Do we Pacific Northwesterners owe any of our craft beer prowess to the German immigrants who settled here in the late 18th century? After all, they brought their farming practices over here from the old country. Their wheat, barley and hops liked our weather and our soils here in Washington. And those hard-working farmers liked a home-brewed cold one (or two or three) after a long day in the field.
So instead of rehashing that tired old story about Oktoberfest starting as a town-wide wedding celebration for Crown Prince Louis of Bavaria and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen in 1810, let’s dedicate this year’s Oktoberfest celebrations to our own lederhosen and dirndl-wearing forebears. Let’s raise a few steins in their memory, and kick off fall by putting our Town & Country spin on a few great German food and drink traditions.
Your itinerary: the T & C cheese section (and then the meat section, the bakery section, and oh yeah—the beer section)
There’s no time like Oktoberfest to try some consistently brilliant Champignon Käserei (that’s cheesemaking in German), a dairy cooperative that’s been working with small family farms in Bavaria for three generations. Shauna Howell, our Director of Culinary Services says all their cheeses are worthy of a spot on an Oktoberfest platter. But if you need a place to start and you’re not quite cheese-advanced enough for a funky German Limburger, she says the triple cream blue cheese will change your life.
Hunt around a little more, and you’ll find lots of intriguing German ingredients for your Northwest Oktoberfest extravaganza. We make Our Own bratwurst sausages with fresh pork, right in the market. So we can make them the way we like them here—really big, and bursting with amazing flavor when you bite. We like to boil them in beer, and then grill them. But you do you.
Serve it on a Pretzilla bun with OlyKraut sauerkraut from Olympia for a German taste experience they only wish they could have in the old country.
Need some fun sides? We’ve goteverything you need to makeyour own schnitzel, spätzle, pickled herringand apple cake. On our website, you’ll findplenty of traditional German recipes like German Rouladen, Bratwurst & Cabbage Soup you can make with our fresh, flavorful local produce, and a traditional German Potato Salad you can New World-ify by adding some awesome Niman Ranch bacon you’ll find in our meat department.
But really, isn’t it all about the beer? Or should we say bier?
Did we mention beer? You’re going to need beer. And we apologize in advance if making your way through our vast selection of local and international brews—in bottles, cans and growler-ready on tap—causes any serious delay in your festivities.
Now all you need to do is brush up on your polka steps, remember the lyrics to Edelweiss, invite some friends over—bonus points if they bring a dachshund or a German Shepherd with them—and learn the word for “cheers” in German (hint: it’s “Prost!”)