I racked the Scottish ale Saturday morning and tasted the first bit from the siphon in a small wine glass. While I like the two beers (a hefeweiss and a bourbon barrel ale) I have on tap right now, this beer is more delicious than either of them. It is quite cloudy so I need to be sure to clear the yeast before kegging.
I have picked my Oktoberfest beers! In addition to the Scottish Ale I ordered and made a week ago, I will be brewing Hex Nut Brown with American Ale yeast, Belgian Tripel with Belgian yeast, and last year’s taste test winner, Oatmeal Stout. That means the only “new” brew will be the Scottish, as I’ve brewed all three of these at previous Oktoberfests. But will the guests care it’s not new? Doubtful that they remember, much less care! I hope not. I do have a lemon coriander Weiss that might also make the cut.
I chose these three because that will mean that all four beers this year will have distinctively different yeast. I think in the future I’d like to mimic the “vertical tasting” concept done with wine: the same grape and vineyard is tasted through several vintages. I’d like to make several of the same type of beer with different yeast, or have four with all the same yeast, or something else so that the beers can be better compared.
This year will be a mesclun just like always. Now, what food to serve: traditional or no? Usually, I go with sauerbraten, wursts, and a variety of breads and whole-grain mustards straight from Germany. No matter how much I make or buy, I almost never have leftovers. I’m thinking that with the distinctively non-German beers I might instead have four stations of complimentary food pairings.
Scottish Ale: A delicious meal in itself. So malty and sweet…can’t think of good pairings
Lemon Coriander Weiss: salsa, guacamole
Hex Nut Brown: white bean dip, fried mashed potatoes
Belgian Tripel: grilled fruit, baklava
Oatmeal Stout: Chocolate cake, cheesecake, macadamia-crusted something
The nice thing about all of these (except the fried potatoes) is that they can easily be made ahead. Even the mashed potatoes can be made and rolled ahead, then quickly fried. The other difficulty is it looks like most of the dishes are sweet, not savory, and I’m not a big sweets fan.
Well, now I’m just yammering with no point. I need to order the beers and start brewing!