Celebrate Oktoberfest at Home with Kits and Decor That Make for Easy Entertaining
Celebrate this year in the comfort of your own home!
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Ah sweet Oktoberfest, the celebration of beers and beer-related things that confuses us all by beginning in September and not October (let the k in the title remind you that the two are very different). The two-week festival originated in Munich but has become a worldwide celebration featuring beers, brats, kraut, soft pretzels, and more.
While the official fest in Germany has been canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are a handful of ways you can celebrate at home. With a few items to help set the theme and kits to take the grunt work out of cooking for a crowd, you’ll have all the fixings for an Oktoberfest get-together of your very own.
The festival began more than two centuries ago as a wedding celebration for Bavaria’s Crown Prince when he married a princess from Saxony-Hildburghausen. The townspeople were invited to join the party and horse races were held. Crowds of people drank beer by the pint in excess, alongside traditional fare. Everyone had such a good time (I mean how could they not?) that they decided to do it again the next year, and the next, and the next, and now here we are—still celebrating the marriage of two royal strangers from 200 years ago.
That all being said, any excuse to drink a large beer and hang out with friends and family as we stuff our faces with warm pretzels and German-style franks is a holiday you can count us in for. To get the party going at home, you’ll need enough pint glasses for your guests, beers to fill them, an array of mustards, and lots of fluffy, fresh pretzels. The celebration in Munich would have started Sept. 16 and ended Oct. 3, so get all of your online orders in now to make sure you can drink a brew and bake your snacks in honor of the late prince and princess of Bavaria.
When it comes to hosting a party, some of us want to be able to enjoy the festivities without any stains on our shirts from cooking all morning or running back and forth to the oven. Cut back on prep work without losing out on fresh flavors with a kit from Goldbelly that comes with everything you need for an Oktoberfest celebration. That includes authentic weisswurst from Schaller & Weber, the go-to sausage of Oktoberfest attendees in Munich. It ships nationwide and comes with 12 sausages, eight pretzels, and a big jar of sauerkraut.
Weisswurst isn’t necessarily an easy sausage to find at just any grocer, so we suggest ordering it online in advance, or tracking down a German butcher to stock up on all the kraut, pickles, mustards, and sausages of your Oktoberfest dreams. You can also swap weisswurst for the more commonly found bratwurst, which is fine, and if you’re looking for a plant-based option, you can order Beyond Brats here to offer a meat-free alternative to your guests.
If you aren’t afraid of getting a little dirty, try making sausages from scratch before the party or as the main event! If you and your friends are foodies, make a day out of seasoning and stuffing the sausages yourself—with a full keg on hand, of course. Once your sausages are stuffed and ready to cook, throw them on the grill and indulge in the fruits of your labor. Take advantage of sausage-making kits that come with traditional seasonings for German-style brats and whip out the sausage-making attachment for your stand mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can get your hands on a tabletop stuffer for sausages in as little as three days with our handy friend Amazon Prime.
While the sausages and wursts that you choose to serve are crucial to having a good Oktoberfest celebration, sides play a big part, too. Whip up a batch of German potato salad or warm potatoes with sage and brown butter to serve alongside—and don’t forget the pretzels. Oktoberfest is all about them, and no pretzel is better than a fresh, warm, homemade, salted one. Since all things Oktoberfest should also come with beer, this kit from FarmSteady comes with all of the things you need to make beer cheese as well as a dozen fresh pretzels. This kit will be your go-to hack for making fluffy pretzels at home without all of the measuring and gathering of armfuls of dry ingredients and long shopping lists. To take your spread to the next level, FarmSteady also offers a kit to make your own kraut. If you want to really impress the whole party, toss this together about a week in advance for maximum flavor. For an added hit of flavor, pick up an Oktoberfest spice blend that makes for a great topping for potatoes, salads, or sauerkraut.
Your sausages and pretzels will need mustard to dip into. Why not use Oktoberfest as a reason to pick up a new hobby and try making mustard from scratch? It’s not as far-fetched as it seems, and actually only takes a handful of ingredients. Odds are, after making it once, you’ll be addicted to tailoring your mustard to your personal taste. To get started, pick up one of these gourmet mustard-making kits that come with apple cider vinegar, mustard seeds, powder, ingredients for three different flavors, and jars. The sweet and spicy beer mustard will make a great spread on top of your weisswurst or bratwurst and an even better dip for fresh pretzels. If you’re feeling fancy, make a big batch and order some small jars to give to guests as party favors.
To top it all off, grab a blue and white tablecloth and themed dishware to serve your sausages on. Complete the party set up with banners to hang outside of your doorway, and hang blue and white flags from a backyard banister for added enthusiasm. Don’t forget to pick up a few other things to really ensure your party screams Oktoberfest like traditional dimple stein beer mugs clinked throughout the festival in Munich.
If the party goes from day to night, keep the festivities going with a candle inspired by Oktoberfest. Luckily, it doesn’t take on notes of kraut or brats—instead, let the smells of warm pretzels and pumpkin ale with under-notes of golden hops and clove waft through the house.
The moral of the story? However you celebrate Oktoberfest this year, make sure you do so with a brat in one hand and beer in the other.