cheese is melted, serve and enjoy!
We dunked homemade pretzel bites into ours, which we made to this recipe with a sea salt topping (we don’t recommend the cinnamon sugar option for this particular purpose!). It would also be great with sausages dipped in it… read on below!
Beer infused Bratwurst
Combine all of your dried spices. Slice the pork into strips to allow easier mincing, then coat in the dry spice mix. We’ll be mincing twice, once through a coarse plate, then through a finer one, which should ensure a really smooth wurst.
After the first mincing, add your ice cold beer – the colder the better. Mix well, then mince again through the finer plate. This would be a good opportunity to fry up a small amount of the filling in order to check the seasoning levels (and treat yourself to a tasty snack). Remember that the flavours will develop somewhat. Once the seasoning is to your taste, mix the sausage meat with a food processor for 2 minutes, which helps the mixture emulsify and gives a smooth finish. Place in the freezer for half an hour, along with your sausage stuffer.
Whilst the equipment is chilling, rinse the hog casings well to remove any salt, and leave to soak in fresh water. Just before you are ready to start stuffing, place the casings on the funnel.
Slowly feed the mixture into the sausage stuffer, and once it starts to come through tie a knot in the end of the casing so that you don’t lose any precious stuffing! This is a finickity job, which can require an extra pair of hands, but take your time over it, ensuring that the sausage skins aren’t too full or too baggy, and make yourself a really, really long sausage.
After this you’ll need to decide how long a Brat you want – for this style of Brat you’d normally expect this would be around 6-8 inches (15-20cm) long, but you do you! Pinch the sausage at the length you wish, then gently twist it until it forms a link. Once you have a comedic length of sausages that look to be straight from a Punch and Judy show, hang them somewhere cool and dry for half an hour or so, then they’re ready to either chill, or get straight to cooking them.
Traditionally, a bratwurst is simmered for a period before being grilled – this ensures the centre has reached a safe temperature, and helps to avoid the sausages bursting. It also provides an opportunity to infuse further flavour into the sausages, so I like to poach them in beer! Place them in a large cold pan with enough beer to cover them, and put them on a low heat until the beer is just below boiling point, then remove from the poaching liquor and allow to dry slightly. After poaching they will be safe to store in a fridge for up to a week, or for a good few months in a freezer, or you can now put the sausages straight under the grill, into a frying pan, or, for preference, onto a BBQ. Cook until the skin is golden and crisp, and serve in a crusty roll with sauerkraut, mustard, and of course more beer! We recommend a stein. Or as an easy snack, mix some curry powder and a little dash of vinegar in with some ketchup to make your own quick currywurst.
Let us know if you give either of the above recipes a try, or if you think there’s another pairing we shouldn’t miss!