Whether you've got that 4% German in your blood (thanks, Ancestry.com) or you're a full blown Bavarian, there's no denying how delicious the food of Deutschland is. But what are all the rich, mustardy treats of Oktoberfest without the beer? That's kind of the whole point, isn't it?
Here are four staples - and the eats to pair with them. Das Boot is optional, but your Schnitzel might taste better when drinking from it.
Why Pilsner and brats work: Brats are bursting with richness and tender texture. All that fat tastes amazing, but if you want to keep celebrating without having to go nap, then you'll need a liquid pairing that refreshes the palate with each bite and sip. The carbonation and clean but subtle hops make each swallow a blank canvas ready for the next bite!
Why Oktoberfest and jumbo pretzels work: Oktoberfest styles are known for their nutty, malty foundation. When you have a bready foundation like that eat it with a chewy, salty pretzel and it's just heavenly. Sweet malt is the soulmate for savory spice, so make sure you get a quality mustard to dunk those babies in.
Why Witbier and sauerkraut work: Sauerkraut is zippy, tangy and well... sour. Sour means lots of acidity, so to calm the zing you must introduce a heartier wash of beer. The mouthfeel itself is almost like a slice of rye bread and we all know how well sauerkraut and rye goes. Plus, the slight citrus echoes the bite of sauerkraut and makes for a lip-smacking experience.
Why Hefeweizen and schnitzel work: So Hefeweizen has stark banana and clove flavors - it's what imbibers of Hefe love so much about it! Since Weiner schnitzel is breaded with nutmeg, the clove esters in Hefe are perfect. Also, the wheat proteins and yeast that cause the classic cloud match up so well with the breaded crust of schnitzel.