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Features for Distinguished Handcrafters

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Finely Handcrafted
since 1996

Volume 1, Issue 6
October 2006

In this Month's Issue:
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History of Oktoberfest Recipe for Oktoberfest Ale Monthly Food Recipe


History of Oktoberfest 

By: Jane Roseen

Article courtesy of

The first Oktoberfest was held on Ocotber 12, 1810, in Munich to celebrate the wedding of Prince Ludwig I of Bavaria and Princess Maria Teresa of Saxony-Hildburghausen on what was to become known as Theresienwieses - Theresa's fields. In subsequent years, horse races were held on the fields to celebrate the anniversary of the royal wedding. This annual event became Oktoberfest tradition. Oktoberfest is dedicated to the fall harvest and to beer, the region's most famous product. People came from throughout Germany to enjoy the celebration consisting of dancing, singing, and drinking beer.

Oktoberfest Today:  Oktoberfest 2005 celebrates it's 172nd year. Oktoberfest is the largest festival in the world, with 6 million visitors from around the world attending the Munich Oktoberfest each year. Each year, these attendees consume more than 5 million liters of beer and over 200,000 pork sausages, as well as large quantities of traditional hearty fare such as sausage, hendl (chicken) and sauerkraut, along with such Bavarian delicacies as roast ox tails.

Only six Munich breweries are allowed to serve beer at Oktoberfest – Löwenbräu, Spaten, Augustiner (pictured right), Hofbräu, Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr. Each Bierzelte (beer "tents") hold some 3,000–10,000 people. There are currently 14 main tents at the Oktoberfest. A special Oktoberfest beer is brewed for the occasion which is slightly darker and stronger, in both taste and alcohol.

The festivities are accompanied by a program of events, including the Grand Entry of the Oktoberfest Landlords and Breweries, the Costume and Riflemen's Procession, and a concert involving all the brass bands represented at the "Wies'n".

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Recipe for Oktoberfest Ale   
by Frank Holes, Sr.

This rich, malty red ale is seasoned for the celebrations of Oktoberfest.  
Recipe for Oktoberfest Ale

2 gallons of good water

6 lbs of Amber Malt Syrup

4 lbs Dried Malt Extract (DME), light

1 oz Northern Brewer Hops

1 oz Irish Moss

1 oz Hallertauer Hops

1 package of liquid German Ale yeast (or a packet of dry yeast if it's all you have)

1 tbsp Cinnamon or 2 Cinnamon sticks

1 tsp Ground Cloves

1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg

Oktoberfest Ale Recipe Directions:

In your large brew kettle, bring 2 gallons of water to a boil. The more water available to boil at the beginning will provide you with a much lighter colored finished product.

Place the malt syrup (still in its container) in a large bowl of warm water to make it easier to work with. 

Once the kettle comes to a boil, slowly add the liquid malt syrup, stirring constantly. Add the dry malt extract (I like to pour off a bit of the wort and whisk in the DME in a large bowl, then pour everything back in to the kettle).

Once all the malt is stirred in, add the Northern Brewer hops. Start your timer for a 60 minute boil. Stir often. 

With 15 minutes left in the boil, add the Irish Moss. At 10 minutes left, add the Hallertauer hops and the spices.

Once the boil time is over, remove the kettle from heat (I like to pour the wort off into another large pot I can cool in the sink - or use a wort chiller if you have one). Reduce the temperature to around 75 degrees F. 

Add the wort carefully into your primary fermentor, being sure to leave the bottom dregs in the pot. Fill up to the 5 gallon line with room temperature water, being careful to stay between 68 and 76 degrees F (don't kill the yeast). 

Stir in the yeast (pop your liquid yeast several hours or even a day earlier if necessary) well, and seal the fermentor with an airlock. Store in a room temperature place out of the way for 7-14 days. You can re-rack into a secondary fermentor after 7 days if you wish. 

Bottle and store for three more weeks (taste and carbonation both improve in my opinion).  This beer will keep in bottles for up to 4 months (but they probably will disappear well before then). This makes 5 gallons. 

This malty amber ale will be a frothy delight for the end of the harvest season.

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Frank Holes, Sr. is the Vice President of Griswold Mountain Brewing Company and a distinguished crafter of homemade champagne and cordials. 


Recipe of the Month:

Kartoffelsalat Mit Biermarinade
(Potato Salad/Beer Dressing)



Kartoffelsalat Mit Biermarinade
(Potato Salad/Beer Dressing)

Yield: 4 servings

This is a great side dish for that Octoberfest party.    

6 Medium Potatoes 
4 Slices of Bacon 
1 tbsp Chopped Onion
1 Stalk Celery, Chopped 
1 tsp Salt 
2 tbsp Butter 
2 tbsp Unbleached Flour 
1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
1 tbsp Sugar 
1 cup Beer; Any Brand 
1/2 tsp Tabasco Sauce 
2 tbsp Parsley; Chopped Fresh
Cooking Directions:
1.  Boil potatoes in medium-size saucepan until just tender. Peel and slice. 

2.  Fry bacon until crisp. Break into small pieces and mix with onion, celery and salt; set aside. 

3.  Stir melted butter and flour in a small saucepan until blended. Add mustard and sugar. 

4.  Slowly stir in beer and Tabasco sauce. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. 

5.  Pour over potatoes. Sprinkle with parsley. Toss lightly and let stand 1 hour. 

6.  Add bacon mixture; toss gently and serve.  Makes 4 servings.


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