Hump Day Happy Hour
A Few Choice Brews for OktoberfestBy Julie Fishman
Despite being called Oktoberfest, the 200-year-old German beer festival actually begins Saturday, September 18th. Pushed back a few weeks to allow for warmer weather, the festival continues for 16 days. So pull out your hottest lederhosen and prepare to become a bierdimpfe (translation: awesome beer drinker).
Since heading to Munich probably isn't in the cards for most of us, we asked Bavarian native and bar owner Sylvester Schneider for his top German beer picks. We suggest pairing each with a nice, big Bavarian pretzel so you don't get fetznrausch (um, hammered). Or drink a lot and earn the title of “tavern potato” — someone who sits at the bar drinking so long they grow sprouts.
Sylvester's Beer Picks:
Hofbräeuhaus Seasonal, Oktoberfest: The only beer available in the U.S. that's identical to those served in Munich, this beer is deep-yellow in color with slightly spicy hops.
Märzen by Hacker-Pschorr, Paulaner or Spaten: Several breweries make this amber beer that's rich but smooth and very drinkable.
Schneider Wiesen Edelweiss: No longer served at Oktoberfest, this hefeweizen (wheat beer) is fruity, thirst-quenching and very easy to throw back.
Ayinger Brau-Weisse: Slightly harder to find than the ones above, this wheat beer also comes in a light version for the calorie-conscious. Both varieties are full-bodied but very soft in taste, with a distinct banana aroma.
Sylvester Schneider is the owner of Zum Schneider, a Bavarian Biergarten located in New York City's East Village, where you can try all the beers listed plus tons of other German brews.
Oktoberfest comes but once a year, so don't forget to celebrate with some beer!Thinkstock